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The Ultimate Guide to the Best Beaches in Wilmington, NC

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. Continue reading to discover the Wilmington, NC beaches that you won’t want to miss on your next vacation to the Southeast.

Top 5 Best Beaches in Wilmington, NC

Wrightsville Beach

If you’re searching for a great beach town near Wilmington, NC, look no further but to Wrightsville beach. This particular beach is a favorite among the locals and easily one of the most popular beaches in the area. It’s located on a barrier island separated from the mainland by the Intracoastal Waterway which is less than 30 minutes from downtown Wilmington.

This quaint beach town has plenty of seaside shops and restaurants including a fantastic pier to take a walk down to watch the sunset. If your adventurous side is craving more than just a walk on the beach, check out the water sports that are offered here. Both rentals and lessons are available for many sports including kayaking, paddleboarding, surfing, and more. This is a perfect beach destination for having a relaxing beach day or bringing the whole family along to have fun.

Carolina Beach

Your perfect summer getaway waits in Carolina Beach with endless food stands and summer amusements that will keep the whole family entertained. It will almost feel as if you are stepping back in time with the vintage vibes that the boardwalk here exudes. But don’t let that fool you as some of the top 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

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.

Masonboro Island

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.

Topsail Island

Not only will you find unique beaches here but also a small town atmosphere that makes you feel like you’re at home. Less than an hour away from Wilmington, it’s worth the trip to check out this incredible area. This island has a 26 mile long barrier that lies just off the coast of North Carolina. Check out the sea turtle hospital where you can volunteer for a day to help with rehabilitation efforts of the turtles. After this, visit one of the many delicious seafood restaurants that Topsail Island has to offer. There is really something for everyone to enjoy here!

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.

The Verandas bedroom

The Verandas Bed & Breakfast

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.

Best Places to Stay in Wilmington

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CW Worth House Bedroom
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C.W. Worth House Bed & Breakfast

Wilmington, NC

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The Verandas Bed & Breakfast

Wilmington, NC

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