• Activities:

    Chillin, Fishing, Photography, Surfing, Swimming

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Summer, Autumn

Adult Beverages
Beach
Food Nearby
Scenic

This is a beautiful barrier island beach right on the coast of North Carolina, within two hours drive of Raleigh, NC. In the right conditions, evening walks around this island are unmatched in their serenity.

The great part about this adventure is that you can start anywhere on the island at any time of day. The island is four miles long, running from Mason Inlet to the north down to Masonboro Inlet to the south.

The best fishing can be found on the north end of the island from Public Access 1 to the Johnny Mercer Fishing Pier. For surfing, the best spots are on the south end of the island near Crystal Pier and Masonboro Inlet. For those surfers looking to lose the crowds and find some better surf, Masonboro Island is the next barrier island down from Wrightsville and is a short paddle across the inlet from the south end.

There are great local restaurants and shops along the beach all within walking distance (I recommend Tower 7 for the tacos). Once evening comes around stay around the south end of the island as it offers better access and views of sunsets from the beach all around to the sound. Walk along the unobstructed beach at your own leisure or enjoy the sunset from the Oceanic Restaurant outdoor patio on Crystal Pier (best in the summer when warmer weather is prevalent).

Camping is not allowed on the beach itself; however, it is allowed on Masonboro Island, which is a quick paddle board or kayak trip across the jetty. Here you can make your own fire and enjoy the peace of the lesser crowds and the nature preserve that encompasses the whole island. Light a campfire and enjoy the last light to the west on this beautiful beach.

Pack List

  • Camera (even an iPhone will do)
  • Money for parking (between March 1st and October 31)
  • Surfboard (optional)
  • Swimwear
  • Fishing pole and tackle (optional)
  • Towel
  • Light sweater (for those evening beach breezes)
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Reviews

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The reason so many flock here throughout the year.

3 months ago
3 months ago

Truly a breathtaking experience!

5 months ago
5 months ago

The weather on our late March weekend here was perfect for a quiet getaway. The sunsets and sunrises were beautiful, and the town and beach were busy, but not crowded.

5 months ago
5 months ago

B A

The sun sets over the intercostal on the south end. Provides a chance to watch the sun fade out over the water.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

I've been to Wrightsville many times, and always my favorite part is the sunrise and sunset on the beach. Beautiful!!

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

Robbie O'Donnell

Coastal Geologist // Photographer

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