This Is The Best Summer Bucket List For Your Sunset Beach Vacation


Bucket lists are all about having unique experiences that cannot be had anywhere else. And what better way to really maximize your stay in one of our Sunset Beach rentals than to check some can't-do-this-anywhere-else activities off of your list!

So keep reading here to learn about seven of the best options for you to enjoy while you're in Sunset Beach - one for each day of your week-long vacation!


Sunset Beach Concert Series

Concert events tend to pop up frequently on bucket lists, and for good reason! Live music is often an experience within an experience, as we get to enjoy the show itself as well as the emotions evoked by the harmony and the lyrics as they are presented to us by the artist themselves.

The Sunset Beach Concert Series is a perfect way for you to check this type of event off of your list. Happening all summer long, you're guaranteed to find an artist in this lineup that matches your musical tastes.

This series is presented in the park and includes a show every Wednesday evening at 7:00 p.m. Check out our post on the SBCS to see a full schedule and read more about each of the artists!

Notes and recommendations from the concert committee include:

  • Arrive around 6:30 pm
  • Bring your own lawn chair and refreshments
  • Better yet, purchase...
    • a lobster roll or wild game barbecue from Joe Loves
    • pizza or wings from Papa John's
    • cool treats from Sunset Slush Classic Italian Ice
    • kettle corn from Dixieland
  • There is plenty of nearby parking
  • Alcohol is not permitted in the park


Bird Island Coastal Reserve

If your bucket list includes communing with pristine swaths of nature, catching glimpses of rare coastal species, and/or contributing to a local, living historical document, then a trip to Bird Island Coastal Reserve is for you!

Bird Island is accessible to the public by boat or foot traffic only. To reach Bird Island by foot, drive to the intersection of 40th and Main Streets in Sunset Beach. Take the 40th street boardwalk beach access to the beach and turn right. Follow the beach until you reach signs indicating the boundary of the Reserve.

Feel free to explore this undeveloped barrier island on your own. If you prefer a guided tour, the Bird Island Stewards volunteers lead educational walks each Wednesday morning from June through August starting at 8:30 a.m.These excursions last roughly two hours. Bring your own water, sunscreen, and snacks.

And while you're there, don't forget to visit the Kindred Spirit Mailbox!


Shallotte River Swamp Park

Are you looking for a little excitement? If your summer bucket list includes the thrill of actively challenging yourself, then look no farther then the Shallotte River Swamp Park!

Fly high - literally and figuratively! - with the 10-station zipline tour, challenge yourself at any level of difficulty in the 53-element aerial adventure park, or kick back and leave the escapades to the others while you enjoy a relaxing and educational swamp tour.

No matter which option you choose, the owners assure you that "one of the most unique aspects of the Shallotte River Swamp Park is the focus on our beautiful, natural landscape. Not only will our rangers guide you through a world of adventure, they also educate each tour about the ecological benefits our natural habitat provides. We do not sacrifice our surroundings for adventure, but rather cautiously enhance the experience by weaving the two together."


Silver Coast Winery

If you've never had the opportunity to visit an active wine-making facility, now's your chance!

Silver Coast Winery is a boutique, European-style winery that uses regional grapes to make their award-winning wines. They offer full tours of their production facility as well as daily wine tastings. While you are there, you can also purchase cheese plates to enjoy with your wine or you can pack a picnic of your own to bring along! And if you're lucky enough to visit while they're in season, you can even pick your own fresh muscadine grapes from their vineyard!

Hours of operation for wine tastings and daily tours at the winery's Ocean Isle Beach location are Monday through Thursday from 11:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., Friday from 11:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m., Saturday from 11:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. Be sure to sign up for the wine club while you're there and gain access to members-only freebies and discounts!


Ocean Isle Scavenger Hunt

Maybe your bucket list has an entry for fun, kid-friendly events that are free and include prizes. If so, we've got you covered there too!

Head on over to the Ocean Isle Beach Community Center on select Wednesdays this summer to participate in the Scavenger Hunt Series. Registration runs from 10:00 a.m. through 10:30 a.m. After that, take your clue sheet and hunt for treasure all over the island. These prizes-waiting-to-be-found have all been provided to participants by local vendors. After the hunt, return to the start and enjoy free snacks!

July scavenger hunt dates: 5th, 18th, 25th

August scavenger hunt dates: 1st, 8th, 15th


Museum of Coastal Carolina

Knock out some of your educational bucket list items with a visit to this gem of a museum.

The Museum of Coastal Carolina is part of the Ocean Isle Museum Foundation's mission "to stimulate the general public’s interest in and understanding of the natural science, environment, and cultural history of the coastal region of the Carolinas."

The facility maintains exhibits in the lobby as well as six themed galleries: Changing Tides, Waterways, Sea Shore, Ocean Reef, Coastal Plain, and Barrier Island. Gallery attractions include touch tanks, dioramas, artifacts, models, and multi-media displays.

You may also enjoy checking out the Museum's sister facility, Ingram Planetarium. Present your same-week Museum receipt at the Planetarium and receive $2 off your Planetarium admission.


Sunset Beach Waterfront Market

Soak in the local Sunset Beach artisan culture through the sights and sounds of this good old-fashioned street fair!

The mission of the Sunset Beach Waterfront Market "is to bring the best in homemade and homegrown products in North Carolina and South Carolina to the Sunset Beach community" and considers itself a "seasonal market supporting local producers of "homemade" and "homegrown" products."

You can find plants and produce, items by local potters and photographers, one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces, hand-painted wooden signs, hand-crafted outdoor decor, as well as consumables such as jams, jellies, honey, baked goods, gourmet coffee, wines, and other confections.

This summer market occurs each Thursday from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. in Sunset Beach Park.


From entertainment to education, Sunset Beach can meet all of your summer bucket list needs.

Looking for even more to do? Check out our post 6 Of The Best Sunset Beach Summer Events!

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