You heard me. Not the time, the tide.
So imagine a place where time is told by the schedule of the tide and the air is salty but never too cold to surf. Well imagination is reality for residents of Wrightsville Beach, NC and instead of ticking clocks, some wear waterproof watches to tell them of prime boating hours and the highs and lows of the tide.
Wrightsville Beach is my (second) home and steals my heart as soon as I cross the bridge over the intercostal waterway. Ticking clocks beat to the rising and setting sun while people congregate around water sports, local eats and good conversation. Runners, dogs and skateboards flood the sidewalks around the loop and to the tips of the North and South End until they kick off their shoes to trace the shores of the island.
I imagine a majority of people thrive in fast-paced environments where energy and diversity flourish into high-rises, trendy restaurants and grandeur. Don’t get me wrong, I am one of many who is fascinated by this complexity and speed but there are times when I would rather have the silence of the ocean, a starry sky or the familiarity of everyone around me. These realizations take me back to a place known for southern hospitality, spectacular views, and relaxed vibes. Wrightsville Beach offers more than a July 4th on Masonboro Island or fish tacos at Tower 7 (although these are longstanding traditions).
To give you a sense of a day in Wrightsville, I have broken down a schedule by the tide today while including some of my favorite things to do to maximize land and sea.
Midmorning: Join the parade of activity along the loop with your dog, a friend or your headphones and enjoy the scenic route over the waterway, along Lumina and under the shaded stretch to the park.
High Tide (10:00am): The moment your fishing rods have been waiting for and the prime moment to reel in a great catch. Timing is everything but finding the right place is kept secret and remains sacred to those who are successful.
Hungry?? Well you should be if you have accomplished the morning agenda above. Luckily everything around the beach is fresh, local and within biking distance. Mexican food, ahi tuna or fish tacos are simmering daily and can be found in any of the charming or breathtaking views of each business.
Low Tide (4:00pm): Bike to the South End and surf the waves while the tide is low and the beach is big. Then dry off and savor a brew from The Post while watching the sunset from above.
Sunset (6:01pm): When you just can’t get enough of the marvels of nature, don’t worry, there is enough island and water to take your breath away. Continue perusing down to South End and head to the beach for one last glimpse of that warm cast of daylight over the stone and forceful waves.
Evening: Something I love about this place is the mosaic of people and lifestyles it attracts. While everyone shares a common love for outdoors and the beach, when the sun goes down, the island breathes optimism and simplicity in any shape or fancy. You may choose to skate along beach bars to a the sounds of guitars, chatter, and beer bottles or you may want to retreat to the waterfront porch views for a tall glass of wine and fresh catch.
While evening is interpreted differently by everyone, in Wrightsville it is commonly understood as the perfect time to unwind, trace the stars in the sky and sink into relaxation until the evening is greeted by sun.
No matter what schedule you choose, bliss will accompany you in each small moment where the time and tide collide.