Drink in Views, Signature Brews and Cocktails

Wrightsville Beach is the perfect destination for those looking to add a “twist” to their vacation. Whether you’re looking for a beer near the beach or a cocktail with a sunset view, Wrightsville Beach has a drink and a setting to quench any visitor’s thirst. 

Waterfront Libations

From oceanfront views to waterfront patios and picturesque settings, Wrightsville Beach is no stranger to drinks with a coastal vibe. EAST Oceanfront Dining features an array of wines, spirits and local beers to enjoy in the dining room indoors with murals from local artists painted across the walls or on a canopied garden deck outdoors – both of which boast lush garden scenes with peek-a-boo ocean views. With a view of scenic Banks Channel, snag a seat outside and order a specialty cocktail at South Beach Grill, which has been welcoming guests since 1997 and was recently renovated indoors and out. Oceanic Restaurant provides guests with cocktails on tap, “Flip Flop” cocktails, cold beer and wine oceanside on the Crystal Pier with live music on Friday nights at sundown and Sunday afternoons from April through September. For another stellar setting, visit Oceans Restaurant or Gabby’s Lounge – both located in the Holiday Inn Resort Wrightsville Beach – for a selection of mixed drinks, beers and wine, or take your drink outside to the deck and relax in rocking chairs overlooking the pool and ocean.

On the other side of the island offering spectacular panoramic views of the Intracoastal Waterway, Bluewater Waterfront Grill's bar menu features a number of signature cocktails including The Bluewater, Coral-Rita, Patio Cooler and Watermelon Sunshine. Make a reservation at The Bridge Tender, also overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway, to indulge in a glass of wine or beer as you watch the sun go down. A North Carolina institution and the filming location for several famous movies and TV shows like Nicholas Sparks’ “The Choice” and the ‘90s hit “Dawson’s Creek,” find a spot on Dockside Restaurant’s outdoor deck to sip on seasonal cocktails while watching boats meander down the Intracoastal Waterway. At Fish House Grill, treat yourself to signature drinks like “Money Island” Shipwreck, Mother’s Mule or Trinco Grande on the restaurant's dog-friendly outdoor patio.

Craft Brews

Craft beer drinkers visiting Wrightsville Beach will be pleased to find a number of hot spots at which they can enjoy a cold one (or two). Offering more than 600 wine selections from around the world and over 800 international and hard-to-find craft beers brewed around the country, Lighthouse Beer & Wine is a one-stop-shop for specialty wine and craft beer. While there, take a load off in the shop’s dog-friendly beer garden and taste-test your selections. Famous for its craft beer menu and drink selections, visitors will also love the photos and scripts of Edgar Allen Poe’s writings that decorate Poe’s Tavern. The establishment rotates nearly 20 draft beer selections regularly, giving guests a chance to explore a new brew each time they visit.

Located just over the drawbridge, Waterman’s Brewing Company also offers a rotating selection of craft brews and ciders for the beer aficionado. The brewery features a dozen seasonal beers on tap at a time. Known for its 11 different craft beer options like the Airlie Amber Ale, Oysterman Stout, Wilmywood Wit and Waterway IPA, Wrightsville Beach Brewery frequently features live music events in its beer garden, as well as free brewery tours and tastings. The brewpub not only serves delicious beers and great food like Kimchi and Fried Oyster Bites and Shrimp-and-Grits Pizza, but it also aims to educate customers about good environmental stewardship and contribute to the sustainability of local charities through its “Beer of the Month” program where a different nonprofit receives proceeds from the featured beer. 

Craft Cocktails

Want to kick off your Wrightsville Beach vacation at a beach-side spot? Then Shark Bar & Kitchen is the place for you. From house cocktails like the Shark Attack to frozen margaritas like the Great White or Spicy Texas, there is a drink waiting to be raised in a “cheers” at this spot. Or, head upstairs to the second story Admirals Deck for oysters on the half-shell with a Jaws Colada or Cucumber Gin Spritzer.

Known for its daily blackboard seafood specials, 22 North is home to the Twisted Martini Lounge, which offers a changing array of specialty cocktails made with premium small-batch brands like Four Roses, Bird Dog, Basil Hayden and The Macallan and serves up concoctions like the Lumina Strawberry Lemonade. Its menu also features wines sourced from local Wilmington-area vintner, Noni Bacca Winery, which has earned nearly 100 medals in the world’s largest international wine competition of its kind – the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition.

For a taste of Tex-Mex on the coast, visit Tower 7 Baja Mexican Grill. The restaurant is a favorite among locals and visitors alike for having more than 35 tequila options that go into popular margaritas such as the Wannabe, Pomerita and Prickly Pear. Tower 7 also features “bebidas especiales” like the Cabo Lemonade, Baja Crush and Dawn Patrol – all of which are made with fresh fruit juices.