The Best Beaches in Wilmington, North Carolina

If you\'re looking to spend a day on the beach in North Carolina, here are some prime spots.

There are many attributes that make Wilmington, North Carolina one of the most-visited coastal towns on the East Coast as well as the prime shooting location for a wide variety of TV shows and movies. Undoubtedly, one of the main reasons is the area’s spectacular beaches that draw visitors back time and time again.

Whether you’re looking for somewhere to spend the day enjoying some beachside fun or you’re seeking somewhere to quietly bask in a golden sunset, here are the four best beaches in Wilmington to visit.

Carolina Beach

Carolina Beach marries the scenic beauty of pristine shoreline with the fun adventures that come with a vintage boardwalk. Beachgoers can expect postcard-worthy sights along the beach as well as helpful amenities like public restrooms, outdoor showers, and foot-rinse stations at several of the beach’s access points.

From live music and events happening throughout the year to a variety of food stands and amusement rides, the renowned Carolina Beach Boardwalk has it all, making it the perfect place to end the day after spending hours on the beach. Other noteworthy attractions in the area include the Carolina Beach Fishing Pier, a go-to for fishermen hoping to reel in the catch of the day, and an oceanfront tiki bar where visitors can find a cold drink and live shows featuring local bands. Also, whether you’re walking or riding, the town is easy to navigate.

Kure Beach

Between Kure Beach Ocean Front Park & Pavilion, Kure Beach Fishing Pier (the oldest fishing pier on the Atlantic Coast), and daily ferry trips to nearby Southport, there’s absolutely no shortage of things to do or see at Kure Beach. The area’s wide variety of attractions appeal to many different interests.

History buffs will enjoy exploring the Fort Fisher State Historic Site, while families can spend the day learning about underwater creatures at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher. Outdoor enthusiasts can explore different habitats and search for local wildlife on a guided kayaking tour of Zeke’s Island Reserve, and beach bums can sit back, relax, and take in the unspoiled beauty of the Fort Fisher State Recreation Area’s six miles of undeveloped shoreline.

Wrightsville Beach

Along with its expansive stretch of sun-soaked sand and clear blue water, Wrightsville Beach is well-known for its impressive waves that have been luring surfers for years. It also offers a number of other water sports, from paddleboarding and kayaking to swimming and deep-sea fishing charters.

For those looking for something a little more relaxed, there are a variety of scenic cruises to choose from. Also, several local shops and restaurants are within walking distance of the beach, making it easy for visitors to quickly grab a bite to eat or take a break from the sun to peruse the surf shops and boutiques. Wrightsville’s historic square—an area full of historic cottages turned into museums and businesses—is also nearby and worth exploring.

Topsail Beach 

While Topsail Beach is located just under an hour’s drive from Wilmington, it’s certainly worth mentioning as one of the best beaches in the area. The beach is located at the southern end of Topsail Island, a 26-mile barrier island.

It’s ideal for anyone who wants to spend a leisurely day at the beach without the crowds typically found on other beaches. Plus, with strict restrictions on high-rise development in the area, the beach has been able to keep its peaceful, family-friendly setting without the threat of too much commercialization. But don’t let the lack of large hotels and busy resorts fool you; there are plenty of delicious eateries and gift shops to explore in Topsail.

While the uncrowded beaches and small-town feel draw visitors to the area, Topsail Beach is also known for its fishing. Fishermen can cast a line off the Jolly Roger Pier and try their luck at reeling in a big catch, or they can charter one of Topsail’s deep-sea fishing boats and see what they can snag further from shore.

Can you spot the $207,744 difference between these identical homes?

Financing is the difference!

Get the details in The 62+ Loan Homebuyers Guide.

55places Mortgage is a joint venture between Mutual of Omaha Mortgage and 55places.com.
Details here.

Share this post:

We're here to help! (800) 928-2055

Call us to speak with a customer service representative.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Get Weekly Updates

I agree that 55places and its affiliates, partner providers or agents may call, text, or email me about my inquiry, which may be made with automated means. I understand that my consent is not a prerequisite for buying a property. I may revoke my consent at any time by contacting [email protected] Message/data rates may apply. I also agree to 55places.com’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

The Best Places to Snowbird in 2021

We’ve gathered 25 of the best places for snowbirds, including cities in Florida, Arizona, California, Texas, South Carolina, and Nevada. For each entry, we’ve also provided a list of recommended 55+ communities in the area. If you’re ready to find your own winter retreat this season, here are some of the best places to consider.

A senior couple takes a hike in a low-humidity state they chose for their retirement.

Retirement: What Are the Top 5 States With the Lowest Humidity?

There are many factors in deciding where to retire, and the weather can be one of them. Luckily, many of the states with nice weather also offer additional benefits for people over 60 and have several exciting active adult communities. Here are the four best states for a low-humidity retirement.

Lake view during autumn at dusk of Table Rock Mountain in Pickens, South Carolina.

5 Reasons To Consider a South Carolina Retirement

What does South Carolina have to offer active adults? A selection of over 80 active adult communities is just the beginning. These five reasons to consider a South Carolina retirement just might convince you that this southern coastal state has everything you’re looking for in a 55+ community.

The Best Places to Retire in South Carolina

South Carolina is known for having some of the best golf courses in the country, but that’s not all it has to offer active adults. The state has a rich history and culture, a wide selection of entertainment and recreation, and miles of beaches and coastal living.

North Carolina vs. South Carolina

The Carolinas are a power couple when it comes to maintaining an active lifestyle in an amazing climate, but they’re separated by more than just a border. A side-by-side comparison of the two can quickly show which is better for you when it comes to your interests and needs.

Exterior view of a model home at Del Webb Carolina Gardens, Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina on a sunny day.

55+ Communities With New Homes for Sale Near Raleigh

If you’re in the market for a new construction home in Raleigh, North Carolina there are plenty of options to consider. We’ve put together a list to help you start your search for the perfect neighborhood with new homes.

A woman playing pickleball in her 55+ community.

Raleigh Area 55+ Communities Big on Pickleball

With the pickleball’s rising popularity, many active adult communities across the country have taken heed and added pickleball courts to their lists of amenities. And, the Raleigh-Durham area–which is home to 40 active adult communities–is no different.

About 55places

We’re changing the way people 55 and older are searching for their perfect next place. With a national network of hand-selected real estate experts, plus comprehensive information, unbiased content, and on-the-go insight about thousands of communities across the country, we’re a trusted resource paving the way from here to home. Whether you’re interested in a low-maintenance single-level residence, an active lifestyle or age-qualified community, an intimate enclave, or anything in between, we can help you make your next move the best one yet.

Scroll to Top