Stay Active While On Vacation

Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice exercise and wellness. In Wilmington and our island beaches, visitors can savor river and ocean breezes and scenic views while biking along numerous trails, surfing or stand-up paddleboarding, hiking or kayaking through enchanted parks and gardens, practicing their Zen or scheduling a tee time, all while experiencing everything to see and do along the North Carolina coast.

Read on or browse a full list of active attractions and recreational rentals.


Running, Hiking, Kayaking and More

Get your exercise on by biking, hiking, kayaking, canoeing or skating through different parts of Wilmington. Rent a bicycle and take to two wheels at Blue Clay Bike Park, an eight-mile off-road trail system for mountain bikers. Recently updated and upgraded, the trails are suitable for all levels of cyclists – as well as hikers and runners.

Feel the river breeze as you pedal your way along the River to Sea Bikeway. This 11-mile on- and off-road trail follows the Historic Beach Car Line, which carried vacationers from downtown Wilmington to nearby Wrightsville Beach by trolley. Or take a trip on the Gary Shell Cross City Trail, a 15-mile off-road, multi-use trail that provides bicycle and pedestrian access to numerous recreational, cultural and educational destinations in Wilmington. The trail connects Wade Park, Halyburton Park and Empie Park to the Heide-Trask Drawbridge at the Intracoastal Waterway.

With an almost five-mile biking and walking trail beside the lake and elegant live oaks draped in Spanish moss, Greenfield Lake Park & Gardens is a dreamy place to explore on water by paddleboat or canoe, or along the trail on bike or foot.

Ogden Park’s state-of-the-art 10,000 square foot concrete skate park is equipped with a bowl, rails and steps – perfect for anyone looking to drop in on their skateboard. The park also features a one-mile walking trail, playground and lighted athletic facilities including tennis courts, baseball fields, softball field, full-size basketball court and soccer and football fields.

For kayaking, birding, backpacking, hiking or camping adventures, book an individual or group excursion with Mahanaim Adventures. The outfitter offers all types of expeditions including half- and full-day adventures, as well as birding kayaking tours, river paddle trips or romantic sunset cruises in a tandem kayak.

Looking for some watersports? Wilmington, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach is the place for you! Learn the way of the waves with a surfing lesson taught by a professional, take a stand-up paddleboard tour or lesson down local waterways, or explore the coastal waterways by sailboat charter or become certified at an ASA Certified Sailing School at Wilmington’s nearby beaches. For rentals, lessons, guided excursions and more, visit one of the area’s many local outfitters.

Salute the Sun

Channel your inner-yogi when practicing yoga extends beyond the mat and includes scenic views and unique locations. Take an all-level yoga flow class aboard the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA where history, river and downtown views complement your experience, pair your yoga with a pint at Waterline Brewing, or experience Yoga in the Gardens at Airlie Gardens – one of the premier gardens of the coastal South.

Find your Zen under the sea at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, which hosts yoga classes at varying times throughout the year in a unique, aquatic setting. Open to all ages, abilities and levels, beach yoga at the Crystal Pier at Wrightsville Beach takes place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning from May through October, where the sounds of the Atlantic Ocean’s waves help produce a perfect “flow.”

Tee Off

If you’re looking to hit the links, golfers can choose from several area golf courses. The 18-hole Beau Rivage Golf & Resort features lush greens, sandy hills and water views. With countless tight doglegs and narrow Bermuda grass fairways, Beau Rivage will test your accuracy off the tee.

Designed by legendary golf architect Donald Ross, the Wilmington Municipal Golf Course has been named the 50th best course in North Carolina by “Top 100 Golf Courses of the World.” The course pays homage to Ross’ original design with restored bunkers and large greens.

Dive In

Looking to experience the waterways surrounding Wilmington and our island beaches firsthand? Just off the area’s shores 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 Carolina, Kure and Wrightsville Beaches, one of the few places in the world to find high concentrations of giant prehistoric Megalodon teeth. Dive in with a scuba diving charter or lessons from one of the area's diving companies like Aquatic Safaris which offers gear for rent or purchase, as well as hands-on instruction and lessons.

Wilmington’s nearby island beaches are also ideal locations for vacationers looking to maintain their wellness during their next getaway. Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach each offer a variety of activities – from watersports to fishing, jogging and more – to keep visitors active during their stay.