New visitors to Wrightsville Beach may hear the phrase “The Loop” tossed around by locals and long-time visitors in-the-know. This initially unfamiliar term actually refers to one of the town’s literally largest attractions – a roughly 2.5 mile long path that circles through the very heart of town. Popular with walkers, runners, bikers, and even four-legged visitors, this unique little trail offers a great opportunity to explore the center of this popular beach vacation destination.

The Wrightsville Beach "loop"

About the Loop at Wrightsville Beach

The Loop is primarily located along the “town center,” or the small parcel of island that’s situated in between the two bridges along Causeway Drive that lead to the shore. This triangular piece of land is home to a number of governmental offices and facilities, including the Wrightsville Beach Municipal Complex and the Wrightsville Beach Parks and Recreation Dept., as well as several unique attractions.

The loop effectively follows the roads that lead to the beach, as well as the waterfront borders of this small island. The trail starts at the Causeway Drive/U.S. Hwy. 76 entrance to Wrightsville Beach, wraps around North Lumina Drive, takes another turn along Salisbury Street/U.S. Hwy. 74 over the Banks Channel, and then continues back to the original Causeway Drive/U.S. Hwy. 76 starting point.

The “trail” is essentially a nice wide sidewalk that can accommodate walkers, runners, bikes, and visitors walking their pets. Though many sections of The Loop can bypass busy roads that are regularly flooded with traffic – especially in the summer months – other sections are a little bit quieter, and bypass some scenic attractions and destinations.

Visitors can always diverge from the Loop, for a quick detour to the beach or a for little fun at the Wrightsville Beach Park, and with several stretches that cross over water and offer picturesque vistas, the trek is certainly more scenic than stressful.

Parking is available at several locales that cross paths with the Loop, (particularly the Lanier Parking center next to the Wrightsville Beach Park), and a walking tour of the entire route takes just an hour or so, depending on the speed.

The Wrightsville Beach "loop"

Attractions Along the Loop at Wrightsville Beach

Once of the great aspects of the Loop is that it bypasses a wide array of scenic spots and attractions. Visitors who want to take a lingering trip while enjoying everything that Wrightsville Beach has to offer can pause by the following stops along the Loop that are always worth a stop.

Wrightsville Beach Park – The Wrightsville Beach Park is a great destination for active visitors and locals alike, and features two outdoor basketball courts, four tennis courts, three sand volleyball pits, a softball field, a grassy and wide open area for pick-up games, and a new playground. The park is located directly along The Loop next to the main Wrightsville Beach Parks and Recreation offices.

Wrightsville Beach Museum of History – Housed within a historic beach cottage, the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History celebrates more than a century of beach life in this coastal town, with a series of exhibits dedicated to beach vacationers of decades ago. The Wrightsville Beach Museum of History is located along Salisbury Road, adjacent to the Loop

Wrightsville Beach Arboretum – This small patch of greenspace is an ideal spot to relax and take a rest from a long stroll or jog. The Wrightsville Beach Arboretum features benches, sitting areas, and plenty of pretty landscaping, and is found at the intersection of Causeway Drive and Salisbury Street, close to the Loop’s primary entrance.

Wrightsville Beach Farmers’ Market – In the summertime, visitors strolling along the Loop can enjoy a quick shopping trip for plenty of fresh goodies, crafts, and produce with a stop at the Wrightsville Beach Farmers’ Market. The market is open from mid-May until the end of October, and is traditionally held on Mondays from 8:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

Wrightsville Beach Shoreline – Several beach access points can be found on the easternmost section of the Loop along Lumina Drive, which may include parking, walkways to the shoreline, and / or public restrooms. Swing by Beach Access #29 for beach access with parking, or the Johnnie Mercer Pier, for a fun and sandy detour that’s just a couple blocks away from the Loop.

Tips and Tricks for Visiting the Loop at Wrightsville Beach

  • If you’re bringing a pet, be sure and bring along bags for waste! Not cleaning up after your pet can result in a $250 fine in the Town of Wrightsville Beach.
  • The Wrightsville Beach Park also holds a number of events throughout the year, such as outdoor movie nights or summer concerts. Check out the local events calendar at the Wrightsville Beach Parks and Recreation Dept. for info on upcoming happenings at this scenic park and venue.
  • Restrooms are located at the Wrightsville Beach Park as well, for visitors who need a quick break while en route on the Loop. Seasonal concessions and / or drinking fountains may also be available along the trail as well.
  • For ample parking, (especially close to the beach), be sure and arrive early. Local spots can fill up quickly in the summertime, even in less-populated areas like the parking lot close to Wrightsville Beach Park.

The Loop at Wrightsville Beach is a unique little component of this coastal town that’s virtually hidden in plain sight. Bypassing a number of popular landmarks and attractions, and featuring plenty of views that highlight the heart of the town, a walk, run, or stroll along the Loop presents an opportunity to explore Wrightsville Beach from the inside out.

Smithfield's Chicken N Bar-B-Q
Victory Beach Vacations

Victory Beach Vacations

Visitors who are on the hunt for the postcard-perfect vacation rental in the heart of the Carolina Beach or Kure Beach area will find an enticing selection and plenty of friendly customer service when they rent through Victory Beach Vacations. Based in Carolina Beach in the coastal Cape Fear region, Victory Beach Vacations has more than 100 vacation rentals in all shapes and sizes to ensure that every vacationing family can find their dream home away from home on the beach.   When you book your Cape Fear getaway with Victory Beach Vacations, the fun doesn’t end when you leave the beach, it continues with an array of privately-owned properties outfitted with all of the amenities needed for a fabulous beach vacation.   Jenna Lanier, General Manager, explains that her family first opened the rental and property management business in 2002. At the forefront of Victory Beach operations is Lanier’s mother, Caroline Meeks. Meeks is both the Broker in Charge and co-owner with husband, Buck Meeks, who manages the Field Services team with Lanier’s husband, Scott.   For nearly 20 years, the Victory Beach team has worked tirelessly to establish a network of top-of-the-line rental properties for Cape Fear visitors to enjoy. “As far as our properties go,” explains Lanier, “they are all updated, well-furnished and appointed. “We have always performed post-cleaning inspections and since the pandemic, have put freshly laundered duvets over all of the comforters between rentals.”   Lanier emphasizes how important the guests experience is “we strive to give our guests a relaxing, stress free, memorable vacation.” This emphasis on customer service has led to Victory Beach Vacations having a 4.8 Google rating with over 300 reviews by happy owners and guests.In addition to Victory Beach’s superior sanitation practices, the company offers properties for every type of visitor. Choose from luxury oceanfront houses and condos to more reasonbly priced 2nd row properties with oceanviews. Many properties include pools and hot tubs as well, perfect for outdoor entertaining, and many are dog friendly.   Lanier also notes that all properties are within walking or driving distance to Pleasure Island’s main attractions – Carolina Beach and Kure Beach. The former, as described by Lanier, is the more commercialized of the two destinations and features a boardwalk, outdoor dining options and a plethora of weekly activities including fireworks, live music, amusement park pop-ups, and movies under the stars. Kure Beach offers a more residential feel with its fishing pier, intimate restaurants and family favorite, North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher.More water fun awaits, too. “There is a harbor and a canal that feed into the intercoastal. We have several properties on the harbor so guests can bring their boat, kayak, [or jet ski] and travel between islands,” says Lanier.   A stay with Victory Beach Vacations is an annual pilgrimage for most. “A large percentage of guests are previous guests. Some even reserve the same property for the next year as they’re checking out,” Lanier says. “It’s almost like it’s their personal vacation home.”   Even before guests arrive at their vacation destination, the Victory Beach Vacations’ website greets them with a live beach cam and exquisite aerial footage of both Carolina and Kure Beaches. See for yourself by scanning the QR code and call Victory Beach Vacations at 910.458.0868 to book your Cape Fear getaway. Start making your memories today! —Grace Silipigni

Wrightsville Beach Fishing Guide
McLean Park