Can You Grill on Oak Island Beach?

Sunny days, salty air, and the smell of freshly grilled food. Is this something Oak Island, North Carolina, beachgoers can enjoy?

Published Categorized as Local
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Oak Island, situated in North Carolina on the shores of the North Atlantic Ocean, offers wonderful vistas.

Being a south-facing beach, visitors get the unique opportunity to watch ocean sunrises from the East and sunsets to the West, and what better way to celebrate this than with a beach grilled meal.

Between November 16th and April 30th every year, Oak Island allows fires on the beach. All trash should be removed and any hole dug for the fire should be filled completely. No glass containers are allowed.

The beaches framing the southern side of Oak Island here may not have the “sparkling white sand” of other more popular destinations.

Still, they are also less crowded and not lined with condominiums like the commercial beaches on the Gulf. Still, they offer reasonable prices, magnificent, picturesque views, and the people are some of the warmest and most friendly around.

Grilling on Oak Island Beach

During the “off turtle season,” between November 16th and April 30th every year, Oak Island encourages the beaches to use and make it available for bonfires, grill and barbequing, and even as entertainment and a wedding venue.

Beach bonfires are NOT permitted between May 1st and November 15th due to the sea turtle nesting season.

All you need to set up a bonfire is a permit, which can be obtained online, 72 hours before the scheduled date of the bonfire, by contacting the town authority.

Bonfires or Grills for preparing food can be started subject to the following:

  1. The beachgoer must obtain a permit from the Oak Island Fire Marshal.
  2. The fires must be set back at least 50 ft from any structure and 25 ft from all dune vegetation.
  3. The beachgoer must have a pressurized water source, a five-gallon bucket of water, or a 2A fire extinguisher (minimum size) to extinguish a Class A fire.
  4. The beach fires must be attended to at all times.
  5. After extinguishing the beach fire, all burned debris must be removed from the burn site and disposed of properly away from the beach.
  6. Beach fires must not be larger than 4 ft by 4 ft wide and cannot be taller than 4 ft.
  7. It is the permit holder’s responsibility to ensure the proper extinguishment of the fire.

We are sure that you agree these are reasonable regulations for such an enjoyable event.

Can You Fish Off Oak Island Beach?

Surf fishing off the beach is possible, and many species have been caught.

Common species include King Mackerel, Cobia, Whiting (Virginia Mullet), Pompano, Spots, Sharks, Tarpon, Amberjack, Jack Crevalle, Sheepshead, Black Drum, Red Drum, Croaker, Grey Trout, Ladyfish, Spadefish, and Pinfish.

It is a bucket list item for many people to stay on the beach after a successful day’s fishing and spend time with those closest to you, watching the superb sunset while grilling your day’s catch.


While Oak Island beaches may not be the bleached white expanses of sand found further south, they make up for it with spectacular views of the sunrise and sunset, which seem to go on forever. 

The fact that there are no crowds and that the residents are also amongst the friendliest and most accommodating makes this destination a wonderful place to spend time and hone your beach grilling skills.

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