At A Glance
Once the largest city in NC, and the last major port to hold off Union troops during the Civil War, Wilmington is just a short drive to the beaches. It exudes history. Homes dating from the early 1800s are open for tours. Museums, shops, restaurants, and river boats are among a "must see" list of things to see and do.
Many historic homes are open for tours in downtown Wilmington. The Burgwin-Wright House (1770), the Latimer House (1852) and the Bellamy Mansion (1859) are just some of the establishments available for visitors. Call the Convention & Visitors Bureau for tour information. (910)341-4030.
Leisurely tour old Wilmington by horse & buggy. Bounce along its cobblestone streets just like folks did long ago.
Stop by the Railroad Museum and see why Wilmington was a busy hub again, long ago
The USS North Carolina proudly served in the Pacific during WWII with a crew of 2,339. The battleship earned 15 battle stars during her reign, participating in every major naval offensive. The North Carolina stands as a technological giant of her era and fortunately for us, most of her nine decks are open to the public for self-guided tours.
How About A Boat Ride?
Hop aboard the Maffitt River Taxi for a short jaunt to the Battleship. Or try a dinner cruise on the paddle-wheeler Henrietta III. Call 343-1611 for both vessels. For an inexpensive but great family experience ride the Ft. Fisher Ferry to historic Southport.
Shop Til You Drop
In the mid 19th century cotton was king and Wilmington was the largest port in NC. Today, the refurbished Cotton Exchange houses over thirty shops. From artists galleries to toy stores with everything in between. Convenient parking.
Chandlers Wharf on South Water Street offers a variety of shops. Visit the City Market where local artisans display their wares. Other nooks and crannies are worth a look-see. Visit Nautical Hangups and other fine shops in the Historic District.
A Touch Of Class
Weve got that, too! Thalian Hall, the oldest community theatre in the U.S. opened in 1855. Its classic architecture plays host to a continuous repertoire of entertainment from theatre presentations to concerts and award-winning foreign flicks.
St. Johns Museum of Art houses three centuries of NC masters. Stroll around the sculpture garden and enjoy art surrounded by natures beauty. The Cape Fear Museum features an ever-changing array of exhibits, ranging from hometown boy, Michael Jordan, to dinosaurs and blockade runners.
The Kids Are Driving You
Have no fear. Theres lots to do in the immediate area when those clouds roll in, or perhaps the suns too hot! Bowling alleys, movie theatres, a water park, miniature golf and lets not forget THE MALL are favorites of the terrible twos to the tormenting teens!
Worth a short trip is the NC Aquarium at Ft. Fisher, with hands-on exhibits and the recently opened Wilmington Childrens Museum on Market Street, featuring "learning by play."
Highlighting the year is the annual Azalea Festival with activities including home and garden tours, a 3-hour parade with Hollywood stars, Azalea Belles, plus lively marching bands. After the parade, Water Street turns into a spectacle of color with craftsmen, bands, dancers, great eats and just plain fun. Big name entertainment comes to town, along with the circus.
Usher in the holidays with Wrightsville Beachs own Holiday Flotilla with boats gaily lighted and crews creatively costumed. Topping off the evening, fireworks explode over Banks Channel. Held annually, the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
Want to catch a glimpse of that starlet? Well, you may have a chance as you visit the area. Next to LA and NY, Wilmington boasts the largest studio in the United States. Keep a look out and stay tuned. Screen Gems Studio is open for tours on 23rd Street.