Are you taking your next trip to the south? Here are the best things to do in Wilmington,,, NC that show you why it is a fantastic destination! With the beautiful Cape Fear River to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, there is no shortage of stunning waterfront views along the intercoastal.
Is it your first time in North Carolina? From Island Beach getaways to historical sites and even cruises! If you are wondering what to do in Wilmington, we have got you covered. There is no shortage of activities for an extraordinary summer retreat, spring break or family vacation. You will love it here! This is truly one of the best beach towns in North Carolina!
In fact, if you are looking for free things to do in Wilmington, then visiting a beach is perfect! Going to one of the many beaches is perfect! Many of the best beaches in North Carolina are also near this region!
Let’s get started! Here are the 15 best things to do in Wilmington, North Carolina, you shouldn’t miss! Don’t forget to check out our list of Best Things to Do In North Carolina!
15 Best Things To Do In Wilmington NC You Shouldn’t Miss
Jungle Rapids Family Fun Park
There are so many fun things to do in Wilmington with kids! Visiting Jungle Rapid Family Fun Park is a fantastic way to spend a day in the sun. This waterpark has something for all ages. Who doesn’t enjoy waterslides?
This attraction has so much to offer! In addition to the water park at Jungle Rapids, there is also a go-kart track course, laser tag, an amusement park, mini-golf course and more! Do not forget to check out the 1 million gallon wave pool. It is huge!
Weekends attractions in Wilmington like Jungle Rapids Family Fun Park can be extremely so make sure you plan ahead! Be sure to follow any safety guidelines whenever you visit waterparks to ensure you have the best time possible!
Exploring Wilmington’s River Walk
If you are looking for things to do in Wilmington for couples, taking a stroll on the River Walk is an excellent idea for a romantic evening activity. Your visit to Wilmington, NC, is not complete without seeing the intercoastal from the River Walk. It is so beautiful!
The River Walk stretches a span of 2 miles between Nunn Street to the Isabella Holmes Bridge. From here, you can explore downtown Wilmington. The River Walk is home to iver 200 local shops that are open eat round. The Conlon Pier accessible from the boardwalk is a popular spot for sightseeing. It is also the only spot along the River Walk where you are allowed to fish.
With the unique local boutiques, art and spectacular views the River Walk is hands down one of the best free things to do in Wilmington NC!
Battleship North Carolina
Another great place to spend the day is Battleship North Carolina. Of all the places to visit in Wilmington, the majestic battleship, North Carolina, is definitely the most unique. It is a popular tourist attraction for families.
Battleship North Caroline is located just across the river near downtown Wilmington. You can’t miss this epic landmark in the harbour. The location is also perfect for seeing sunsets over the water. It is hands down one of the best things to do in Wilmington, NC.
Join the crew! Visitors can get tickets to tour the decks of this World War II battleship. The battleship is open come rain or shine, so it is one of the fun things to do in Wilmington all year round.
The Children’s Museum Of Wilmington
Another one of the best things to do in Wilmington with kids is taking a trip to The Children’s Museum of Wilmington! While the museum is meant for kids 1-10 years old, the imaginative hands-on exhibits provide fun for any and all ages.
The museum is a safe, clean environment that allows kids to learn while exploring! The Children’s Museum is one of the best activities in Wilmington if you are staying near the city’s downtown. The central location is near loads of local shops and great restaurants in Wilmington!
There is no shortage of fun things to do in Wilmington, North Carolina. However, you do not want to forget to put The Children’s Museum of Wilmington on your list.
Are you looking for the best things to do near Wilmington, North Carolina? If that is the case, then you should check out Kure Beach. There are many beaches near Wilmington. However, Kure Beach is a favorite among locals.
Kure beach is located only 15 miles south of downtown Wilmington, on Pleasure Island. When it comes to Experiencing the coast of Cape Fear, Kure beach is exceptional. Its proximity to so many other attractions makes it a perfect choice to spend the day by the sea.
Come catch the sand and oceanside breeze at Kure Beach, one of the best things to do in Wilmington. Remember to pack your sunscreen! If you are looking for more cute beach towns in the south this is only the beginning!
Grab your surfboard! Just east of Wilmington, NC is the charming town of Wrightsville Beach. It is one of the best places to visit in Wilmington. It is also one of the most well-known attractions in Wilmington, famous for being a place to catch fantastic waves.
Visiting Wrightsville Beach is the perfect family-friendly day activity. This is one of the best beaches in the south. Both the waterfront and town are picturesque! The beach is safe and spacious.
Take a guided tour of Masonboro Island, or cruise the beach in a sailboat. If you are looking for things to do in Wilmington at night, you can finish your evening here by enjoying a delicious, fresh seafood dinner on the pier.
Cameron Art Museum
The Cameron Art Museum, located on the west side of the city is easily one of the best things to do in Wilmington. The CAM is known for providing a culturally enriching experience. The magic begins the moment you walk in the door!
The museum is known to feature local artists. The exhibits are extremely powerful and have a deep meaning that you can feel! The CAM’s programs are dynamic and showcase all mediums. Best of all there is always new!
Museums are some of the best activities in Wilmington if you love history and art! The CAM has a great café, so you can grab brunch after your visit. What a great way to start a weekend trip!
Fort Fisher State Historical Site
Once a confederate base during the civil war, Fort Fisher Historical State Site is full of history. Fort Fisher is one of the best activities in Wilmington, North Carolina. You do not want to miss it!
This historic site is actually located in the nearby town of Kure Beach. After your time sunbathing in the sand you may be looking for more things to do near Wilmington. In that case, Fort Fisher Historical Site is perfect!
It is incredible how many artifacts from the Civil War to World War II have been well preserved! Visiting Fort Fisher is like taking a trip back in time.
Did you know that you can visit places where Dawson’s Creek, One Tree Hill and Outer Banks were filmed? That’s right! Since the 1980’s hundreds of your favorite movies and tv shows have been filmed in this region of North Carolina.
You will often hear locals lovingly refer to this area as “Willmywood,” it is known as the Hollywood of the East Coast. One of the most fun things to do in Wilmington is taking a guided tour of the most popular filming production sites.
Remember to bring your camera! There are so many attractions in Wilmington. With so many sites perhaps you want to take a road trip through North Carolina!
Searching for the best activities in Wilmington? Taking an island cruise is a great idea. You will love touring the magnificent islands along the coast of Cape Fear.
Boating through this region is the best way to see the intercoastal. This is also a great pick if you are looking for things to do in Wilmington for couples. Some of the best boat operators will take you on a sunset cruise. How romantic!
The Outerbanks region has so many beautiful views and different natural landscapes. A cruise through the islands is a great way to make lifelong memories.
Front Street Brewery
If you are looking for things to do in Wilmington for adults, look no further than Front Street Brewery. They are best known for having an amazing on-tap selection. While you are here, make sure to check out some of the best restaurants in the Outer Banks!
This micro-craft-brewery has the best pub and grub fare in the city. Front Street Brewery serves ice cold award winning beer. They also have a delicious menu of from scratch food. Try the Low Country Grit Cakes or the famous Pulled Chicken Nachos.
Front Street Brewery named after its location, had been open for more than 25 years. One of the best things to do in Wilmington at night is right here! Stop in for a tour and after stay into the evening, you will love their atmosphere. Don’t forget to grab a six pack to take home!
Apple Annie’s Bake Shop
After you have visited all your favorite Wilmington activities, you can make your way to Apple Annie’s Bake Shop for dessert. You will love the selection of fresh baked goods made from scratch with the freshest ingredients.
According to locals, this is the best place for dessert in Wilmington. People often make Apple Annie’s their first stop when visiting the city! From delicious pies, cookies, cheesecakes, french bread, breakfast pastries, custom designs and cupcakes, there are many sweet treats you will love!
Apple Annie’s is located on Kerr Avenue, near the University of North Carolina. The fresh baking can be smelt from down the block. You do not want to miss it!
Taking a stroll through Airlie Gardens is easily one of the best free things to do in Wilmington NC. There is so much to see and do in the gardens. It is a great spot to have a picnic!
Of all the places to visit in Wilmington Airlie Gardens is extremely special as there are so many species preserved and protected here. The gardens are peaceful and beautiful, they are also well maintained. You can take a guided walk, the staff is happy to help you learn more about the flora and fauna.
Airlie Gardens even has a special garden dedicated to flowers that help attract important pollinators like bees and butterflies! Be sure to add this to your list of things to do in Wilmington NC.
Bottega Art & Wine
One of the best things to do in Wilmington at night is to experience something new at Bogetta Art Gallery And Wine Bar. Located in Bigg Redd’s Barber Shop, it is open til 2:00 AM most nights! This Wine Bar is a true hidden gem!
A great escape for a night out, especially when you have a night off from the kids! If you are looking for the best things to do in Wilmington for adults, this is for you! This Art & Wine bar also sells eclectic home furnishings that bring any room to life. What a cool souvenir!
The award winning Bottega Art & Wine is also home to the NPR show “Bottega live on WHQR”. Stop in to listen to great music and learn more about local artists. The atmosphere is completely unique and likely something you have never seen before!
Zeke’s Island Reserve
Zeke’s Island Preserve is one of the best things to do in Wilmington with kids. This coastal nature preserve on an island in the cape fear river basin is a popular destination for hiking, fishing, and adventures on the beach.
Many choose to visit Zeke’s island after touring Fort Fisher State Historical Site. You can get to this and other outlying islands such as No Name Island by taking a boat. Zeke’s Island is approximately 14 miles from Wilmington’s shore.
Finally, the staff on the reserve can help if you need assistance, with navigation or safety tips!