The guide to the fun things to do in Wilmington, North Carolina is written in collaboration with Visit Wilmington and Beaches CVB. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Linda Eats World.
Sometimes it’s hard to remember that a beach town is more than just a beach. Don’t get me wrong, I love the happy and carefree vibes of laying on a beach and listening to the waves of the ocean. But perchance you want more from your visit to the coastal town of Wilmington, I put together a list of fun things to do in Wilmington, North Carolina that doesn’t include the obvious two things, eating and laying out on the beach.
Go turtle, bird, and alligator watching by kayaking Greenfield Lake
Located near downtown Wilmington, Lake Greenfield was originally developed in the early 1700s by Dr. Samuel Green to help rice production. Nowadays, it’s a lake enclosed by Greenfield Lake Park. You can spend some meditative time and watch for wildlife (turtles, birds, and alligators!) while you paddle around. I’ve never operated a kayak by myself before and was a little nervous to do so for the first time. Spoiler alert: I had a great time, and didn’t fall in! If you’re nervous at all like me, the waters are calm and the Tracey, owner of Wrightsville Kayak is such a kind and patient guide.
Take a walking food tour with Taste Carolina.
Taking a walking tour with Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours is such a great way to start your trip to Wilmington. I always enjoy scheduling bike and walking tours at the beginning of a trip so you can get a feel of the lay of the land. The tour guides of Taste Carolina are approachable, knowledgable, and funny. It’s also a great way to meet new people!
For a more thorough food and drink guide to Wilmington, check out this article here.
Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours
Admire historic architecture by visiting historic mansions.
I love visiting old homes when I travel. It satisfies my nosy interest in how others lived! In Wilmington Historic Downtown, you can immerse yourself in architectural history by visiting some well-known historic mansions. Pictured is Bellamy Mansion, which has guided tours starting at 11 am, a perk included with the general admission tickets. Other mansions worth visiting are the Burgin-Wright House and Gardens and The Latimer House. You can visit all three with a passport ticket of $30.
503 Market St, Wilmington, NC 28401
Burgin-Wright House and Gardens
224 Market St, Wilmington, NC 28401
126 S 3rd St, Wilmington, NC 28401
Get cozy and peruse bookshelves 📚 at Old Books on Front St.
Is there anything cozier than a quaint bookstore? Reading goes hand-in-hand with travel. I challenge you to not lose track of time while you go through the stacks at Old Books on Front St.
Old Books on Front St.
249 N Front St, Wilmington, NC 28401
Leisurely shop antiques and collectibles at Castle Street Arts & Antique District
You can explore the artsy neighborhood of Castle Street Arts. Pictured is the Jess James + Co vintage boutique. Please note they’re closed on Sundays! Also nearby is Gravity Records, a local record store that also sometimes features live music.
612 Castle St, Wilmington, NC 28401
Jess James + Co.
511 Castle Street @jessjames.co, Wilmington, NC 28401
Learn Wilmington history while cruising with Henrietta Sightseeing.
I wish more childhood history classes were taught on top of a cruise ship. Can you imagine the data retention rate? Learn more about the history of Wilmington with Henrietta Sightseeing Cruise. You’ll get some fun pop-culture references woven into history. Anyone a fan of One Tree Hill? How about Matlock?
Henrietta Sightseeing Cruise
101 S. Water St.
Grab Cocktails at Wilmington’s Piano Bar and Speakeasy
I’ve mentioned both the Tails, a sexy piano bar and Blind Elephant, a cool speakeasy in my food and drinks guide, but these unique bars are definitely worth another mention for when you plan your trip to Wilmington. Both feature live music often and have impeccable cocktail options.
Tails Piano Bar
115 S Front St, Wilmington, NC 28401
21 N Front St, Wilmington, NC 28401
For a list of restaurants in Wilmington, check out my restaurant guide!
And that concludes my list thus far. Did I miss any of your favorites? Leave a comment and let me know!
I will update this guide as I make more trips to Wilmington. I have a feeling this will be one of my regular happy places as I live in North Carolina.
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