Things to Do in Wilmington, NC

Things to Do in Wilmington, NC

Last Updated on September 25, 2023

If you’re planning a trip to the coastal city of Wilmington, North Carolina, there’s a plethora of things to do in Wilmington, NC that will leave you enchanted. From exploring the rich history and culture of the city, strolling through beautiful gardens, engaging with diverse marine life, surfing at Wrightsville Beach, hiking at Carolina Beach State Park, to treating your taste buds with delicious seafood and craft beers – there’s something for everyone in Wilmington. 

The city’s southern charm, coupled with its vibrant arts scene and coastal vibe, promises a unique and memorable experience.

Now, if you’re considering making a permanent move here, given the extensive list of things to do in Wilmington, NC, it’s essential to enlist a reliable moving company to ensure a smooth transition. 

The Coastal Carrier Moving & Storage Company in Wilmington is an excellent choice for this. They are known for their professional services and will handle your belongings with utmost care, relieving you of the moving stress. So, whether you’re moving in to experience the diverse activities that Wilmington has to offer or a local looking for a change of scenery within the city, they have got you covered. 

With the moving hassles taken care of, all you have to focus on is planning your next adventure among the myriad of things to do in Wilmington, NC.

Wilmington’s Rich History

One of the first things to do in Wilmington, NC is to explore the city’s rich history. The city’s past dates back to centuries and its historical downtown stands as a testament to this. The antebellum and Victorian-era buildings, lining the riverfront, each tell a story of the city’s vibrant past.

Wilmington’s Unique Culture

Immersing in Wilmington’s unique culture is definitely among the “things to do in Wilmington, NC.” Home to the annual Azalea Festival, Wilmington celebrates arts and culture like no other city in North Carolina. It’s a blend of Southern hospitality, a thriving arts scene, and coastal living.

Top Attractions in Wilmington, NC

When considering things to do in Wilmington, NC, visiting the top attractions is a must.

Airlie Gardens

An explosion of color and life, Airlie Gardens is a 67-acre wonderland of flora and fauna. This historical garden dates back to the early 20th century and boasts a year-round bloom calendar. Visiting these mesmerizing gardens should be high on your list of things to do in Wilmington, NC.

The NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher

A favorite among families, the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher offers visitors a close encounter with a wide variety of marine life. From touching a stingray to exploring a replica of the Cape Fear River, this destination promises a day full of discovery and is among the most exciting things to do in Wilmington, NC.

Battleship North Carolina

The Battleship North Carolina is a compelling attraction that holds a significant place in Wilmington’s history. This World War II battleship now serves as a memorial to the valiant mariners who served during the war. 

Walking through this massive ship, learning about its history, and understanding its role during the war is an unforgettable experience and a significant item in the things to do in Wilmington, NC.

Historic Downtown Wilmington

Another great thing to do in Wilmington, NC, is exploring Historic Downtown Wilmington. Walking the cobblestone streets of this district is like taking a step back in time.

Outdoor Activities in Wilmington, NC

When searching for things to do in Wilmington, NC, outdoor activities are plenty and cater to different interests.

Surfing at Wrightsville Beach

Wrightsville Beach, one of the most popular spots among things to do in Wilmington, NC, is a haven for surfers. The sandy beach, lined with crystal-clear waters, offers excellent surfing conditions, making it a favorite among both seasoned surfers and beginners. If you’ve never surfed before, don’t worry! There are numerous surf schools along the beach offering lessons for beginners.

Kayaking in the Cape Fear River

Another activity among the things to do in Wilmington, NC, is kayaking in the Cape Fear River. Paddling your way through the calm waters of the river, you can take in the stunning views of the Wilmington Riverwalk, the USS North Carolina, and the natural landscape.

Hiking at Carolina Beach State Park

For nature lovers, hiking at Carolina Beach State Park ranks high among “things to do in Wilmington, NC.” This state park offers miles of hiking trails that meander through diverse ecosystems. One of the highlights of the park is the rare Venus flytrap, native to this region.

Food and Drinks in Wilmington, NC

A trip to Wilmington would be incomplete without indulging in the local cuisine.

Wilmington’s Seafood Specialties

If you’re wondering about the things to do in Wilmington, NC, trying the local seafood should be high on your list. The city’s location along the coast ensures that seafood is a staple in the local cuisine. From Calabash-style shrimp and fried oysters to blue crab, the seafood here is fresh, locally sourced, and prepared in traditional Southern styles.

Farm-to-Table Restaurants

Among the many things to do in Wilmington, NC, exploring the city’s food scene is a must. Wilmington has seen a rise in farm-to-table restaurants that serve dishes prepared with locally sourced ingredients. These restaurants offer a unique dining experience where you can taste the region’s freshest produce while supporting local farmers.

Craft Breweries in Wilmington

If you’re a beer lover, visiting the local craft breweries is among the things to do in Wilmington, NC. The city boasts several craft breweries, each offering a unique selection of beers. From hoppy IPAs to smooth lagers, the local breweries cater to different tastes. Some of these breweries also offer brewery tours where you can learn about the brewing process and sample different beers.


As we come to the end of this guide, it’s clear that the variety of things to do in Wilmington, NC, can cater to just about any preference. If you’re a history enthusiast, the rich past of the city, embodied by its many museums, historic homes, and the Battleship North Carolina, will keep you enthralled. 

Nature lovers will find their haven in the numerous parks, gardens, and the beautiful coastline. And if you’re a foodie, the local seafood, fresh farm-to-table offerings, and craft beer scene will have you spoilt for choice.

And yet, this guide only scratches the surface of things to do in Wilmington, NC. The city’s charm lies as much in its welcoming people, its sunny weather, and its lively arts and music scene as it does in its attractions. So whether you’re planning a family vacation, a romantic getaway, or an adventure trip, Wilmington has something to offer for everyone. 

A journey here is not just about the things to do in Wilmington, NC, but also about experiencing the southern charm, the coastal life, and the vibrant culture that make this city unique. Start planning your trip to Wilmington today and immerse yourself in the unforgettable experiences that await!

About Maria Kennedy

Maria Kennedy is the managing editor at Travel for Food Hub. Maria is on a full-tilt mission to share local food and travel inspiration. When she is not writing about food and travel, startups or social media, she is enjoying her time with her boys in sunny Spain.

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