As temperatures rise, cool down with refreshing experiences in Wrightsville Beach from watersports lessons and family-friendly cruises to ice-cold treats. Explore the many ways to cool off on your next vacation to our island.

Feel the Ocean Breeze

Relax with the wind in your hair during a sunset cruise with Wrightsville Beach Scenic Tours. The Island Shuttle water taxi carries passengers to Masonboro Island Reserve, an undisturbed barrier island, where they can cool down in the water and enjoy the pristine shoreline for the day. Get front-row seats to local and migratory wildlife that lives on the Intracoastal Waterway during an excursion with Coastal Eco Adventures. Feel the wind on an adventure sail with Soundside Adventures. This exciting voyage glides through the surrounding waterways aboard Zoe, where you can lend a hand in raising the sails and get into the seafaring spirit.


For a more active approach to getting out on the water, try out one of the island’s most popular activities: stand-up paddleboarding (SUP). Paddle with a guide fromEpic Excursions to uninhabited islands and explore local wildlife in their natural habitats. For a one-of-a-kind experience, leave the sun behind and join Wrightsville SUP on an after-dark adventure to see the coastal ecosystem under LED lights.

Curate your own paddleboarding or kayaking experience by renting from local outfitters like Cape Fear Paddleboarding or Wrightsville Kayak Company and navigate the salt marshes and inland creeks on your own terms.


Making Waves

Known as the birthplace of surfing in North Carolina, Wrightsville Beach is the perfect spot for surfers of all skill levels. Sweetwater Surf School, established by one of Wrightsville Beach’s first surf shops, offers group and private lessons. Beginners can learn the ropes with experienced instructors through Sean’s Private Surf Instruction, while Indo Jax Surf School and Mermaid Surf School both offer private and group lessons. And in case you thought surf camp was just for the kiddos, WB Surf Camp offers adult sessions and Family Surf Camp, a five-day, learn-to-surf adventure covering basic techniques and safety tips.


If you're looking to really get your adrenaline pumping, book a wake charter with Shred the Gnar to experience wakeboarding, wake surfing or tubing on the Atlantic Ocean. Owned and operated by wakeboard Women's World Champion Kara Austin, Shred the Gnar provides lessons and summer camps for all ages and skill levels.


Underwater Adventures

There's no better way to beat the heat than with underwater sightseeing off Wrightsville Beach's coast where incredible reef structures, colorful schools of fish and fascinating shipwrecks lie along the ocean floor. Go on a beginner-friendly SCUBA journey with Aquatic Safaris SCUBA Center to visit sunken ships like the Alexander Ramsey, the Hyde, the Markham, the Stone and the Pocahontas. The Cassimir and Normania, both advanced dive sites, are rich in history with epic stories that match the exceptional marine life that now inhabits the nautical structures. Book an excursion with WB Diving for the perfect combination charter to explore the sister shipwrecks. Learn more about the different shipwrecks off our coast and how to explore them here.

Shopping Spree

When you need a break from the sun, explore the island's unique, locally owned and operated shops. Discover island style at Hallelu Boutique, offering a variety of clothing and accessory options to suit everyone's taste. For your favorite brands and beach essentials since 1969, head to REDIX. Uncover unique handmade fossil jewelry at The Workshop. Sweetwater Surf Shop and South End Surf Shop are among the island's classic surf shops, providing all the necessary gear and apparel. The Shed, a newer addition to the island, has a variety of cozy beachwear and coastal gifts in addition to beach gear. Lumina Station is an open-air shopping village with boutiques, restaurants and cafes you won't find anywhere else.


Taste the Brain Freeze

Indulge your sweet tooth with a refreshing cold treat from The Original Ice Cream Stand. From fresh fruit smoothies to flavorful Italian ices, this charming walk-up shop offers a delightful selection of chilling sweets to help you cool off. Craving something extra creamy? Head to Kohl’s Frozen Custard for gourmet frozen custard and classics like milkshakes, sundaes and ice cream floats. Pick up acai and pitaya bowls, shaved ice or frozen yogurt from Surfberry and head to Harbor Way Gardens across the street where kids can play in the splash fountain.


Whether you're hitting the waves, exploring underwater wonders or indulging in frozen treats, Wrightsville Beach has everything you need to beat the heat.