Spring Blooms with Festivals
and Coastal Family Fun

Have a spring renewal in Wilmington and beaches and stray off course with festivals, fun and waterside activities. Bask in the arts, culture and blooms during the North Carolina Azalea Festival. Explore the brick-lined streets of historic downtown then dine al fresco at one of our many cafes lining the Riverwalk and main streets. Take a spring break escape on our island beaches and add signature events like the Seafood, Blues & Jazz Festival and the Carolina Cup to your trip itinerary. From old traditions to newly sparked interests, there are countless ways to experience spring in Wilmington and our island beaches.



It's An Azalea Affair 

Noted as a Top 20 Event by the Southeast Tourism Society, the North Carolina Azalea Festival, April 1-5, puts the full pageantry and tradition of our coastal community on display. Get your groove on at concerts featuring internationally-known acts like Aaron Lewis, April 2, and the Grammy-nominated The Avett Brothers, April 4. Experience arts, culture and entertainment with the NC Azalea Festival Parade, April 4 and peruse paintings and 3D art at the Juried Art Show and Sale, March 28 - April 5. Explore majestic southern gardens during the Cape Fear Garden Club Azalea's Garden Tour, April 3-5 and have a dose of southern hospitality on the Historic Home Tour, April 4-5. Additional spring festivities abound, craft your own spring getaway and experience the city's thriving beer scene during Marchtoberfest Wilmington NC's Beer Festival, March 7, featuring over 40 North Carolina breweries. Go green at the St. Patrick's Day Parade and Festival, March 14. 

Spring Time Welcomes Island Time

Spring into a beachside state of mind. Dance the day away to island-inspired tunes in Carolina Beach at Rock the Beach, March 21, and witness Venus flytraps and carnivorous plants in their native habitat at Carolina Beach State Park. Get active all spring long with an array of athletic events at Wrightsville Beach. Start with the Boston Marathon Qualifier, Wilmington, NC Marathon Madness, March 21, spanning Johnnie Mercer's Pier to historic downtown Wilmington. Participate in one of the largest SUP competitions in the world, the Carolina Cup, April 22-26. Experience a new kind of island blue at the Seafood Blues & Jazz Festival, April 18, have a family-friendly day of fun at the Kure Beach Street Festival, April 25 and surround yourself amongst hundreds of exotic butterflies at the Butterfly Bungalow exhibit at the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher, opening May 22.

Fresh-to-Fork & Outdoor Views

Spring is perfect for dining al fresco and experiencing the farm-to-table foodie scene. Rx Restaurant & Bar highlights local farmers by putting their names on the ever changing menu. At Catch, award-winning chef Keith Rhodes sources every ingredient from organic growers and local fisheries and turns dishes into works of art. Savor river breezes, enjoy oysters Rockefeller and take in panoramic Cape Fear River views from the large outdoor deck of Elijah's Restaurant. Sip cocktails on a rooftop bar at Cloud 9 while savoring fresh seafood, jerk wings and lobster rolls. Dine al fresco with Cape Fear River views and a delicious mix of seafood and BBQ at Smoke on the Water. Taste around town at seasonal culinary festivals including the Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival, March 21 or pair craft ales with chef-curated small plates at Cape Fear Craft & Cuisine, March 28. Find more foodie favorites to discover on your getaway. 

Family-Friendly Getaway

Explore the Cape Fear Museum of History and Science and blast off with Snoopy and friends at the interactive Snoopy Soars with NASA: To the Moon exhibit until April 12. Spend time at the Children’s Museum of Wilmington where kids can climb high in the whimsical toddler treehouse, set sail in a pirate ship, discover the ecological surroundings of Wilmington and our island beaches and more. Family Fun Day at the Bellamy Mansion, April 19, is a great way to experience Wilmington's history while keeping the kids entertained with face painting, storytelling, pony rides, petting zoo and even puppies. The 10th Annual Flytrap Frolic at Stanley Rehder Carnivorous Plant Garden lets the little ones learn about the area's native carnivorous plants while engaging in a multitude of hands-on activities, scavenger hunts, crafts and live animal exhibits, April 25.

Tours and Tales

The Hidden Battleship Tour, March 14, speaks to the explorer at heart where you can climb inside the fire and gun control tower atop the ship on the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA. Have a "spin" on the conventional tour with a Cape Fear Segway Tour exploring the Wilmington Riverwalk and historic downtown. Cruise by water with a tasty cocktail and live acoustic music with Wilmington Water Tours or hop aboard the Henrietta on a narrated sightseeing tour with Cape Fear Riverboats, Inc. The stately gardens of Bellamy Mansion will be blooming with traditional heirloom plants and visitors can transport themselves to a regal time in the Colonial gardens of the Burgwin-Wright House. Craft beer connoisseurs can hop on the Port City Brew Bus to cruise the Wilmington Ale Trail and explore local breweries and brews found throughout town. Take a sunset cruise at our island beaches or experience an eco journey to uninhabited islands. 

Drink in the Arts & Culture

Wilmington is the perfect place to indulge in an arts and culture getaway. Find the perfect piece of artwork, Feb. 22-23, at Art for All in the eclectic Brooklyn Arts District or visit galleries and meet the artists behind the work during Fourth Fridays. Enjoy the iconic musical, An American in Paris: A New Musical, March 21 at the Wilson Center or browse exhibits at Cameron Art Museum then catch live music in the CAM Cafe Thursday evenings. Celebrate Wilmington's vibrant artisans and craftsmen at Made in NC 2020, March 21-22, at Brooklyn Arts Center at St. Andrews. Catch a concert lakeside at Hugh Morton Amphitheater at Greenfield Lake Park and see acts like The Revivalists, April 14.

Find the perfect place to stay

Reserve a suite at full-service hotels and resorts and take advantage of amenities like a rooftop bar and oceanfront gardens. Boutique area hotels offer a curated experience along the Wilmington Riverwalk or Historic District where area shopping and nightlife are just steps from the front door. 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 get a jump on spring and summer rental reservations.