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A Weekend in

WILMINGTON, NC By Joy Steinberg

O

utdoor sun and fun. Historic sites and potential haunts. Festivals and live music. Savory food and cool drinks. Wilmington, North Carolina, has attractions for all tastes.

Why Go?

As a port city in North Carolina, Wilmington is known as a gateway to Cape Fear Coast beaches such as Wrightsville, Carolina and Kure Beach. The charming historic district downtown runs along the Cape Fear River, with views of the waterway and the Battleship North Carolina.

What to See and Do

Start your weekend Friday afternoon with a breath of fresh air and inspiring natural beauty at Airlie Gardens. This beautiful property offers 67 acres of outdoor beauty. Be sure to make time for a leisurely stroll along walking paths with stops to appreciate local flowers, majestic oak trees and sculptures displayed throughout the grounds. You may also be delighted by a variety of colorful birds during your stroll along this part of the North Carolina Birding Trail. Cultural and environmental programs are also frequently offered such as the summer concert series, bird hikes, art exhibits and an annual oyster roast. On Saturday, take a step back in time and reflect on the great contribution made by the U.S. armed services. History and maritime buffs will be intrigued by the Battleship North Carolina tour. A walking tour helps you to envision daily life on the battleship and the menacing combat her crew faced while at sea during World War II in the Pacific Theater. If some outdoor sun and fun is more to your taste, Aussie Island Surf Shop will equip you for an enjoyable afternoon on the water paddling by kayak or Stand-Up Paddleboard (SUP). A leisurely bike cruise along riverfront or coastal neighborhoods offers a land-based option as well.

Where to Eat

All this activity will certainly encourage an appetite. If you’re seeking a craft cocktail and some delicious ‘Southern Coastal Cuisine’ then The George On The Riverwalk is a must. They make Bourbon Campfire with house-made ginger beer and Basil Hayden’s bourbon and garnish it with a scorched orange rind as the finishing touch. Request a table on the outdoor patio to enjoy a view of the river and U.S.S. Battleship North Carolina. Sip, savor and let life float by while you enjoy southern fare such as George’s Shrimp and Grits. An alternative option just a few blocks away from the Riverwalk is the Fortunate Glass. Step inside for a retreat from the downtown bustle to enjoy their well curated selection of small plates and wine pairings. Benjamin Franklin’s quote best conveys the spirit of this cozy, yet elegant wine bar—“Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried with fewer tensions and more tolerance.”

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From top: Airlie Gardens landscape view © Airlie Gardens; Airlie Gardens Bottle Chapel © Airlie Gardens; The Bourbon Campfire ©The George on The Riverwalk; Shrimp and Grits ©The George On The Riverwalk

If you go

Conveniently loca ted historic downtown within walking distance of an Ballast Wilmington d the Riverwalk, Hotel is accommodations. a great choice of Savor the sunset po with a view of the water and Riverwal olside k. For more informat ion about Wilmingt on and 2019-2020 events , visit www.wilmingtonan dbeaches.com

Wilmington NC Riverfront, Courtesy of Wilmington and Beaches CVB

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