Wellness Trip Ideas
Outdoor Activities and Watersports Reign Supreme
A vibrant community known for its active lifestyle, Wrightsville Beach is an ideal place to feel and stay healthy while on vacation with endless activities whether it's on the water or dry land. Find your zen with yoga classes in scenic locations, navigate the island by bike or with a jog and perfect your swing at nearby golf courses.
Known for world-class watersports like surfing, stand up paddleboarding or kayaking along the sound, dive into water-based activities or try something new. Whether you're a first-time surfer looking for a chance to get out on the water or a seasoned jogger interested in exploring the island’s popular Loop, you're bound to find your flow at Wrightsville Beach.
Named one of the top surfing towns in the world and the birthplace of surfing in North Carolina, the waves of Wrightsville Beach attract both amateurs and experts that come to the island for competitions including the O'Neill/ Sweetwater Pro-Am and WBLA Longboard Pro-Am. The island's year-round surf waters and surf-town vibe are just two of the many reasons to learn how to ride the waves here. Surf instructors with surf camps and schools like Crystal South Surf Camp, Indo Jax Surf School, Sean's Private Surf Instruction or WB Surf Camp offer private lessons and group classes that are fun for children and adults alike. You can even try wakesurfing in the waters surrounding the island. So, suit up, rent a board and hit the waves at Wrightsville Beach. Check out the current surf conditions here.
Open to all ages, abilities and levels, beach yoga on the Crystal Pier uses movement, breath and the sounds of the Atlantic Ocean waves to produce a perfect “flow.” Yogis meet every several days a week from May through October for this unique, one-hour class that features breathtaking views of the sea along with stretching and exercise.
Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP)
Come paddle our crystal blue waters while enjoying one of the most popular activities our island offers. Thanks to the variety of nearby waterways, Wrightsville Beach is one of the best "SUP hubs" in the U.S., according to Outside magazine. Several signature races, including one of the largest SUP races in the world, Carolina Cup, help make this a paddleboard haven every April. Whether a first-timer or a seasoned pro, stand up paddleboarding is a fun way to enjoy the water and get a full-body workout at the same time. Rent all the gear you'll need from Cape Fear Paddleboarding or Wrightsville SUP. For a different kind of experience, book a night paddle with Wrightsville SUP where bright LED lights illuminate the water beneath and around you as you discover inland creeks under the moon and stars. Or, schedule a boat charter with Epic Excursions and add paddleboards to your trip to explore local uninhabited islands and unpopulated waterways.
Take your adventure to two wheels. Visitors can bike the scenic route of The Loop on the road that runs alongside the path or take a spin on the 10-mile River to the Sea Bikeway that starts at Johnnie Mercers Pier in Wrightsville Beach and stretches to the Riverwalk at the foot of Market Street in Historic Downtown Wilmington. Recognized by the Southeast Tourism Society as one of its Top 20 events, competitive riders can participate in the U.S. Open Fat Tire Bike Championship that takes place annually along the ocean's edge. Local outfitters and accommodations offer bike rentals for all your cycling needs.
Come sail away on our island blues. Hop aboard for a lesson or let experienced captains take you for a sail on the calm waters in and around Wrightsville Beach. Driven by steady breezes, our beautiful waterways and year-round sailing conditions make our barrier island the perfect spot for sailors of all skill levels. Lessons are offered by Wrightsville Performance Sailing and the Blockade Runner Sailing School, one of only four ASA-certified sailing schools in the state.
Paddle your kayak among the salt marsh lining the Intracoastal Waterway, through the interior of the island along Bank's Channel or into the Atlantic Ocean surf. For a remote island adventure, kayak to Masonboro Island Reserve and discover an uninhabited, undisturbed barrier island full of local and migratory wildlife and unspoiled beauty. Kayak rentals are available at Soundside Adventures or Wrightsville Kayak Company, or friends and family can sign up for a group or guided kayak adventure. For groups of four to six people, rent an outrigger canoe from Wrightsville SUP for a fun and invigorating day on the water.
Looking to stay on dry land? Take a walk, jog or run around The Loop – a 2.5-mile paved trail around the island – and take in sights of the inner island's waterways and marshes. Keep an eye out for the 25 unique signs posted along the way that mark the Wrightsville Beach History Museum’s Loop through History walking tour at different times throughout the year. Interested in hitting the sand? The Wilmington Road Runners frequently host sunrise and sunset beach runs, as well as fun runs throughout the year for visitors and locals of all ages. For those that run competitively, the annual Novant Health Wilmington NC Marathon takes you from Wrightsville Beach to downtown Wilmington and is a Boston Marathon qualifying event and a USATF certified qualifier.
Just off our island shore and hidden beneath the waves are hundreds of sunken sites to explore. There is a wide variety of offshore reefs, ledges, shipwrecks and underwater habitats within a few miles of Wrightsville Beach, which is one of the few places in the world to find high concentrations of giant prehistoric Megalodon teeth. The Alexander Ramsey, a liberty ship purposefully sunk as an artificial reef, is popular with beginners. More advanced divers will find a day's worth of exploration at the Hyde and the Markham, two shipwrecks found just a few hundred yards away from each other. Natural underwater oases, such as Lobster Ledge and Fossil Ledge, are popular for their abundant aquatic life, Megalodon fossils and beautiful reef structures. Charter a boat or get a full-service experience with one of the area's diving companies.
Looking to get a little tee-time with your beach time? The Wilmington Municipal Golf Course is a local favorite. A municipal course designed by one of the world’s most influential golf course designers is a rare thing. Designed by Donald Ross in 1926 to provide the public with a quality championship golf course at an affordable price, the course is one of the finest in the area. With 18 holes covering 6,564 yards with a par of 71, the Wilmington Municipal Golf Course is perfect for amateurs and experts alike. The third hole has been named "One of North Carolina’s Ten Best Holes" by Golf Digest because of its demanding uphill slope. It was also named the 50th Best Municipal Golf Course by Golf Week Magazine. The course is open year-round to the public.
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