The evidence of day trippers can be seen in packed parking lots at Wrightsville Beach. "You can just tell that the areas that were somewhat sparse are now filling up," said Mayor Steve Whalen. Taking a day trip may be the new trend in cutting down on expenses, without foregoing family fun. Angela Huggins took a day trip to Wrightsville Beach, from Raleigh. "It's just an easy drive from Raleigh for the day and you don't have to worry about hotels and the expenses and bringing all the food and everything for a week," she said. "You can just come for the day and enjoy it and come back home." Town officials say beaches are still packed everyday of the week, but revenue from the room occupancy tax from hotels and rental properties is down. What is up - is parking meter revenue. Mayor Whalen says that's an indicator that people may be leaving the beach at sunset, instead of parking for the night at a hotel. Many say a day trip is a small but effective way to leave all the hassles of everyday life behind. "We got our vacation cut this year, pay cuts and everything else so we are tuning down the family vacation this year," said David Nicklaw, who visited Wrightsville Beach from Boone. You may not be able to clear the calendar for a week anymore.. but you might want to try it for a day. Visitors say the water, recreation, good food and shops will keep them coming to Wrightsville Beach. A lot of them agreed that they can only afford to stay for a day.
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