Wrightsville Beach Travel Guide
  • Photo: Eric Krouse / Shutterstock

Wrightsville Beach

A short drive from Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach is a good day-trip destination. This is a small (5-mile-long), partly upscale, and quiet island community.

Many beach houses have been in the same families for generations, although some striking contemporary homes have been constructed in recent years. Commercial activity is mostly limited to where the two bridges enter the island—it's worth a stroll to take in the surf shops and to grab provisions at Robert's Grocery, a century-old island mainstay known for its to-go chicken salad. The beaches are serious havens for sunning, swimming, surfing, and surf fishing, and the beach patrol is vigilant about keeping ATVs, glass containers, alcohol, pets, and bonfires off the sands. In summer, when the population skyrockets, parking can be a problem if you don't arrive early; towing is enforced. Development on the island is dense, although that doesn't stop walkers and bikers from sharing road space with cars. Once you find a place to park, hurry to the sand and take a deep breath.

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