Airlie draws upon the architecture and lifestyle traditions that have shaped our region. We aspire to create a vibrant community that delivers a fresh, modern take on the rich heritage of Wrightsville Sound.
From porches that invite neighbors to sit a spell to rear-entry alleys that prioritize people over cars, our community is designed to welcome friends and family at a leisurely pace. Mingle with the world, or retreat to your private haven to find relaxation and renewal.
Here, the ocean is never far, and the sweet sounds of nature are just outside your door. Located amid stately live oaks, lush gardens, and waterways, you’ll experience the best of Wrightsville Sound when you live at Airlie.
Gracious front porches. Authentic materials. Cobblestone streets and herringbone brick sidewalks. The thoughtful streetscape design connects the settlement era of yesteryear to a modern design sensibility.
Evolution of Wrightsville Sound
First settled in the 18th century, Wrighstville Sound has seen many changes. Once a farming, salt production, and timber hub, the area soon became a summer destination for prominent Wilmingtonians, including Pembroke Jones. Jones developed a 52-acre resort named "Airlie", after his ancestral Scottish home.
Pembroke and Sarah Jones —the owners of the Airlie summer estate — took a keen interest in the enhancement of their property’s natural settings. Their endeavors resulted in exquisite gardens, maintained through the ages and now open to the public for year-round enjoyment.
Early access to Wrightsville Sound was limited to sailing or traversing a dirt road via horse. That changed in 1875 when a turnpike was constructed to connect Wilmington and the Sound. Topped with oyster shells when completed, the road earned the nickname “Shell Road.” Now the 1.5-mile stretch that passes Airlie at Wrightsville Sound has been designated as a Scenic Byway due to its natural beauty and historical features.
Built by and for the residents of the area, many beautiful churches dot the Wrightsville Sound landscape. Lebanon Chapel, the oldest of these worship houses, was built on a 6-acre tract within the Airlie estate. The Sound’s largest churches all remain in operation today.