Summertime in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands wouldn’t be complete without warm breezes, good vibes, and live music! You might already be familiar with the free summer concerts held across the islands from May through September, but many of the area’s restaurants and bars also boast live music throughout the summer. For those seeking that carefree island feeling you get from listening to a band play while sipping a cold drink on a patio, look no further! Below, you’ll find some of the best spots to enjoy live music in the Brunswick Islands.

Restaurants, Bars, and Pubs 

  1. Mermaids Island Grill – This rooftop bar in Holden Beach specializes in coastal and Greek cuisine while also serving up cocktails and live music on Mondays through Saturdays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Enjoy the ocean air and great tunes as you dine on fresh food with local ingredients.  

  2. The Pub of Southport – This Irish pub and sports bar that has both American and traditional Irish cuisine features live music on Fridays from 9 p.m. to midnight. Guests can also enjoy a whiskey collection of over 90 different bottles and a full range of imported and domestic beers, wines, and liquors.  

  3. Castaways Raw Bar & Grill – Located in Holden Beach, Castaways is truly a place to "Get Lost" and let the vacation begin. Relax and enjoy the breeze of their open-air dining while listening to live music nightly from mid-June through mid-August and on weekends during the spring and fall. 

  4. Inlet View Bar & Grill – This waterfront restaurant located in Shallotte serves seafood caught by local fishermen and drinks with a view. Guests can watch the sun rise and set on the water accompanied by live performances on Fridays and Saturdays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

  5. Jinks Creek Waterfront Grill – Located in Ocean Isle Beach, this waterfront restaurant offers live music on Saturdays and Sundays. Guests can enjoy a drink at the covered outdoor deck bar perched on the top patio with sweeping views of Jinks Creek or dine outdoors in the gazebo overlooking the water.  

  6. Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar – This popular chain, which has a location in Leland, serves oysters, shrimp, and fresh signature cocktails. They also have live music on the weekends on their outdoor patio— dancing is encouraged!  

  7. House’s Place – Located on the Sea Trail Resort property in Sunset Beach, House's Place is open to anyone, including those not staying on the property. The restaurant offers karaoke and live tunes in addition to game nights, wine nights, and more.  

  8. American Fish Company – Situated in Southport’s historic Yacht Basin, this waterfront bar is kid and dog-friendly and family-oriented. It’s the perfect place to catch the sunset with a cocktail, and their weekends are filled with live music during the summer.

American Fish Company in Southport

  1. Lazy Turtle Oceanfront Grille – This waterfront American eatery is a family-friendly, fun place to hang out on the beach! Their patio and tiki bar are both dog friendly and they feature live bands on select nights.

  2. Second Wind – This sports bar located on Oak Island features a weekly rotation of live music, open mic nights, and karaoke. It’s the perfect local hangout that visitors can enjoy too.   

Breweries and Taprooms 

  1. Southport Tap & Cellar – Located in historic Southport, this craft beer and wine bottle shop offers 22 taps and over 150 bottles and cans of beer. They have both indoor and outdoor seating and live music every Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with food trucks on-site.  

  2. 34° North Experiment Station – The 34° North Experiment Station Brewery, located in Shallotte, features small batches of funky experimental beers inspired by the coastal winds as well as the full line-up of beers brewed at the main brewery in Marietta, Georgia. They have live music from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on select nights– visit their Instagram to stay up to date on their live music schedule.  

Ocean Piers

  1. Ocean Crest Fishing Pier – Spending the day on the beach in Oak Island? You may not even have to leave to enjoy live music! The 893-foot Ocean Crest Fishing Pier hosts a variety of bands and local artists during the summer on the pier deck, with the beautiful Atlantic Ocean as a backdrop.  

  2. Ocean Isle Beach Pier – You can also catch live music right from the beach at the Ocean Isle Beach Pier Backyard. From dueling pianos to open-mic nights, the OIB Pier Backyard is perfect for enjoying a beautiful view with a wide variety of live entertainment. Live music takes place on different nights throughout the week. Call the pier to receive the weekly entertainment schedule from one of the friendly staff members.

Live music at the Ocean Isle Beach Pier

Photo courtesy of Ocean Isle Beach Pier.  

North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands has an endless supply of live music throughout the summer to provide visitors and locals with the soundtrack to their ultimate beach vacation. Time to get exploring (and grab a delicious drink or bite to eat while you’re at it)!