Wrightsville Beach

Welcome to Wrightsville Beach

An exclusive small town with an elegant beach lifestyle 

Wrightsville Beach is a small barrier island with about four miles of beach, an ocean on one side, and the Intracoastal Waterway on the other. Its sparkling ocean waters, expansive beach, and picturesque views have put it on the “best beach towns” list in several prominent publications. 

Until the late-1800s, Wrightsville Beach was uninhabited except for the occasional visiting fishermen. Once access to the island was established, more people came, with some residing year-round. The town was able to preserve four cottages from the early 1900s and relocate them to what is now known as Wrightsville Beach Historic Square. 

As a vacation destination, the island is a respite from life’s stressors and helps residents reconnect with nature. As a home, the island becomes a daily sanctuary, a calming place where you can immerse yourself in the beauty around you and take life at a slower pace.

What to Love

  • Breathtaking views
  • Water sports and activities
  • Beachtown vibe

Local Lifestyle

Wrightsville Beach is a close community with just under 2,500 residents. Some live here year-round, some seasonally, and others rent their houses. Locals engage in community projects and events that the town hosts. One such community endeavor is the Harbor Island Garden Club. It is committed to keeping the area beautiful and sustaining the local environment.

Adventurous residents participate in other community events like the Safari Hunt, where divers search for hidden tokens on a shipwrecked vessel and win prizes. There are also annual surfing and fishing competitions and low-impact fun, like watching the Carolina Holiday Flotilla. 

When locals are not enjoying one of the many planned activities, they spend much of their time enjoying the outdoors and doing things like going to the beach, bicycling, fishing, and walking the Loop. 

Dining, Entertainment, & Shopping

Oceanic offers locally sourced ingredients and chef-driven menus in a stunning oceanfront setting. Their outdoor seating is on the local Crystal Pier, which has gorgeous panoramic views. South End Surf Shop and Sunday’s Surf Cave are above it. King Neptune is a casual seafood spot known for their high quality food and lively atmosphere.

The Bridge Tender Steakhouse has views of the harbor and the landmark Wrightsville Beach Drawbridge. They are open on Sundays for brunch, and if you request the Sunset Special, you will be seated in an area where you can appreciate the beautiful sunset. There is a lovely view of the marina from Bluewater Grill. They serve delicious seafood, and there may even be a dolphin sighting while you dine.  

Wrightsville has numerous stores, with everything from surf shops to upscale boutiques. Hallelu Clothing Co. offers contemporary women’s fashion and accessories in an adorable boutique setting. They’re well-loved not only for the cute clothes, but the exceptional customer service as well. 

Things to Do

Wrightsville Beach Park holds community events throughout the year. They have seasonal events like Easter egg hunts and Christmas tree lightings. In addition, they have Movies in the Park, the Summer Concert series, and the Bark in the Park dog competition. Wrightsville Beach Park also has everything you would expect to find at a park, such as basketball courts, tennis courts, a softball field, a playground, beach volleyball, and even an arboretum.

Stanback Coastal Education Center is interesting for kids and adults. They sponsor activities, classes, and events. In the summer, they have Touch Tank Tuesdays, where you get to touch sea creatures like sea stars and hermit crabs. Johnnie Mercers Fishing Pier is a concrete pier with a tackle shop, a gift shop, and a restaurant grill. They host monthly fishing tournaments and other events. 

National Geographic chose Wrightsville Beach as one of the world’s top surfing towns. It is a great place to surf and take lessons. Other water activities include kite surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, and paddle boarding. If you would rather stay on land, you can rent a bicycle and tour the town. The Loop is a 2.45-mile sidewalk trail that takes you past some of the sights in Wrightsville Beach. Residents walk their dogs, ride their bicycles, or jog on the Loop. The trail is a great way to see the town while getting some exercise and enjoying the great outdoors. 

For an unusual outing that is sure to be memorable, visit The Mailbox. It is one of several such mailboxes on the Carolina Coast. You cannot send letters to the boxes, but people write down their thoughts, hopes, and dreams and then leave them in the box. University of North Carolina Wilmington students collect the letters and then archive them for posterity in the UNCW Library.


Wrightsville Beach is in the New Hanover County School District.

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Overview for Wrightsville Beach, NC

2,593 people live in Wrightsville Beach, where the median age is 47.2 and the average individual income is $75,808. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.


Total Population

47.2 years

Median Age


Population Density Population Density This is the number of people per square mile in a neighborhood.


Average individual Income

Demographics and Employment Data for Wrightsville Beach, NC

Wrightsville Beach has 1,242 households, with an average household size of 2.02. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. Here’s what the people living in Wrightsville Beach do for work — and how long it takes them to get there. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. 2,593 people call Wrightsville Beach home. The population density is 1,859.33 and the largest age group is Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.


Total Population


Population Density Population Density This is the number of people per square mile in a neighborhood.


Median Age

59.27 / 40.73%

Men vs Women

Population by Age Group


0-9 Years


10-17 Years


18-24 Years


25-64 Years


65-74 Years


75+ Years

Education Level

  • Less Than 9th Grade
  • Associate Degree
  • Bachelor Degree

Total Households


Average Household Size


Average individual Income

Households with Children

With Children:

Without Children:

Marital Status


Blue vs White Collar Workers

Blue Collar:

White Collar:

Commute Time

0 to 14 Minutes
15 to 29 Minutes
30 to 59 Minutes
60+ Minutes

Around Wrightsville Beach, NC

There's plenty to do around Wrightsville Beach, including shopping, dining, nightlife, parks, and more. Data provided by Walk Score and Yelp.

Walking Score
Bike Score

Points of Interest

Explore popular things to do in the area, including By the Beach Brewing, Midtown Nutrition, and Access 16 Beach Shoppe.

Name Category Distance Reviews
Ratings by Yelp
Dining 4.63 miles 5 reviews 5/5 stars
Dining 4.47 miles 9 reviews 5/5 stars
Shopping 0.47 miles 5 reviews 5/5 stars
Shopping 3.14 miles 6 reviews 5/5 stars
Active 0.59 miles 10 reviews 5/5 stars
Active 4.11 miles 12 reviews 5/5 stars

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