The 10 Best Things to Do in Wilmington, United States

September 11, 2017 Matilde Konrad

Wilmington is a vibrant riverfront city and the most accessible coastal area in the state. The pedestrian-friendly Riverwalk winds along the Cape Fear River, connecting many of the city’s shops, cafés, and nightlife with waterfront hotels, parks and the Port City Marina. Annual festivals, such as Riverfest, Wilmington Beer Week and the world-famous North Carolina Azalea Festival, attract crowds year-round. Three nearby island beaches offer even more dining, attractions and water sports.
Restaurants in Wilmington

1. Noni Bacca Winery

420 Eastwood Rd Ste 108, Wilmington, NC 28403-1866 +1 910-397-7617
Excellent
94%
Good
3%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 205 reviews

Noni Bacca Winery

Reviewed By pparrothead - Wilmington, North Carolina

I recently stopped at Noni Bacca Winery for the first time while running between errands this past week. While I have passed it many times I never thought to stop and check it out.

I walked in and met Tony the owner and Nancy and introduced myself. He was in the process of bringing in the barrels of grape must for wine making. We spoke for awhile as he worked and answered all of my questions regarding the types of wines they produce and how long they have been in the wine making business.

I was very impressed with the wall of wine bottles featuring all of the awards that Noni Bacca has accumulated over the years at wine competitions. I had a chance to speak with the "wine maker" and that is always fun. We have visited various vineyards while on vacations over the years and always took the time to speak with those who are making the wines....

I am sure that my wife and I will be visiting Noni Bacca soon for a wine tasting and to bring home a bottle or two for upcoming dinners. You should definitely make Noni Bacca Winery a must visit while in Wilmington if you are a wine enthusiast. You will be impressed.

2. Battleship NORTH CAROLINA

#1 Battleship Road, Wilmington, NC 28402 +1 910-399-9100
Excellent
74%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 2 reviews

Battleship NORTH CAROLINA

As you walk the decks of the NORTH CAROLINA, imagine yourself in the South Pacific during WWII searching the sky for enemy aircraft, anticipating what may happen next. Step aboard the most decorated US Battleship of WWII! Explore nine decks, crew's quarters, gun turrets, and much more. Discover where history comes alive. Located at the junctions of highways 17, 76, 74, 421 on the Cape Fear River across from historic downtown Wilmington. Open every day!

Reviewed By Cheryl S - Essex, UK

This is a great part of history and heritage and I don’t honestly think you can visit Wilmington and never see this place. It’s unmissable for a start. The staff are friendly and there is so so much to see and explore. I never knew there was so much on a uss naval ship. I visited early in the morning which allowed for excellent photo opportunities and pretty much having the place to myself.

3. Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts

310 Chestnut St, Wilmington, NC 28401-4020 +1 910-632-2241
Excellent
82%
Good
15%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 233 reviews

Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts

Completed in 1858, Thalian Hall is one of the United States most historic theatres. Built in the Italianate Opera House style, Thalian Hall has been in continuous operation since its opening.Thalian hall has undergone several renovations throughout its history with the most recent renovation completed in May of 2010.Thalian Hall hosts the Main Attractions Series of world-class touring artists in various performance disciplines, the cinematique arthouse film series, The annual Pied Piper Children's Theatre, as well a over 35 community based theatre, dance, film and music organizations.

Reviewed By Viviancumming - Cumming, Georgia

My family goes back over 200 years in Wilmington. I couldn't help but wonder if some of my ancestors sat in these very chairs to enjoy some entertainment. This venue has been in continuous use since 1858! Imagine...such a treat!
I had purchased tickets some months ago for the Christmas story....the BBgun story. We love live theatre and were anxious to actually see inside Thalian Hall.
The venue was full, they had nice refreshments and lots of volunteers to assist you.
The play was a musical. It was their first night and flawless!!
I can't possibly point out one as the whole cast was spot on. They were all microphoned and you could hear every word!!
Fabulous!!
We will definitely book again on our next trip.

4. Airlie Gardens

300 Airlie Rd, Wilmington, NC 28403-3706 +1 910-798-7700
Excellent
70%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 897 reviews

Airlie Gardens

Reviewed By Dream_teamML - St. George, Utah

We were in the area and decided to stop by, we walked a long the route and saw almost all the main attractive areas. The gardens were beautiful and flowers and trees were great! We had 4 adults and 1 baby in our group and...MoreThanks for visiting us. We're doing our best to track down the websites that advertise the admission incorrectly- we really appreciate the visit and the info!

5. Historic District

Wilmington, NC 28412 +1 910-409-4300
Excellent
65%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 933 reviews

Historic District

One of the largest districts listed with the National Register of Historical Places.

Reviewed By Alan S - Raleigh, United States

Wilmington's historic district contains many charming and beautiful homes and mansions and has a beautiful fountain at Market and 5th Streets. Take a walk or drive and explore. Read the many historic markers in front of the preserved homes. Then stroll along the wonderful and scenic Riverwalk. Parking is free on Sundays and there is metered parking in the historic area from Monday-Saturday. A horse drawn carriage tour, boat tours, mansion tours, and ghost tours are also available.

6. Bellamy Mansion

503 Market St, Wilmington, NC 28401-4634 +1 910-251-3700
Excellent
60%
Good
31%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 480 reviews

Bellamy Mansion

Reviewed By igolfCA - Williamsburg, Virginia

This is a huge historic house with three floors. Every room in the house is open for viewing (unusual). All of the restorations have been done with materials of the same period. There is not a lot of furniture inside, but what is there is either original or of the same period.

The original carriage house is there and is currently the gift shop and theater. The original slave quarters are in the back and were for the slaves that worked in the house. The house had the original steps going upstairs which were very steep!

The gardens were not in the best condition as I went there in February. I would love to see them in the summer. Our tour guide was great. He told us everything about the house and said he had being giving tours for 15 years. He certainly did enjoy doing it, and we loved hearing what he had to say. Highly recommend this house tour.

7. New Hanover County Arboretum

6206 Oleander Dr, Midtown, Wilmington, NC 28403-3534 +1 910-798-7660
Excellent
65%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 200 reviews

New Hanover County Arboretum

Reviewed By Claudia D - Raleigh, North Carolina, United States

We visited it on a Sunday afternoon. On Sunday the grounds are open but the gift shop and greenhouses are closed. We enjoyed the scenery particularly the Japanese garden section and the pond that is central to the park. There are lots of signs telling you what each plant is and mailboxes with information you Can take to learn more about the theme of that section of the park. It's obvious that it is intended for educational purposes but there are sections that one could enjoy for peaceful contemplation, like the small labyrinth area. They've really crammed a lot into a relatively small park. Like a group picnic area, an area on vegetables gardens, and comparisons if different kinds of


grasses.

There were some unsightly areas too. For example they had dug up a large area in the
far side of the pond and also the rearmost part of the park looked pretty plain and
barren.

Best thing about it is it's free. It's also conveniently located.
PS I disagree that this is called an arboretum. It doesn't feature trees but rather mostly small bushes and plants

8. Downtown Wilmington

Front Street, Wilmington, NC
Excellent
62%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 573 reviews

Downtown Wilmington

Reviewed By mrromansc2017 - Spartanburg, South Carolina

Very walkable city center. Lots of shops and restaurants for varied interests. Area around the Hilton Hotel is underconstruction and a bit of mess. Boardwalk south of Hilton Hotel is tourist oriented with several riverview restaurants. Go for the view but not necessarily the food. We were there in "off season" ( February) so the food at the restaurants might not be at its best best and a bit on the high price side ( pay for the view?) Bordwalk to the north is new and leads past convention center and marina. Nice for a wak or bike ride, but no places to to eat. Many smaller restaurants in the downtown to meet a variety of tastes and budgets. Visit the Thiel Center ( adjacent and connected to the City Hall ) to see nicely restored Opera House..

9. Cape Fear Museum

814 Market St, Wilmington, NC 28401-4731 +1 910-798-4350
Excellent
58%
Good
37%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 187 reviews

Cape Fear Museum

Exploring the history, science and cultures of the Lower Cape Fear region. Founded in 1898. Closed Mondays September - May.

Reviewed By Saburns12 - Charleston, South Carolina

I wanted to see a movie set, but the recording suggested we attend the Cape Fear Museum, as nothing was going on. I thought this was time well spent with my 12 and 10 year old grandsons. We brought a picnic and had lunch outside in their gardens. Lots of displays to enjoy and see so much of the past of Wilmington. Love this and would go again. Some limited movie sets memorbilia was in here as well.

10. Riverwalk

From Nutt St to Nunn Street, Along the Cape Fear River, Wilmington, NC 28401 +1 910-338-3134
Excellent
58%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Riverwalk

Reviewed By Kathy S - Kissimmee, Florida

With lots of room and being beautifully built you would think there would be more people taking advantage of it. However, it is like a ghost town and gives an eerie vibe. It is a new venture with few eating places. One has never opened and the bar/restaurant that was open was nearly empty and is on its second venue. This place has great potential and with some tweaking could be a happening place. It is a number of blocks from the downtown area and they are going to have to use more marketing and get more exposure to make it successful.

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