Oak Island rentals – a taste of coastal NC

Oak Island rentals are your stepping stone to miles of unspoiled North Carolinian shoreline. They pepper a long barrier on the edge of the Tar Heel State. Some front the Atlantic, offering views of rolling waves and cloud-colored sands. Others dot the sleepy blocks behind or cluster around jetties on the Intracoastal Waterway – perfect for boaters and wildlife lovers. This guide can help you find the pad that's perfect for you…

Top features you'll love in Oak Island, NC, rentals

Oak Island vacation homes are hardly a difficult sell – they're handsome, surrounded by gorgeous swathes of pristine dunes and coast, and ooze North Carolinian charms. Still, it might be worth pointing out just a few of the things that make them so darn enticing before you go ahead and book.

Oceanfront locations that are to die for

You might not stop sighing and gasping in some of the vacation rentals in Oak Island, NC. Every window you gaze out of, every time you step onto that balcony, every time you hop out the back door, there's a chance that you'll be greeted by vistas of crashing rollers and gull-stalked sands. Of course, these so-called front-row properties do tend to cost a tad extra.

Pet-friendly abodes can be had

Promised Fido a run around the wet sands or a driftwood-chasing session up by Caswell Beach? Make good on that by seeking out a pet-friendly rental. There are lots, and they often come with a little extra room to host the pup. You might need to pay a surcharge, though, and be aware of any off-leash restrictions on Oak Island's shores during the summer months.

Get the romance rolling in cute Carolinian cottages

If you're treating someone special to a trip to Oak Island, there are a few vacay homes that have just what you're looking for. When you return from those plaintive beach walks and sunrises on the dunes, you could cozy up in your own timber-faced cottage. They tend to sit back from the coast, in palm-lined blocks with green lawns, railed porches, and exteriors painted in vibrant colors.

Know your way around Oak Island – an area guide

Oak Island spans almost 13 miles of barrier island on the coast of North Carolina. From east to west, it runs past wetlands, creeks, protected beach reserves, and historic fortresses, which means it's a good idea to have a feel for it all before settling on somewhere to stay.

Stay near the beach by Ocean Crest Pier

Jutting into the Atlantic smack bang in the middle of Oak Island, the Ocean Crest Pier is a vibrant and historic fishing spot that's surrounded by a series of comely coast cottages and lodges, many of which have decks poking right across E Beach Drive and onto the sands.

There's history and chilling to be done in Caswell Beach

The easternmost end of Oak Island is taken by the chilled community of Caswell Beach. It's known for its cotton-tinted sand dunes and meadows of sea oats, all of which mingle with a high lighthouse and the age-old bastion-against-buccaneers that is Fort Caswell. The result is somewhere that fuses R&R with a touch of 1800s history.

There's a certain buzz about Southport

Just to the north of Caswell Beach on the edge of the Cape Fear River, the quaint fishing village of Southport proves a doozy for certain vacationers. Specifically, it's great for those who want to unravel seafaring history in the North Carolina Maritime Museum, and foodies pining after fresh-off-the-boat cuts in the lively marina area.

Cheap and affordable Oak Island rentals

Don't upend the travel budget and empty the bank account to make that trip to NC's shores. The pointers below are tried-and-tested in the art of slashing the cost of Oak Island vacation rentals, which means you should be able to hit the fishing pier with wads of extra dollars in your pocket.

Forgo your Oak Island rental on the oceanfront

There's no doubt about it – the luxury of an Atlantic view comes at a price. Move just one street or – better yet – two streets back from the soft beaches and you're likely to notice a sharp dip in the cost of places to stay here.

Check different travel dates

If you've only been looking at trips between June and August and have despaired at the cost of vacation rentals in Oak Island, NC, that's because prices spike in the summertime. Winter can be wild and cold, but it's also bracing and beautiful. Spring and fall, meanwhile, offer good weather and fewer people, all without the soaring rates.

Think about nearby resorts

Oak Island is just one of a string of barrier isles on the Tar Heel State's shores that are all rather similar in character. To the east is Holden Beach, and further east again is Ocean Isle Beach, both of which come with rickety wood piers, fishing outfitters, and seafood buffets. They also could be hiding bargain vacation homes.