Day Trip to Wilmington

Wilmington, North Carolina

A trip to Wilmington, North Carolina is so much more than a trip to the beach. The area’s rich history dates back to the 1700’s, when is was settled by the English. It was a major base during the Civil War for Confederate blockade runners and was captured in February of 1865 by the Union soldiers. Most of the skirmishes during the war happened outside the city, so much of it’s rich architecture still survives, all of which makes a trip to this southern paradise fun and educational.

Wilmington has one of the largest historic districts in the state. It’s downtown historic riverfront area boasts blocks of trendy shops, galleries, and restaurants that occupy the old warehouses and buildings. The stern wheel paddle boat, The Henrietta III, is docked by the Hilton on N. Water St. A scenic cruise on the Cape Fear River will include dinner and dancing in heated or air conditioned comfort, or you can take a 90 minute narrated cruise of the city, or a lunch cruise . The Green Room at Hotel du Pont is a tasty splurge on North Market Street. Crisp white linens, fresh flowers and dark wood make this a very posh place to dine.

There is plenty of seafood with Deep Blue on West 11th Street and Harry’s Seafood Grill on South Market Street, both offering a plethora of oysters to eat. Hours will be lost viewing all the works of art in the many galleries in the historic district. Between all the antique stores, trendy fun shops and art galleries your shopping dreams will come true. A wonderful afternoon of window shopping and then a great seafood dinner is a great way to spend the day.

Family Activities in Wilmington

If you don’t like to shop there are so many activities available. A guided walking adventure tour is a great way to see the city. There are several walking tours through the historic district as well as ghost walks through the city at night, which are always a fun adventure. Museums are in abundance here. You can tour old antebellum mansions and plantations (Poplar Grove Plantation or Bellamy Mansion) or spend the afternoon on the Battleship North Carolina. The sun reflecting off the decks and the close quarters as well as the skinny staircases will put you right into battle at sea. A tour of this great battleship will show just what it’s like to live and work on one these great ships.

Then visit the Cape Fear Museum that showcases the natural and overall history of the area, as well as 2 art museums and the Wilmington Railroad Museum. The Children’s Museum of Wilmington is one the best around. It’s a great way to spend time with your kids exploring seven exhibits, an outdoor courtyard, secret garden and a nifty gift shop. It has well over 17,000 square feet of exploration. These are all great options for the curious with many fantastic places to explore and learn for any age.

There are so many diverse activities here that you won’t get bored. Wilmington has become known as a Hollywood east. You can take a tour of North Carolina Studios where several films like “A Walk To Remember” and “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood” have been produced, as well as the television series’ Dawson’s Creek and One Tree Hill., so you may feel you already know the area.

Wilmington is really an artistic paradise. Besides the films made and the many artists here, this is the place where the county’s first community theatre was founded, Thalian Hall. The first theatre on this site was built in 1806 and was demolished for the present structure in 1855. The theatre now has performances that range from Second City to Flamenco Dancers.

A trip to this city will not disappoint. It will surely be filled with countless adventure, fun shopping, tasty meals and a great deal of history. Don’t miss this wonderful North Carolina city on your adventures through our state.


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