48% of Americans say the beach is their favorite vacation destination. So chances are, it's yours too!
The beach offers you warm soft sand, cool blue water, and amazing views. It's no surprise why so many people like traveling to the oceanside.
What's great about the US is there are ample beaches, so you'll never get bored. There are always new places to explore, such as Wrightsville Beach in North Carolina.
Planning a vacation soon? Then you'll want to put this destination at the top of your list.
Read on to find out 12 fantastic things to do on your Wrightsville Beach vacation!
1. Wrightsville Beach Shoreline
Why wouldn't you spend some time at the beach, especially since Wrightsville Beach has been ranked one of the top ones around?
Wherever you are in the city, you're almost guaranteed to find beach access points, which makes it very easy to get out onto the water. Not only that, but there are also many lifeguarded beaches if you want some extra peace of mind.
Bring a towel and sunbathe to your heart's content. And if you feel hot, take a dip in the water. You can also go stand-up paddleboarding and surfing if you wish!
2. Johnnie Mercer's Pier
Johnnie Mercer's Pier is the only concrete fishing pier in the entire state. Not only that, but it's one of the longest fishing piers in all of Cape Fear!
This pier was first built in the 1930s but was restored in 2002 after 2 hurricanes devastated the area.
While the pier was built for fishers, this doesn't mean it's boring if you're just a regular tourist. You can stroll down the 1,200-foot pier to enjoy fantastic weather. It's one of the few fishing piers that don't charge for entrance, so enjoy the view for free!
Just make sure you've got something warm on, like a hoodie. The pier can get chilly, especially later on in the day.
3. Wrightsville Beach Museum of History
If you're interested in what made this destination what it is today, then check out the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History. Here, you'll find over 100 years of information about Wrightsville through displays and memorabilia.
The museum itself is beautiful too. It's located in a restored 1900s beach house, so you'll get to go through and see what an older beach how looks like.
This museum is open all year long, plus it regularly changes its exhibits. So no matter when you visit, and how often you do so, there's always something new to see!
4. Fred and Alice Stanback Coastal Education Center
This center is run by the North Carolina Coastal Federation, which is a non-profit organization that's been in the local community for 4 decades.
You'll find the Fred and Alice Stanback Coastal Education Center in a 1940s cottage. So like the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History, you'll enjoy some great architecture.
In the center, you'll get ample learning opportunities for the entire family. Make sure you check their upcoming events before you go so you can join in on activities like tours at local rain gardens and salt marshes.
5. North Wrightsville Beach
Don't like to duke it out with other tourists for a spot on the beach? Then head over to North Wrightsville Beach, or "North End", which borders Shell Island.
Here, there are fewer people who visit the beach. Yet, you'll still get fantastic views and water.
Not only can you sit back and relax on the sand, but you can explore some undeveloped beaches and feel like you're an explorer. You can also go to the Audobon's Mason Inlet Waterbird Management Area, where you can spot many beautiful bird species.
Bring along your Wrightsville Beach hat, bikini, and sunglasses, and you'll be set!
6. Wrightsville Beach Park
If for some reason, you want to avoid sand, you should spend some time at Wrightsville Beach Park. This park has an open area where you can play soccer or any other pickup game. In addition, it has a softball field, 2 outdoor basketball courts, 4 tennis courts, and 3 sand volleyball pits, so you can get some fun games in with the family.
There's also a new playground if you're binging your little ones. Plus, you can take a walk through the arboretum and learn all about plants.
If you're visiting during the summer, there are weekly outdoor movie nights. So make sure to catch a movie or 2 if you're in town then!
7. Wrightsville Beach Causeway
Do you want to take your significant other on a romantic boat trip? Then rent a boat down at the Wrightsville Beach Causeway. This area gives you direct access to the Intracoastal Waterway.
Once you're at the Intracoastal waterway, there's plenty to do here. You can even take kayaks and canoes through, as well as stand-up paddleboards. In addition, you can go fishing at Masonboro Inlet 3 miles away.
Whatever you decide to do, Wrightsville Beach Causeway is where you should start. It's insanely popular during summer, so make sure to get there early. Even though it has free parking for 70 vehicles, these fill up quickly, especially when the weather's nice.
8. Intracoastal Waterway
Speaking of the Intracoastal Waterway, this is another point of interest you should visit in Wrightsville Beach. Walk up to it, and you'll see marinas where there are plenty of boat tours and cruises available. You can also rent out boats like pontoons and jet skis if you wish!
You don't have to get out on the water if you don't want to though. Visitors are welcome to dine at one of the 4 waterfront restaurants that offer amazing views. There are also plenty of homes and condos you can rent out if you want to stay in a waterfront property.
9. John Nesbitt Loop
Get your walk on at the John Nesbitt Loop. "The Loop" is a circuit sidewalk course that takes you on 2.45 miles of gorgeous sights, letting you see parts of the Intracoastal Waterway, Salisbury Street, Causeway Drive, Banks Channel, Wrightsville Beach Park, and Harbor Island. Both locals and tourists frequent The Loop, so you won't feel out of place at all.
People walk, jog, and run here, and some even bring their dogs for some exercise. So if you're bringing Fido along for vacation, this is a dog-friendly place to go, especially since there are many doggy fountains on The Loop.
This loop also has many vantage points along the way, so feel free to take breaks and revel in the views.
10. Masonboro Island Coastal Estuarine Reserve
The Masonboro Island Coastal Estuarine Reserve is truly a sight to behold. It's an undeveloped island that spans over 5,600 acres! Not only will you find beaches here, but also tidal flats and salt marshes, where you can watch birds and other wildlife.
The only way to get to this reserve is by boat, water taxi, or cruise, so the trips to and from this island are a treat. Consider booking with local boat tour and cruise companies to enjoy adventures like dolphin-watching and shelling expeditions.
If you're looking for an excursion where you feel like you've left civilization, then the Masonboro Island Coastal Estuarine Reserve is definitely a must-see in Wrightsville Beach.
11. Bluewater Grill
Take advantage of your proximity to the ocean and feast upon fresh and tasty seafood at Bluewater Grill. Not only does this restaurant have high-quality food, but it's also located on the Intracoastal Waterway, which offers some breathtaking views.
Bluewater Grill also has a large outdoor patio, so ask for outdoor seating if the weather permits. You won't regret it, as it'll be an incredibly romantic time for you and your significant other!
12. River to the Sea Route
This one's for those who lead a very active lifestyle. The River to the Sea Bikeway trail spans 11 miles, so be prepared for a challenging yet fun ride.
This bike trail will take you through places like Historic Beach Car Line, Forest Hills, and Empire Park. For those who want an even bigger challenge, take the connection to the Gary Shell Cross-City Trail and you'll have even more nature to bike through! Whichever way you go, make sure you pick up some Wrightsville Beach souvenirs along the way.
You can always bring your own bikes, but if you don't want to go through that hassle, you can also rent some in the city.
Have a Great Time at Wrightsville Beach
As you can see, there's so much to do at Wrightsville Beach. Whether it's going to the beach, parks, restaurants, or museums, you and your family are sure to have a fantastic time here. You'll definitely make unforgettable memories and it'll inspire you to return time and time again!
Before you leave for vacation, why not check out our selection of Wrightsville Beach apparel first?