Located at the foot of the Wrightsville Beach drawbridge on historic Airlie Road, The Bridge Tender Restaurant features the finest steaks and seafood with a spectacular panoramic view of the Intracoastal Waterway. Since 1976, this fine casual-dining establishment has earned its reputation for excellence through careful attention to detail, unparalleled cuisine...more about The Bridge Tender Restaurant
Wrightsville Beach, and Figure Eight Island, NC, with world-class beaches, watersports galore, family and tourist attractions and great year-round weather, are the perfect places to visit or live. Offering residential character and beautiful natural life, the 5-mile-long island has been a retreat from the summer heat for more than a century.
When you cross the bridge on Eastwood Road, enjoy the drive over the Intracoastal Waterway and leave your cares on the mainland. Incorporated in 1899, Wrightsville Beach has long been known as a place to rejuvenate and rest. This pristine island offers little in the way of gaudy tourist attractions. Instead, you'll find miles of sand and sparking surf and plenty of water to swim, kayak, paddleboard, or fish in. Wrightsville Beach is a place for beachcombing, for swimming, for building sand castles, for surfing, for sun worshipping, for looking for dolphins offshore, and kayaking the marshes while looking for native birds. It's also a place to be active and as you drive onto the island you'll ntoice plenty of people running, jogging, biking, pushing strollers, walking their dogs, and generally enjoying the feeling of being outdoors in this beautiful location. Once on the island, you'll feel time slow down. The main attractions here are the sand and surf, and they will keep you busy for weeks on end.
Curious about the island's past? Stop in at the Wrightsville Beach Museum by driving over the bridge and bearing to the left at the Wrightsville Beach Sign and taking the second right on W. Salisbury Street. This museum offers a delightful look into the area's history. Housed in Myers Cottage, one of the oldest cottages on the island, the museum highlights beach history and lifestyles. While you're here, take some time to leave your car and walk or jog The Loop, the 2.45 mile circuit sidewalk locals love — your body will thank you for it! Also nearby you'll find the Wrightsville Beach Park, with its tennis courts, basketball courts, soccer field, and top-rate children's playground. The park is home to a variety of special activities from summer concerts to festivals throughout the year and they offer yoga, pilates, and other exercise classes inside.
If it's adventure you're looking for, you'll find plenty on the island. Check out Cape Fear Paddleboarding for stand-up paddleboarding lessons, tours, and fitness classes. Or maybe you'd like to rent a kayak, a jet ski, or a boat. The area offers luxurious marinas along the Intracoastal Waterway, and charter boats, both power and sail, in abundance. Watersports such as diving, paddleboarding, kite surfing, kayaking, surfing and sailing are there for the asking. Ample advice on inshore and offshore fishing is easy to find. Visit Wrightsville Beach Jet Ski Rentals or the Hook, Line, and Paddle Canoe and Kayak Outfitters location across from the Blockade Runner on Wrightsville Beach and at the Yacht Club at Figure Eight Island. Hook, Line, and Paddle also books tours with their master teachers so you can explore the waters under the guidance of an experienced boater. Kayak to secluded Masonboro Island for a taste of what life on Wrightsville Beach might have been like before development. Getting out on the water is an amazing way to explore the island and offers a chance to see native wildlife and aquatic life. If fishing is more your speed, look into one of the many charter fishing companies in the area. A trip to the area wouldn't be complete without a stop at the Johnnie Mercer's Pier. General fishing on this pier, which stands 25 feet above sea level, is $8 per rod, and walk-on admission is an affordable $1.50 for adults and 75 cents for children under 12.
Along the beach, you'll find a wonderful selection of vacation rentals, hotels and resorts for every price range and vacation type. If you are looking for a romantic weekend getaway, a summer vacation retreat for the family, a memorable spot for your wedding or just the right surf break, this charming island delivers. You'll also find public beach accesses with parking along the way. Just don't forget to pay for parking.
Restaurants are plentiful on this little island and you could eat out and be happy every meal for a week's vacation or more. From cafes to pizza shops to fine dining, you'll find it all and within easy reach. Take a stroll down Lumina Avenue and stop in at King Neptune's Restaurant for affordable fresh seafood or 22 North for delicious seafood with French, Creole, and Southern influences. You'll find plenty of shopping and nightlife on Lumina Avenue as well.
Back near the bridge, Motts Channel Seafood offers the best high-quality local seafood for you to cook up in your own kitchen as well as advice on how to serve it. The area farmer's market on Mondays is a great way to stock up on local produce and baked goods. Memorable meals on the island include a moonlight dinner on the pier at the Oceanic and lunch watching the boats on the Intracoastal at the Bluewater Waterfront Grill.
Annual events are another draw to the area. The NC Holiday Flortilla attracts tourists from up and down the coast. Other events from fishing and surf tournaments to the Sounds of Summer Concert series at the Wrightsville Beach Park are great fun for all ages.
Figure Eight Island
Figure Eight Island is an exclusive, residential, oceanfront resort community just north of Wrightsville Beach. While there are no commercial enterprises on the island, you'll find plenty of watersports, biking, tennis, and beachcombing. Figure Eight Island is known for drawing celebrities from around the world to its uncrowded beaches and quiet coastal living. For rental information, please see our Vacation Rentals section.