Oak Island is the largest of the barrier islands in Brunswick County, in size and year round population. Oak Island is the largest beach community in North Carolina. Geographically it consists of Oak Island (formerly Long Beach and Yaupon Beach), Caswell Beach and Oak Island Mainland areas along Long Beach Road.
Caswell Beach is on the easternmost end of the Island and takes its name from Fort Caswell build in 1826 and seized by confederate troops in 1861. The fort is now the home of the N.C. Baptist Assembly camp/retreat conference center. Caswell Beach is also home to the Oak Island Lighthouse, the brightest light in the United States and second-brightest light in the world. This light can be seen as far as 24 nautical miles offshore. Oak Island Golf Course is located in Caswell Beach.
Oak Island has more than 50 public beach accesses, along with boat ramps, recreational areas and a skate park. The beaches of Oak Island are the focal point for the protection of sea turtle nesting and habitats. The town’s recreation department has an Ocean Education Center with a turtle display and the Oak Island Nature Center. Oak Island also has a bird sanctuary and a greenhouse for growing sea oats and other native beach vegetation.
Oak Island businesses are geared toward the tourist population but the year round population’s needs are met as well with several fine restaurants and shops and a new Supermarket.
Oak Island offers a variety of locations for living full time or for vacation. Homes on Oak Island and Caswell Beach range from oceanfront homes, 2nd and 3rd row, canal homes, golf course, wooded area and Intracoastal homes and condos.