With it’s wide long beach of white sand Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina is made for walkers. The walk from Masonboro Inlet to the tip of Shell Island is about 7 miles long. Two piers separate the beach and can serve as markers so you can measure how far you have walked.
You can break up your beach walk by taking a walk out to the end of Johnny Mercer’s pier. This sturdy Wrightsville Beach pier is made of concrete to withstand storms. From the end of the pier you can look
back and see the beach or look out to sea and watch the boats, birds and with a little luck some porpoise.
A beautiful restaurant, the Oceanic, is located at Crystal Pier, the second pier at Wrightsville Beach. The pier has been damaged by a number of storms and is not open to either walkers or fishermen. If you eat at the Oceanic make sure you ask for local shellfish and seafood.
Walkers who prefer can walk along the backside of the island which faces Banks Channel and the salt water marshes that line the Intercoastal Waterway.
There are 44 points of public access to Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina with parking allowed along the street. There are a number of parking lots near the beach where you can pay with a credit card and some metered on street parking which requires coins.
For those who like to do more at the beach than just walk kayaks and sailboats are available for rent. Fishing boats can be chartered that will take you out to the Gulf Stream. A number of golf courses are located nearby. Surfing is allowed on specified beaches. Flags are put up daily to mark the surfing beach for the day.
And of course there is swimming. Several beachs have lifeguards others are swim at your own risk.
There are few high rises at Wrightsville Beach so if you choose a nighttime walk you will be treated to a sky full of stars. If you are walking at sunset look towards Banks Channel. If you are lucky you will see a beautiful pink and orange sunset.
Stop and take a look in the tidal pools that form along the water line, you will be surprised at what you see and of course, all walkers are allowed a break when porpoises are sighted in the waters off Wrightsville Beach.
Getting To Wrightsville Beach: A local airport serves the city of Wilmington. The airport is small and flights are limited and generally expensive. Wrightsville Beach is an easy 2.5 hour drive on I40 from the Raleigh-Durham. Wrightsville Beach is about 2 hours down US 74 from I95. There are two rest areas, one with food, on I40 from Raleigh to Wrightsville Beach, but there are few places to stop on US 74.