Embrace all the flavors of the season with some delectable sweets and treats in Wilmington and its nearby island beaches. Holiday flavors come in all forms in this charming coastal destination from rum cakes and fudge to coffee and craft beer, and you’ll want to savor them all.

The Sweet Tooth’s Happy Place

Made from fresh ingredients and pure rum, the cakes from Cape Fear Rum Cake are a fan favorite for a reason. Signature flavors are available year-round, but you can hit your sweet spot this winter with some seasonal flavors only available during the holidays like gingerbread, eggnog and cherry chocolate.


Perfect as a gift for a loved one or to treat yourself, Nothing Bundt Cakes is known for its rich, buttery cakes made from the highest quality ingredients. Stop in during the holidays to get yourself a peppermint chocolate chip Bundt cake that doubles as a beautiful centerpiece until it’s time for dessert. Plus, any flavor cake can be decorated for the holidays with Santa-themed adornments, ribbons and bows!


Wrightsville Beach native Heide Hooper remembers eating her great grandmothers’ buttermints just about every holiday season, and now you can get some of Heide’s Gourmet Butter Mints for yourself at Blue Moon Gift Shops. These smooth, creamy candies melt in your mouth and come in the traditional peppermint flavor, as well as more unique flavors like key lime and cheesecake.


Chocolate lovers won’t want to miss a trip to Carolina Candy Company. Indulge in the always-popular Dark Chocolate Southern Pecan Toffee or snag a bag of Peppermint Bark, which is only available in November and December. Next stop: Fudgeboat in Carolina Beach for some handmade butter and cream fudge. The Red Velvet Fudge is a holiday favorite, alternating between creamy and rich, velvety layers and topped with crushed chocolate cookies. Get yourself a special, seasonal treat or make someone in your life very happy with a deliciously decadent gift from chocolate-dipped strawberries and fudge turtles to glazed nuts and gourmet popcorn.


End of Days Distillery, Wilmington’s first craft distillery, is serving up some unique ways to pair chocolate and spirits this holiday season. Try the Gourmet Tasting Chocolates containing nine chocolates, with three per spirit. Discover all the pairings for yourself, like Dark Chocolate with Glazed Orange Peel paired with their rum. Gourmet Hot Chocolate Bombs filled with a special cocoa mix recipe and mini marshmallows are also available or get a Chocolate Dipped Port of Entry Spirit. These bottles are dipped in artisan chocolate with added custom flavors that have been perfectly paired with the distillery’s award-winning Port of Entry Spirits, making for a one-of-a-kind gift.


A Jolly Good Start Your Day

Add some holiday spirit to your morning cup of joe with a seasonal beverage from 24 South Coffee House. Located in the heart of Historic Downtown, this friendly coffee shop offers many locally-roasted gourmet coffee options including two specialty holiday lattes: Chocolate Raspberry and White Chocolate Macadamia. Or, stop by Crush & Grind in nearby Carolina Beach to enjoy a Peppermint Mocha in a friendly, rustic atmosphere.


Discover festive flavors at Cape Fear Spice Merchant, a specialty store in Historic Downtown. Among the more than 185 loose leaf teas that are available year-round, they offer holiday flavors including Candy Cane Crush Tea and Nutcracker Tea, as well as Island Roast Christmas Coffee blends like Chocolate Cherry Cordial, Mistletoe Java and Merry Marzipan.


For a cup of coffee that packs a punch of holiday flavors, pick up a bag of Bald Head Coffee, roasted locally in North Carolina and available at Blue Moon Gift Shops. The limited-edition Christmas Cookie whole beans or ground coffee combines flavors of cinnamon, almond and macaroon. For the aroma of chocolate mousse, hazelnut, vanilla and cinnamon, try the limited-edition Mistletoe beans or grounds.


Craft Brews with a Side of Cheer

Sit down in the Tap Room at Front Street Brewery, Wilmington’s original restaurant and brewery, to taste some delicious craft beers and snack on light appetizers. This winter you’ll find Tiny Tim’s Christmas Ale on the menu, an imperial vanilla java porter with all the flavor of the holidays.


Make sure to check out Good Hops Brewing, a family-owned and operated small-batch brewery located in Carolina Beach. Enjoy a unique, seasonal brew like their North Carolina Sweet Potato Beer with cranberry and cinnamon as well as a Barley Wine with holiday flavors like caramel, honey and molasses.


Peppermint, gingerbread and cherry chocolate are just a few of the flavors Wilmington and Beaches has in store for you this holiday season. Let the festive flavors run rampant on your palate during a visit at the most wonderful time of the year.