They usually related the best things to do in Wilmington NC to the city’s past and waterways. For example, this area, which was discovered by Giovanni da Verrazano in 1524, has enough historical attractions to enjoy a vacation. From the 200-block Historic District, it includes treasures like the Bellamy House, to the Battleship North Carolina, which served in World War II.
The Best Things To Do In Wilmington, NC
The Atlantic Ocean and Cape Fear River are worth seeing and are at Wrightsville Beach or along the Riverwalk. Let’s take a roll at the fun things to do in Wilmington.
1. Enjoy Your Time at the Riverwalk
A stroll along Wilmington’s mile-long Riverwalk is a must-do on any visit to the city. This wooden boardwalk, which runs alongside the Cape Fear River. They line it with famous restaurants and bars, as well as stools and benches for resting and taking in the scenery.
- One visitor suggested taking a water taxi to the Battleship North Carolina after praising the Riverwalk’s views.
- The Riverwalk, according to another tourist, encapsulates the local atmosphere, from the scent of salty sea air to the surrounding heritage to the lively nightlife.
- Read more about fun things to do in Wilmington.
2. Do Not Forget To Visit The Historic District
The National Register of Historic Places lists the 230-plus blocks that makeup Wilmington’s historic district. Historic District includes everything from mansions to parks, as well as a slew of restaurants and stores.
- A guided tour is one of the best things to do Wilmington NC and the easiest places to see the district’s highlights.
- Haunted Wilmington and Wilmington Trolley Company are two operators recommended by travelers.
- If you’d rather take a self-guided tour, you can download the Wilmington.
- Tours app on your mobile, which features four tours, including one with a bar crawl theme and another with a Civil War theme.
3. Enjoy Sun Bathing At The Wrightsville Beach
We know Wrightsville Beach for its clean sands and tranquil atmosphere, according to recent visitors. They also praised the lifeguards, while some cautioned that the surf can be dangerous, especially in the hours following a storm.
- The beach is open all year and is free to use and it the best things to do in Wilmington. Beach Access 4, located at 2398 N. Lumina Ave., and Beach Access 36, at 650 S. Lumina Ave., are two of the main reserved parking lots along with the beach access points.
- Even then, it’s best to be there before 9 a.m. to avoid the crowds. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, lifeguards are on duty.
4. Enjoy The Best Of Nature at the Airlie Forest
The 67-acre Airlie Gardens in Wilmington are beautiful. The gardens include a butterfly house and a tangle of footpaths suitable for a stroll through the forests, as well as flora and fauna native to this part of North Carolina.
- A calendar of special activities adds to Airlie’s allure: for example, the gardens hold a month-long festival of lights in December, and there are concerts every other Friday in the summer.
- Airlie Gardens’ oak trees, according to a recent tourist, are among the most stunning she’s ever seen.
- Many visitors even consider visiting during the Christmas season, when the gardens deck out in twinkling lights.
5. Enjoy The History At The Battleship
When the Battleship North Carolina was launched in 1941. They dubbed it “the world’s greatest sea cannon,” and it proved to be just that by taking part in more than a dozen Pacific Ocean offensives during WWII.
- The ship was decommissioned in 1947 and was scheduled to be scrapped, but North Carolinians petitioned to have it restored as a museum, and we officially dedicated it in 1962.
- Visitors will also tour the ship while learning about the ship’s past and the history of its veterans. Know more below about things to do in Wilmington.
6. Hit The Museum
Dr. John Bellamy, one of the state’s major slaveholders, lived in this stately 1800s-era Greek Revival mansion. He lived with his wife and ten children from the mid-19th century until the mid-20th century.
- Today, informative tour guides offer visitors a history of the family, the architecture. The enslaved people served on the house which includes 22 houses, beautiful gardens, and restored slave quarters.
- According to historical sources, nine of Bellamy’s roughly 115 enslaved men, women, and children lived and worked on the farm.
- Visitors will visit the two-story brick slave quarters and the rest of the mansion.
7. Have a Look At The Mesmerising Grove Plantation
We sold locally sweet potatoes and peanuts harvested on the plantation to planter families to supplement the enslaved’s diet. Thanks to the farming expertise of the Gullah Geechee who served on the plantation.
- The enslaved people who worked on the plantation built the manor house tourists see today, besides their agricultural contributions.
- The three-story manor house was built in 1850 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
- Two heritage art studios (a basket gallery and a blacksmith shop) are also on-site, as well as an agriculture showcase featuring a peanut thrasher and details on peanut processing.
- Poplar Grove Plantation is one of North Carolina’s oldest peanut plantations, and it’s been open to the public as a museum since 1980.
- The plantation is on Topsail Sound Plank Road in Scotts Hill and commits to restoring and conserving the homestead of a prosperous farming family. It also highlights the workings of a traditional 19th century working society. Joseph Mumford Foy built it in the 1850s.
8. Visit the Hanover County
On the grounds of the New Hanover County Cooperative Extension Service, the New Hanover County Arboretum is a seven-acre arboretum.
- The arboretum which opened in 1989, now has over 30 parks, including verdant lawns, flowering plants, and bushes. It’s one of North Carolina’s largest water gardens, which is home to hundreds of multi-colored koi and catfish.
9. The Best Of Cape
The Cape Fear Museum, founded in 1898, is the state’s oldest history museum, devoted to collecting, preserving, and interpreting the history, research, and cultures of Lower Cape Fear.
- The museum houses a collection of over 50,000 objects gathered from all over Wilmington and exhibited in several educational exhibits and programs.
- On the first floor of the Museum, the Michael Jordan Discovery Gallery investigates the region’s wildlife. While in the lobby, the remains of a Giant Ground Sloth and a locally constructed Simmons Sea-skiff boat are on view.
10. Cameron Museum
The Cameron Art Museum opened in 1964 and is in historic downtown Wilmington. It houses a permanent exhibition of works by international and local artists from various disciplines.
- Annually, it also hosts many revolving exhibits of current historical interest.
- The museum is on the historic site of the crucial Civil War Battle of Forks Road, which saw the fall of Fort Fisher and marked the beginning of the Confederacy’s demise.
11. Wright House
A spectacle in Georgian architecture is the Burgwin-Wright House, which is open to the public as a museum property. Built about 1770, this house has various distinctive characteristics, which include rooms decorated with 18th to 19th-century antiques and a rarity of items enhancing visitor experiences.
- They included the house in the National Register of Historic Places.
- Splendid gardens, which include fig and pomegranate orchards, a manicured rose garden, and a fragrant kitchen garden full of herbs surrounded the house, providing tourists with a peaceful oasis in the city’s heart.
12. Masonboro Island Reserves
The island is the largest undeveloped barrier island along the southern portion of the North Carolina coast, and it is home to a variety of wetlands. It includes salt marshes and coastal forests, as well as tidal flats, ocean beaches, and rolling grasslands, which attract a variety of birds and wildlife.
- The pristine beaches are important breeding areas for loggerhead and green sea turtles, and the nutrient-rich waters of Masonboro Sound. This is a key to the aquatic nursery habitat for mullet, pompano, summer flounder, and bluefish.
- Masonboro Island is only accessible by boat and has a network of walking trails for tourists to discover.
13. Rail Museum
They devoted the Wilmington Railroad Museum to showcasing and documenting the heritage of railroading in the Southeast, with a special emphasis on the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, and it offers a fun and engaging experience for everyone.
- It is one of the best things to do in Wilmington NC. The museum, which opened in 1979, has several educational and immersive displays for visitors of all ages. Including a life-size caboose, boxcar, and century-old steam locomotive. Also includes running miniature model trains and a Thomas the Tank Train play area for kids.
These are the best things to do in Wilmington NC. You must visit all these places when traveling to Wilmington and enjoy a splendid vacation with your family.
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