Boat Tour to Masonboro Island, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

Boat Tour to Masonboro Island from Wrightsville Beach

There are so many wonderful outdoor adventure opportunities in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. During our early spring visit, it was a bit too windy to go SUPing or kayaking, or to try surfing for the first time. The perfect compromise? Taking a boat tour to Masonboro Island with Wrightsville Beach Scenic Tours. Our agenda for the afternoon was to walk the nature trail and explore the beach. It doesn’t get much better than that!

Boat Tour to Masonboro Island, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

Our boat was conveniently located directly across the street from our hotel, Blockade Runner Beach Resort, and boarding was set for 12:15 p.m. When we arrived, we jumped in the pontoon boat and settled in for a scenic ride to the island.

We glided past marinas, beautiful homes complete with boats docked out front, marsh grass swaying in the wind, and sprawling white beaches. Throughout the boat ride, our captain told us stories and facts about the area and was able to answer questions from our group. We learned about the wildlife on the island, the island’s ecosystems, and the development of surrounding areas, and he gave us tips for which types of activities to pursue on the island.

Boat Tour to Masonboro Island, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

Masonboro Island Reserve is an undisturbed barrier island located just south of Wrightsville Beach in southern North Carolina. Reachable only by boat, the island is 8.4 miles long, and 87 percent of the island is covered in marsh and tidal flats.

Boat Tour to Masonboro Island, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

Boat Tour to Masonboro Island, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

The island offers a wide variety of activities. Visitors can walk the nature trail, go shelling or fishing, camp overnight, surf, picnic, have a beach day, and more. There is even a chance to spot rare birds and sea turtles, because Masonboro Island is a nesting area for green sea turtles and loggerheads.

Boat Tour to Masonboro Island, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

We were able to explore the island for about a half-hour. The boat pulls right up onto the shore, but our feet did get a tiny bit wet as we got off the boat. It’s a good idea to wear shoes that you don’t mind getting wet! If you take the shuttle out to the island, you can opt to spend the entire day there. We had a jam-packed schedule for the rest of the day and were short on time, so we were excited that we could squeeze in a short visit.

Boat Tour to Masonboro Island, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

During our visit, we wandered along a portion of the nature trail and soaked up the beautiful ocean views. The boat drops you off on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway side of the island, and we walked the path through the grass and sand dunes to the ocean side. The soft white sand, bright blue ocean, abundance of shells, and lack of crowds made the island feel like a quiet retreat. Sitting on the sand with the wind blowing the salty ocean air all around us gave us a much-needed break. Though we were on the island for only a short period of time, it was enough to feel reconnected with nature.

Boat Tour to Masonboro Island, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

Boat Tour to Masonboro Island, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

Boat Tour to Masonboro Island, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

We had lots of peace and quiet during our visit, but do note that the island can get busy in the summer and especially during holidays, such as Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and Labor Day.

Boat Tour to Masonboro Island, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

Spending an entire day out on the island will require some supplies, because there are no facilities. Bring a cooler stocked with food and drinks, sunscreen, towels, something to shade yourself with, and basically anything else you would want for a day at the beach. Dogs are welcome on the island, so feel free to bring your furry friend along for the ride, too!

Boat Tour to Masonboro Island, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

If you decide to make the trip to Masonboro Island, be respectful of the natural surroundings and wildlife. Remember to clean up after yourself and take your trash with you to keep the island clean and wildlife safe, so the island can be enjoyed for many years to come.

Boat Tour to Masonboro Island, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

Boat Tour to Masonboro Island, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

In addition to island shuttles, Wrightsville Beach Scenic Tours offers tours revolving around birding, fishing, sunset cruises, harbor cruises, a variety of guided nature tours, and more. It also hosts a variety of special events throughout the year, so there is sure to be a tour for everyone. Next time we visit Wrightsville Beach, we are definitely going to plan a longer visit to Masonboro Island, and we can’t wait!

Boat Tour to Masonboro Island, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

We visited Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, as part of a content project. Special thanks to Travel Mindset and Visit Wrightsville Beach for hosting us on our adventures. As always, all opinions are our own.

 

26 Comments
  • Ryan Biddulph
    Posted at 03:36h, 29 April Reply

    Look at those peaceful waters Jenna! Definitely worth a nice boat tour. My cousin moved to North Carolina recently and is definitely enjoying the beach scene with his friends and family. I’ll be letting him know about this for sure. Thanks for sharing with us 🙂

    Ryan

  • Danila Caputo
    Posted at 04:39h, 29 April Reply

    We have visited the USA often but never North Carolina and we had no idea there are such beautiful beaches, WOW! The Masonboro Island reserve is right up our alley, it’s beautiful, quiet and we could definitely spend a whole day there. Were you lucky enough to spot sea turtles?

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 00:50h, 30 April Reply

      I know! I was surprised at how pretty the beaches were there, too. We loved them! Unfortunately no, we didn’t spot any sea turtles–would have loved to see some though as we love turtles!
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…A Weekend Exploring Wilmington, North CarolinaMy Profile

  • Lindsay Nieminen
    Twitter:
    Posted at 09:59h, 29 April Reply

    Wow! That sand! I haven’t spent enough time on the East coast! I had no idea the sand looked like a tropical paradise! I love the idea of visiting on the off season to have the beach to yourself! Thanks for the packing tips, when I visit NC I would love to check out Wrightsville Beach!
    Lindsay Nieminen recently posted…Tofino Campgrounds and Camping InformationMy Profile

  • Cat
    Posted at 16:40h, 29 April Reply

    What a beautiful paradise! I had no idea North Carolina has such beautiful white-sand beaches. It doesn’t seem too crowded as well! I would love to go on a guided nature tour there, or even a sunset cruise!

  • Medha Verma
    Posted at 01:11h, 30 April Reply

    I don’t see many people there apart from you so I guess that’s a big positive! So cool that you can bring your dogs to the island. The nature trail looks pretty cool, with those views. I bet a 30-minute stopover wasn’t enough!

  • Kirstie Saldo
    Posted at 08:28h, 30 April Reply

    This looks like a really peaceful beach and I love that it isn’t crowded!! As a beach lover myself, I also love that you reminded people to clean up and take their trash with them. All tourists should keep this in mind!

  • Vanessa Workman
    Posted at 11:06h, 30 April Reply

    Looks beautiful there! Reminds me of the National Seashores near my hometown of Pensacola, Florida. I’d forgotten that parts of the east coast have such fabulous, white sand beaches.

  • Karla
    Twitter:
    Posted at 01:34h, 01 May Reply

    This looks very peaceful and beautiful. Definitely a place worth to visit. I would also do that nature trail for sure. How busy does iit get during the summer. I hope there’s still some space for relaxation though.

  • Siddhartha Joshi
    Posted at 20:25h, 01 May Reply

    Wow! I loved the beaches – the lovely sand, the deep blues…so so inviting! The boat tour to Masonboro Island is certainly worth doing, not only on a windy day, but for it’s own experience…

    I know so little about North Carolina…thanks for sharing stories of these gems 🙂

  • Ami Bhat
    Posted at 12:09h, 02 May Reply

    It almost seems like a private beach with no crowds. And quite prisitne too. There seems to be enough to do. For one, I would love to visit one of those turtle nesting centers. Can you scuba here? If so, that would be like five stars !
    Ami Bhat recently posted…The Majestic Winter Capital of Bhutan – Punakha DzongMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 02:17h, 23 May Reply

      Yeah it really did feel like a private beach when we were there! Not sure about scuba diving–I know you can dive some spots around Wrightsville Beach, but I’m not exactly sure where those locations are. Would be really cool if you could!
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…Flying Over Glaciers on a Scenic Plane Tour in AlaskaMy Profile

  • Joanne
    Posted at 03:21h, 17 May Reply

    Honestly, I’ve never been to North Carolina before, but it’s definitely on my list! This looked like such a fun to experience for!

  • Gioko Pat
    Posted at 13:50h, 27 May Reply

    Nice pictures. But this one looks a bit deserted, a lovely place to go when wants some solitude and alone time. You have made this article very informative.
    Gioko Pat recently posted…Best Places for Snorkeling and Scuba Diving in ThailandMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 03:17h, 08 June Reply

      Yeah, it was definitely a peaceful spot when we visited, which was great because it’s just what we needed! It does get busier during the summer and on weekends though so if you want more action those times would give you a better chance!
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…Flying Over Glaciers on a Scenic Plane Tour in AlaskaMy Profile

  • Jon Harrison
    Posted at 00:47h, 25 June Reply

    It such a wonderful place to spend so much time here. It sounds so cool and peaceful. The atmosphere on the beach looks so beautiful. I will go there with my husband next month. Thanks for sharing this interesting information.

Post A Comment

CommentLuv badge