Many of Wrightsville Beach’s favorite restaurants and shops are owned and operated by local entrepreneurs, restauranteurs and artists. Take a break from the beach and get a taste of the local flair by checking out these locally owned businesses and handcrafted goods. 

Surprising Ales

Wilmington’s own Flying Machine Brewing Company recently opened Flying Machine Oyster Bar where you can sample 10 rotating taps of Flying Machine beers. Sip on Ink Jet, a double IPA dealing out notes of passionfruit, tangerine and lime, or try Sea of Tranquility, another unique option that blends together five different beers resulting in flavors of green apple and peach with a smooth finish. Whatever you choose, these unique beers are sure to surprise and delight.

Stop into the locally owned Lighthouse Beer & Wine to peruse specialty wine, impossible-to-find beer and cigars, or step into the back for a beer garden that boasts a selection of more than 600 wines and 800 beers. There is truly something for everyone here, whether you opt for the Peach Cruiser IPA, Key Lime Gose sour or a delicious, specialty wine.


Wrightsville Beach Brewery, honored by Our State magazine as one of the “6 Breweries with Meals that Rival Their Beers,” offers craft beer and delicious bites in their brewpub and beer garden located just off the island. Try the Airlie Amber Ribs, NC Fried Shrimp or Crab Cake Dinner, paired with a pale ale, IPA, stout or porter of your choice. The Cobia Kolsch is a popular option for its light and refreshing traditional German recipe. If you want to try something different, consider the Signal Fire Session IPA for a crisp, flavorful intense Session IPA loaded with tangerine and tropical fruits.


Located just before the drawbridge to Wrightsville Beach, Waterman’s Brewing Company offers delicious fare and a rotating selection of craft brews. Alexis Scrivani, the head brewer, is continually coming up with fresh takes on craft beers, like the Haba Don’t Peach, a spicy blonde ale with peach and habanero peppers. Traditional pub favorites like chicken wings and pretzel bites grace the expansive food menu, as well as a broad selection of burgers and fresh seafood dishes like the Shrimp Basket, the Flounder Po Boy and Ahi Tuna Sandwich.


Fresh, Local Fare

South Beach Grill serves up Southern-inspired dishes locally sourced from both the land and sea. All the seafood, from the Grouper Linda with spiced pecan crust to the Sweet Potato Crusted Flounder and the Classic Fried Coastal Seafood, are caught fresh each day. Dine inside to enjoy the remodeled interior that pays homage to the building’s art deco origins, or opt to sit outside on the covered patio overlooking the Banks Channel anchorage.


For award-winning creative fare, visit EAST Oceanfront Dining. Relax in the garden setting with ocean views as you savor the vegetarian and seafood-centric dishes reflecting influences from California, Mexico, Asia and the Mediterranean. Dishes are crafted with fresh local seafood, produce from the restaurant’s own garden and other ingredients from local purveyors. Dine in the elegant indoor setting or outside on a canopied garden deck. 

Sit back and relax in a casual setting for a coastal lunch or dinner at Shark Bar & Kitchen. Located next door to Johnnie Mercers Pier, this locally owned spot uses locally and sustainably sourced seafood, meats and produce to concoct delicious dishes like Flounder au Gratin and the Shark Bar Burger, known for its secret Shark Bar sauce. The oysters and fresh catch will vary daily based on what the boats bring in and from season to season depending on the Chef’s fresh findings.


Take a look at all of Wrightsville Beach’s locally owned eateries to find a favorite on your trip.


Handcrafted Finds

Peruse Holly Aiken and discover a large selection of bags and accessories accented with colorful stripes and intriguing geometric shapes that are built with distinctive, indestructible materials made to withstand the daily grind. Each bag is hand-cut with care in the retail workshop right here in North Carolina.

Discover a unique and carefully curated selection of women's clothing, jewelry, shoes and accessories at Hallelu Boutique, located in the heart of Wrightsville Beach since 2005. You never know what will catch your eye, and with new shipments arriving daily, there is always a unique find just waiting to be discovered that you won’t see in any other store.


Browse unique handmade fossil jewelry while enjoying gourmet espresso and quality French fare at The Workshop. Delight in the almond croissants and fresh sandwiches on toasted baguettes while you browse through the selection of unique retail items. The fossils that make up the jewelry and gorgeous displays are personally collected from nearby waters by the shop owners on their scuba adventures and constructed from mako, great white, tiger as well as megalodon teeth.


Appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into a fine, handcrafted surfboard and check out the local surf shops that carry boards crafted by local makers such as Ian Balding Custom Shapes & Designs, Savage Surfboards, Allison Surfboards and Green Room Board Co. Locally owned Hot Wax Surf Shop also makes and sells surfboards and offers the option to participate in making your own board at shaping school with local shaper Michael Paul.


Enjoy delicious fare and unique shopping that you won’t find anywhere else while supporting local businesses with these Wrightsville Beach staples.