News & Accolades 

Area Accolades

logo for Southern Living's 2024 The South's Best awards

Southern Living named Wrightsville Beach the "Best Waterfront Town in North Carolina" in their 2024 The South's Best Awards highlighting the island's scenic stretches of coastline, wide shores, water activities and more.

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Southern Living featured both Shell Island Resort and the Blockade Runner Beach Resort in its roundup of The Best Beach Resorts in the Carolinas. The article commended both resorts' scenic views of the ocean from rooms, location and amenities.

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Good Housekeeping ranked Wrightsville Beach as No. 4 in its list of 30 Most Magical Island Getaways in the U.S. Noting the island's elevated selection of restaurants, watersport activities and more.

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Afar Magazine featured Wrightsville Beach as the No. 4 spot on its roundup of 6 Underrated Beach Getaways in the United States. With warm waters and a temperate climate, the Carolinas have a reputation for having some of the best beaches on the East Coast.

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Wrightsville Beach chosen as the No. 5 spot for Top 15 US Beaches for 2021 Spring Break Travel by North Carolina's most accessible beach, Wrightsville, has also been voted the state's best beach and named one of the top surfing towns in the world by National Geographic.

AAA Housekeeping Award

Four lodging properties in Wrightsville Beach have been awarded the AAA Inspectors Best of Housekeeping Award 2020, meaning that they fall within the top 25% of all hotels based on cleanliness and condition. This program highlights AAA Diamond designated properties that are the top tier in housekeeping:

Blockade Runner Beach Resort, Lumina on Wrightsville Beach, a Holiday Inn Resort, Shell Island Resort and Summer Sands Suites.

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Wrightsville Beach featured on MSN's list of The Best Beaches in the U.S., noting year-round beauty, kids’ surf camps, stand-up-paddleboard and surfing.

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Wrightsville Beach's Carolina Pro-Am and Carolina Cup events have been added as stops on the Association of Paddlesurf Professionals APP Qualifier Series. Participants will earn valuable points towards qualification for the APP World Tour and ultimately, points towards crowning of the World Champion. The APP Qualifier Series will also feature global events in Asia, Europe and Central & South America.

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The Novant Health Wilmington Marathon recognized as a Southeastern Tourism Society Top 20 Event. Sign up to race in the Boston Marathon qualifying event. Set a new personal best as you traverse a course winding along the Intracoastal Waterway and making its way inland.

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Coastal Living included Wrightsville Beach in its list of 10 Best Little Surf Towns in America for its annual pro-am surfing festivals and competitions, beginner-friendly surf environment and surf camps.

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IRONMAN 70.3 North Carolina won in two worldwide categories in the Athletes' Choice Awards. The triathlon, which starts on Wrightsville Beach, ranks second for best overall run and tied for fifth in best overall swim in the world.

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The annual Carolina Cup Paddle Races, North Carolina Holiday Flotilla and U.S. Open Fat Bike Championship recognized by the Southeast Tourism Society as Top 20 Events.

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Indo Jax Surf Charities in Wrightsville Beach gained special attention from a story on The Hero Effect on the Oprah Winfrey Network. Indo Jax Surf Charities offers free programs for medically fragile, special needs and disadvantaged children. The programs build self-esteem and are held in North Carolina, California, Nicaragua and India. Indo Jax Surf Charities has also been featured by multiple media outlets including TedX Talks and American Way Magazine.

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SUP Magazine reported The Carolina Cup's 13.2-mile Graveyard Race was elevated to 7-Star status - the highest ranking and one of only three races in the world to attain the lucky-7. The Cup was also added as the 2nd stop on the World Paddle Association's World SUP Tour 2017.

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Country Living named Wrightsville Beach one of the 20 Most Magical Island Getaways in America.

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USA TODAY featured the Blockade Runner Beach Resort as one of the Best Beach Resort Kids' Clubs in the country for its Sandcampers kids’ club held during summer months offering crafts, games and activities.

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Blockade Runner Beach Resort featured as a place to stay in Trivago Magazine's 6 Beach Destinations That Craft Drinkers Need to Try.

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Wrightsville Beach named the Pioneer in East Coast Surfing and the birthplace of surfing in North Carolina for its early surfing activity beginning in 1909. Check out all of the places to hang 10 with these great schools and surf camps on your visit.

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TripAdvisor listed Wrightsville Beach as one of 14 Beautiful Little Beach Towns in the U.S. for its clear water, clean sand, charming restaurants, fantastic surf and the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History.

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National Geographic named Wrightsville Beach among the Last Best American Beach Towns, boasting its great seafood, calming marshlands, ample fishing, unspoiled nature and nightlife.

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National Geographic included Wrightsville Beach as one of the World's 20 Best Surf Towns, saying “It’s a great surf town for two main reasons—attitude and access.” Logo

Wrightsville Beach featured as the No. 4 spot for 10 Best U.S. Beaches Where Smoking is Banned by

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Outside Magazine named Wrightsville Beach one of the top 7 Stateside SUP Hubs.

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Men’s Journal included Wrightsville Beach as North Carolina’s most naturally gifted water sport hub.

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Coastal Living magazine mentioned Wrightsville Beach and Wrightsville Beach Surf Camp among its list of Best Summer Beach Vacations.

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Men’s Journal included Wrightsville Beach among its roundup of Summer Hot Spots that highlight “the five best places to ride a wave, spike a volleyball, or paddle into the blue.”

Surf Collective NYC named Annex Surf Supply in Wrightsville Beach among its list of 22 Best Surf Shops in the World.

Articles & Coverage

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Southern Living included Wrightsville Beach in its roundup of 30 Festive Small Towns in the South for a Charming Christmas Getaway

Drop your anchor at Wrightsville Beach for the North Carolina Holiday Flotilla, a boat-filled parade on the water that culminates in a spectacular fireworks show. Read more»

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Wrightsville Beach mentioned in Southern Living's 25 Favorite Fall Beach Destinations

This popular sand-and-surf village is a favorite among surfers and paddlers of every description. Read more»

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The Shellfish Queen of Wrightsville Beach

Meet Ӓna Shellem, a professional oysterwoman, whose mission is to raise awareness about wild oysters and shellfish. Discover her story and how she became one of eastern North Carolina's main shellfish suppliers. Read more»

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Harbor Way Gardens Featured in Our State's Plant Joy

When Hurricane Florence took down 21 trees in Harbor Way Gardens in 2018, it was a blessing in disguise. Suddenly, the understory of the one-acre garden on the west end of Wrightsville Beach Park could see the light as members of the garden club began to plant flowers, shrubs and more. Read more»

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Wrightsville Beach recognized as one of the 25 Best Beaches in the U.S.

Vacations packed with water activities like surfing, paddleboarding and kayaking are just part of the reason Wrightsville Beach has been recognized by Travel + Leisure as one of the 25 Best Beaches in the U.S. Read more»

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Trips to Discover Featured Wrightsville Beach as One of the 16 Best Small Beach Towns in the U.S.

Wrightsville Beach is a classic, with soft sandy beaches edged by brilliant blue waves that are ideal for surfing. In fact, this small town near Wilmington has been named among the world’s best beach towns by National Geographic. Read more»

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Southern Living Included Wrightsville Beach as one of the Best Southern Beach Towns

Discover why Southern Living featured Wrightsville Beach as a top southern beach destination for those travelers looking for a relaxing island getaway. Read more»

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Blockade Runner Beach Resort featured in Garden & Gun

Blockade Runner Beach Resort has beckoned oceangoers for more than five decades. But beyond its midcentury-chic decor and private cabanas, what makes the property especially rare are the lawn and gardens leading to the water, a gorgeous outdoor living space tended by the hands of an artist in residence of sorts—Aubrey Doggett. Read more»

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Travel + Leisure Included Wrightsville as one of the 16 Best Beaches in North Carolina

Find a mix of surfing, shopping, dining and nightlife in and around Wrightsville Beach. Located just a short drive from Wilmington, this is a great destination for people hoping to explore the area during their beach vacation. Read more»

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Wrightsville Beach voted as one of the South's Best Beach Towns by the readers of Southern Living magazine

Noting "bike-friendly streets, big surf, good food and a laid-back attitude makes Wrightsville Beach a true beach lover's getaway." Read more»

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Today featured Wrightsville Beach's Blockade Runner Beach Resort as one of the 22 Beach Resorts That Are Perfect for Every Budget

With its kids programs — including half-day camps — Blockade Runner Beach Resort is a great option for families. Read more»

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Wrightsville Beach featured by Travel + Leisure as one of the Best Spring Break Destinations in the U.S.

Noting the variety of things to do, like surfing, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding and scuba diving. Read more»

The Workshop featured on WRAL News' Tar Heel Traveler

There are two stories under one roof in Wrightsville Beach at The Workshop, where employees will sell you coffee and shark tooth-based jewelry. Watch now»

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Wrightsville Beach ranked in roundup as one of the 25 Best North Carolina Day Trips

On Wrightsville Beach, visitors can escape from life by the white sands and sparkling blue waters which are perfect for swimming, fishing, surfing and more. Read more»

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Conde Nast Traveler Named Wrightsville Beach One of The 24 Best Beaches in the U.S.

Touted for its accessibility and world-class watersports, Wrightsville Beach is the ideal spot for families who enjoy active adventures on land and sea, beachfront access and more on vacation. Read more»

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Blockade Runner Beach Resort Featured in PBS North Carolina Weekend

PBS North Carolina's "NC Weekend" features Blockade Runner Beach Resort in episode "Coastal Treasures." A family-owned boutique resort and a Wrightsville Beach staple for more than 50 years, the resort welcomes guests to experience fine dining, surf-to-sound amenities, beachside yoga classes and more. Watch now»

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Wrightsville Beach featured in's roundup of 30 Best Surfing Spots in the U.S.

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Blockade Runner Beach Resort featured in GettingOn Travel's Eco-Friendly Resorts

Operating for more than 50 years, the family-owned resort has been recognized as an Ocean Friendly Establishment by the Plastic Ocean Project and received North Carolina Green Travel Initiative’s highest honor for the property’s efforts to reduce waste, conserve energy and provide community outreach. Read more»

Intracoastal Waterway at Wrightsville Beach
Across the Bridge, On Island Time in Wrightsville Beach

A savvy local shares his favorite spring activities and hot spots for friends and family in Wrightsville Beach, NC. Read more»

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Wrightsville Beach Offers Unique Adventures, Any Time of Year

Friends don’t let friends take boring vacations, so when two of my college girlfriends called to join them and their beaus on a weekend trip to Wrightsville Beach, I immediately said, “Yes!” With summer turning to fall, bringing milder temps and smaller crowds, this would be a great time for unique adventures. Read more»

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10 Reasons to Take your Family to Wrightsville Beach

With beautiful waters, a spacious beach, wellness activities, watersports – including surfing and paddleboarding – it’s easy to see why Wrightsville Beach remains a favorite vacation spot, especially for families. Here are 10 reasons why you and the family should plan a trip to Wrightsville Beach this summer. Read more»

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Wellness Meets Relaxation at Wrightsville Beach

Get away and begin your wellness path at Wrightsville Beach. The vibrant island community where quality and wellness converge is one of the few North Carolina beach destinations that offers convenient access to celebrated dining, upscale shopping opportunities and outdoor activities. Read more»

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Annex Surf Shop in Wrightsville Beach

Whether you’re a wave chaser in search of a surfboard or a coffee lover looking for a pick-me-up, Annex Surf Supply has you covered. Read more»

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Wrightsville Beach Featured as Small Beach Town That Should be On Your Radar

Wrightsville Beach is featured alongside beaches from around the world. Visitors will enjoy surfing, stand-up paddleboarding and sailing in Wrightsville Beach: Different parts of the area offer ideal water conditions for each sport. Read more»

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Cruising The Intracoastal Waterway

The beauty of Wrightsville Beach marinas is their convenience to restaurants, the beach, and shopping. Read more»

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Top Value Reviews featured Wrightsville Beach on the list of 30 Great Small Beach Towns on the East Coast

A tiny town located near the outskirts of Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach is known and loved for its wide beaches, soft white sand and picturesque stilt houses situated right on the water, many of which can be rented out to summering families. Read more»

Fox News Channel Logo ranked Wrightsville Beach No. 8 among its list of Worthwhile Beaches 20 Minutes from the Tarmac

Wilmington International Airport (ILM) is just 10 miles away, so travelers can be paddle boarding along the Intracoastal Waterway or bodysurfing in the Atlantic less than 30 minutes after they touch down. Read more»

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Explore Wrightsville Beach With Tours and More

Wrightsville Beach proves it's got the goods for family fun including surfing, fishing, restaurants and rentals. Perfect for family getaways. Read more»

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Wrightsville Beach: A Vacation the Whole Family Can Get Behind

Each year more and more families vacation with at least three generations. But finding a destination that satisfies everyone can be a challenge. Wrightsville Beach has something for everyone. Read more»

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A Local's Love of Wrightsville Beach

Pursue an outdoor lifestyle with plenty of downtime fun at North Carolina's most accessible beach. Read more»

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Our 7 Favorite Things on Wrightsville Beach

Just east of the port city of Wilmington, is Wrightsville Beach, a 4-mile long ocean playground along the Atlantic. Vacationers from around the state have found a perfect haven at Wrightsville Beach. Read more»

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“Choice” Attractions Await

Fan of the latest Nicholas Sparks movie? See where the romantic drama was filmed in Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach! Read more»

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A getaway for all generations in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

As I squished my toes in the sand, I looked over at my younger son, Ty, as his grandfather stood him on a surfboard for the first time. He was three years old and was learning the family legacy. The men in my husband’s family have been surfing since they could walk and my boys would be no exception. Read more»

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Wrightsville Beach recognized as the birthplace of surfing in North Carolina

North Carolina's most accessible beach from Interstate 40 has been recognized as a pioneer in East Coast surfing. Read more»

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10 Reasons Why A Trip To Wrightsville Beach Is One You Won’t Soon Forget

Wrightsville Beach is a top destination for people in North Carolina and all over. It is easily accessible from I-40 and a little too easy to stay. From the moment you enter Wrightsville, a wave of relaxation washes over you. It will be most obvious you have entered a charming surf town with crystal blue waters and perfect temperatures. Read more»

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Wrightsville Beach is Surfing Birthplace

This month, Wrightsville Beach will get an historical marker touting it as the birthplace of North Carolina surfing. Folks have been waxing their boards and shooting the curl since 1909, right here in the Tarheel State. Who needs Hawaii or California? Read more»

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Indo Jax Surf School’s Camps

The Indo Jax Surf School features weekday surf camps at Wrightsville Beach during June, July and August. The camps run from 8-10 a.m. Monday through Friday. Read more»

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Memorable Things To Do in Wrightsville Beach With Kids

‘Kid-friendly’ is usually a top requirement for parents when researching destinations for a much-deserved family vacation. Enjoy a list compiled by Wrightsville Beach, N.C. experts with kid-friendly and entertaining finds that keep families of all shapes and sizes coming back to this beach year after year. Read more»

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The Fitness Files - Standup Paddleboarding in Wrightsville Beach

There's a new a way to enjoy the Intracoastal Waterway at Wrightsville Beach that combines beautiful scenery with a vigorous workout. Derek Long introduces us to standup paddleboarding in this latest installment of The Fitness Files. Read more»

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U.S. Road Trips: The South

Roadside diners, Blue Ridge mountains, Main Street, biscuits, banjos and more. With the help of friends and admired travelers, we compiled a list of weekend road trip destinations in the southern United States. Are we there yet? Read more»

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The Wrightsville Beach Mailbox; a love story

Those simple words written on the outside of a mailbox launched an 11-year love story at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. In 2003, Bernie and Sidney Nykanen decided to place a mailbox and a bench at their favorite spot on the north end of the beach. They supplied pens and small notebooks inside the mailbox along with instructions to 'leave a note.' In this time the mailbox served as a repository for love notes, marriage proposals, notes of joy, notes of sadness, notes to lost loves - in all the meditations left by strangers filled over 200 journals. Read more»

Wrightsville Beach View from Surf Club
The “Wright” Place is at Wrightsville Beach

Whoever said that planning a family vacation was too stressful hasn’t planned a Wrightsville Beach vacation. Read more»