Wrightsville Beach, NC, is located east of Wilmington, sandwiched between the Atlantic Coast and the Intracoastal Waterway. For many years it remained relatively quiet until a turnpike crossing the waterway connecting the barrier island to the mainland was completed in 1887. Wilmington Seacoast Railroad Company built a rail to the beach in 1889 and a bridge for automobiles was finished in 1935. Now, it's a resort town. Houses lining the island are a combination of private year-round homes, seasonal homes, and vacation rentals.
Wrightsville Beach is a very active town. Visitors and residents can surf, boat, paddle board, swim, fish, play tennis, and enjoy nights out with friends at a collection of bars and restaurants. There always seems to be someone walking or running “The Loop” (John Nesbitt Loop), a 2.45 mile circle of sidewalk at the heart of Wrightsville Beach. It’s also a popular destination for local triathletes training for their next race.
Events are held throughout the year and include the Wrightsville Beach Marathon 5k, Beach2Battleship Triathlon, Cape Fear Kite Festival, Wrightsville Beach Farmers' Market, and Festival in the Park with the NC Lighted Holiday Flotilla. Wrightsville Beach is also just a hop and a skip from the Mayfaire/Landfall area of Wilmington, where a myriad of events also take place.
Wrightsville Beach is a popular destination for students attending University of North Carolina-Wilmington and Cape Fear Community College. Many students choose these schools, not only because they are fine centers of higher education, but due to their closeness to the ocean. Young people enjoy mingling at events hosted by the schools, learning to surf, and sunbathing while studying.
Note: If you visit Wrightsville Beach and see Sea Turtles, please do not disturb them as it can interrupt their nesting habits. The Wrightsville Beach Sea Turtle Project , as well as the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Hospital, monitors and assists the sea turtles throughout their hatching season.
You don’t need to be a swimmer to enjoy the beach. Many visitors enjoy walking the shoreline and visiting one of the mailboxes at the north end to leave a message in one of the journals inside. The best time to visit the beach is early morning and after a storm, when tide pools are still on the beach. These pools are the best places to find beach "treasures". Just make sure you check any whole shells you pick up, because someone may still be living inside. Honestly, I know someone who had to return hermit crabs on two separate occasions after accidentally taking them home.
Wrightsville Beach is part of the New Hanover County School District. There is an elementary school located in Wrightsville Beach, but higher grades attend school in Wilmington. You can view district maps here. To see how students perform in Wilmington schools and how teachers compare to others in North Carolina, you can see school and district report cards at the North Carolina Public Schools website.
Careers in Wrightsville Beach are limited to the service and hospitality industry, but most residents telecommute or work in Wilmington. Some of the top employers in the Wilmington area are New Hanover Regional Medical Center, New Hanover County Schools, Wal-Mart Stores, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy and GE Aviation, UNCW, PPD, Corning Inc., CFCC, Duke Energy, Castle Branch, and Verizon Wireless.
Most of Wrightsville Beach's single-family homes are in the luxury home price range, but they are well worth the value and a dream come true for beach bums everywhere. There are also vacation and year-round condos for buyers who want to live at the beach, but not pay the higher costs for a home. Check out the pictures below and see a few reasons why people love living at Wrightsville Beach.
If you have questions about living in Wrightsville Beach, we invite you to contact us. Wrightsville Beach is a unique market that requires an understanding of occupancy rates, setbacks, and more. We’re ready to help you find the perfect beach property!
Wrightsville Beach Accolades
National Geographic’s 20 Best Surf Towns in the World
Outside Online’s 7 Stateside SUP Hubs
National Geographic Traveler’s Last Best American Beach Towns
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