WATER, HISTORY AND NATURAL BEAUTY ABOUND
From The River To The Sea
One destination. And four unique settings offer extraordinary experiences in the historic river district of Wilmington, N.C., and on three colorful island beaches - Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach. Proud of its rich history and beach vacation treasures, each is a place to spend time with family and friends in North Carolina’s most accessible coastal destination. Known for its gracious Southern charm and often compared to historic cities such as Charleston and Savannah, Wilmington is a hot spot for year-round festivals and events, seafood-rich and coastal-inspired menus, family-friendly museums, classic theatre, as well as shopping and vibrant nightlife.
Heed the call of the water this summer. Take in beautiful Cape Fear River views and hop aboard one of the area’s many cruises or stroll down the two-mile Riverwalk lined with local shops and waterfront restaurants. Dive into summer fun at our island beaches and take a surf or paddleboarding lesson, reel in your next big catch aboard a fishing charter, or enjoy fresh local seafood at signature island restaurants.
Put on your dancing shoes as the sounds of signature summer concerts fill the air. Enjoy tunes riverfront each Friday night at the Downtown Sundown concert series, listen to the smooth sounds of jazz in a historic setting at the Jazz at the Mansion Series or round up the family for the Airlie Gardens Concert Series. Watch fireworks oceanfront as you listen to live music at the Boardwalk Blast series in Carolina Beach, enjoy a variety of family-friendly music at the Boogie in the Park concert series at Ocean Front Park in Kure Beach or listen to live bands weekly at Wrightsville Beach's waterfront restaurants.
Enjoy the season here from riverfront to oceanfront as water and the vibrant pulse of coastal life abound with these Summer Highlights. Want to see visitors and insiders' tips on what they love about the area? Check out our Social Moments and book your vacation to Wilmington and our island beaches now!
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.