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Key Info

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Beaches, Free, Recreation, Sightseeing Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 4.5Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Wrightsville Beach is located just 10 miles east of the Historic District, and it receives high praise for its wide ribbon of sand, which is easily accessible and lined by hotels, vacation homes, restaurants, bars and shops. There are even restrooms and showers at several beach-access points. Since the beach is situated several dozen miles from the Gulf Stream, it offers travelers warmer, almost transparent waters. 

Recent travelers hail Wrightsville Beach for its clean sands and peaceful ambiance. They also appreciated the lifeguards, though some warn the surf can be rough, especially in the hours after a storm. 

The beach is free to access year-round. You'll find a handful of paid parking lots near beach-access points: Beach Access 4, located at 2398 N. Lumina Ave., and Beach Access 36, located at 650 S. Lumina Ave., are some of the largest lots. Still, it's advisable to snag a spot before 9 a.m. to beat the rush. Lifeguards are on duty from Memorial Day to Labor Day. For more information, visit the Town of Wrightsville Beach's website

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#1 Wilmington's Riverwalk

No trip to Wilmington is complete without a stroll along its mile-long Riverwalk. This wooden boardwalk that borders Cape Fear River is lined with popular restaurants and bars – and punctuated by stools and benches that are perfect for taking a break and taking in the scene. 

One traveler who praised the Riverwalk's views also recommended taking a water taxi to the Battleship North Carolina. Another traveler said the Riverwalk encapsulates the local culture, from the smell of the salty sea air to the surrounding history to the buzzy nightlife. 

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