Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Great Walking Spots - South End Of Wrightsville Beach

I decided it was time for a new walking challenge.  Wrightsville Beach is great, but I do the loop so much that its becoming borderline boring, which meand I need to change the scenery a bit.  Sooo, I started out as normal at the Museum and Visitors Center, but after crossing the Banks Channel bridge, I took a hard right in front of Tower 7 and headed south - way south - final destination: Masonboro Inlet, also known as the South End.
The distance down (from the Visitors Center) is just under 3 miles and there are plenty of sidewalks along the way.  But of course, I prefer walking in the street and do most of the time.  Nothing like daring cars to run over me!  But with a speed limit of 15mph and lots of short one way streets, fast cars is definitely not a hazard.
Like many walking tours, you find all kinds of neat little things along the way, stuff you don't normally see in a car.  For example, way back in the dark ages, there used to be a Trolley that ran from Wilmington over to the beach and then down the island.  Though the system was discontinued many years ago, the trolley stops are now marked with plaques.
You also get a good look at all the contrasting architecture that Wrightsville has to offer.  Classic cottages next to multi-million dollar mansions and all kinds of unique landscaping including the house with the water running through an oriental garden.

 Further down you pass the South End Surf Shop, a new business that just opened in the summer.  It too has a bit of history, as the building that houses was built in 1941 and was for many years the Glenn Restaurant up until Hurricane Hazel devasted the building in 1954.

From there its only a few more blocks to the Southern Terminus of the Island - Masonboro Inlet.

So my entire route for you locals looks like this: Visitors Center to Tower 7 on the loop, then straight down to the South End, reverse course back to the loop at Tower 7, then continuing in the direction of Johnnie Mercers Pier and finally back to the Visitors Center. 

Total distance = 5.5 miles.

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