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WATER, HISTORY AND NATURAL BEAUTY ABOUND
See Where the Water Takes You
As North Carolina’s most accessible coastal destination, Wilmington has everything you love about a historic Southern city, plus three beautiful beaches – Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Wrightsville Beach. Stroll downtown Wilmington’s Riverwalk, lined with boutiques, cafes, and vibrant nightlife. Experience interactive museums and classic theater. Just minutes away you’ll find the island beaches, each with their own festivals, fresh seafood, family-friendly attractions and watersports. Go with the flow, and see where the water takes you.
Celebrate the season coastal style starting with an old-style Christmas and historic holiday charm by the river in Wilmington and festive flotillas on the sea at our island beaches. Enjoy over 40 holiday events including Wilmington favorites like A Christmas Stroll Through the Past at the Bellamy Mansion, Enchanted Airlie, and the Old Wilmington by Candlelight Tour.
Head to Wrightsville Beach for a beloved island tradition, the North Carolina Holiday Flotilla where festive boats light up the Intracoastal Waterway. Visit Carolina Beach and Kure Beach during the month-long Island of Lights Festival featuring a parade, decorated home tour and flotilla.
Ring in 2015 with one-of-a-kind celebrations including a New Year’s Eve Cruise aboard the Henrietta III, the largest riverboat in North Carolina, a lighted beach ball drop at the Island of Lights New Year’s Eve Countdown and more.
Start your explorations with the Cape Fear River as your guide on nearly two miles of wooden Riverwalk lined with shops and cafes from Chandler’s Wharf to the Cotton Exchange, to the soon-to-be-opened full-service marina along the northern riverfront. You’ll take an awed breath when you explore the moss-draped, brick-lined streets of the 230-block National Register Historic District, one of the largest in the U.S and featuring a variety of architectural styles.
See the city on a guided tour from haunted or historic walks to Hollywood talks and Segway excursions, or by horse-drawn carriage or trolley ride. Take in the breathtaking view of downtown from the water by riverboat, sailboat or catamaran cruise. From the click of horses’ hooves on the old brick streets to the rhythm of jazz and beach music festivals, Wilmington embraces a combination of influences from both the past and present.
Enrich your artistic spirit through film festivals and science exhibitions or surround yourself by a collection of more than 100,000 azaleas under the enchanting live oak branches at Airlie Gardens. With the favorable mild climate, varied landscapes and spectacular architecture, it’s easy to see why Hollywood filmmakers have logged more than 400 film-related credits in the area, a testament to our independent spirit and quirky charm.
You’ll love our historic destination combined with a relaxed coastal lifestyle for the perfect getaway filled with unlimited vacation choices.