What’s New Around Wilmington

Wondering what to do around here? Check out our staff’s top picks. From new and noteworthy events and attractions to longtime faves, we’ll share an insider’s look at all the best Wilmington has to offer.

Unspooling Film Reel

Celebrate 18 Years of Indie Film at CFIFF

From horror flicks to documentaries, and almost every genre in between, the 18th annual Cape Fear Independent Film Festival is ready to reveal the latest indie gems. From June 14-16, film lovers can gather at the Hannah S. Block USO/Community Arts Center in downtown Wilmington to view a diverse and fascinating collection that represents the best of independent film. Filmgoers will see national and international selections, along with local and regional films in a variety of genres. Awards will be presented in 10 different categories, and celebrity guests will be on hand, in addition to business and educational panels.

Join the kickoff party at Ironclad Brewery, and mousse up your big hair for the Eighties Prom Party happening after the Awards Ceremony. The three days of films will include the following: “Ingenium,” along with the short films “Birthday” and “A Swedish Classic.” Horror fans can look forward to “Livescream,” “Sarah’s Dream,” “Redneck Zombie,” and “She Came From the Woods,” along with many more. Additional feature films include “Snapshots,” “Zeroes,” and “All Light Will End.” Also featured are “(Not) Fake News Documentaries,” a “Historical Friction Shorts Block,” and an Actors Panel. For details and tickets, click here.

Isabella Rossellini in David Lynch Movie Blue Velvet

Get the Backlot Stories on the Hollywood Location Tour

Calling all movie lovers, film historians, and general curiosity seekers – want to get an up close and personal look at the locations, interiors, props, and set pieces from some of your favorite movies and television shows? Are you a fan of the hauntingly tragic movie “The Crow,” David Lynch’s neo-noir masterpiece “Blue Velvet,” or the dark hilarity of “Weekend at Bernie’s?” What about “Sleepy Hollow,” “The Secret Life of Bees,” and “The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood?”

How about the wildly popular television shows like “Good Behavior,” and “Under the Dome?” If so, be sure to reserve your place for the Hollywood Location Walk. Described as a “90-minute movie and TV show through one of America’s largest living film sets,” you’ll feel like a real Hollywood insider as your guide takes you through the tour, sharing tidbits about some of the biggest hits made right here in Wilmywood. Sound like fun? Want to know more? Click here for more information, or here for tickets.

sea turtle with tropical fish

Sea Turtles, Stingrays, And Sharks, Oh My!


If you’re wondering what makes the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher one of the state’s top ten attractions, just ask the kids crowding around Luna’s habitat. Luna, a rare albino alligator, is a must-see at this award-winning Kure Beach facility that is dedicated to educating visitors about the aquatic wonders of the Cape Fear region. The aquarium is home to dozens of native creatures, including American alligators, box turtles, and rattlesnakes, who populate the Cape Fear Conservatory. Hands-on exhibits in the Coastal Waters Gallery offer time with sea urchins and horseshoe crabs, while the Open Oceans Gallery gives offshore swimmers the nod, with exhibits featuring pufferfish, octopus and jellyfish.

The centerpiece of the aquarium is the saltwater Cape Fear Shoals, a replica of an offshore reef that offers opportunities to come face-to-fin with stingrays, moray eels, and sharks through viewing windows on two floors. Outdoors, the Spadefish sculpture fountain at the aquarium’s entrance is a great spot for a photo op with kids, or head over to the seasonal Dinosaurs! exhibit in the outdoor garden, where a new residents include a T-Rex, Dilophosaurus, and Diabloceratops in all their animated wonder. Seasonal exhibits, daily animal feedings and up-close encounters, as well as talks with divers, guided tours, and educational firms are all included in the entrance fee.

North Carolina Aquarium, 900 Loggerhead Rd, Kure Beach, NC 28449
(910) 772-0500 | ncaquariums.com