THE HEARTS (pros): Free, clean, good for water activities, some free parking spaces, close to Wilmington, family oriented, lifeguards are on duty
THE FARTS (cons): Most parking is charged, no public bathrooms, no public transportation, doesn't have a boardwalk
Young At Heart says...
This beach reminds me of the fifties when I spent weeks roaming the NJ coastlines. Here is a beach lined with well kept homes and an open expanse of pleasant white sand. The only difference is that Wrightsville doesn't have a boardwalk but it does have some stores near the main entrance. Beach goers here are an eclectic mix of families, singles and retirees. I would definitely pack an umbrella, cooler full of goodies (food is allowed on this beach but no alcohol) and camera(one can get great beach pictures). The sand is pleasant on the feet and the water is great! We had a blast swimming (lifeguards are on duty), sea shell finding and just checking out all the visitors and locals. I am embarrassed to say that Young at Heart enjoyed the lifeguards more than Young Old Fart. Definitely worth the trip if you enjoy swimming, boogie boarding or just a great day basking in the sun! Don't forget the sunscreen and the best part…..THIS BEACH IS FREE. Definitely a day on a dime!
Young At Heart
Ah, Wrightsville Beach, the cause of 2.0 GPAs and sun-burnt Freshmen at UNCW. As you may or may not know, the beach is the main reason kids apply to my beloved college. Funny, you would assume that such a popular hotspot for collegians would provide transportation (free or not). However, this is not the case. Though "The Wave" (Wilmington bus transportation) plops students almost anywhere in the town for free, it cannot shuttle them to Wrightsville Beach. Why, you may ask? Well, Wrightsville Beach is a completely separate town from Wilmington, thus, Wilmington transportation has no legality there. Alas, my fellow Seahawks must fend for themselves and either hitch rides with their roomies, bike it, or sprout wings and fly. While Wrightsville doesn't charge admission (yay!), they don't provide public bathrooms and parking can be a...well, a beach (boo!). Basically, if you have to pee you have two options: 1) buy a two dollar water bottle at the local pizzeria to gain access to their coveted restrooms OR 2)use the ocean to your advantage (makes you wonder what everyone is doing out in the big blue...). As far as parking goes, it is Wrightsville's main revenue. So, you can either park in the few and golden free spaces (like the church parking lot located before the bridge on your left) or pay a fee. Note: if you are using meter parking, I would pay for more time than you expect to be on the beach so you don't have to be the chosen loser running in their wet trunks adding money later in the day. Overall, Wrightsville is pleasant. It's clean and it's a hop away from Wilmington (unless you're driving during peak summer hours).
Kittens and fudge,
Young Old Fart
P.S. Don't try and have TOO much fun at Wrightsville...alcohol is prohibited(so are dogs, at least during the summer)!