As I looked at my calendar today, I had the sudden realization that I only have 5 precious days of free parking on Wrightsville Beach left before March arrives. YIKES. Oh the lovely days of casual stress free visits are slipping past fast! Then again, I am looking forward to the warmer spring sunshine that makes walking on the beach more pleasant.
Fortunately, we don’t have to pay to park if we just want to have that sunrise walk on Wrightsville Beach. Paid parking starts at 9:00 AM. March 1st ends our free parking after 9:00 AM. This continues on until October 31 for EVERY DAY of the WEEK!!
If you travel into visit Wrightsville Beach and wonder how to get to the beach, you will find 43 different beach accesses. The town of Wrightsville Beach has a map that shows us how to find each access. Some of these have parking lot spaces and some do not. Some of them even have facilities that make the access very convenient. These accesses with parking and facilities make great meet up locations for family photography sessions. Public Beach Access #2 is one of those.
As you head to the north end of Wrightsville Beach you can see Shell Island Resort towering at the end. But just before the resort lies Public Beach access #2. The parking lot only has space for 30 cars with two spaces for handicap accessibility. I like this access because it also has a facility, a ramp, and even an outdoor shower where you can rinse the sand off your feet before getting back into the car! Score!
Public Access #3 has 28 spaces, a ramp up the beach and a facility. From a distance you’d think it had more parking space available than access two, but that’s not true. Access #2 just has a tighter location making it a bit more difficult to pull in and out.
From the parking at access #2 you can walk to beach access 1 on the other side of Shell Island Resort. You’ll find ropes that section off areas that protect the waterbird nesting foraging areas. The signs also warn to stay off the intertidal shoals, nevertheless people sometimes walk about during low tide on the paths that criss cross through the marshes.
Wrightsville Beach has a newly built pavillion with facilities on East Salisbury Street in a very convenient location by Johnny Mercers Pier and the Beach Shoppe contributing to its appeal. I enjoy this beach access #16 only during the off season when it’s not so crowded. Come summer, it will be too hard to find parking!
On the opposite of the island, toward the south, lies beach access #42, #43, and #44. I love this access as you can easily walk from the beach front by the South End Jetty or to the opposite side by the waterway. This end of the beach gives us accessible paths through the sand dunes that make some great landscape for portraits if the sunlight doesn’t beat down too harshly. You can catch both a great sunrise and sunset from this end of the island.
The jetty is beautiful to watch the waves coming over it, I don’t photograph people walking on the jetty. It’s far too dangerous, in my opinion. I’ve included a link here for more information. The history of the jetty is interesting.
Near the south end sits the Oceanic Restaurant. Beach Access #36 sits just north of it with a path toward a public parking lot with facilities. I like this location because you have some conveniences for eating and shopping while visiting the beach.
When we want to take photos walking around the LOOP sometimes the best parking lies at the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History or the Park by the Municipal Complex. Expensive but very convenient because you can cut straight across from Salisbury Street to the Causeway by walking through the park with the convenience of facilities along the way. I appreciate this convenience for getting portraits with the centered marshes on Harbor Island in the background or standing in front of the history museum with its vintage beach appeal.
Interested in setting up a photo session for your family at the beach? Please contact me.