The town of Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina is beautiful and has a lot to offer those looking for a getaway. The town is part of the Wilmington Metropolitan Area and has a population of about 2,500 people. A smaller town that is located along the Intracoastal Waterway, Wrightsville Beach is made up of a 4-mile long beach and an interior island known as Harbor Island.
With such a great location, it’s a wonderful place to relax and experience the natural beauty of the area by participating in outdoor activities. If you’re looking for the best things to do at Wrightsville Beach, you won’t have to search far. There is plenty to do. Here are the top attractions and fun things to do in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.
One of the most beautiful and clean public beaches in the state of North Carolina, Wrightsville Beach is dog-friendly and does offer free parking during the off-peak season. Paid parking is available during the peak season.
Do be aware that this beach gets quite busy during the summer, as it’s a favorite beach for a vacation. There are clean bathrooms and showers and the water is a nice temperature and features near constant waves. Play volleyball, go for a walk, or watch for dolphins and other wildlife while at the beach for a magical experience.
Wrightsville Beach Park
Located in the heart of town, Wrightsville Beach Park is a great destination that won’t leave you covered in sand. There is a great playground and plenty of wide-open green spaces. Bring a picnic and soak up the sun.
Wrightsville Beach Museum of History
With a mission to tell the story of Wrightsville Beach, the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History offers a variety of exhibits and presentations. There are also monthly children’s programs and many annual events throughout the year. Located in a 1909 cottage, you get the feel of how life was in a summer cottage in the early 1900s. Local history is really interesting and the museum has done a great job documenting life in this little beach town.
Motts Channel Seafood
A presence in Wrightsville Beach for more than 30 years, Motts Channel Seafood is a family-owned business. Local fishermen bring their catches from the North Carolina coast right to the docks daily. Find fish, shrimp, clams, muscles, and oysters as well as merchandise, produce, and homemade desserts to complete your meal. If you have the ability to cook while visiting Wrightsville Beach, you should definitely grab some fresh seafood for a gourmet dinner.
Crystal Pier stretches 475 feet into the Atlantic Ocean. It sits at the end of the outside dining area of the Oceanic Restaurant. It’s free to walk out on the pier and enjoy the view and it’s a gorgeous spot to snap some photos.
The pier can be reserved through the restaurant for private events, so there are occasions when it’s closed. Find beach access from the stairs at the base of the pier so you can get down to go for a walk. Also, watch for sea life such as dolphins and stingrays and enjoy watching the surfers and swimmers.
Wrightsville Beach Farmers Market
Beginning in 2009, the Wrightsville Beach Farmers Market is a true gem of the community. There are many opportunities to socialize with residents and visitors as well as the vendors. There are flowers, produce, and fresh seafood available. Also find baked goods, sweets, and other fine foods, as well as art, crafts, and a variety of other items. It’s a great place to find souvenirs or gifts.
Johnnie Mercers Pier
The first concrete fishing pier in North Carolina, Johnnie Mercers Fishing Pier has much to offer visitors. The pier stretches more than 1200 feet into the Atlantic Ocean. There is a fully stocked tackle shop, rod rentals, and a seasonal snack bar.
Common species caught on the pier include king, Spanish, bluefish, tarpon, cobia, barracuda, flounder, red drum, black drum, trout, pompano, VA mullet, crevalle jack, dogfish, and sailfish. Visit the unique gift shop to grab some souvenirs and also enjoy the beautiful view and sea breezes. Watch for special events such as fishing tournaments and holiday celebrations.
Shop at Local Stores
Spend an afternoon shopping in Wrightsville Beach. There are many great choices.
A Wrightsville Beach tradition since 1969, Redix stocks everything you might need for a day at the beach or on a boat. Pop into the location on Causeway Drive to grab clothing, shoes, bags, umbrellas, paddle boards, gifts, souvenirs, and more.
There are many cute boutiques in town, one of which is Hallelu. This hip shop offers women’s wear. Find dresses, shoes, accessories, and swimwear.
Sweetwater Surf Shop
Located on Lumina Ave., Sweetwater Surf Shop has been around since 1976 and is still run by a family of locals. The shop offers a large selection of surfboards and wetsuits as well as board rentals and surf-inspired clothing.
Stanback Coastal Education Center
Open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Stanback Coastal Education Center is a great place to learn about coastal habitats, water quality, local sea life, and more. Watch for different events and activities if you would like to participate in an organized activity and don’t miss the touch tank.
The gorgeous water calls to all who visit Wrightsville Beach. Whether you are adventurous and want to try surfing or would prefer a leisurely kayaking adventure, there is something for everyone.
Offering stand-up paddleboard rentals, yoga, fitness, surfing lessons and excursions, kayak rentals, bike rentals, and guided trips in an outrigger canoe, Wrightsville SUP is a one-stop-shop for water sports.
Cape Fear Paddleboarding
Cape Fear Paddleboarding offers SUP lessons for any skill level, SUP fitness classes, and SUP rentals. You can also rent surfboards, kayaks, bikes, beach chairs, and umbrellas here.
WB Surf Camp
Find beginner through advanced surfing lessons for kids, teens, adults, and families at WB Surf Camp. A family-owned and operated business, the founder has been teaching people how to surf since 1995. He has developed a terrific methodology that allows people to learn quickly. Never exceeding a 3:1 student-to-instructor ratio, you are guaranteed personalized instruction. All instructors are personable and go through a thorough training program.
Sign Up for a Cruise, Tour, or Fishing Charter
Guided cruises and tours are some of the best ways to truly experience Wrightsville Beach. By learning from the locals, you will gain a better understanding and appreciation of what this town is all about. Go for a sunset cruise, day trip, or book a fun adventure for your kids on the east coast of North Carolina.
La Dee Dah Cruises
Specializing in sunset cruises, La Dee Dah Cruises offers an intimate experience, with no more than six guests per adventure. The experience includes hors d’oeuvres, beverages, and a closer look at the sights and sounds of the island.
Wrightsville Beach Scenic Tours
Nature enthusiasts can consider going on an adventure with Wrightsville Beach Scenic Tours. Specializing in birding, fishing, shell-collecting, and sunset cruises, there are many choices with this company. Custom options for groups are also available. Private charters can be formulated to fit your needs. There are also children’s tours available that include the Pirate Island Treasure Hunt, Eco-Scavenger Hunt, and the Guided Beach Eco Tour.
Create your own unique adventure with Epic Excursions. This company offers boat tours, island dining excursions, glamping, camping, paddle boarding, and a summer camp for kids and teens. Boat tour options include a private charter, sunset cruise, Masonboro Island Tour, Lea Island Tour, a Paddleboarding Private Charter, or a Surfing Charter.
Wrightsville Performance Sailing
There’s nothing quite like being out on a sailboat. Explore the area through a cruise, charter, or tour with Wrightsville Performance Sailing. Sunset cruises, day tours, private lessons, and bareboat sailing excursions are available.
Go Out to Eat
There are many amazing restaurants in Wrightsville Beach. Of course, fresh seafood is the star of many menus, but there are many different types of food offered in town. Also, find live music and a happening nightlife. Here are just a few restaurants to consider visiting.
South Beach Grill
Serving lunch and dinner, the menu at South Beach Grill includes traditional southern fare and local fresh fish and seafood. There is indoor and outdoor dining available with a lovely view. Some favorite menu selections include seafood nachos, Carolina barbecue, burgers, and chicken and waffles. Vegetarian and gluten-free selections are available.
Tower 7 Baja Mexican Grill
Bold Mexican flavors will tantalize your palate at Tower 7 Baja Mexican Grill. This restaurant has become a local favorite, with a menu inspired by the delicious fish tacos found in Ensenada, Mexico. The Baja-fresh flavors are savory and delicious.