Wilmington, NC is situated on a picturesque coastline, and is home to many beautiful beaches. Whether you like water sports, sunbathing, or simply walking along the shore, Wilmington has a nearby beach that is perfect for you. As such, this charming city has become a popular destination for tourists as well as those looking to relocate to a coastal area. With incredible views, award-winning restaurants, and family friendly activities, Wilmington-area beaches are hard to beat. In this article, we will discuss five of the best beaches near Wilmington.
Located less than 20 minutes from downtown Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach is home to sandy shores, local shops, and The John Nesbitt Loop, a 2.45 mile walking trail wrapping around the heart of Wrightsville Beach. Wrightsville Beach is situated on a barrier island that stretches for 4 miles, offering plenty of space for sunbathing, picnics, and beach sports. Kayaking and paddling boarding are popular activities with tourists and locals alike. Looking for a bite to eat after a long day at the beach? You’re in luck, because Wrightsville is home to a variety of local restaurants, including Poe’s Tavern, Oceanic, and Bluewater Waterfront Grill.
Carolina Beach is another beautiful beach in the Wilmington area. Located less than 30 minutes from downtown Wilmington, Carolina Beach is the ideal spot for families to enjoy time spent by the shore. But Carolina Beach offers more than just a beautiful coastline. If you want a break from the sandy shores, then you can explore Carolina Beach Park. Covering more than 760 acres, this state park is fun for the whole family. Visitors can walk on various trails, fish, and even camp overnight. Before you head back to Wilmington, stop by Britts Donuts, a local donut shop famous for its classic glazed donuts. A trip to Carolina Beach isn’t complete without a donut from Britts!
Calling all history aficionados! Looking for a coastal destination full of unique history? Look no further than Kure Beach. Located just minutes from Carolina Beach, Kure Beach is a historic beach town home to the beautiful Kure Beach Pier, perfect for fishing all day long. In fact, the Kure Beach Pier is the oldest fishing pier on the Atlantic Coast! This beach town is also home to the Fort Fisher State Historic Site, North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, and the Fort Fisher State Recreation Area. The Fort Fisher State Historic Site attracts many visitors every year to learn more about the history of the American Civil War. After a long day of learning about history and enjoying the scenic views, beachgoers can enjoy time spent at the aquarium, learning about the region’s aquatic life through interactive exhibits.
Located just 38 miles from Wilmington, Topsail Island is a great getaway spot for a weekend adventure. This 26-mile-long barrier island is best known for its sea turtle conservation efforts. If you love nature and want to learn more about sea turtles, make sure to visit the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in Surf City, which is a short drive from Topsail. Besides having a stunning beach, Topsail Island is also home to local art galleries, breweries, and local restaurants. Whether you’re looking to lounge on the beach all day or explore the island, Topsail is a great place to visit.
Oak Island is another must-visit coastal town that delights visitors every year. Located less than an hour away from Wilmington, Oak Island is the perfect day trip for Wilmington residents and tourists. Oak Island boasts a beautiful sandy beach ideal for families to enjoy time spent together. Visitors can also explore the Oak Island Lighthouse, Ocean Crest Fishing Pier, and the Oak Island Nature Center. Like all of these beach towns, Oak Island is home to local seafood restaurants and bars. With over 20 square miles to explore, you can’t go wrong with a trip to this quaint coastal destination.