The summer season might be winding down, but there is plenty of year-round fun for visitors of all ages and interests to enjoy in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands. And, with mild temperatures, spacious beaches, sunrises and sunsets over the ocean, and signature fall festivals, it’s no secret that autumn is one of the best times of year to visit the Brunswick Islands.

North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands is home to a variety of unique and entertaining festivals that have become annual favorites for visitors and residents. Signature fall events in October include Sunset at Sunset, the North Carolina Festival by the Sea, and the North Carolina Oyster Festival, along with the Southport Wooden Boat Show in November. Read on to learn more about our can’t-miss fall events that are perfect for every member of the family! 

Sunset at Sunset

If fabulous music, unique crafts, and delicious food are your kind of fun, then you won’t want to miss the 16th annual Sunset at Sunset Festival. With close to 100 local vendors offering food, arts, crafts, local craft beer and wine, and a Kid's Korner with face painting and inflatables, there is something for everyone in your family to enjoy! Known as the annual community block party for Sunset Beach, this year’s festival will take place on October 7th at Sunset Beach Town Park. Sunset at Sunset is free to attend for all ages.  

Festival in Sunset Beach, NC.


North Carolina Oyster Festival

If you like oysters, then be sure to add the annual North Carolina Oyster Festival to your fall bucket list! A long-standing tradition in the Brunswick Islands, the NC Oyster Festival will celebrate its 42nd anniversary on October 21-22 at Town Center Park in Ocean Isle Beach. With two days to explore festival grounds filled with a variety of foods, crafts, and children’s activities, you and your family can count on having fun! Bring a chair to sit back and enjoy live music, and an empty stomach to taste a variety of mouth-watering oyster dishes. If you’re feeling competitive you can also show off your shucking skills by entering the Oyster Shucking Contest. The NC Oyster Festival is free to attend for children 12 and under, and just $5 for adults.

NC Oyster Festival


North Carolina Festival by the Sea

Get ready to end the month of October with some real excitement! The North Carolina Festival by the Sea is held each year in the heart of Holden Beach during the last full weekend in October. This two-day coastal festival features art by local craftsmen, live music, contests, a wide variety of local foods, and plenty of activities for children. Best of all, the event kicks off with a parade over the Holden Beach Causeway. This is the only day of the year that you can walk across the picturesque Holden Beach Bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway. Whether you compete in the sandcastle building contest, or just explore the different vendors throughout the festival grounds, you can count on fun for the whole family to enjoy! This year's festival will take place on October 28-29 at the Holden Beach Pavilion. Both admission and parking are free. 

Festival by the Sea, Holden Beach.


Southport Wooden Boat Show

If you enjoy charming and historical coastal towns, then you won’t want to miss the Southport Wooden Boat Show! On November 4, you can see wooden boats of all shapes and sizes displayed in and around the historic Old Yacht Basin in Southport, NC, and even talk to the boat makers and owners. The event also features nautical and maritime arts and crafts vendors, children's activities and exhibits along the waterfront, and delicious food, so there is something for everyone to enjoy! 

Southport Wooden Boat Show, Southport North Carolina

From sunrise and sunset watching to annual fall festivals, families can always rely on year-round fun in the Brunswick Islands. To learn more about North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands, and to plan your trip, visit