A Wilmington, NC Getaway

Travel Advisor Gail Graham in a plaid sweater in front of houses and water at sunset.
Curated By

Gail Graham

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  • Active Travel

  • Arts & Culture

  • Wilmington

  • Couples Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • North Carolina

  • Local Culture

  • Local Food

  • Sightseeing

An aerial view of a coast
Curator’s statement

If you love Savannah, GA or Charleston, SC, you will love Wilmington, NC. Wilmington is a quaint, riverfront town that has something for everybody. It is great for history buffs, outdoor enthusiasts, boutique shoppers, beach lovers, foodies and craft beer drinkers. Below are some of my favorite restaurants, things to do and hotels in this coastal town.

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Where to stay in Wilmington, NC

ARRIVE Wilmington

Where modern comfort meets coastal charm.

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Where your dreams find a luxurious address.

Hotel Ballast Wilmington, Tapestry Collection by Hilton

Where Southern hospitality meets waterfront elegance in the heart of the Port City.

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Things to do in Wilmington, NC


Downtown festivals: Azalea Fest, River Fest, Rims on the River and Cucalorus Film Festival

Hollywood movie/tv tours - Wilmington is known as Hollywood East, where hundreds of projects including Dawson’s Creek, Iron Man 3, Halloween (Final Chapter), The Outer Banks and The Summer I Turned Pretty have been filmed.

Visit the nearby local beaches - Carolina, Kure and Wrightsville beaches.

Battleship NC - Take a tour of the refurbished WW2 Battleship. Tour options include a variety of historic tours and special ghost hunt tours.

Arboretum and Airlie Gardens

Live at Ted’s - Quaint listening room that features local and regional musicians.

Wilmington Riverwalk - Stroll down the 2-mile riverwalk, grab a drink, bite to eat or take a river taxi tour.

Mayfaire Town Center - Wilmington, NC's premier lifestyle shopping center. Spend. Spend. Spend.

Day Trips:

Visit the nearby local beaches - Carolina, Kure and Wrightsville beaches. In addition to beautiful beaches, they all have great food options.

Carolina Beach - Good Hops Brewery/Disc Golf Course, Carolina Beach State Park, Soul Flavor Restaurant and Island Burgers and Bites

Kure Beach - Freddie’s Restaurant and Beach House Burgers

Wrightsville Beach - South Beach Grill, Dockside and Waterman’s Brewery.

Places to eat & drink in Wilmington, NC


Breweries - A few favorites are Flying Machine, Edward Teach, Hi-Wire and Waterline Brewery.

The Fortunate Glass - Downtown wine bar with 70 wines by the glass, 400 + wines by the bottle, craft beer and an amazing tapas menu.

Satellite Bar and Lounge - This bar has everything…. live music, a local market, outdoor movies and tacos!

Kipos Wilmington - Amazing atmosphere and elevated Greek food.

Ann Bonny’s - Wilmington’s only floating restaurant and bar on the Cape Fear river.

Indochine - Authentic Thai and Vietnamese restaurant with an outdoor garden.

Seabird - Amazing locally sourced NC seafood. Menu changes regularly depending on what is in season.

Far From France - French bistro and bakery. Brunch/lunch, dinner and High Tea. Order one of everything from the bakery. No regrets.

Need to Know

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, A Weekend in Durham, NC

Travel Advisor Gail Graham in a plaid sweater in front of houses and water at sunset.

Travel Advisor

Gail Graham

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Wilmington.