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North Carolina Travel Guide
Wrightsville Beach

wrightsville beach, northcarolina

wrightsville beach, northcarolina

wrightsville beach, northcarolina

wrightsville beach, northcarolinaThe island of Wrightsville Beach is the main go-to beach for the city of Wilmington and has been for the last century. It used to be connected to the city by a trolley and the old stops are now marked as historical. Like most of the barrier islands in North Carolina, it's a low, sandy, slender piece of land. On one side is the Atlantic Ocean, which, combined with the sky, gives one a sense of infinity. Between the island and the mainland is the Intercoastal Waterway, which starts in New England and goes all the way to south Florida. There are also miles and miles of bays, rivers, creeks and wetlands, full of fish and shellfish. Because of it's proximity to the city of Wilmington and its nightlife, in my opinion Wrightsville Beach is the best beach to spend a holiday or a weekend.

wrightsville beach, northcarolinaFor people who are anti-development, Shell Island Resort symbolizes all the qualities that make you wish you could move to a desert island. A giant multi-storied concrete structure that wouldn't look out of place in downtown Belgrade, with a giant parking lot and swimming pool. But before you dismiss it as something to avoid, let me just say that every room has a great view and the structure is a perfect subject for ethereal photographs like something you would see in an Angelopoulos film. The sand dunes on the beach keep the sea from washing all the houses away. They're covered with a thin layer of plants and beach grasses that keep them together. There are protected areas with boardwalks built over them and signs that ask people not to walk on them. There are also nesting areas for many of the birds.

wrightsville beach, northcarolinaFishing in Wrightsville can be done from the piers (you have to pay for the day) or in the surf (free). There are also fishing boats that go out for the day or the half day. Otherwise you can just go to Mott's Seafood and buy some or go to a seafood restaurant, of which there are several. For breakfast, the Causeway Cafe is popular, as is Middle of the Island. But my favorite place was Crabdaddy's where we got a peck of oysters for $9, the most delicious crab dip, and more seafood than we could eat for a lot less than we had been paying at other restaurants. The atmosphere was hip-southern with a bluesy feel similar to say the Flying Burrito in Chapel Hill or even  Tortuga's Lie in Nags Head. The bar made me want to ditch my family and make friends. Unfortunately as often happens with the type of restaurant I like, it went out of business. Try Buddies Crab House and Oyster Bar instead, right next to Johnnie Mercer's Pier.

wrightsville beach, northcarolinaMany of the homes on the beach and on the sound can be rented. Wrightsville Beach has some of the most expensive real estate in North Carolina. Even so, you can find great rental deals in the off-season - and even in the summer if you get a few friends together to share the cost it's still an affordable vacation. The Blockade Runner, Shell Island Resort and the Holiday Inn are the three large hotels on the island. All of them are right on the Atlantic with views of the ocean or the sound. There are several smaller hotels and even a couple B&Bs. You can find these and other hotels with photos, descriptions, guest reviews and booking information at  Booking.com's Wrightsville Beach Page

wrightsville beach, ncJohnny Mercer Pier was destroyed by a Hurricane. The old wooden pier has now been replaced by a concrete one and it's a great place to fish or to watch people fishing. Kids will find Wrightsville a fun place to be because they will find lots of other kids. Skateboards and bikes seem to be the primary method of transportation for the younger generation and running for everyone twenty and older. There are lots of cars here and parking can be a problem in the summer, but a low speed-limit keeps the island relatively safe for pedestrians.

Though nightlife has picked up in the last few years, Wilmington is where much of the action is and it is just a 10 minute drive to downtown. If you are looking for someplace to eat and drink you will pass miles of shopping centers, restaurants, cafes, movie theaters and even a Hooters.

Click here to find hotels in Wrightsville Beach

Wrightsville Beach Photo Album

Click on the photos for full-sized pictures or go to the first photo and click your way through.

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From the Blockade Runner

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From the Blockade Runner

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Shell Island Resort

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Fishing 

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Shell Island Resort 

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Shell Island Resort 

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Homes on the Sound 

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Shell Island Resort 

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Tidal Basin

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Fishing

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Shell Island Resort 

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Shell Island Resort 

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Tidal Basin 

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Fishing 

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Tidal Basin 

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Tidal Basin 

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Tidal Basin 

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Shell Island Resort  

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Figure 8 Island

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Tidal Basin 

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Shell Island Resort 

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Shell Island Resort  

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Shell Island Resort  

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Figure 8 Island 

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Matt and Amarandi

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Sand Dunes

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From Shell Island Resort 

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Andrea and Amarandi

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Homes on the Sound

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Sand Dunes

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From Johnny Mercer Pier

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From Johnny Mercer Pier 

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Causeway Cafe

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Fish-market

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Fish-market

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Fishing

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Homes on the Sound 

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Homes on the Sound 

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Homes on the Sound

Olympia is a great place to eat Greek and Seafood
Olympia Restaurant

This fish chases children!  

Destroyed in a hurricane the wooden pier is now concrete
Johnny Mercer Pier

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Johnny Mercer Pier 

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From Johnny Mercer Pier 

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From Shell Island Resort 

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From Shell Island Resort 

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From Blockade Runner Hotel

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From Blockade Runner

See also: Wilmington ,Ocracoke ,Outerbanks ,Kure Beach , Southport 

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If you like my North Carolina site then you will love my Greece Travel Guides