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Best explored by riverboat, horse-drawn carriage, trolley, Segway or on foot, the city's 230-block historic district is a treasure trove of cobblestone walkways, fishing piers, a scenic river walk, fine old homes and ancient cemeteries.
For those who can’t get enough of the great outdoors, the beaches of Wilmington and its island beaches (Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach) are hot spots for sailing, scuba diving, surfing and kite boarding. If you prefer to stay dry, hike a nature trail or discover a new favorite plant at the New Hanover County Arboretum, 6206 Oleander Dr. It has an array of exhibits designed to educate visitors about horticulture; phone (910) 798-7660.

In spring the North Carolina Azalea Festival celebrates Wilmington's past and present with art, concerts, a parade, garden tours and a circus. Wilmington Riverfest, held the first or second weekend in October, draws crowds with art and craft displays, fireworks and children's entertainment. And movie buffs won't want to miss the Cucalorus Film Festival in November.

Visitor Centers

Wilmington and Beaches Convention & Visitors Bureau 505 Nutt St., Unit A Wilmington, NC 28401. Phone:(910)341-4030 or (877)406-2356


A shopping spree in downtown Wilmington might make you feel as if you’ve stepped back into the 1940s and ‘50s. The renovated Cotton Exchange and Chandler's Wharf both contain boutiques and restaurants, and there are numerous antique shops. The Riverfront Farmers' Market features fresh produce from local growers as well as baked goods, flowers and crafts. The market, along North Water Street at Riverfront Park, is open Saturday mornings mid-April to late November.

Things to Do

Airlie Gardens

Battleship North Carolina

Bellamy Mansion Museum of History and Design Arts

Burgwin-Wright House and Gardens

Cameron Art Museum

Cape Fear Museum

Cape Fear Riverboats

The Children's Museum of Wilmington

Greenfield Lake Park

Poplar Grove Historic Plantation

St. James Episcopal Church

Thalian Hall

Tregembo Animal Park

Wilmington Railroad Museum

Wilmington Trolley

Zebulon Latimer House

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