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Great Escapes: Our Guide to Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

Planning a getaway? Check out Wrightsville Beach, NC, a coastal town great for surfers, foodies, and art lovers alike.

Tatum here. I grew up on Wrightsville Beach, a vibrant town on the coast of North Carolina filled with colorful shops, towering live oak trees, and friendly people.

In the summertime, this two-stoplight town bustles with locals and visitors alike on their way to walk The Loop, grab a beer at the beach bars, or catch a wave.


This charming beach town is the perfect summer getaway.

Photo by @through.elanas.lens

Why go?

  • WB is a small community with a lot of character. It’s a great spot for riding bikes through the neighborhood, beachcombing for seaglass and shark teeth, and taking a boat ride on the Intracoastal.
  • Beach season runs from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend. Pack your sunscreen and Shibumi (created by three UNC-Chapel Hill grads) and head straight out at Stone Street.
  • Be sure to stop by Wilmington, WB’s neighboring city that features a riverwalk, fine and casual dining, concert venues, and a historic district not unlike Charleston’s.

While you wait in line, look at all the photos of locals with their dogs on the walls.

Photo by @localcarolinas

Act like a local

  • Food: Your trip is not complete without Trolly Stop. Grab a Carolina dog with lemonade for lunch. Make dinner reservations at Seabird in Wilmington and order the smoked yellowfish tuna + tomatoes.
  • Concert: Catch live performances at Live Oak Bank Pavilion and Greenfield Lake Aphitheater in Wilmington.
  • Festival: The annual Azalea Festival features parades, concerts, a garden party, and a street fair.
  • Drink: Stop by Lighthouse or Lager Heads for a casual beer + SUNdays on the South end for coffee and smoothies.
  • Outdoors: Grab a latte to-go at Zeke’s and walk The Loop with a friend. This 2.5-mile loop gives you just enough time to catch up with your pal + finish your coffee while you get some fresh air.

This beach cottage Airbnb is just minutes from the ocean.

Photo via Airbnb

Where to stay:

  • Vrbo: Soundfront condo, this top-floor condo features waterfront views and a boat slip perfect for a quiet coastal getaway (~$424/night)
  • Airbnb: Roy’s at Wrightsville, this cozy beach cottage in the South Harbor Island neighborhood is just a five-minute walk to downtown WB + includes bikes and beach chairs (~$600/night)
  • Boutique hotel: Blockade Runner, This historic oceanside resort has a pool, bar + restaurant, and gardens to enjoy. (~$350/night, prices vary)