Surrounded by both the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway, Wrightsville Beach is home to a variety of water-based adventures and many other outdoor activities in a uniquely coastal setting. Get your daily dose of wellness during your next trip with eco-adventures, water experiences, unmatched views and more.
Wrightsville Beach is known as the birthplace of surfing in North Carolina, and riding the waves is – unsurprisingly – one of the most popular activities on the island. Surf schools and camps like Indo Jax Surf School and WB Surf Camp offer equipment rentals for experienced surfers and lessons for all ages and skill levels. Or, you can take a stab at stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) with Cape Fear Paddleboarding or Wrightsville SUP. With years of training experience under their belt, local outfitters are well equipped to teach you the skills you need to succeed on the water, no matter your age or level of experience.
Set sail for another unique way to experience the Atlantic Ocean. Blockade Runner Sailing School, one of the only ASA Certified Sailing Schools in the state, offers individualized lessons that will teach you to be your own captain. Prefer to kick back and relax? Wrightsville Performance Sailing and Soundside Adventures offer private rides along the shoreline with an experienced captain at the helm. Take a two-hour sunset sail aboard “Zoe,” the newest member of the fleet.
On- and Off-Shore Tours
By day, Soundside Adventures offers a variety of rentals and excursions. Take the Island Hopper Cruise which transports passengers to Masonboro Island Reserve, southern North Carolina’s longest undisturbed barrier island. Loggerhead and green sea turtles are often spotted on these trips. In the evening, set sail with a sunset cruise aboard the Carolina Runner catamaran. These relaxing rides are the perfect way to unwind with stunning island views.
Embark with Wrightsville Beach Scenic Tours for an educational outing for the whole family, where you’ll learn about conservation of the habitats and wildlife of the region. Let your imagination run wild with a Pirate Island Treasure Hunt. Helmed by a costumed pirate guide and storyteller, this family-friendly cruise will take you on an adventure to fabled Masonboro Island, where legendary Captain Kidd is rumored to have buried his booty. Adventurers – big and small – will have fun digging for forgotten treasures and hidden gems on the beach.
Wrightsville Beach Park is sure to be a hit for kids and adults alike. Along with tennis, basketball and pickleball courts, the park has a large playground where kids can slide and swing, and it’s also equipped with wheelchair-accessible play areas. During the summer, head to the park to enjoy a summer concert series or the weekly farmers’ market, perfect for finding fresh ingredients to prepare in your vacation home rental.
A quaint garden located on the west end of Wrightsville Beach Park, Harbor Way Gardens is the only park in the state where Witherspoon Roses grow. Take in the beautiful blooms, enjoy a picnic or yoga under the shade trees, or stroll along the park path while the kids splash in the children’s fountain.
The island’s 2.5-mile scenic Loop is an ideal way to see the island on foot. Walk or jog by the Intracoastal Waterway, Banks Channel and beautiful salt marshes. Or, rent bikes from Wrightsville SUP and pedal down the 10-mile River to Sea Bikeway beginning at Johnnie Mercers Pier and ending at Riverfront Park in Wilmington.
Also nearby in Wilmington, don’t miss out on a trip to Airlie Gardens, where you can explore 67 acres of formal gardens and wildlife, 10 acres of lakes, more than 75,000 azaleas in bloom in spring and the historic Airlie Oak. If you visit during the summer, stop by the seasonal butterfly house, an open-air structure filled with native butterflies that delights children and adults alike.
Wrightsville Beach is brimming with unique opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, from parks and gardens to watersports and trails. Come savor the scenic beauty of our uniquely coastal environment for yourself!