From beautiful beaches to vibrant nightlife, Wilmington, NC has tons of attractions and activities for all ages. If you're planning your next vacation or just looking for new adventures, this guide will help you experience everything Wilmington has to offer.
Obviously, the number one thing to do during the summer is to go to one of the three beautiful beaches. Each with their own character and attractions, your day will be filled with relaxing sun and the ocean breeze. Take a trip down the Carolina Beach Boardwalk and experience amusement park rides, arcade games, and fireworks. Take a relaxing walk around Wrightsville Beach and bask in the sunsets over the island. Whatever your vacation holds, Wilmington has something for the whole family.
Another signature staple of summertime is the smell of peanuts at the ballfield. Home to the Wilmington Sharks, every summer some of the best college players from around the country come to play the great game here in Wilmington. Bring the whole family out to a game, or participate in Kid’s Camp where your child will have a chance to learn valuable baseball skills in a safe and fun environment!
Running every Friday night from May 25th to August 31st, jam out to local bands at the downtown sundown concert series. This free family-friendly event features a variety of genres and tribute bands. By purchasing a wristband for a dollar, you can enjoy a variety of alcoholic beverages while watching the sunset over the riverfront. This signature staple of summer fun is right in the heart of downtown, grab a bite to eat at one of the local restaurants in the area and enjoy a night of fun and upbeat music.
Another must-see attraction in the heart of downtown is the Riverfront Farmers’ Market. Local growers, producers, artisans, and crafters gather to sell a variety of fresh produce, homemade jams, art, and more. Immerse yourself in a creative and fun environment while supporting local businesses around the community.
Home to a variety of local and exotic wildlife, the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher is one of the top regional attractions each year. Discover all of the exciting creatures the aquarium holds and engage in live animal presentations and feedings. There is also specialty behind the scenes tours and surf fishing activities available. The aquarium also hosts week-long summer camps for children ages 5 to 16. Your children will receive a one-of-a-kind experience through different programs catered to their interests.
Nothing gives off thrill and excitement like catching a huge fish offshore. Perfect for a fun and lively family adventure, you’ll be able to experience local wildlife up close and personal. There are a variety of different charters both inshore and offshore throughout Wrightsville and Carolina beach including Sea Hound Fishing Charters and Fish Witch II Charter Fishing.
Home to fourteen local breweries, Wilmington is the place to find the perfect pint. The Ironclad Brewery is housed in a 90-year old historic building in downtown Wilmington. Take in breathtaking original brickwork and architecture while enjoying a cold beer. Indulge in your inner pirate inside the Edward Teach Brewery. The 100-year-old firehouse building is shaped like the inside of a ship and resembles the inner riggings. In Wilmington, every brewery is an experience and there is adventure around every corner.
A signature staple of Wilmington culture are the local restaurants that contribute to the community. In Wrightsville Beach, The Dockside restaurant is a hub for boaters and visitors drawn to the waterfront views and local seafood. Come by boat or by car and experience live music, signature drinks, and mouth-watering food. Similar to the Dockside, the Bluewater Waterfront Grill features a large outside deck on the waterfront, as well as live music every Sunday!
You can also dive into adventure through scuba diving, sailing, or paddle boarding, or surfing lessons. Wilmington is home to a variety of waterways, islands, marshes, and canals. Stand Up Paddle Boarding is a great way to get a workout in while soaking up the sun, you can rent all the equipment you’ll need from Cape Fear Paddleboarding. Wrightsville Beach is home to many surfing competitions such as the O'Neill Sweetwater Pro-Am Surf Fest and is known as being one of the best surfing destinations on the east coast. You can also experience marine life while diving around the many sunken sites right off island shores.
What better way to see all that Wilmington, NC has to offer than taking a scenic tour throughout the city and islands. Take a trip around the island on Island Hopper Tours or La Dee Dah Sunset Cruises, or visit Historic Downtown on a horse-drawn carriage. Wilmington also has tons of specialty tours to cater to your hobbies and interests. Visit local restaurants on a downtown tasting tour or visit the historic homes that capture the history of the city. In Wilmington, NC there is adventure around every corner! There is so much this town has to offer, and it doesn’t end here. Get started making fun-filled memories with your family and friends.