Wrightsville Beach is the perfect spot for basking in the sun, fishing from Johnny Mercer’s Pier, or watching surfers ride the blue waves. In fact, the beach is one of the top surfing beaches on the East Coast. You might even be lucky enough to see one of several surfing competitions held annually on the beach. (For more info on where to stay and where to eat, check out the links under Wilmington, NC),
Some Background History: The island of Wrightsville Beach today is 1,000 – 5,000 feet in width and stretches almost four miles from Masonboro inlet on the south to Mason inlet on the north. Originally known as Ocean View Beach , the town was incorporated in 1899 as Wrightsville Beach, in honor of the Wright family of Wilmington. Wilmington Seacoast Railroad Co. built rail transportation, known as the “Beach Car” from downtown Wilmington all the way to the “Hammocks” ( Harbor Island ) with a footbridge to Wrightsville Beach. Until the automobile era, the “Beach Car” was the lifeline to Wrightsville Beach. In 1935 the trolley era gave way to the automobile when a two-lane bridge was built across the Intracoastal Waterway to Harbor Island and then over Bank’s Channel to the beach. (Excerpts courtesy Wrightsville Beach Museum.)
Located off the south end of Wrightsville Beach is the largest barrier island on the southern North Carolina Coast. The 8 mile long uninhabited island is popular for picnics, shell collecting, and basking in the sun, but keep in mind it is only accessible only by boat. Visitors might see brown pelicans, ghost crabs, and shore birds.