Living in central North Carolina, I have become spoiled by our close proximity to some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. I grew up visiting Topsail Island – a small, casual beach town that is somehow never crowded which is just perfect in my estimation. So any time Jonathan and I consider visiting the beach, we pretty much always default to Topsail, not to mention it’s only about a 2-2.5 hour drive from us.
As I said, Topsail is a smaller area that doesn’t have a ton of great lodging options unless you are renting a house for a full week with your family. Anywho, Jonathan and I were looking to take advantage of a few days he was expected to have off of work so we knew we wanted to find a beach rental for two nights because that’s what his schedule would allow. With covid still very prevalent, we found that many people were seeking beach vacations so many rentals were booked up and we had to expand our search a bit further than Topsail Island. Additionally, we had the inside scoop on a sweet Airbnb rental that was soon to become available in Wrightsville Beach.
In Raleigh, we have a local boutique hotel/bed and breakfast called Guest House. (Check them out if you ever visit Raleigh!) Jonathan and I stayed here for his birthday a couple of years ago and our experience was magnificent! Everything was so well thought out and the styling was to die for. We found out that the couple who owns Guest House was involved in this new Airbnb in Wrightsville and we immediately knew we should make the effort to visit. Luckily the timing worked out perfectly and we were able to book this rental for our getaway. It is our understanding that the couple who own this rental will be renovating several properties in Wrightsville Beach that will become available to rent. The series of rental properties is called the Wrightsville Beach Abodes and this first location is called The Sunsetter.
Jonathan and I were aware that my sister, Emily, was also itching for a beach getaway so we invited her to come with us and she couldn’t say no especially after seeing photos of The Sunsetter! We packed up the car on a Sunday in the middle of August and headed to the coast. It was a quick drive which was perfect because we were all eager to get to the shore. On our way in we stopped at a grocery store to pick up some things so we could have most meals covered without having to worry about going out since we were all cautious due to the pandemic. After a quick grocery stop, we met up with the Airbnb host who gave us some information as well as a parking pass for our stay, which was wonderful because parking on Wrightsville Beach can be a real pain.
We quickly unloaded and got settled into the rental. It came as no surprise that The Sunsetter was just as beautiful in person as it was in the photos. We truthfully could’ve spent 100% of our time relaxing in the space and it would have still been a great trip. The Sunsetter features a huge private patio that overlooks the sound and you guessed it, gives you perfect panoramic views of the sunset. After settling in, we scurried over to the beach to hang for a bit so we could still make it back in time to catch the sunset.
For convenience, we walked over to the nearest public beach access which was directly in the center of the Wrightsville area. Unfortunately, we found it to be way too crowded for our liking. It was nice to be on the beach but we knew we would want to check out other areas of the beach during our next few days. Regardless we were lucky enough to end the evening taking in the sights on the patio of The Sunsetter. We made a few of their signature cocktails (appropriately named The Sunsetter) and ordered dinner from a local Mexican restaurant which we enjoyed on the patio. It was a great start to our trip!
1 oz. Casamigos Mezcal
1 oz. Campari
1 oz. Martini + Rossi Rosso Vermouth
Orange peel garnish
We began the next day with some quick breakfast at the Airbnb complimented by an iced pour over. A huge draw to this rental for Jonathan and I was the provided coffee setup! Yes, I realize this may be odd criteria when searching for a vacation rental, but it is definitely something we consider because we travel with our own coffee gear so it made packing even easier this go round! The hosts provide guests with a Fellow Stagg electric kettle, Hario coffee dripper and server, Hario filters and scale, and two options of ground coffee from a local roaster called Casa Blanca. It was a nice touch and we thoroughly enjoyed taking advantage!
Feeling caffeinated and pumped for the day, we headed out to find our perfect spot on the beach. After seeing the central part of Wrightsville the previous day, we decided to drive south in hopes of finding a less crowded area. We drove about 5 minutes before we hit the edge of the island. There was very limited parking available so we turned around and drove as far north as possible which was only another 10 minutes driving. We were able to find a public beach access with metered parking so we snagged a spot hoping for the best. We approached the shore and it was stunning. The shore was so wide and vast and the best part – it was much more calm and far less crowded! We soaked up the sun and sea for a few hours before returning to the Airbnb for some lunch.
Since The Sunsetter only came equipped with a kitchenette, we shopped for groceries accordingly and planned for a simple charcuterie for lunch. It was tasty and there was wine. What more could we have asked for?
After lunch and another coffee pick me up, we returned to the same spot on the beach to enjoy the rest of the afternoon. It was lovely and exactly what we were hoping for.
Knowing we would only be able to stay on the beach a few hours the next day before having to depart, we were torn between maxing our time on the beach and getting back to enjoy another evening on the patio. We stayed until the sun was setting and knew the views on the patio would be too good to miss! We gathered our things and quickly returned to The Sunsetter. It was another beautiful night of listening to Khruangbin and basking in the glory of the pastel sunset, only this time we were accompanied by rosé and some delicious takeout from a local restaurant called Big Thai.
We woke the next morning and lingered as long as possible before having to depart The Sunsetter one last time. It was a wonderful stay in the beautiful Airbnb and I have a feeling we will be returning in the future. In an effort to maximize our trip, we decided to stick around and hit up the south end of the beach for a while before returning home. We lucked out and found metered parking. Additionally, a kind stranger had a day-long parking pass that they were no longer using so they passed it on to us out of the goodness of their hearts! It was like icing on the cake. We enjoyed a few hours on the shore where the ocean and sound met. We reluctantly packed up in the middle of the afternoon and began our trek home. But not without an obligatory stop for coffee before leaving town.
We enjoyed the Casa Blanca coffee the host provided at the rental so we wanted to check out their coffee shop. We got a variety of drinks and all of them were on point. Not to mention the interior of the shop was so cute. It made us all long for pre-covid when we could sit and enjoy the coffee shop atmosphere for hours on end. But alas, we needed to hit the road so we took our tasty drinks to-go.
Our two and a half day trip was over far too soon but we had a surprisingly wonderful time considering we are diehard Topsail Island fans. This trip may have just convinced us that Wrightsville Beach is worthy of our return!