by The Whalen Team.
Visiting us in Wilmington NC? If you've already spent the day looking at homes, and are looking for some other fun things to do while you're here, we've got some great ideas for you!
As you probably already know, Wilmington is a vibrant and charming city known for its historic downtown, beautiful beaches, and rich cultural heritage. Whether you're a resident or a visitor, there are plenty of fun activities to enjoy in this bustling coastal city. From exploring historical landmarks to indulging in outdoor adventures, here's our list of fun and exciting things to do in Wilmington, NC:
Historical and Cultural Delights:
- Take a stroll along the Riverwalk and enjoy the scenic views of the Cape Fear River.
- Explore the historic district of downtown Wilmington, known for its well-preserved architecture.
- Visit the Bellamy Mansion Museum, a stunning antebellum home showcasing Southern history.
- Step back in time at the Cape Fear Museum of History and Science.
- Learn about Wilmington's African American history at the Wilmington Railroad Museum.
- Take a guided tour of the Battleship North Carolina, a World War II-era warship.
- Visit the Latimer House Museum, a beautifully restored Victorian-era home.
- Immerse yourself in local art at the Cameron Art Museum.
- Attend a performance at Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts, one of the oldest theaters in the country.
- Explore the gardens and exhibits at Airlie Gardens, a breathtaking natural attraction.
- Spend a day at Wrightsville Beach, known for its crystal-clear waters and pristine sandy shores.
- Take a ferry to Masonboro Island Reserve and enjoy its untouched beaches and nature trails.
- Go for a scenic hike at Carolina Beach State Park.
- Rent a kayak or paddleboard and explore the Intracoastal Waterway.
- Enjoy fishing from the Johnnie Mercer's Pier at Wrightsville Beach.
- Take a boat tour of the Cape Fear River and learn about the region's ecology and wildlife.
- Go birdwatching at the Stanley Rehder Carnivorous Plant Garden.
- Explore the picturesque trails at Long Leaf Park.
- Rent a bike and ride along the Gary Shell Cross-City Trail.
- Embark on a deep-sea fishing excursion for a chance to reel in big catches.
- Visit the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher and discover marine life up close.
- Spend a day at Jungle Rapids Family Fun Park, featuring water slides, go-karts, and mini-golf.
- Go on a pirate adventure cruise with the kids aboard the Henrietta III.
- Explore the Children's Museum of Wilmington, offering hands-on exhibits and interactive play areas.
- Take a scenic horse-drawn carriage ride through downtown Wilmington.
- Enjoy a family picnic at Greenfield Lake Park, complete with paddleboat rentals.
- Attend a family-friendly performance at the Wilson Center.
- Go ice skating at Polar Ice Wilmington.
- Try roller skating at Scooter's Family Skating Center.
Food, Drinks, and Shopping:
- Sample fresh seafood and local cuisine at one of Wilmington's many waterfront restaurants.
- Explore the historic Cotton Exchange, home to an array of unique shops and boutiques.
- Indulge in a craft beer tasting at one of Wilmington's breweries.
- Visit the Tidal Creek Co-op, a community-owned grocery store offering organic and local products.
- Savor homemade ice cream at Kilwins or Boombalatti's.
- Discover unique treasures at the Riverfront Farmers' Market.
- Enjoy a wine tasting at a local winery, such as Noni Bacca Winery or Duplin Winery.
- Explore the shops and art galleries at The Forum.
- Try southern-style barbeque at one of Wilmington's renowned BBQ joints.
- Experience incredible Thai & Vietnamese dining in the back gardens at Indochine.
Entertainment and Nightlife:
- Catch a live concert or performance at the Greenfield Lake Amphitheater.
- Dance the night away at one of Wilmington's vibrant nightclubs.
- Play a round of mini-golf at Jungle Rapids Mini Golf.
- Catch a comedy show at the Dead Crow Comedy Room.
- Enjoy live music and a laid-back atmosphere at The Palm Room.
- Participate in trivia nights at local bars and breweries.
- Experience the thrill of axe throwing at Axes & Allies.
- Check the schedule for national acts appearing at Live Oak Bank Pavilion.
Festivals and Events:
- Attend the North Carolina Azalea Festival, featuring parades, concerts, and garden tours.
- Celebrate local film talent at the Cucalorus Film Festival.
- Join the Riverfest, a waterfront street fair with arts, crafts, and live entertainment.
- Experience the annual Wilmington Wine and Food Festival.
- Enjoy live music and local vendors at the Riverfront Blues Festival.
Sports and Recreation:
- Attend a Wilmington Sharks baseball game at Buck Hardee Field.
- Play a round of golf at one of the city's scenic golf courses.
- Join a beach volleyball game at Carolina Beach.
- Watch a UNCW Seahawks basketball or baseball game.
- Try your hand at disc golf at one of Wilmington's disc golf courses.
- Catch a roller derby match with the Cape Fear Roller Derby.
- Take a workshop or art class at the Cameron Art Museum School.
- Enroll in a cooking class at a local culinary school or cooking studio.
- Join a photography tour and capture the city's beauty through your lens.
- Attend a lecture or workshop at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.
Day Trips and Nearby Attractions:
- Visit the historic town of Southport and explore its charming streets and waterfront.
- Take a ferry to Bald Head Island for a day of relaxation and natural beauty.
- Discover the unique ecosystem of the Brunswick Nature Park.
- Explore the Fort Fisher State Historic Site and the North Carolina Aquarium nearby.
- Visit the charming coastal town of Topsail Beach and enjoy its pristine shores.
- Take a scenic drive along the Coastal Highway, Highway 17.
- Explore the serene and secluded beauty of Masonboro Island.
- Discover local artwork at the Burgwin-Wright House and Gardens.
- Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the historic Oakdale Cemetery.
- Visit the Poplar Grove Plantation and experience life on an antebellum plantation.
- Attend a live performance at the Thalian Association Community Theatre.
Wilmington's Music Scene:
- Have a uniquely intimate music experience at Live at Ted's.
- Enjoy a night of live blues at The Rusty Nail.
- Listen to local bands at Reggie's 42nd Street Tavern.
- Dance the night away to live music at the Reel Cafe.
- Take a scenic helicopter tour of Wilmington and its surroundings.
- Go on a haunted pub crawl and learn about the city's ghostly legends.
- Attend a yoga class on the beach at sunrise or sunset.
- Visit the Museum of the Bizarre, if you dare!.
- Explore the city's waterways on a stand-up paddleboard or kayak tour.
Art and Theatre Enthusiasts:
- Attend a performance by the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra.
- Discover local artwork at the New Elements Gallery or the Art in Bloom Gallery.
- Explore the vintage shops and boutiques in the Brooklyn Arts District.
- Find unique treasures at the Independence Mall.
Have any ideas of your own you'd like to add to this list? Interested in moving to our great city on the coast? Give us a call today, and thanks for reading!