Near the border of coastal NC and SC, you’ll find a rare adrenaline-pumping venue at the Shallotte River Swamp Park, home to an American alligator sanctuary! Known as the largest reptiles to crawl the North American continent, these whoppers can exceed 15 feet and weigh over half a ton! With a superpower enabling them to survive both fresh and brackish waters through special salt glands on their tongues, they are perfect denizens for this fun-filled swamp.
As your boat driver guides you through the deceptively still waters of the Shallotte River Swamp Park, you’ll learn all about the ecological gifts bestowed by the swamp and even pass by a landmark thought to be utilized by President George Washington himself.
Not such a fan of these lazy reptiles? Take to the skies via one of two thrilling zip line tours, or go wild at the aerial adventure park. As you zip from one century-old cypress tree to another, you’ll likely see owls, wild boars, and turkeys puttering about on the forest floor. The aerial adventure Shallotte River Swamp Park is everything you wish your school playground would be to the hundredth power. Navigate through wobbly suspension bridges, treacherous rope courses, and 50+ daring obstacles with no wait time for unclipping and reclipping your harness – this fun park enables continuous belaying!
Things To Do In Shallotte And Ocean Isle Beach, NC
If you're planning on visiting the Shallotte River Swamp Park, congratulations! The Shallotte River Swamp Park is officially the best thing to do in Shallotte, NC. It's certainly possible to fill a three-day weekend with exciting activities in Shallotte and the surrounding Ocean Isle Beach area. Check out some outdoor attractions from seasoned Carolina travelers:
- Search for shells on one of many picture-perfect beaches that make up the Brunswick Islands, including Ocean Isle Beach, Sunset Beach, Holden Beach, and Oak Island.
- Tee off at popular golf courses like Rivers Edge Golf Club & Plantation.
- Book a fishing expedition (in-shore or off-shore) with one of the area's reputable charters.
Where To Stay In The Shallotte/Ocean Isle Beach, NC
Perhaps the better question is — where should you not stay?! Shallotte and Ocean Isle Beach are home to an array of attractive hotels, vacation rentals, cabins, and campgrounds. Peruse this list of the top Airbnbs in Ocean Isle Beach or cast your net a little wider by reviewing the best VRBOs in Ocean Isle Beach. Below, we've shared the top-rated hotels in Ocean Isle Beach and Shallotte that are close to the Shallotte River Swamp Park and guaranteed to provide comfortable accommodations with coveted waterfront views and pool access:
- 4.8 The Sunset Inn Bed & Breakfast Address: 9 E N Shore Dr, Sunset Beach, NC 28468
- 4.5 Best Western Shallotte Address: 360 Whiteville Rd NW, Shallotte, NC 28459
- 4.5 The Winds Beach Resort Club Address: 310 E 1st St, Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
- 4.4 Ocean Isle Inn Address: 37 W First St, Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
A Smorgasbord Of Yummy Restaurants In Ocean Isle Beach, NC
Being on the border of the NC and SC coast, you'll find yourself in an ideal destination for fresh-caught seafood, outdoor dining, and of course…decadent desserts! Here are some of our Carolina travelers' favorite picks for places to eat in Ocean Isle, NC (spoiler alert: no alligators roam the premises of these restaurants…):
- You'll certainly find cause to pause at the Causeway Gourmet where they serve, well, just about everything. Sumptuous soups and salads. Cold sandwiches and hot wraps. Enticing entrees like Lost Bayou Gumbo. It's Paradise Found at this beloved local restaurant Address: 100 Causeway Dr #7, Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
- Give your tastebuds a treat with an introduction to flavorful Jamaican cuisine at the Sugar Shack. In search of familiar favorites? You'll like the coconut shrimp and oh-so-saucy ribs. How about something new to indulge in? We recommend sharing curried goat — Jamaica's national dish! Address: 1609 Hale Beach Rd SW, Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
- If waterfront dining is what's in store, say no more…Sharky's Waterfront is the spot to go! For over three decades, Sharky's has been serving up high-demand coastal dishes like shrimp and grits and heaping fried seafood baskets (accompanied by fries, hush puppies, and coleslaw) Address: 61 Causeway Dr, Ocean Isle Beach, NC, 28469
- Don't you worry, we've got you covered for the best dessert in Ocean Isle Beach. Enjoy a sweet ending to a day of zip-lining and alligator-observing at the Sunset Slush. It's classic Italian ice that tastes like summer in a cup — try their zany flavors like creamsicle, fireball, key lime, and sour apple (plus oodles more!) Address: 6848 Beach Drive SW, Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
Shallotte River Swamp Park: Know Before You Go
Outfitter: Shallotte River Swamp Park
Address: 5550 Watts Rd SW, Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
Ages: Minimum of 10 years old for zip line tour and weight limit of 70-250 lbs.; youth under 15 must be accompanied by an adult on the zip line tour
Rates: $10 for River Walk Trail admission; $23.99 per person for Swamp Boat Eco-Tour (kids under age 4 get in free); $42-$85 for zip line tour options and $25-$45 for aerial adventure park options (price depends on the date)
Dates: The Shallotte River Swamp Park is open daily in the summertime; swamp park eco-tours run at 9 AM, 10 AM, 4 PM, and 5 PM; aerial park sessions can be booked daily from 10 AM to 4 PM in 1-hour increments; zip line sessions can be reserved daily from 9 AM to 3 PM in 1-hour increments.