24 Super Fun Things to Do in Wrightsville Beach, NC This Summer

Aerial view of Wrightsville Beach and pier in North Carolina

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Beyond the beach, there are so many fun things to do in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina!

This charming coastal town offers a plethora of activities and attractions, ensuring a memorable experience for every visitor.

Whether you’re an adventure seeker, history enthusiast, or simply looking to unwind, Wrightsville Beach has something special in store for you.

From its historic fishing pier to the tranquil nature parks to the great shopping and dining opportunities, there’s no shortage of captivating experiences to be had.

Embrace the charm of this beautiful beach town and create memories that will last a lifetime!

You might also like our guides to the best beaches in NC for families and our favorite NC state parks.

What to Do in Wrightsville Beach

There are tons of things to do in Wilmington, right nearby, but don’t run off from the beach just yet!

There are so many things to do around Wrightsville Beach that make it an idyllic coastal vacation destination.

Starting at the heart of the beach on the pier, our guide covers a variety of places just off the beach that locals know and love before heading a little further away from the shore.

Johnnie Mercers Fishing Pier

For a great viewpoint, the best place to go is the pier in Wrightsville Beach, better known as Johnnie Mercers Fishing Pier (23 E. Salisbury Street).

Jutting out 1,200 feet into the ocean, this is an impressive attraction you can’t help but notice!

Johnnie Mercers Pier was first built in the 1930s as a wooden pier and has been a favored site in North Carolina ever since.

Since its wooden start, it later became the first concrete fishing pier in all of North Carolina.

If you want to go fishing in Wrightsville Beach, this is the most iconic spot to enjoy the allure of the water as you cast your lines.

Prefer fishing by boat? Book this fishing trip to get out onto the open sea instead.

Aerial view of Johnnie Mercers fishing pier and beachfront houses on Wrightsville Beach in the Outer Banks of North Carolina

Wrightsville SUP

For an outstanding outdoor adventure like paddleboarding, kayaking, sailing, or biking, you can head over to Wrightsville SUP (96 W. Salisbury St).

Never tried SUP?

No problem!

Wrightsville SUP offers lessons and tours to get you started.

Or you can enjoy any of the other water-based Wrightsville Beach activities!

Sailing & Boat Tour Adventures

Being right on the beach, you have to take advantage of the plentiful boat tours at Wrightsville Beach.

For a scenic, relaxing excursion, head out for a beautiful, private sunset sail; book it on Viator or GetYourGuide.

A more budget-friendly option is this group sunset cruise.

Prefer a little more speed?

This 26′ sailboat tour offers a little more excitement for a small group looking to learn the ropes — literally!

For groups up to 6, splash out for a special experience with your own private charter for a few hours of fun out on the water together.

Book this catamaran or this sailboat, depending on your preference.

Mailbox on the Beach

If you’re looking to leave a part of yourself in Wrightsville Beach, find the Mailbox on the Beach (303 W. Salisbury St.).

The Mailbox on the Beach is a popular attraction that was started by Bernie and Sidney Nykanen.

They placed the mailbox and a bench at their favorite spot on the beach and left pen and paper as well.

The instructions are simple: just leave a note.

The mailbox has received everything over the years, including notes of sadness, meditations, love notes, and even marriage proposals.

There are so many notes that they fill over 200 journals – and that continues to grow!

Many of the notes can be read at the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History, which is our next recommendation.

Wrightsville Beach Museum of History

To get a glimpse of Wrightsville Beach through the years, head over to the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History (303 W. Salisbury Street).

This beach has a rich history spanning from before the Civil War, which you can learn more about within these walls.

Be sure to peruse the notes that have been left at the Mailbox on the Beach while you’re there.

This is one of our favorite indoor activities in Wilmington, in case you need more suggestions if you get bad weather.

Wynn Plaza Waterfront Park

A great place to sit for a picnic while you watch the water is Wynn Plaza Waterfront Park (2 Waynick Blvd).

Sit on one of the benches or under the shade of the gazebo and enjoy an al fresco lunch. 

Afterward, use the waterfront walkway or the transient dock for a great view of the water.

This location is also a memorial for Lieutenant Robert M. Wynn, a firefighter who gave his life in service to the community he loved.

Wrightsville Beach Park

Located in the heart of Wrightsville Beach is Wrightsville Beach Park (321 Causeway Dr). 

There’s no fear of sand in your shoes here!

Enjoy the playground, softball fields, volleyball pits, and tennis courts, or head over to the western side of the park and enjoy the beauty of the Wrightsville Beach Arboretum.

If you’re bringing the whole family, check out our list of things to do with kids in Wilmington for more play areas and fun activities. 

Wrightsville Beach Farmers Market

If you’re visiting Wrightsville Beach and want to go where the locals go, one of the best places to mingle with neighbors is the Wrightsville Beach Farmers Market (12 Seawater Ln).

Support some of the local artists and enjoy some of the most delicious baked goods and beverages as you walk around the vendors.

The Farmers Market is open on Monday mornings and includes over 40 vendors who sell local produce, seafood, paintings, baked goods, beverages, and more. 

You never know what you’ll find as vendors are always changing!

Vegetable at Farmer's market.

Harbor Way Gardens

Another beautiful place to visit in Wrightsville Beach is the Harbor Way Gardens (321 Causeway Drive). 

This lovely garden is actively maintained by more than 49 members of the Wrightsville Beach community!

Support local endeavors and check out this pretty space during your visit.

Lighthouse Beer & Wine

If you’re looking for some adult fun head over to Lighthouse Beer & Wine (220 Causeway Dr).

This site has hundreds of wines and more than 700 different types of beer!

If you’ve been to the area, you know we have lots of festivals and events. 

Lighthouse Beer & Wine holds the Carousel Center Beer and Wine Festival which showcases live music, food, and of course, samples of the best beer and wine in the area. 

This is no ordinary festival, this is a festival with a cause. 

Proceeds go to the Carousel Center which helps fund therapy for children in our area.

Local Brewery Tour

The Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach area is home to dozens of local breweries, so get out there and support local with this unique, private brewery tour.

Hop onboard a classic VW van and make three different stops to sample beers at each.

Food trucks are usually at the breweries so you can grab a bite whenever you’re hungry.

You could check out the breweries in Wrightsville Beach on your own…but it’s way more fun to get a local guide to drive you in style!

Close-up of four small beers as a sampler

The Loop at Wrightsville Beach

While you’re out at one of these exciting places, you might hear some of the locals talk about “The Loop.” 

The Loop (starting point 321 Causeway Drive) is actually one of the biggest attractions and is a 2.5-mile-long path that circles around the heart of Wrightsville Beach.

This hike passes nearly all of the locations mentioned on this list as well!

Lee’s Nature Park

Come relax for a spell at Lee’s Nature Park (453 Causeway Dr.)

This park is geared towards relaxation and nature, with a great view of the salt marsh on Harbor Island, you can work on your plant and bird identification skills.

Aerial view of Wrightsville Beach and pier in North Carolina

SUNday’s Cafe

Before you stop in at the surf shop, go upstairs to the SUNday’s Cafe (708 B S. Lumina Ave)

Originally part of the Glenn Hotel, just like the rest of the building, the site is now a great coffee shop with all types of coffee, tea, kombucha, freezes, shakes, smoothies, and acai bowls.

Grab a cup and relax out by the sea!

The Workshop

Try coffee, with a bite.

The Workshop (86 Waynick Blvd) is a unique coffee and jewelry store experience wrapped in one!

The owners of the shop have a passion for coffee and are local scuba divers. 

On their excursions, they find all sorts of shark and megalodon teeth that they turn into fine jewelry!

Hallelu Boutique

If you’re wondering where to go shopping in Wrightsville Beach, you have to put Hallelu Boutique (84 Waynnick Blvd.) at the top of your list.

Take some of the beach home with you and wander in for some of the cutest clothing around.

This locally-owned, women-owned, boutique is a great place to go to get ready for your stay or, take a piece of Wrightsville Beach home with you with unique pieces like shark tooth earrings, beachy outfits, and swimsuits.

Soundside Adventures

Those who enjoy water sports should check out Soundside Adventures at Wrightsville Beach (275 Waynick Blvd).

Try your hand at deep-sea fishing on a charter boat, take a sailing lesson, or take a sunset cruise on a sailboat for a perfect end to your day. 

The Blockade Runner Beach Resort

The Blockade Runner Beach Resort (275 Waynick Blvd.) has a rich 60-year history in Wrightsville Beach.

When you dig into the history of the location, however, you will find that it all started in the late 1800s.

While Blockade Runner Beach resort has been on the location for 60 years, before that, it was the Ocean Terrace and even before that, it was the Seashore Hotel. 

This location has been the premier place for visitors to the island for nearly 150 years!

South End Wrightsville Beach

The South End (917 S. Lumina Ave) is probably the calmest, and most secluded part of Wrightsville Beach.

Here, the calmness of the sound, and the sea meet, giving you the best of both sides of the island. 

This area is great for swimming, fishing, paddle boarding, and kayaking.

Head out kayaking in Wrightsville Beach with this eco-tour to explore more and learn about local ecosystems along the way.

Feeling a little more adventurous?

This is more of an extreme sport: with the help of 1:1 instruction, try this jet-powered surfboard!

Sunset over moored boats at Wrightsville Beach in North Carolina

South End Surf Shop

Since you’re at the south end, especially if you need a rental, head over the to South End Surf Shop (708 S. Lumina Ave).

You wouldn’t know it just by looking at it, but the building itself is historic to the island and was built in 1941.

This building used to be part of the historic Glenn Hotel until Hurricane Hazel in 1954 when the building was devastated. 

The building was empty for 41 years until the surf shop opened. 


Another great and historic shopping spot in Wrightsville Beach is Redix (120 Causeway Drive).

Redix is considered a tradition on the island and their store has been open since 1969.

The store has anything and everything you may need whether you’re looking for gifts, stuff for your day at the beach, or on the water.

Epic Excursions

Explore more of Wrightsville Beach and the coast at Epic Excursions (109 Causeway Dr).

These tour guides have some of the best knowledge of the area and will show you some of the best places for fishing collecting shells, and birdwatching.

Airlie Gardens

If you enjoy the beauty of nature, Airlie Gardens (300 Airlie Rd.) is one of the best things to do near Wrightsville Beach and should be at the top of your list. 

Walk across the 67-acre garden along with ten acres of lakes and 75,000 azaleas and take in some of the most amazing flowers and gardens you’ve ever seen.

This site has been a film location for the likes of Dawson’s Creek, Sleepy Hollow, Black Knight, and other films and shows!

Each year during the holiday season you are invited to see the gardens in a different light.

Known as Enchanted Airlie, guests can walk through the garden on a self-guided tour with beautiful holiday lighting and music.

It’s perfect for a Wilmington date night!

Beautiful fountain and trellis on the lake in Airlie Gardens in Wilmington, North Carolina

Wilmington Municipal Golf Course

The coast is known for its many golf courses and of course, Wrightsville Beach is no exception.

Only a 10-minute drive outside Wrightsville Beach, Wilmington Municipal Golf Course (311 Donald Ross Dr.) has been the foremost golf course in the area since its debut in 1926.

Golf ball on a tee in front of a golf club

Final Words

Are you ready to enjoy all these awesome Wrightsville Beach activities? We know we are!

Share your favorite things to do in the comments below.

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