Take a break from the beach and enjoy the winding canals and creeks that border the Elizabeth and Cape Fear Rivers with a visit to the May Moore Park. This small destination, located on the northeastern side of Oak Island, is within walking distance of a number of vacation rentals, and provides plenty of peace and quiet for beach lovers who want to try a different natural excursion off the salty Atlantic shoreline.

May Moore Park sign

The park is relatively isolated and secluded, and for good reason. Located on the corner of Elizabeth Drive and Barbee Drive, and taking up just a couple of residential lots in area, the park is relatively undiscovered by the majority of Oak Island visitors. The park is also a good four blocks away from the beach scene, and as a result, is a natural waterfront paradise of a different kind with shaded terrain and unlimited privacy.

Swings are available at the park for young visitors, and the majority of the park is covered by towering oaks, cedars, and yaupons which provide plenty of shade for lounging park patrons. Not very large and with limited facilities, May Moore Park is a good spot for a game of Frisbee, a quick round of catch, or a little leisurely stroll off the sand.

May Moore Park

The big draw of this park, however, is along the waterfront, as a wooden boardwalk extends into the water leading out to a landing overlooking the canal, marshes, and estuaries of the Elizabeth River. The locale is very popular with anglers in the know, as from the small dock fishermen can reel in shrimp, small mullets, sheepshead and bait fish, essentially accumulating an arsenal of bait that is ideal for a full day of fishing along the beach, or from one of the island's two piers. The dock is also a good spot for "hand line" crabbing, where anglers can dip a small fishing line or string with a piece of chicken or other bait into the water, and slowly reel in the crabs that come biting before scooping them up with a hand net.Essentially, the small dock at May Moore Park is a great place for seasoned anglers to try a new form of fishing or collect bait, and for new or young anglers to get their lines wet with a little gentle practice.

May Moore Park water accessMay Moore Park

The May Moore Park, and especially the waterfront boardwalk and dock, are also a popular destination for seasoned birdwatchers, as a number of varying migrating and permanent shorebirds can be spotted along the wide open stretches of saltwater canals and marshlands. Osprey, ibises, egrets, pelicans, Canadian geese, and even Great Blue herons all make frequent seasonal visits to this northern portion of Oak Island, and bird lovers are advised to bring along a guide book and a camera to keep track of all the innumerable sightings.

Though small and fairly hard to find amidst the neighborhoods of residential and vacation homes, the May Moore Park is a gem of a destination for water lovers. Located a good walk away from the Atlantic Ocean, but featuring exceptional fishing, bird watching, and incredible views of Oak Island's marshy and naturally wild terrain, this park will surely make visitors fall in love with all of the Brunswick Beaches' notablebodies of water.


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Victory Beach Vacations

Visitors who are on the hunt for the postcard-perfect vacation rental in the heart of the Carolina Beach or Kure Beach area will find an enticing selection and plenty of friendly customer service when they rent through Victory Beach Vacations. Based in Carolina Beach in the coastal Cape Fear region, Victory Beach Vacations has more than 100 vacation rentals in all shapes and sizes to ensure that every vacationing family can find their dream home away from home on the beach.   When you book your Cape Fear getaway with Victory Beach Vacations, the fun doesn’t end when you leave the beach, it continues with an array of privately-owned properties outfitted with all of the amenities needed for a fabulous beach vacation.   Jenna Lanier, General Manager, explains that her family first opened the rental and property management business in 2002. At the forefront of Victory Beach operations is Lanier’s mother, Caroline Meeks. Meeks is both the Broker in Charge and co-owner with husband, Buck Meeks, who manages the Field Services team with Lanier’s husband, Scott.   For nearly 20 years, the Victory Beach team has worked tirelessly to establish a network of top-of-the-line rental properties for Cape Fear visitors to enjoy. “As far as our properties go,” explains Lanier, “they are all updated, well-furnished and appointed. “We have always performed post-cleaning inspections and since the pandemic, have put freshly laundered duvets over all of the comforters between rentals.”   Lanier emphasizes how important the guests experience is “we strive to give our guests a relaxing, stress free, memorable vacation.” This emphasis on customer service has led to Victory Beach Vacations having a 4.8 Google rating with over 300 reviews by happy owners and guests.In addition to Victory Beach’s superior sanitation practices, the company offers properties for every type of visitor. Choose from luxury oceanfront houses and condos to more reasonbly priced 2nd row properties with oceanviews. Many properties include pools and hot tubs as well, perfect for outdoor entertaining, and many are dog friendly.   Lanier also notes that all properties are within walking or driving distance to Pleasure Island’s main attractions – Carolina Beach and Kure Beach. The former, as described by Lanier, is the more commercialized of the two destinations and features a boardwalk, outdoor dining options and a plethora of weekly activities including fireworks, live music, amusement park pop-ups, and movies under the stars. Kure Beach offers a more residential feel with its fishing pier, intimate restaurants and family favorite, North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher.More water fun awaits, too. “There is a harbor and a canal that feed into the intercoastal. We have several properties on the harbor so guests can bring their boat, kayak, [or jet ski] and travel between islands,” says Lanier.   A stay with Victory Beach Vacations is an annual pilgrimage for most. “A large percentage of guests are previous guests. Some even reserve the same property for the next year as they’re checking out,” Lanier says. “It’s almost like it’s their personal vacation home.”   Even before guests arrive at their vacation destination, the Victory Beach Vacations’ website greets them with a live beach cam and exquisite aerial footage of both Carolina and Kure Beaches. See for yourself by scanning the QR code and call Victory Beach Vacations at 910.458.0868 to book your Cape Fear getaway. Start making your memories today! —Grace Silipigni