Sometimes we get so caught up in booking tickets and making reservations that we forget what vacation is supposed to be all about: relaxing. This fall, take a trip to Wrightsville Beach, but leave the stress at home with these activities that don’t require any advance tickets or reservations. 

Open-Air Adventures 

Breathe in the fresh air and soak up the sun on a day outside. Whether you prefer something low key or more active, Wrightsville Beach has plenty of outdoor activities to keep you entertained. Go for a jog, walk or bike ride along the Wrightsville Beach Loop, a scenic 2.5-mile path that takes you by the Intracoastal Waterway, Banks Channel and beautiful salt marshes. Harbor Way Gardens offers a blissful escape from the world. Relax on a bench under the shade of a tall tree and reflect among the native plants and flowers.

For a little spur of the moment adventure, check out Wrightsville SUP. Rent kayaks, paddleboards and bikes by the hour, no reservation needed. Enjoy some time out on the glimmering water thanks to the mild temperatures that last well into the fall. Explore the local waterways while practicing your skills. Blockade Runner Surf to Sound Adventures offers a Sunset Harbor Cruise, a Masonboro Island Hopper Cruise, a Masonboro Adventure Sail and more. Be sure to check with the concierge to see what is available while you’re in town.

Johnnie Mercers Pier extends more than 1,200 feet into the Atlantic Ocean for gorgeous views and top-notch fishing. Don’t worry about bringing your own rods and bait, because the pier houses a full-service tackle shop where you can rent everything you need. There’s even a wide range of domestic and imported beers available for purchase, so you can sip as you stroll along the pier, take in the views, enjoy the ocean breeze and maybe snap a picture or two.

Discover Something New

Wrightsville Beach has quite a story to tell, from its history of pre-Civil War sailing regattas to the current island community. The Wrightsville Beach Museum of History invites visitors to experience the town’s rich history for themselves. The Myers Cottage, circa 1907, reminisces about early 1900’s life in Wrightsville Beach and features a scale model of Wrightsville Beach circa 1910. The Bordeaux Cottage, circa 1924, depicts a chronological journey through the history of Wrightsville Beach with early photos, video and special memorabilia from the museum’s collection. 

Fans of art will love an impromptu visit to Wrightsville Beach Art Company. The artist behind the company, Jazz Undy, has quite a unique story; he had zero experience in art until he discovered a passion for creating artwork out of recycled materials. He collects bottle caps from local restaurants and bars, driftwood from the beach and even picks intriguing items out of the trash to give them new life. Out of these recycled materials, he creates nautical-themed, three-dimensional pieces of art. You can find 3D scenes of the beach with palm trees, sail boats, surf boards and so much more.

Take a Bite Out of That View

Take advantage of the beautiful fall weather and pop into one of Wrightsville Beach’s many fabulous restaurants that boast waterfront views for a bite to eat. Bluewater Waterfront Grill is situated right on the Intracoastal Waterway and has both waterfront patio seating as well as indoor seating with large bay windows, so you get the view no matter where you choose to dine. Watch boats cruise past your table while you enjoy the fresh catch of the day, Seared Scallop Scampi, Parmesan Crusted Chicken or Crab Mac and Cheese, paired with beer, wine or a seasonal cocktail.

Also located on the Intracoastal Waterway is Dockside Restaurant, a local favorite thanks to its laid-back atmosphere, stunning views of the water and delicious food. You can taste their commitment to using only the freshest ingredients in each dish, like the Crispy Calamari, Shrimp & Grits and Crab Cakes. Enjoy one of their many craft beers, a glass of wine or a seasonal cocktail to go along with the delicious fare.

Oceanic Restaurant serves up spectacular ocean views and coastal-inspired cuisine from its perch on the beach at the beginning of a pier. Dine indoors or on the covered al fresco dining space for panoramic views and a meal you won’t soon forget. Try the Diver Scallops with apple relish, butternut squash puree and crispy Brussel sprouts or the Crab Stuffed Salmon with lemon butter sauce and seasonal vegetables.

It’s always a good idea to drop your worries and head to Wrightsville Beach for a relaxing getaway. With these no-planning required trip ideas, you can experience vacation just as it should be: stress-free.