The Best Little Beach Town in America
Caswell Beach, named after historic Fort Caswell located at the eastern end of Oak Island, is a quiet, four-mile-long family beach. Located at the mouth of the Cape Fear River with long sandy beaches and mild weather, Caswell Beach is the ideal setting for rest and relaxation. The lack of commercial district only emphasizes the serene surroundings.
Caswell Beach is home to the Oak Island Lighthouse, the brightest lighthouse in the U.S., and boasts a U.S. Coast Guard Station. Caswell is the youngest Oak Island community by its incorporation in 1975, but the settlement of Fort Caswell in 1826 makes it the oldest in terms of actual settlement.
Fort Caswell was seized in 1861 by Confederate troops and held until 1865. The fort was also used in the Spanish-American War and World Wars I and II, but it is now owned by the North Carolina Baptist Assembly.
Because of the lack of development on Caswell Beach, the most significant architectural feature in the area is the Oak Island Lighthouse, which started operating in 1958 and is known as one of the brightest lighthouses in the country because it can be seen nearly 30 miles offshore.
Caswell Beach is the smallest of Brunswick County's beach towns, and when the nearby towns of Yaupon Beach and Long Beach merged in 1999, Caswell Beach chose to keep its independent government.
Some of the most beautiful vacation homes in North Carolina are in Caswell Beach, and deep dunes and sprawling beach cottages line the ocean. The average year-round temperature of 70 degrees with highs in the low 80s in the summer and low 70s in the fall, making it ideal for just about any outdoor activity you can dream up. There's an average of 240 sunny days per year and only 29 rainy days per year. It's no wonder Caswell Beach is often called "The Best Little Beach Town in America."
Since there are no shopping or dining options in Caswell Beach, you will need to head to Oak Island Beach or the mainland for all your recreation and sustenance needs. A minor inconvenience compared to the peace and solitude you'll find along the Caswell Beach shoreline.
To get to Caswell Beach from the north, take Interstate 40 South to Exit #414, marked Brunswick County Beaches. Turn left at the bottom of the exit ramp. At the next traffic light, turn left and follow the road signs for NC Highway 133 South. Once on Highway 133 South, pass through the Town of Castle Hayne, through the outskirts of Wilmington, cross over the Cape Fear River, and intersect with US Highway 17 South. Take US 17 / Highway 133 South for a couple of miles to the Southport - Oak Island exit. At the bottom of the exit ramp, turn left following Highway 133 South. After about 25 miles on Highway 133, you will pass the intersection with Highway 87 and the entrance to Sunny Point Military Depot. Highway 133 will make a right turn in about a mile onto Dosher Cutoff Road. Follow Dosher Cutoff to the next stop sign and turn right. When you come to the traffic light at Long Beach Road, turn left. This road will take you across the bridge over the Intra-Coastal Waterway onto Oak Island. Once over the bridge, go straight through the traffic light. Caswell Beach is just around the curve.
From the south, take US Highway 17 North from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to the intersection with Highway 211 East at Supply. Turn right onto Highway 211 and proceed for about 14 miles to the next traffic light at Long Beach Road. Turn right onto Long Beach Road. This road will take you across the bridge over the Intra-Coastal Waterway onto Oak Island. Once over the bridge, go straight through the traffic light. Caswell Beach is just around the curve.
From the west, take one of North Carolina's secondary highways, such as Highway 87 East. If you're traveling Highway 87, pass the intersection of 87 East and US 17. You will then pass through the Town of Boiling Spring Lakes and intersect with NC Highway 133. Turn right onto Highway 133, which will make a right turn in a mile or so onto Dosher Cutoff Road. Follow Dosher Cutoff to the next stop sign and turn right. When you come to the traffic light at Long Beach Road, turn left. This road will take you across the bridge over the IntraCoastal Waterway onto Oak Island. Once over the bridge, go straight through the traffic light. Caswell Beach is just around the curve.
There are four area airports. Major airline service is offered through two - Wilmington International Airport and Myrtle Beach International Airport. Brunswick County is midway between both airports and about 45 minutes away from each. There are also two small airports in Ocean Isle Beach and Oak Island.