Face it. The shovel and sand pail can only keep little ones occupied for so long. And though tweens and teens are often perfectly content to bury themselves in their phones, that's not what bonding and spending time together as a family on vacation should be about.
Instead of heading to the same beach -- and back to the same vacation routine -- try a different coastal destination this year where kids of all ages are guaranteed to stay active and engaged with the family.
Wrightsville Beach offers dozens of kid-friendly activities, including surf lessons and treasure hunts, that all make for an exciting vacation.
A guaranteed way to keep kids from getting bored: book a resort that caters to kiddos. Sandcampers Kid's Club at the Blockade Runner Beach Resort keeps younger guests entertained with programs that include animal encounters and daily themed camps during summer months. KidsClub at the Holiday Inn Resort Wrightsville Beach has a specific theme each day involving crafts, games, and dinner and a movie.
Named one of the world's best surf spots and among the "Last Best American Beach Towns" by National Geographic, Wrightsville Beach is home to some of the most fun and family-friendly watersports around. Best of all, beginners are always welcome!
Learn how to ride the waves during surf lessons suitable for all ages. Or bring the whole family for a paddleboard lesson on the scenic Intracoastal Waterway. If seated exploration is more your style, glide through the island’s salt marshes on a kayak tour, and catch a glimpse of pelicans and other sea creatures in their natural habitats.
Take your little pirates on an adventure they'll never forget with a pirate-themed tour of nearby Masonboro Island. Imagine a "real life" pirate singing songs, telling stories and leading starry-eyed kids on a treasure hunt around the same island where the legendary Captain Kidd is said to have buried his booty. Using an authentic treasure map, kids can comb the island in hopes of discovering the treasure (spoiler alert: it gets found!).
For families with aspiring marine biologists in tow, there are several programs offered throughout the year that give teens a chance to get up close and personal with a variety of marine life unique to southeastern North Carolina. Campers have fun while gaining a new appreciation for the beach’s coastal environment.
Younger visitors can check out Touch Tank Tuesday at the Coastal Education Center where they'll learn firsthand about critters found in the local waters, like blue crabs, sea urchins, starfish, and sea squirts.
5. Casting Call
Fishing is one sport that never gets old. At Wrightsville Beach, there are dozens of charter companies for inshore, near-shore and offshore trips for families of all skill levels. Experienced boat captains can show anglers young and old how to cast a net, find bait, and cast a line in hopes of reeling in some of the area’s best catches.
With an abundance of outdoor activities, miles of spacious, clean beach, as well as full-service hotels, resorts, and plenty of rental options, everything families need for an exciting -- and engaging -- beach vacation can be found right on the island.
This story was written for our sponsor, Wrightsville Beach, NC.