Sometimes we get so caught up in booking tickets and making reservations that we forget what vacation is supposed to be all about: relaxing. 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. Explore the local waterways while practicing your skills out on the glimmering water. Or, kick back and relax with Soundside Adventures on a Sunset Harbor Cruise, Island Hopper Cruise, Masonboro Adventure Sail and more.


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.

On the north end of Wrightsville Beach, discover a mysterious mailbox in the sand where visitors deposit letters containing everything from confessions of love to poems and their dearest memories. The original mailbox that was operated by a local couple for 11 years was moved, along with more than 200 journals it once contained. But don’t worry – you can still deposit a letter of your own in the new mailbox located at Beach Access 1.

Take a Bite Out of That View

Take advantage of the beautiful scenery and pop into one of Wrightsville Beach’s many fabulous restaurants boasting waterfront views. 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, their signature burger or the crowd-favorite 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 their signature Carolina Grit Cake with truffle crème fraîche or the sweet & spicy Sun-Kissed Shrimp.


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.