This picturesque barrier island offers consistent waves for surfers, a vibrant nightlife and a wide range of outdoor activities.
Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, is known as the home of some of the best surf on the U.S. east coast. It also features clean, uncrowded beaches and the clear, warm waters of the Gulf Stream.
At just just 5 miles (8 kilometers) long, this island lends itself to exploring on foot. There is really no reason to get into your car with many of the best activities and attractions within walking distance of each other.
Learn about the town and its history by visiting the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History. This is housed in a turn-of-the-century beach cottage. Take a look at the scale model of the town circa 1910 as well as exhibits that feature the island’s early days and its hurricane history.
If you’re in town on a Monday during the summer, stop by the Wrightsville Beach Farmer's Market. Here, you can shop for regional handcrafted items, fresh produce grown on local farms and locally caught seafood. Browse downtown shops to find anything from beachwear and surfing equipment, to unique gifts and antiques.
A short walk from downtown is Wrightsville Beach Park where you can take a surfing lesson or spend time soaking up the sun. Bring your binoculars and watch the native marsh birds and loggerhead sea turtles. Rent a kayak and take the 5-mile (8-kilometer) kayaking trail winding through the marshes. Join the locals and take part in one of the most popular island activities: walking or running “The Loop.” This 2.5-mile (4-kilometer) scenic path circles the park as well as the natural marshes.
At the end of the day, there are many options for dinner. Choose from hot dogs at the beach, to one of many eateries featuring local seafood such as mussels in blue cheese, king crab legs or clams smothered in garlic and butter sauce.
Finish the day with a visit to the waterfront. There are a number of venues featuring live music by local bands. Sip a cold beer or cocktail on an outdoor patio with sweeping ocean views.