Out and About in Wilmington
8 of our favorite things to do in this historic city.
May 11, 2022 at 8:00 AM in Things to Do by
A coastal Carolina city, Wilmington, NC offers lovely beachfront views with a robust arts and entertainment scene. This historic city has a walkable downtown and is most pleasant in April, May, and October.
1. Reel Cafe Rooftop Bar
This spot in historic Wilmington is popular for its pub food and oysters served in a charming brick building. With four bars and three levels in the Reel Café, you don’t have to stay on the rooftop, though it is pretty popular.
Photo courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/ReelCafeWilmington/photos...
2. Wilmington Downtown Riverwalk
Probably the most walkable area of all Wilmington, the Downtown Riverwalk allows you to explore the city’s history while stopping into charming shops and restaurants. Find a lunch spot you like and walk the length of the Riverwalk for an enjoyable afternoon of browsing through art, marketplaces, and more!
Photo courtesy of https://www.wilmingtonandbeaches.com/listing/wilmi...
3. Blind Elephant
Take a trip back in time in this Roaring 20s-style cocktail bar. The Blind Elephant specializes in all things craft and has an ample bourbon selection that enthusiasts will appreciate. If you’re looking for a fun night out, this speakeasy has to be on your itinerary!
Photo courtesy of http://www.blindelephantspeakeasy.com/
4. Live Oak Bank Pavilion
This is the premier venue for shows in Wilmington. Popular acts often play here, with a main focus on folk and blues-inspired singers and bands. This open-air venue is perfect if you’re visiting Wilmington in the summer months.
Photo courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/LiveOakBankPav/photos/a.1...
5. Airlie Gardens
There’s no better place for a relaxing morning walk than this botanical garden. Whether you just want to explore or you’re looking for something guided and structured, a ticket to Airlie Gardens is a must. While an admission fee is charged, it’s moderate and keeps the Garden open.
Photo courtesy of https://airliegardens.org/
6. Dead Crow Comedy Room
This is the only full-time comedy club in the entire region. As such, you get a great variety of large acts and local performers. With accompanying food trucks and in-house beer, wine, and cocktails, you can enjoy a night out watching your favorite performers or discovering new up-and-comers.
Photo courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/deadcrowcomedy/photos/391...
7. The Cotton Exchange
This complex consists of eight historical buildings filled with local shops and vendors. If you’re looking for keepsakes and presents to bring back home, spend an afternoon here browsing the array of jewelry, sweets, clothing, and art. If you want to make a day out of it, you’ll find a coffee shop, numerous restaurants, an escape room, and even a distillery!
Photo courtesy of https://www.shopcottonexchange.com/
8. Cape Fear Riverboat
The Cape Fear Riverboat is downtown Wilmington’s longest continuously running boat tour, offering tours for the last 35 years! Offering several options, you can take this riverboat on a nature cruise, informative sightseeing tour, or a romantic sunset cruise.
Photo courtesy of https://cfrboats.com/
If you want to walk by brick buildings and enjoy relaxing southern charm, Wilmington, NC, has slowly but surely been cementing itself as one of the best places to do so.