Raleigh to Wrightsville Beach: How Far & Things to Do

raleigh to wrightsville beach

Have you made travel arrangements for the upcoming winter break? Wrightsville Beach is one of the top tourist destinations in North Carolina and among our top beaches in America, so if you’re planning a beach vacation, take it from us that it’s a great choice.

If you’re looking for things to do in Wrightsville Beach, down below we share our tips for a one-day itinerary on what to do in Wrightsville Beach as well as advice on where to park, eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as where to get good coffee!

What is Wrightsville Beach Known For?

Laid-back coastal living, wellness activities, miles of a pristine, spacious beach, and endless water activities such as swimming, body boarding, kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing, boating, and surf culture – yep, Wrightsville Beach is recognized as the birthplace of surfing in North Carolina!

It’s a fantastic location for the whole family when you consider the relaxed community atmosphere, delectable regional cuisine, beachside boutiques, and breathtaking sunrises and sunsets.

Wrightsville Beach is situated on a barrier island only 4 miles long and a couple of strides wide.

On one side you have the Atlantic Ocean which offers you a wild, rugged experience to hit the waves. On the other lies the tranquility of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway – miles of open sound water and narrow channels bordered by marshes, swamps, and small islands and a perfect spot for a paddle.

Wrightsville Beach, a year-round destination, is the only family-friendly beach in North Carolina that isn’t overdeveloped like Myrtle Beach.

How Far is Wrightsville Beach from Raleigh?

How far away from Raleigh is Wrightsville Beach? If you drive a relatively short distance without stopping, the quick response is as follows.

  • Nonstop drive: 130 miles or 209 km
  • Driving time: 1 hour, 59 minutes

Despite the fact that you can travel this distance without stopping, it might be more interesting to make stops along the way.

How Long is it from Raleigh to Wrightsville Beach by Plane?

Let’s now assume you have a private jet and can travel as quickly as possible in a straight line between Raleigh, North Carolina, and Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. Because of the curvature of the Earth, the shortest distance is actually the “great circle” distance, or “as the crow flies” which is calculated using an iterative Vincenty formula.

  • Flight distance: 118 miles or 190 km
  • Flight time: 44 minutes

The driving distance is approximately 1.1 times the flight distance because flying in a straight line is 12 miles shorter than driving on roads.

The flight time is roughly one-third of the time it would take to drive because your plane travels much more quickly than a car. You might be considering booking a commercial flight, despite the fact that this private flight is relatively brief.

In that case, you would really need to factor in the amount of time it takes to get to your local airport, wait for security, board, and taxi on the runway, take off from the other airport, and land before arriving at your destination.

How Long is it from Raleigh to Wrightsville Beach by Car?

Imagine that you’re actually planning a road trip to Wrightsville Beach and that you want to make a stop to explore along the way. If you’re taking a real road trip, you might want to stop at some cool locations along the way or eat at a fantastic restaurant. Trippy is ideal for assisting you in carefully planning your travel schedules.

  • Road trip: 1 day of driving

We can calculate your total travel time for this trip now that the entire itinerary is known.

  • Travel time: 3.5 hours on the road

Raleigh is where you can begin. Drive for about 34 minutes, then stop in Smithfield (North Carolina), where you will spend about an hour. Next, drive for another 30 minutes then stop for a one-hour stay in Goldsboro, North Carolina.

Drive for 49 minutes then stop in Stay for one hour in Clinton, North Carolina. Drive for 40 minutes then stop in Wallace (North Carolina) and remain there for one hour. Drive for 44 minutes then stop in Stay in Wilmington for one hour.

Finally, drive for about 21 minutes and arrive in Wrightsville Beach.

What to Do in Wrightsville Beach?

With your friends, there are lots of activities in Wrightsville Beach.

raleigh to wrightsville beach

See An Ocean Sunrise

The sunrises in Wrightsville, North Carolina are breathtaking if you get up really early. Just go anywhere along the beachfront, or even walk out on Crystal Pier After that, you’ll be close to our preferred coffee shop and Johnnie Mercers Pier.

But for a day trip, leaving Raleigh in the morning means getting up very early. Just picture how peaceful the drive would be and how simple it would be to find a parking space.

Morning Kayak Or Stand Up Paddle Boarding

One of our favorite things to do in Wrightsville Beach NC is go kayaking or standup paddle boarding on the Waterway inside the coast.

The waterways are simply stunning, peaceful, and inviting.

The best time for this is usually early in the day because it’s usually calmer, you can park easily, and you can avoid the beach’s main crowds and traffic.

People tend to start leaving the beach after lunch meaning it’s easier to park, and it’s the hottest part of the day for a swim in the afternoons we just want to relax with beach time, and our kids are usually too tired to go paddling.

However, I’ll leave it up to you whether you go kayaking, spend time at the beach, or do both in the morning. In either case, don’t limit your trip to Wrightsville to ocean activities; in our opinion, the Intracoastal Waterway is magical and what truly distinguishes Wrightsville.

The many different waterways’ channels can be used for self-propelled kayaking or paddleboarding. However, we just finished an excellent guided kayaking tour through the salt marshes with Wrightsville SUP, which also offer paddle boarding.

Beach Time at Crystal Pier Or Johnnie Mercers Fishing Pier

Okay, the main reason you’re likely making the drive from Raleigh to Wrightsville Beach is to spend some time at the beach! It’s time to head to the beach and spend the entire afternoon there!

Two miles of beautiful beachfront separate Crystal Pier at the South End and Johnnie Mercers Fishing Pier at the northern end of the beach.

But given a short amount of time, I would advise choosing either one end or the other, or a location in the middle.

  • Crystal Pier

Crystal Pier is a free walking or fishing pier that extends 475 feet into the Atlantic Ocean (there is no fee to walk on like Johnny Mercer). It was renovated in 2013 after being built originally in 1939. It is the only wooden pier in Wrightsville Beach.

One of the few eateries in Wrightsville Beach that is situated on the Atlantic Ocean is the Oceanic Restaurant on the Pier, which is renowned for its breathtaking ocean views.

raleigh to wrightsville beach

It offers to dine, live music (6–9 p.m.), a sizable area of covered outdoor dining (famous for semi-casual lunches with a heavy emphasis on seafood), and both indoor and outdoor seating. every 7 to 10 p.m. on Wednesday and every On Friday (April–October).

  • Johnnie Mercers Fishing Pier

The primary fishing pier in Wrightsville Beach and the first concrete fishing pier in North Carolina. It is situated in the center of Wrightsville Beach, just a short stroll from Shark Bark and Kitchen and close to the main part of the town.

The pier extends 1200 feet into the Atlantic Ocean, and walking out on it is something you must do at least once when you visit Wrightsville Beach ($2 per adult, $1 for kids). A tackle shop, a seasonal snack bar, and complete restrooms are also located here.

It is situated in the center of Wrightsville Beach, just a short stroll from Shark Bark and Kitchen and close to the main part of the town. The pier extends 1200 feet into the Atlantic Ocean, and walking out on it is something you must do at least once when you visit Wrightsville Beach ($2 per adult, $1 for kids).

Additionally, a tackle shop, a seasonal snack bar, and complete restrooms are located here. Just unwind, unwind, and take it all in. All week long, you’ve put in a lot of effort toward this. If you have young children, don’t forget to bring all of your beach gear since Wrightsville is one of North Carolina’s best beaches for families.

Sunset on the Sound

Go down to Wrightsville Beach’s furthest south end. If you want to make it a more special event, bring a cooler and some snacks.

Conclusion: Enjoy Your Trip!

This is all the information we have right now about Wrightsville Beach. It’s a great location for family and friend vacations.

This Raleigh to Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina article is meant to assist you in organizing a road trip to one of the best locations in the state. All that’s left to do is load up the car and your beach bag, then drive away! If you have any questions, kindly let us know in the comments. You could also tell us what you like to do there the most.

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