The holiday season is undoubtedly going to look a little different, but don’t let that stop you from finding the perfect gift for all your family and friends. Wilmington and its island beaches are home to a variety of charming shops featuring locally made gifts for everyone on your list. With options ranging from designer accessories and home decor to sweet treats, you’re certain to leave with all of your holiday shopping complete.
Keep reading to discover ways to shop local in Wilmington and Island Beaches this holiday season:
Want to knock all of your shopping out in one stop without having to deal with mall madness? We’ve got you covered. At Lumina Station, discover a quaint collection of boutiques featuring home décor, clothing, accessories and more, all set against an open-air pedestrian-friendly backdrop of whimsical sculptures and beautiful landscaping that will keep the stress to a minimum. Browse the selection of handcrafted home goods at Airlie Moon, a locally owned shop with an appreciation for pieces that have a story, or find artisan jewelry, handbags and more at Ziabird. After you’ve shopped till you drop, relax with tapas and a glass of your favorite red at Grand Cru Food & Wine or indulge in fine French cuisine in a laidback setting at Brasserie Du Soleil, both located at Lumina Station.
Voted “Best Gift Shop in Wilmington” year after year, Blue Moon Gift Shops is a must-visit stop on your holiday to-do list. Featuring more than 100 local artists, craftsmen and retailers all under one roof, you’ll find memorable home décor, art, jewelry and even tasty treats from the Strawberry Moon Market. Visit Basketful, where you can browse beautiful baskets handcrafted from North Carolina longleaf pines, or Shell Sea Designs, featuring beautiful shell-embellished items like mirrors, frames, art and more.
Discover Historic Downtown Wilmington’s highest concentration of boutiques in one stop at The Cotton Exchange. Shop farmhouse décor with a coastal twist at The Coastal Farmhouse, or discover jewelry, art, food and wine all made right here in in North Carolina at Heart of Carolina. Before leaving, stop into Java Dog to warm up with a specialty coffee drink, or grab the gourmet burger of the day for lunch 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. 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. Nearby, 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.
Shop over 40 vendors during the Riverfront Farmers and Artisans Holiday Market every Saturday through Dec. 19. Favorite local artisans and crafters will share their holiday creations during four special holiday markets, each of which will feature unique gifts, food products and other goods, along with live music, food trucks and holiday surprises.
Dress to Impress
Help keep your loved ones decked out throughout the year with clothing and accessories from one of Wilmington and Beaches’ unique boutiques. Choose from a selection of totes, wallets, bags and other accessories made from colorful vinyl featuring hand-cut designs at Holly Aiken. Every bag and accessory is handmade in North Carolina. Don’t fret if you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for – design your own bag for a one-of-a-kind, customized gift.
Find thoughtful and uncommon clothing, shoes, accessories, funky face masks and more crafted by emerging and independent designers at Edge of Urge in Historic Downtown Wilmington. Pick up the perfect cozy loungewear for your friends working from home and grab a few stocking stuffers on the way out. With a carefully curated selection of chic vintage clothing, accessories, antique books, art and collectibles, Jess James + Co has just the right item for the trend setter on your list. Or, satisfy the surfer in your life with shirts, stickers and accessories featuring Carolina Surf Brand‘s signature trident logo.
Gift Shops Galore
Visit our museum gift shops to find unique presents for the holidays. Explore the gift shops at Bellamy Mansion Museum of History & Design or Burgwin-Wright House & Gardens to find keepsakes featuring Wilmington’s storied past.
History buffs will love a memento from the store at the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA, a refurbished WWII battleship moored across the Cape Fear River from downtown Wilmington. Pick up the perfect gift for locomotive lovers at the Wilmington Railroad Museum. Or, head to our island beaches to discover finds unique to each local attraction at gift shops at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, Fort Fisher State Historic Site or the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History.
Holiday Eats & Treats
When in Wilmington and its island beaches, take home a gift everyone in the family can savor. Customize a unique gift for the home chefs in your life at Cape Fear Spice Merchants, where you’ll find eclectic, hand-mixed spice blends, oils, vinegars and more. Or select a sweet combination of house-made chocolates and a bottle of red wine at Mon Âme Chocolate & Wine Bar. Be sure to sample a treat and some vino in their private courtyard while you shop!
Cape Fear Spice Merchants Gift Box
Hit the sweet spot at Cape Fear Rum Cake, where you’ll find delectable holiday desserts to share with loved ones. Choose from delicious seasonal rum cake flavors like egg nog, gingerbread and cherry chocolate. Or, head to Carolina Beach to take home some of the popular red velvet holiday fudge from Fudgeboat. Their packaged goodie boxes will take the hassle out of gifting this holiday season.
Find the gift for the person who has everything with unique beverages to sip from Wilmington’s new distilleries. Visit End of Days Distillery, Wilmington’s first craft distillery and International Tasting Consumer 2020 Sip Awards winner, to pick up a bottle of limited-release vodka, rum or gin handcrafted from locally sourced grains and botanicals. 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 is the perfect place to find a gift for coffee lovers. With two local roasting facilities to ensure your coffee was roasted just days before it’s poured into your cup, their selection of handpicked coffee beans is not your average Joe.
No matter where you look, you’re sure to complete your Christmas list when you shop local in Wilmington and its island beaches this holiday season!