Wilmington and its three nearby island beaches are home to a variety of charming shops featuring locally made gifts. From home décor to sweet treats, you’ll find presents for everyone on your list while enjoying a refreshing coastal twist on the typical holiday shopping experience. Read on to discover how to shop local while on vacation in this must-see Southern destination.

One-Stop Shopping

If you want to avoid the mall madness and knock out your shopping in one stress-free stop, we’ve got you covered. At Lumina Station, browse a quaint collection of boutiques featuring décor, clothing, accessories and more – all in an open-air setting with whimsical sculptures and beautiful landscaping. Explore the selection of handcrafted home goods at Airlie Moon, a locally owned shop with an appreciation for pieces with a story. Find artisan jewelry, handbags and more at Ziabird. When you need a retail reprieve, indulge in fine French cuisine alfresco at Brasserie Du Soleil.


Voted “Best Gift Shop in Wilmington” year after year, Blue Moon Gift Shops is a must-visit for your holiday shopping. With more than 100 local artists, craftspeople and retailers under one roof, you’ll find memorable home décor, art, jewelry and even tasty treats from Heide’s Gourmet Butter Mints. Check out eclectic vendors like Teal Turtle Studio, specializing in coastal-inspired ceramics, and Erica Biggs Art, offering hand-painted art on oyster shells.


At The Cotton Exchange, enjoy a high concentration of one-of-a-kind shops, such as Fidler's Gallery/Wrigley's Clocks and Port City Pottery & Fine Crafts, all in one place. Before leaving, warm up with a specialty coffee drink from Java Dog, or grab a gourmet burger at The Basics.

Head out for a stroll along Wilmington’s famous Riverwalk to find Chandler’s Wharf Warehouse Shops & Galleries, where you can browse shops and art galleries to find the perfect piece to please even the person who has everything. Nearby, visit Swahili Coast to shop handmade accessories and homewares ethically made in partnership with East African artists, or stop into East Coast Breeze for Christmas decorations and gifts for the entire family. Visit Candles Etc. to find a selection of locally made soy, beeswax or palm wax candles, or grab a really unique gift for garden lovers at A Proper Garden.


Dress to Impress

Keep your loved ones stylish throughout the year with clothing and accessories from our distinctive boutiques. Choose from a selection of totes, wallets, bags and other accessories made from colorful vinyl featuring hand-cut designs at Holly Aiken. Each bag and accessory is handmade in North Carolina – and you can even design your own bag for a customized gift.

At Edge of Urge in downtown Wilmington, find uncommon clothing, shoes, accessories and more from emerging and independent designers. Check out Jess James + Co’s carefully curated selection of chic vintage clothing, accessories, antique books, art and collectibles for the trendsetter on your list. Satisfy the surfer in your life with shirts, stickers and accessories featuring Carolina Surf Brand‘s signature trident logo.


Head to Wrightsville Beach to shop Hallelu Boutique's curated selection of clothes, jewelry and accessories. New shipments arrive daily, so you are sure to find something that catches your eye!

Gift Shops Galore

Visit museum gift shops for history-inspired presents. Our historic homes, Bellamy Mansion Museum of History & Design, Burgwin-Wright House & Gardens and Latimer House Museum, carry keepsakes that pay tribute to Wilmington’s storied past. History buffs will love a memento from the store at the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA, a refurbished WWII battleship moored on the Cape Fear River across from the Riverwalk. Pick up t-shirts, model trails and more for locomotive lovers at the Wilmington Railroad Museum. Discover finds unique to our island beaches’ local attractions at gift shops of the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher or Fort Fisher State Historic Site.

Holiday Eats and Treats

When in Wilmington and its island beaches, take home a gift that the whole family can savor. Customize a gift for the home chefs in your life at Cape Fear Spice Merchants, which carries hand-mixed spice blends, oils, vinegars and more. Select a bottle of wine at Banter, then relax with a glass or a mocktail in their private courtyard.


Treat your loved ones to delectable holiday desserts from Cape Fear Rum Cake, offering seasonal rum cake flavors like eggnog and gingerbread. Head to Carolina Beach’s Fudgeboat to take home some of their red velvet holiday fudge and packaged goodie boxes.


Seasonal Sips

Find a gift for the person who likes unique beverages to sip from one of Wilmington’s distilleries. Visit End of Days Distillery, Wilmington’s first craft distillery and multi-year International Tasting Consumer Sip Awards winner, to pick up a bottle of limited-release vodka, rum or gin handcrafted from locally sourced grains and botanicals. Stop by the Cotton Exchange’s family-owned Momentum Distillery for spirits in a bottle in the shape of North Carolina. Or head to a local ABC Store to grab a beautiful glass-blown bottle of Blue Shark Vodka. Made with non-GMO, heirloom variety North Carolina sweet corn, Blue Shark is distilled and bottled in Wilmington.

Boasting more than a dozen locations and headquartered in Wilmington, Port City Java offers a selection of handpicked coffee beans freshly roasted in two local roasting facilities. Their coffee goes beyond your average joe – and will impress the coffee aficionado on your list.


During this holiday season visit, shop local to find one-of-a-kind gifts that embody Wilmington’s coastal culture and quintessential Carolina charm.