Exploring The Port City Wilmington, NC

Tucked between the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean, Wilmington is a vibrant, progressive city defined as much by its past as it is by its present. Here, horse-drawn carriages and historic homes coexisting in perfect harmony with modern hotels and movie studios. In fact, thanks to the sprawling EUE/Screen Gem Studios, the largest TV and movie production facility outside of California, Wilmington is nicknamed Hollywood East. No trip here is complete without exploring its 230-block National Register Historic District, strolling the scenic Riverwalk, and climbing aboard the USS North Carolina, a WWII battleship.

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    What's Nearby

    History

    Cape Fear Museum of History & Science (1 mile)
    814 Market St, Wilmington, NC 28401 | (910) 798-4370
    With a large collection of preserved objects and artifacts related to science, history and culture, Cape Fear Museum promises a fun-filled day for the whole family.

    Bellamy Mansion (0.9 miles)
    503 Market St, Wilmington, NC 28401 | (910) 251-3700
    Take a tour of this historic antebellum-style home, in the heart of Wilmington, and marvel at the mixture of Neoclassical architecture, Victorian gardens, and restored slave quarters.

    Wilmington Railroad Museum (0.2 miles)
    505 Nutt St # 6, Wilmington, NC 28401 | (910) 763-2634
    A magical and memorable trip that all generations will enjoy, this historical museum showcases the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad through train models, including a full-size steam engine.

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    Beaches

    Kure Beach (18.4 miles)
    Sometimes called Pleasure Island, Kure Beach’s small-town beach vibe is perfect for families. Don’t miss the fishing pier (the oldest on the Atlantic) and historic fort.

    Wrightsville Beach (10.1 miles)
    Regularly voted North Carolina’s best beach, this family-friendly beach just 19 miles east of Wilmington is a favorite spot for surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, and other watersports.

    Carolina Beach (15.3 miles)
    Drive a few miles south to find free-spirited Carolina Beach, a low-key beach with plenty of events, live tunes, a laid-back boardwalk fun.

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    Arts & Culture

    Cameron Art Museum (6.3 miles)
    3201 S 17th St, Wilmington, NC 28412 | (910) 395-5999
    The Cameron Art Museum in downtown Wilmington features fixed and rotating exhibits and a robust arts education program.

    Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts (0.4 miles)
    310 Chestnut St, Wilmington, NC 28401 | (910) 632-2241
    Considered one of oldest and most beautiful theatres in the country, this old-world venue stages 250+ arts performances each year.

    Bellamy Mansion Museum of History & Design (.07 miles)
    503 Market St, Wilmington, NC 28401 | (910) 251-3700
    A stunning example of antebellum architecture, the Bellamy features self-guided and docent-led tours, changing exhibits, and seasonal “Jazz at the Mansion” concerts.

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    Only In Wilmington

    USS North Carolina (BB-55) (3 miles)  
    1 Battleship Rd NE, Wilmington, NC 28401 | (910) 251-5797
    Take a self-guided tour of this WWII battleship that serves as a memorial for the 11,000 North Carolinians who died during the war.

    Wilmington Riverwalk (0.3 miles)
    Wilmington, NC 28401
    This pedestrian-friendly, 1.75 mile stretch along the Cape Fear River is home to dozens of shops, outdoor cafes, art galleries, and charming boutiques.

    North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher (22.3 miles)  
    900 Loggerhead Rd, Kure Beach, NC 28449 | (910) 772-0500
    From baby sea turtles to a rare albino alligator, come explore the regions aquatic life through a series of interactive exhibits, daily shows, and touch tanks designed to educate and excite.

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