The coastal beach community of Wrightsville Beach, N.C., is welcoming several new programs and exciting changes to the area in 2015, from a surf camp for kids and eco-scavenger hunts, to an exhibit featuring artwork by a renowned local artist and a brand new SUP Surfing Pro-Am Competition. From kid-friendly things to do, new outdoor adventures and everything in between, Wrightsville Beach is a must-visit location for 2015.

Outdoor Adventure:

  • On April 18 and 19, Wrightsville Beach will host the first-ever Stand Up Paddleboard Surfing Pro-Am Competition during the Second Annual Waterman Ocean Festival. While other local SUP competitions take place on flat water, this one takes to the seas. The inaugural event is expected to draw 100 competitors, comprised of locals and participants from around the world who are also scheduled to participate in the 2015 Carolina Cup the following weekend. The event will benefit the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History and includes an induction of the 2015 class to the Wrightsville Beach Museum Waterman Hall of Fame.
  • Wrightsville Beach Scenic Tours will be offering a self-guided eco-scavenger hunt on Masonboro Island, as well as a new crabbing tour where participants of all ages will be able to catch North Carolina Blue Crabs and learn about them firsthand.
  • Starting this spring, the Coastal Education Center will add an exciting new program to its Coastal Adventure Series: the Coastal Birding Experience. In partnership with Wrightsville Beach Scenic Tours, the center will host a series of guided wildlife and birding tours around the island. Climb aboard The Shamrock for a one-hour boat trip with Captain Joe Abbate to learn about the unique coastal ecology of the area and spot a diverse array of local shorebirds, such as pelicans, black skimmers and possibly even the endangered piping plover. Tours will take place on the first Friday of the month from April through October.
  • Visitors will soon have even more options for top-of-the-line watersport equipment: Aussie Island Surf Shop will be receiving all new rental equipment in the spring of 2015, including new bikes, paddleboards and surfboards.

Camps and Exhibits:

  • WB Surf Camp will be offering a new program called the Grom Ocean Academy. Geared towards children ages 8-11, the academy builds on many of the lessons learned during the Guppy Camp for kids ages 6-10. Campers will explore the Wrightsville Beach area and practice advanced boogie boarding skills, in addition to surfing at some of the local beach breaks. Other activities during this weeklong day camp will include wave riding, basic oceanography, water safety awareness and marine education. Campers will also work towards their Advanced Junior Ocean Safety Certification.
  • The Coastal Education Center is launching S.T.E.M Science Summer Camps for one week in June and July. The hands-on camps are geared towards increasing students’ skills and knowledge in science, technology, engineering and math; instilling a connection to their local environment, and empowering them with the ability to develop solutions to problems that will help them in all aspects of their lives. The focus for June will be on designing an oyster reef restoration project, while July will concentrate on designing rain gardens.
  • This summer, Airlie Gardens will feature artwork from renowned Wilmington artist Dumay Gorham. The beautiful garden exhibit will feature custom metal designs reflecting animals and insects made from copper, brass, steel and stainless steel. Airlie Gardens also received a prestigious Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor once again in 2014.

Renovations and Updates:

  • Renovations are underway at the Blockade Runner Beach Resort. Upgrades will be made to various areas of the property including the lobby, dining area and select rooms. The resort is also partnering with Fat Tire to sponsor a bike race in the spring.
  • The Holiday Inn Resort at Wrightsville Beach has announced plans to increase its level of participation in the IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) Green Engage® Program. The conservation program helps participating hotels manage their sustainability efforts online by tracking energy, water and waste consumption. The program made the news last year for helping hotels address drought conditions in California by contributing to a potential savings of 77 million gallons of water per year.

About Wrightsville Beach

Wrightsville Beach is North Carolina’s most accessible beach from Interstate 40. It’s easier to get here and even easier to stay. Everything visitors need is right on the island, with an abundance of outdoor activities, rich history, the scenic Intracoastal Waterway, miles of beach, family-friendly events, and full-service hotels and rental options. For more information, go to www.VisitWrightsvilleBeachNC.com or call (800) 650-9106. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WrightsvilleBeachNC and Twitter @WrightsvilleNC.