There’s some wonderful beach running in Wilmington. The most popular is Wrightsville Beach, located 6 miles east of downtown. The 4-mile beach, known for its surf, is fairly wide and has good, compact sand for running. It’s 4 miles between the breaks. Shell Island is at the north end, and a jetty is at the south end.
There are additional beaches to the north and south of Wrightsville — they’re less developed and are wonderful for exploring (and running!). See especially our route in Carolina State Park.
Add-Ons/Variety: Some fun running on the beach-y side streets off the beach. Also the bridge leading to the beach has a nice lane for pedestrians and good views. The side streets right off the bridge have some nice homes and occasional water views.