Art galleries dot Howe Street, the main road through town, ending at Waterfront Park
. The welcoming vibe extends to the downtown pier, where you can fish for free alongside kids, young couples, and weathered grandfatherly types, and watch the flash each minute from Oak Island Lighthouse
across the waterway.
You'll also find Bull Frog Corner, a haven for kids, full of toys and barrels loaded to the brim with old-school candies like Bit-O-Honey, Mary Janes, and licorice twists. Just up the road, Cat On a Whisk offers lovely table linens and fine cookware.