As COVID-19 restrictions fade, Wilmington-area beaches see return of East Coast tourists

(STARNEWS) — At OIB Surf & Java in Ocean Isle Beach, owner Zach Becker serves refreshments and provides anything people need to enjoy a day on the beach – especially visitors from the Northeast or Midwest.

“They like to buy stuff that they can’t find where they’re coming from,” Becker said. “There are not a lot of surf shops in Ohio, so that really works out for us. They’re looking for something unique that no one else is going to have when they go back home.”

For beach destinations in the Wilmington area, many business owners like Becker meet plenty of day trippers from North Carolina. But out-of-towners coming from about 10 hours away are also vital in the region’s growing popularity. Both are seeing spikes as COVID-19 restrictions lift.

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