Explore New Twists & Turns

There are endless ways to make the most of your getaway to Wilmington and our Island Beaches. Soar down giant waterslides and play miniature golf with the family. Jazz up the night with music on the lawn at the iconic Bellamy Mansion. Fly high with family time at our island beaches at the North Carolina Aquarium's Lorikeet Landing Exhibit filled with exotic, colorful birds. Catch ocean views from atop Boardwalk amusement rides in Carolina Beach. Unleash adventure and take the family on a cruise to a private island or on an island walking tour at Wrightsville Beach. Or simply just relax waterfront and enjoy the views, where here they are plentiful.

As kids head back to school, visitors find that Wilmington and our Island Beaches is a year-round destination that transcends beyond just coastal experiences. This fall, whether you’re visiting with friends or someone special, take a stroll through historic downtown or our beach towns and you’ll find yourself surrounded by breweries, music, unique eats, local culture and unrivaled adventures around every corner.




Fall Experiences on the Horizon

Fall in love with Wilmington and beaches as a new season debuts new experiences. Find cuisine fit for a foodie at RX Restaurant & Bar where seasonally inspired, locally-sourced ingredients take center stage or PinPoint Restaurant known for its menu that changes daily and the Cornmeal Crusted N.C. Catfish with leek and corn creamed grits, which was featured on The Cooking Channel. Craft cocktail connoisseurs find their match and award-winning drinks using the freshest ingredients available including fruits and a selection of herbs at manna ave. 123. Return to the bygone era of glamour at local speakeasies like The Blind Elephant and Tails Piano Bar and Lounge or hop on the Port City Brew Bus for a memorable experience stopping-off at local craft breweries and bottleshops. Find music accompanied by scenic views at any of the area's outdoor venues like the Amphitheater at Greenfield Lake Park, live Sunday bluegrass at Satellite Bar and Lounge, live music at Bourgie Nights or catch a Broadway show at The Wilson Center. Travel on two wheels from river-to-sea on the Gary Shell Cross-City Trail, hike a state park or kayak beside live oaks draped in Spanish moss at Greenfield Lake Park . Plan now for signature fall events like the 40th Annual Riverfest, Oct 5-6, featuring a street fair, a Kid's Play Zone, arts, crafts and food vendors alongside a stunning fireworks show.  Between a vibrant waterfront, 230-block National Register Historic District and access to three island beaches, see for yourself why the readers of Southern Living magazine voted Wilmington one of the "South's Best Cities." 

End of Summer Trip Ideas

It's not too late to plan a last minute summer getaway to experience these activities. Take a guided tour with a local expert of historic downtown Wilmington by foot, segway or horse-drawn carriage. Visit Stanley Rehder Carnivorous Plant Garden where Venus flytraps and pitcher plants await alongside walking trails. Follow the sound of music to discover the Downtown Sundown Outdoor Concert Series, taking place every Friday until Labor Day in the heart of historic downtown and perfect for all ages. Take a sunset cruise on the new Henrietta Riverboat then explore more than 20 local art galleries during Fourth Friday Gallery Nights. Spend a Saturday finding coastal treasures to take home in historic shopping destinations like The Cotton Exchange and Chandler's Wharf.

Family Fun

Families stay entertained from sunup to sundown with an assortment of activities. Let the little ones say 'arr' and be a pirate for the day at the Children's Museum of Wilmington where they can dress as pirates and role-play aboard the Ahoy Wilmington. Cool down at Jungle Rapids Family Fun Park where activities span from a Lazy River and waterslides to go-karts, laser tag and mini golf. Get jumping at Flip N Fly, Wilmington's largest indoor trampoline park and have a night out during their Neon Nights. Pack a picnic and bring your blankets and chairs as the little ones run and play beneath the live oaks at the enchanting Airlie Gardens Concert Series, now through Sept. 20 on the first and third Friday of each month. Fun for all generations, learn about the area at the Cape Fear Museum of History and Science. Be amazed by the 200-foot-tall giant ground sloth then blast off with the Space Place Exhibit.

Not your average history

Old and young naval and engineering fans alike can see the inner workings of the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA during Battleship Alive, be guided through the galley, tap out your name in Morse code and raise the signal flags. There's plenty to see, do and learn when exploring Wilmington's 230-block National Register Historic District beyond touring through unique events. Built on the eve of the Civil War, the Bellamy Mansion Museum of History & Design is one of the finest examples of Antebellum architecture in the state with tours offered daily. Enjoy a two-for-one experience during Bellamy's Jazz at the Mansion Concert Series while listening to the sounds of smooth jazz on the second Thursday of each month through September. Visit the Colonial-era Burgwin-Wright House and Gardens for a Night Tour guided by candlelight where interpreters reveal the superstitions and rituals of bygone times. Travel to Kure Beach to experience where one of the most seminal battles of the Civil War took place and explore the earthen fort and museum at Fort Fisher State Historic Site.

Islands in the Sun

Embrace the sand and shore on an end-of-summer getaway where each one of our three island beaches exude their own getaway vibe. Take in ocean views from atop a Ferris wheel in Carolina Beach and spend a family-friendly vacation enjoying Free Movies at the Lake and amusement rides and weekly fireworks on the classic Carolina Beach Boardwalk. Combine a retreat to Kure Beach with fun and go under the sea at the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher, then fly high at the Lorikeet Landing Exhibit. Wind down the weekend at Boogie in the Park beside the ocean with free live music on select Sundays until Labor Day. Wrightsville Beach offers a getaway for all ages and family members from great grandparents to kids. Little ones can learn and play during Touch Tank Tuesdays, hang ten with a surf lesson from various island outfitters or attend day camps while adults can get active with a variety of watersports including standup paddleboarding, kayaking and sailing. Then relax with a specialty drink at the new Oceanic Jetty Bar or next to the Intracoastal Waterway at Bluewater Grill.

Find the perfect place to stay

Reserve a suite at full-service hotels and resorts and take advantage of amenities like a rooftop bar, kids camps and oceanfront gardens. Boutique area hotels offer a curated experience along the Wilmington Riverwalk or Historic District where area shopping, attractions and nightlife and are just steps from the front door. Upgraded and modernized hotels and vacation rentals at our island beaches put you steps from the shore. From historic bed and breakfasts and modern full-service hotels to oceanfront vacation rentals, you'll find accommodations for every vacation and budget. Book now to secure your spot!