Content Produced in Partnership with Wrightsville Beach

There are “lazy day at the beach” kinds of travelers, and there are travelers who want to use every minute of their vacation exploring a new destination. If you’re more the latter, Wrightsville Beach offers just the kind of active beach getaway perfect for the outdoor enthusiast. Here are a few of our favorite ways to take advantage of the sun and surf to work up a sweat, have an adventure, and make tons of memories.

Wrightsville Surfing Photo by Wilmington and Beaches Convention & Visitors Bureau

Catch a Wave

Named one of the “top 20 surf towns in the world” by National Geographic, the history of the sport can be traced back over 100 years when local pioneers used wooden planks as makeshift boards. If you’re new to the sport, there are plenty of lessons and schools available for newbies, but for experts, simply rent a board and catch a wave. You can also pay homage to the sport’s humble beginnings at the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History, which has a permanent exhibit dedicated to the Waterman Hall of Fame.

Find some Zen

Start your morning off on the right note with beachfront yoga or on a pier. There’s nothing quite like an oceanfront Zen session to rebalance the chi. Whether you want to work on your balance, flexibility, breathing, or stretching, the salty air and soft sand is the perfect place to cleanse the mind, body, and spirit. Want an even more unique experience? Make it a SUP yoga class on the water. That’s what we like to call “nama-slaying” your vacation.


Water-born and wind-driven, stand-up paddleboarding is one of the fastest-growing sports because it’s fun, approachable, and doable almost anywhere. Whether you just need to rent a board or are looking for lessons, Cape Fear Paddleboarding can get you set up. For an entirely different experience, its night tours have boards outfitted with glowing LED lights and offer a way to see the area in a whole new light (literally).

Float On

The waterways of Wrightsville Beach are just begging to be explored by kayak, canoe, or sailboat. Let the wind guide your explorations as you spend the day out on the dazzling water. If you happen to be traveling in a group, an outrigger canoe is a quirky and fun way to get everyone in on the action (and makes for excellent photos).

Run the Loop

If you’re looking to crush your fitness goals and get your steps in, the John Nesbitt Loop (“the Loop” for short) is a popular 2.45-mile trail for runners, bikers, walkers, joggers, and even skaters. The path wraps around North Lumina Drive, bends along Salisbury Street/U.S. Highway 74, and traverses Banks Channel before connecting back to Causeway Drive/U.S. Highway. 76.

"jsc2007e041615" by NASA Johnson on Flickr Creative Commons

Dive Deep Below the Surface

Known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic, the North Carolina coast is teeming with sunken ships, marine life, and rock ledges, the result of violent seas and Civil War attacks. Many have even been sunk intentionally to create artificial reefs. You can scuba dive the region with Aquatic Safaris to explore the many shipwrecks in the area. Dives range from beginner to expert (from 40 to 120 feet in depth), so no matter what your experience level, you’re able to explore the incredible underworld.

Explore on Two Wheels

Following a historic trolley route, the River to the Sea Bike Bikeway is a relaxed 10-mile route that runs from Johnnie Mercer’s Pier to Riverfront Park in downtown Wilmington. It’s an easy ride to tour the beachfront homes and residential neighborhoods. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for birds, as the area is a sanctuary for feathered friends, wildlife, and of course, people.