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After Hurricane Florence the beach condo received extensive flooding, it’s still standing but needs a renovation – should be open for 2019 summer. The coffee shop was opened by a local couple who have two children (Bitty and Beau) with Down Syndrome. That’s right; little old Wilmington is home to a considerable amount of film productions over the years. You can play tourist, relax with a book on the beach, or dine waterfront. Wow, Wilmington sounds awesome! Unlike some of the mega aquariums around the United States, the Fort Fisher aquarium is a real research center and not a cash cow. Also, they have one of the few H&Ms in the state of North Carolina. I find it to be a bit cleaner and less crowded than Carolina – especially during the summer months. Most of the ones we love are in the spring and summer, but there is something to do almost every weekend. Cameron’s family runs a few Airbnb’s in Carolina Beach. It’s very fun! In search of a different lifestyle in the South and a college degree. Thanks for sharing with us. Movie making in North Carolina was much larger while we lived in Wilmington. There are two places to play organized beach volleyball in Wilmington. That’s right – downtown Wilmington still runs modified trolleys through town. It’s almost always cover bands, so you know what you’re getting into ahead of time. If you’re a responsible credit card user, I highly recommend looking at these travel rewards credit cards and earning points and miles for your purchases. Check out “The Loop” at Wrightsville Beach. Masonboro is popular destination for locals and is known for a huge party scene during summer holidays. Besides that, we like to come here and enjoy a hike through the woods beneath the fantastic trees. For many who come to the coastal town, they have one thing on their mind – fishing. How do we travel so much and avoid going broke? So many fun things to do! Free Things to Do in Wilmington NC. Thirsty Thursdays are the best time to watch. Eat local…we truly have some awesome fare!!! We’ve spent a good bit of time in NC but never made it to Wilmington. You can get spooked on a Ghost Walk of Old Wilmington. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. USS North Carolina (BB-55) is the lead ship of the pair of North Carolina-class battleships and docked right in Wilmington, NC. It sounds fantastic, the perfect place for a family holiday! Airlie Gardens a 67-acre botanical garden on the way to Wrightsville Beach. We love it!! Little Dipper is a locally owned fondue restaurant with an intimate setting. Teams from all levels play in leagues, and the place can get pretty competitive on the nights with higher league play. Maybe we will need to organize a family trip there in the near future with our kids! It’s here that you can also meet the rare albino alligator named Luna and a rescued bald eagle named Maverick. When I lived in Myrtle Beach many years ago, we would occasionally drive up to Wilmington for a day. I also believe in choosing more experiences and less things. We both very much consider ourselves locals, and that’s why it pains me to see vacationers here doing the same few things day after day. I Googled “Universities on the beach,” and the rest was history. What did you do and did you love it as much as I do? There is a boat ramp at Federal Point – adjacent to the Zeke’s Island site to launch from. But if you’re looking for a quieter option, check out Greenfield Park, Ogden Park, or Halyburton Park. The  John Nesbitt Loop, or “The Loop” as referred to by locals is the perfect 2.5-mile running path around the beach. But my BIG passions are travel, family, and intentional living. Zeke’s Island is an NC Coastal Reserve only accessible by shallow water boats. We haven’t stayed here, but have popped in to grab a coffee and have a drink on their back deck. I love the beach. I love free things list. For those days we always reach for a warm fleece jacket. We love getting to off the beaten path destinations and aren’t afraid to go it alone. It’s awesome! The awesome sign up offer of 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points which can be redeemed for $750 of free flight if booked through the Chase travel portal. Breweries have popped up all over town, but my two favorite are: Front Street Brewery downtown where you can get a free tour and samples and Wrightsville Beach Brewery which has an awesome outdoor area for kids, dogs, and often have live music (oh and the food is delish!). How have I never heard of this place?! I got involved in some great programs while in college, used my schools study abroad program to venture out to Australia, fell in love with travel, and now I run a travel blog for a living and have traveled to over 65 countries. Carolina Beach State Park is one of my favorite places in Wilmington to watch the sunset every day. EAT! Check out, Learn about the unique NC habitats and ecology at the. You are too kind! For our ocean loving families…try surfing, skim boarding, or sea kayaking. There’s a bar for just about any type of crowd downtown. If you’re big on running there are other great places to head in Wilmington. It’s one of the best free things to do in Wilmington in the summer. Patagonia’s Synchilla Snap T Pullover fleece is the best fleeces for the beach in our opinion. The Hilton here has great reviews and is only a few minutes from Wrightsville Beach. If you want to find us, head to the nearest coffee shop or check back here! Causeway Cafe was purchased and just reopened as Gulfstream!! So hopefully these 30 unique and different things to do in Wilmington, NC will help you discover something new and convince you what to do in Wilmington, NC. I’m Julie, a North Carolina mama obsessed with coffee, sunsets, kindness, quotes, and exclamation points! make sure to visit Masonboro Island. The gardens are the last undeveloped land open to the public along Bradley Creek [...] Where to Eat Dessert in … You can easily bring your own mat to the beach to practice yoga with the sound of the ocean waves. Get out on the water and try kayaking or. I love the flip-flop sound that hear ever day at WORK! Wrightsville Beach was my favorite beach to go to as a college student. Don’t forget your SPF when traveling around Wilmington. Discover hidden attractions, cool sights, and unusual things to do in Wilmington, North Carolina from Museum of the Bizarre to Cape Fear Serpentarium. Required fields are marked *. I am definitely going to try these things out. One of the most fun things to do in Wilmington, NC for families is head to the aquarium. The Wilmington Sharks play at Legion Stadium during the summer. Pro-tip: Wrightsville Beach fills up fast- go early to get a parking spot. We should know best since it is the closest thing we have to home as full-time travelers. We love the Chase Sapphire Preferred as it was one of the first travel rewards we received and it’s well-loved by plenty of others. Check out our ultimate beach packing list! Here is $30 off your first booking! If you want to pack a more while still being portable, the Hopper Flip is an excellent investment. New to Airbnb? If you’re looking for a night out on the town with your friends you have three places around Wilmington. Located in the southeastern corner of NC, this port city sits right in between the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean. Sometimes it’s nice to let someone else do the work! There are many ways you can try your hand at fishing, some include: Being at the beach and having an excellent downtown area Wilmington plays host to several festivals year round. It truly is my happy place and I can’t get enough of it. Wow!!! A few of our favorites are the NC Azalea Festival, the Cucalorus Film Festival, and Wilmington Beer Week. Yes! Notify me of follow-up comments by email. I played on teams, and even worked part-time as a referee, at Capt’n Bill’s for four years in Wilmington, and I love the vibe there. Cameron once got caught out there during high tide and it wasn’t a good day – his sister hopped away with 26 stitches in her knee from oyster shells. The gardens are filled with oaks, outdoor art, walking paths, and seasonal flowers. The city was settled by European Americans along the Cape Fear River back in the 16th century. I was there a number of years ago as an adult but now that I have children I appreciate the ideas for kids activities you listed plus the “free things to do” section. We’re Carolina Beach regulars so here are our favorite bars in Carolina Beach. I would love to do a haunted ghost tour in Wilmington! The Battleship is open every day of the year for visitors to come and visit and learn all about the ship that participated in every major naval offensive in the Pacific area of operations during WWII. This is actually one of my favorite things to do in Wilmington with my family! There is also a fun bar with food in case you want to watch. However, a classic tote that everyone has in their closet is a great option for those on short trips or live close to the beach. Deep-sea fishing with a charter boat from Carolina Beach or Wrightsville Beach. I have plans to visit Wilmington this summer – thanks for compiling a great list! If you can’t make it physically out onto the water, then grab lunch or dinner with water views at Dockside, Bluewater Grill, or The Bridge Tender. It has an entirely different vibe here than at Carolina Beach and Kure Beach. If you have a group and looking to bounce around Defy Gravity is your place. It’s why I chose to get my Film Degree at UNCW. It’s a pretty great day vacation spot in NC too! Many of their coolers have closed cell rubber insulation and robust zippers. No matter what you will need a beach bag when heading to the beach. PRO-TIP: Two things to know before you go to Wilmington: the humidity is killer and the traffic can be a beast. Oh, Amy Wright may or may not have won CNN’s Hero of the Year. It’s a second location (the first is in Carolina Beach and beloved by locals and tourists alike) Serving breakfast all day, lunch and they’re releasing dinner hours soon! All About Hokkaido Weather, 13 Awesome Things to do in Carolina Beach, NC, 34 Fun Norway Facts That Will Blow Your Mind, Planning a Trip to Hawaii • Amazing 10 Step Hawaii Vacation Planner, 10 Romantic Getaway Ideas in Asheville, North Carolina. Go to the park! The vendors sell a ton of antiques, locally made products, and art. I believe adventure is a mindset. Within walking distance of the Riverwalk is the Historic District, several museums, an incredible farmer’s market, and a number of exciting tour options! 15 Strange And Wonderful Things Found Only In North Carolina. Places like Hugh Macrae Park, Carolina Beach State Park, or the Cross City Trail are perfect. We spent a month here in 2018 and spent almost every evening in the park. If you’re looking for a place to have a nice dinner heading to Historic Downtown Wilmington will provide the most options. So much to do- we love it!! Of course, you can travel to Wrightsville and lounge around, but Wrightsville SUP offers everyone the chance to try to stand up paddleboarding! Downtown Sundowns are free and family friendly, but it’s possible to drink beer and wine there. Tours run for 45 minutes and cost $12 for adults. Now I’ve never really been much of a donut fanatic, but I can confirm that Britt’s Donuts are delicious. 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