Wilmington, NC, is a wonderful coastal town with a laid-back atmosphere and charming downtown area. While visiting this area, you can explore the city, marvel at historic homes, dine at outstanding restaurants, and relax in the parks. Many don’t realize that the town is also home to an EUE/Screen Gems movie studio. Over the last 30 years, more than 400 films and TV shows have been filmed here, including popular features like Iron Man 3 and The Conjuring. Although there are plenty of exciting things to do in the city, this area has some of the best beaches in Wilmington, NC.
If you’re planning a trip to the Southeast, be sure to check out other Select Registry properties in North Carolina. When you stay with one of our members, you’re guaranteed exceptional service in a unique setting. Read on to learn more about Select Registry bed and breakfasts near the best beaches in Wilmington, NC.
Top 3 Best Beaches in Wilmington, NC
Easily the most popular beach in the area, Wrightsville Beach is located on a barrier island separated from the mainland by the Intracoastal Waterway. Less than 30 minutes from downtown Wilmington, this quaint beach town has plenty of seaside shops and restaurants. Walk out onto the pier for a gorgeous view of the sunset, or bring your beach gear along and set up on the sand for the day. Those interested in watersports will find no shortage of exciting activities here. Rentals and lessons are available for many sports including kayaking, paddleboarding, surfing, and more.
Stepping on Carolina Beach often feels as though you’re stepping back in time. The boardwalk at Carolina Beach exudes a vintage vibe with whimsical storefronts, an amusement park, and an arcade. Anglers have dubbed Carolina Beach as one of the best places to cast off, so bring your gear along and drop a line from the pier.
Named one of the Ten Best Boardwalks by Food and Wine Magazine, Carolina Beach Boardwalk is known to host live music events and dozens of festivals each year. In the summer, you can attend art and music festivals as well as barbecue competitions and more. Aside from exploring the boardwalk and swimming in the beautiful water, visitors love going on the amusement park rides and touring the aquarium.
Kure Beach is a great place for people traveling with children because of its proximity to the aquarium and outdoor playset near the beach. Historians will also love this area as they can pay a visit to the Fort Fisher State Historic Site. Walk along the shore until you reach the trail that surrounds this Civil War-era fort. Don’t forget to take a stroll on the pier, known as the oldest fishing pier on the Atlantic Coast. In this area, you’ll find the Kure Beach Ocean Front Park & Pavilion, where many festivals and events are held.
Only accessible by boat, this unique barrier island is home to dozens of wildlife species. You can opt to charter a boat for the day or take the ferry to the reserve, where you’ll witness the natural habitats of sea turtles, birds, and more. Sandwiched between the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean, Masonboro Island is the largest untouched barrier island on the North Carolina coast. While visitors can only access specific trails, there are more than eight miles of undisturbed beach to explore. If you decide to venture out to the island, be sure to bring supplies as there are no facilities on Masonboro.
Where to Stay in Wilmington, NC
While exploring the best beaches in Wilmington, NC, you’ll want a luxurious and comfortable place to stay. Select Registry has two inns located in Wilmington, both offering a unique travel experience.
This gorgeous antebellum mansion built in 1852 stands on a quiet, tree-lined street in Wilmington’s historic district. Offering eights corner rooms, The Verandas got its name from the four verandas on the property. Guests can also take advantage of the large formal living room, piano room, breakfast and dining room, and garden terrace.
Stroll through the award-winning gardens as a relaxing way to start your morning. Then, enjoy a gourmet breakfast made with local ingredients and a cup of French pressed coffee. In each room, guests have comfortable beds with hand-ironed linens, soaking tubs, showers, and other luxurious amenities.
The Graystone Inn is an elegant nine-room property in Wilmington with a beautiful sunlit parlor and sitting room. Relax in the music room featuring a baby grand piano and a mahogany-paneled library. Guests love to marvel at the three-story Renaissance-style staircase and wander through the gardens and terraces. The luxurious rooms feature accommodations like clawfoot tubs, walk-in-showers, antique furnishings, fireplaces, and cozy bathrobes.