With travel returning and the summer months heating up, now is the perfect time to plan a beach vacation – and after so many months stuck at home, you deserve to splurge a little. Named one of the best beaches in the South and known for its spacious, clean beach, dining at award-winning restaurants, sailing on crystal blue waters, exploring underwater shipwrecks and more is awaiting at Wrightsville Beach.
Let these splurge-worthy trip ideas inspire you to treat yourself to something special this summer – no passport needed.
Oceanfront Resorts Abound
Imagine the sound of waves crashing against the shore outside your window, a balcony overlooking the ocean and a cozy mattress to sink into after a day of adventuring. Wrightsville Beach’s oceanfront resorts make your dreams a reality.
Blockade Runner Beach Resort, conveniently located with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Intercoastal Waterway on the other, offers top-tier amenities like a fitness center equipped with a jacuzzi and sauna, great views and plenty of activities to keep you entertained. Guests can swim in the outdoor beach-chic pool or grab a cocktail at the poolside bar and café. The oceanfront garden is filled with local and seasonal fauna and flora for you to enjoy, and the lush and expansive oceanfront lawns make for a great stroll during sunrise or sunset.
The Holiday Inn Resort Wrightsville Beach boasts spacious guest rooms and suites, both an indoor and outdoor pool, a hot tub and a poolside bar and grill. Or, consider Shell Island Resort to find your home away from home. Each suite is equipped with your own private balcony, a spacious living room, and a kitchenette. With coastal-inspired décor, indoor and outdoor pools, a hot tub, poolside tiki bar and grill, and beach access, you’ll want to savor every moment at the resort.
Coastal Dining Delights
Enjoy some of Wrightsville Beach’s best restaurants to discover fresh coastal fare in elegant settings. Executive Chef Jessica Cabo, known for finishing as a semi-finalist on season one of Gordon Ramsey’s Hell’s Kitchen, cooks up fresh-to-table dishes at EAST Oceanfront Dining. Her award-winning creative fare reflects influences from California, Mexico, Asia and the Mediterranean, using fresh ingredients from the resort’s gardens, and is served in an elegant dining setting either indoors or outside on a canopied garden deck.
The Bridge Tender, a favorite of locals and visitors alike since 1976, serves delicious seafood and choice steaks. Dishes like the seared scallops with bacon jam, horseradish encrusted tuna or crab-stuffed flounder will delight your tastebuds. Arrive early to dine in their outdoor space on the marina for picturesque views overlooking the boats cruising along the Intracoastal Waterway.
For Southern-inspired fare sourced locally from both sea and land, check out South Beach Grill. Seafood is fresh caught each day and served in a remodeled interior that pays homage to the building's art deco origins. Dive into chicken and waffles, seafood nachos or shrimp and grits, all served up with a side of Southern hospitality.
Adventures On and Under the Sea
Fill your days with once-in-a-lifetime experiences to make the most of your trip. WB Diving, one of the well-known SCUBA and freediving charter operations in Wrightsville Beach, offers an experienced and knowledgeable crew that allows divers of all skill levels to see the best diving that the area has to offer. Explore reefs, ledges and a variety of historic shipwrecks. Keep your eyes peeled for prehistoric Megalodon teeth on your dive, as Wrightsville Beach is one of the few places in the world to find high concentrations of the fossils.
Or, opt for an above-water experience with Epic Excursions. Specializing in land and sea adventures aboard a USCG approved Carolina Skiff that can take up to 12 passengers, they offer a variety of private island excursions tailored for every occasion including half and full day charters, paddleboarding marsh tours, surf charters, sunset cruises and sunset wine paddleboarding cruises will certainly please everyone. Choose an island dining package for an experience unlike any other. Begin with a boat cruise that will take you to one of Wrightsville Beach’s surrounding islands, where you’ll find tables and seating ready for your catered dinner by the sea.
Set sail with Blockade Runner Surf to Sound Adventures on a sailing charter. After experiencing the thrill of sailing in the ocean, you’ll anchor behind Masonboro Island for the chance to explore. You can also enjoy a Sunset Champagne Sail for an extra taste of luxury. Sailing lessons with experienced pros are available for anyone who wants to be the captain of their own adventures as they embark on the water.
Cap off your evening with a beverage by the beach. Oceanic, Wrightsville Beach’s only restaurant located directly on the beach, offers al fresco dining on the Crystal Pier perfect for a nightcap. Live music from the pier fills the air on Friday nights, and be sure to plan your trip at just the right time to catch a glimpse of the full moon rising over the water.
Shark Bar & Kitchen is well-known for serving up unique craft cocktails in a coastal casual setting. They offer classics like piña coladas, strawberry daiquiris and margaritas, as well as novelty drinks like their Mango Tajin Margarita, Watermelon Mint Agua Fresca and Shark Tooth slushy. No matter what you choose, Shark Bar & Kitchen’s unique offerings are sure to please.
Indulge in a well-deserved and much-needed trip to the best of Carolina Beach. These upscale accommodations, fresh fares, unique experiences, and delicious nightcaps are worth splurging on to make your trip one to remember.