Wilmington NC Beaches

Beaches of Wilmington

Wilmington, N.C., is known for being North Carolina’s most accessible coastal destination. And with three island beaches located within a 20- to 30-minute drive, Wilmington’s Island Beaches are as unique as the beach-goers they attract. Take a flight to Wilmington on one of Avelo Airline’s regularly scheduled departures.

Take a flight to Wilmington on one of Avelo Airline’s regularly scheduled departures.

Outdoor Adventure

Wrightsville Beach is all about the outdoorsy, active island lifestyle. It was named one of the best surf towns in the world by National Geographic and hosts watersport events that attract international athletes. This beach town caters to anyone looking to try a new outdoor pursuit for the first time – it’s known for being super welcoming to newbies – but also has a unique combo of natural conditions perfect for more experienced adventure seekers – think kiteboarding, windsurfing, scuba diving, surfing and standup paddleboarding. And with lots of dining and nightlife options, there are plenty of ways to relax at the end of the day.

Throwback Fun

Thanks to a vintage boardwalk that dates back to 1887, Carolina Beach has a vibe reminiscent of days gone by with famous donuts, live music and fireworks shows, and old-school amusement park rides in the summer. When you’re done exploring the Boardwalk, activities like hiking in a state park, world-class fishing and one-of-a-kind events await. Take a surf lesson from an Olympic gold medalist, or grab a drink from a spot voted as one of the “diviest dive bars” in America. And don’t forget about the music: the area is often billed as the birthplace of beach music and shag dancing!

Off the Beaten Path and Naturally Beautiful

If small town beach charm, relaxation and connecting with nature is the name of your vacation game, Kure Beach is the beach for you. The peacefulness of the main drag is punctuated only by the iconic colorful beach homes that line the street. But don’t be fooled: There are plenty of things to see and do nearby. Fort Fisher State Historic Site – home to the South’s largest earthen fort and the site of the largest land-sea battle during the Civil War – and the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher – named a top aquarium in the U.S. multiple times over – are both located at the southern tip of Kure Beach. Ocean Front Park features a boardwalk, a playground for small children, swings and oceanfront benches. The park hosts special events throughout the year like the Boogie in the Park free concert series, Turtle Talks and Story Time by the Sea.

Or, escape to one of the few remaining undeveloped stretches of shoreline on the southern coast at Fort Fisher State Recreation Area, a popular park for sunbathing, surf fishing, shelling and birding.

Visitors can opt to stay in Wilmington and venture to the beach for a day trip, or stay at the beach and make the short drive to enjoy Wilmington’s rich history, thriving food, craft beer and music scene, shopping, arts and culture. And thanks to the South’s mild temperatures year-round, “beach season” continues well past the summer months here. Avelo Airline flights to Wilmington depart regularly.