Spending the last few months quarantining at home has people craving a safe escape where they can relax and feel comfortable traveling again. Just a road trip away thanks to easy access from numerous interstates, Wrightsville Beach is the perfect quick-trip destination for North Carolinians and residents of nearby states alike. Many Americans are looking to get back to travel with close-to-home trips that are COVID-friendly and affordable, according to a recent study by Hotwire.com.
Read on for our guide to affordable activities, lodging, dining and more for your quickie trip to Wrightsville Beach.
Sit Back, Relax and Escape
Finding your island escape at Wrightsville Beach is easy with a variety of accommodation options fit for any size group and budget. For updated amenities and oceanfront views, choose a room at one of our hotels or motels. Book the best deals directly on lodging partner websites, and look to schedule a weeknight (Sunday to Thursday) stay for extra savings. Enjoy an oceanfront suite with full kitchen amenities at The Surf Suites, offering a sundeck and shady gazebo perfect for relaxation. Located in the heart of Wrightsville Beach, Summer Sands Suites features oceanfront and harbor views all within walking distance of local restaurants, beach shops and more.
Or, make yourself at home in one of our vacation rentals tailored to whatever getaway you’re seeking for ultimate privacy and that “home away from home” feel.
Bites on a Budget
There’s no shortage of delicious dining at Wrightsville Beach, where you can find menus filled with fresh seafood, local favorites, casual coastal fare and more. Stop by Café Del Mar for a morning coffee, breakfast, lunch or quick snack. Enjoy a selection of local favorites like bagels from Beach Bagels and breakfast burritos from Tower 7 Baja Mexican Grill alongside an array of iced coffees and smoothies. Or, grab a coffee, tea or light bite from local favorite SUNday’s Café on the way to your day of exploration.
Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, King Neptune Restaurant is an iconic spot welcoming Wrightsville Beach diners since 1947. Here, you can experience a slice of Wrightsville Beach’s history at the area’s oldest restaurant, savoring classic favorites like Chicken and Waffles or Shrimp-n-Grits. Or, enjoy Southern-inspired and locally sourced specials at South Beach Grill on the covered dog-friendly patio overlooking the scenic Banks Channel anchorage.
If you’re looking to enjoy fresh seafood on your last night in paradise, visit the Fish House Grill for great food and outdoor waterfront dining. Dine on fresh seafood platters, grilled tuna sandwiches, po’boys and more while sipping on a local draft beer or wine. Located next to Johnnie Mercers Pier, Shark Bar & Kitchen features local menu items that vary daily based on the chef’s fresh findings paired with house cocktails and margaritas. End your day with a sweet treat from Kohl’s Frozen Custard, offering gourmet frozen custard, banana splits, milkshakes and more, or a fresh scoop from the Original Ice Cream Stand.
Endless Ways to Explore
Known for its crystal blue waters and world-class watersports, Wrightsville Beach is the perfect place to learn to ride a wave. Invest in a stand-up paddleboarding lesson with the experienced instructors at Wrightsville SUP or Blockade Runner Surf to Sound Adventures. You’ll feel comfortable on the water after just one lesson, and you can rent gear from one of the island outfitters to spend the rest of your getaway on Wrightsville Beach’s calm, warm waterways. Or, take a cruise and venture to Masonboro Island Reserve to explore the longest undisturbed barrier island ecosystem in southern North Carolina.
Enjoy a sunrise or sunset stroll along the Crystal Pier, stretching 475 feet into the Atlantic Ocean, for unbeatable views of the shoreline. Beach access at the base of the pier gives you free entry to the fishing and strolling sections, or you can also choose to dine on the pier with a happy hour drink or shared appetizer at the Oceanic Restaurant.
To explore the island by land, bring your bike (or rent one from a local outfitter) to ride the River to Sea Bikeway, an 11-mile trail following the Historic Beach Car Line from Wrightsville Beach to Wilmington. Or, take a scenic walk or jog on the 2.5-mile Wrightsville Beach Loop that winds past the Intracoastal Waterway, Banks Channel and beautiful salt marshes, offering views you won’t find anywhere else. You can start your loop at various locations along the path, including Wrightsville Beach Park.
Continue your exploration by diving into the island’s 100+ year history at the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History, housed in the turn of the century Myers Cottage. Visitors will find exhibits featuring the early days of the beach as well as a scale model of Wrightsville Beach circa 1910. After a long day of activities, kick back and relax in Lighthouse Beer & Wine’s dog-friendly outdoor beer garden, where you can choose from a selection of more than 600 wines and hard-to-find craft beers.
Wrightsville Beach is the perfect locale for your next quick trip, providing outdoor adventures, delicious dining and more for the ideal affordable socially-distanced escape!
For more fall-friendly trip ideas, find our ideas for a perfect fall escape at Wrightsville beach.