Month: September 2010

Durham, North Carolina

A- Overview:
Close your eyes and imagine a city set among acres of hardwood and evergreen forests, hills and dales, serene lakes, meandering rivers and streams, and you will have an accurate picture of Durham, North Carolina. Durham is the fourth largest city in the state, and is located about halfway between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the pristine beaches of North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Durham is a colorful, creative, and entrepreneurial community and is the proud home of Research Triangle Park, Duke, and North Carolina universities. Visitors have found this congenial town to be filled with an engaging spirit where diverse and passionate people are open and welcoming. Both residents and visitors enjoy the host of cultural, historical, educational, and natural amenities that Durham has to offer.

Durham has also been called the City of Medicine for its outstanding hospitals, major national and multinational health care companies, cutting-edge research companies, specialty clinics, nationally recognized medical teaching facilities, and acclaimed centers for weight management.

Although each is separate and distinct, Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill are the three main cities that make up the family of communities sometimes referred to as the Research Triangle or the Triangle Region. Research Triangle Park (RTP) carved from Durham pinelands in 1959 as a special Durham County tax district for research and production, is encompassed on three sides by the City of Durham and a mere four miles from downtown Durham. The Triangle now refers to two metropolitan statistical areas (a four county MSA with the city of Durham at its core, and another around Raleigh-Cary), a 13-county state planning region, and other regional cooperatives

If you are wondering what to do during your trip to Durham, visiting adults and children enjoy the highly acclaimed, entirely hands-on Museum of Life and Science. Durham has many historic sites from which to choose, such as Bennett Place (where the Civil War ended) or Stagville (the largest plantation in North Carolina with the original big house, slave quarters, and a monumental barn still standing). Explore the miles of nature trails along the Eno River, or take a restful stroll through the Sarah P. Duke Gardens. At night, you may want to enjoy a live performance at Duke University or at the beautifully restored Carolina Theatre in downtown Durham.

No trip to Durham would be complete without visiting Duke University. The highlight of this showplace is the Duke Chapel, reminiscent of England’s Canterbury Cathedral. The bell tower rises 210 feet and houses a 50-bell carillon that rings out at the end of each workday and on Sunday. A half-million-dollar Flentrop organ with more than 5,000 pipes is in a special oak gallery, and renowned organists perform public recitals on the first Sunday of each month. During a visit to the West Campus, take a look at Cameron Indoor Stadium, the home of the Duke Blue Devils basketball team since 1935.

Thousands of locals and tourists fill the stands each summer as the Durham Bulls play a full season in the Class AAA International League as an affiliate of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The Bulls shot to fame (and have been credited with rejuvenating minor league baseball ) on the shoulders of Kevin Costner catching for rookie pitcher Tim Robbins in the 1988 movie “Bull Durham”. While the Bulls no longer play in Historic Durham Athletic Park where the film was actually shot, the park is still standing and hosts numerous events and festivals each year. In 1995, the Bulls moved from the wonderful old-time ballpark to a state-of-the-art stadium about a mile south in downtown Durham.

Throughout the year, Durham is jumping with festivals and events. From free music concerts and chili cook-offs to art exhibits and world class film festivals, visitors to the Durham area will find both their days and nights filled with stimulating entertainment.

B- City Information:
Population: 203,778

Elevation: 394 feet

Area: 94.6 square miles

Location: Twenty-three miles from the Virginia border, Durham is in the northeast corner of North Carolina’s central piedmont, a geographic foothills region lying between mountains and coastal plains. Durham is 140 miles from the Appalachian highlands and 130 miles from the coast.

Nearest city: Raleigh, NC; 21.5 miles

Time Zone: Eastern Standard Time and observes daylight saving time from April to October.

Local Seasons: Durham has a moderate climate during spring, fall and winter, but summers are hot and humid. Winter temperatures are chilly but temperate, ranging from highs in the low 50s F to lows in the upper 20s-mid-30s F, with snowfall rare. Spring and fall days are perfect sweater-weather days, with daytime temperatures usually in the low to mid-70s F, falling at night into the 50s F. Summer days are often in the upper 80s and low 90s F with high humidity.

Weather:

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Average temp. (°F)
38.6
41.6
49.7
58.6
67.0
75.0
79.2
77.2
70.7
59.0
49.8
41.7

High temperature (°F)
49.3
53.5
62.1
71.3
78.6
85.1
88.7
86.9
81.1
71.4
62.1
52.8

Low temperature (°F)
27.9
29.7
37.2
45.8
55.4
64.9
69.6
67.5
60.2
46.6
37.6
30.6

Precipitation (in)
4.4
3.7
4.6
3.3
4.5
3.9
4.0
4.3
4.4
3.7
3.4
3.4

Climate:

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Days with precip.
10
10
10
9
10
10
11
10
8
7
8
9

Wind speed (mph)
8.2
8.6
9.3
8.8
7.7
7.0
6.7
6.3
6.7
6.6
7.1
7.7

Morning humidity (%)
80
78
80
81
85
87
89
91
92
90
85
81

Afternoon humidity (%)
55
52
49
46
54
56
58
59
59
53
52
55

Sunshine (%)
52
56
60
63
59
60
60
58
58
60
57
53

Days clear of clouds
9
9
9
10
8
8
7
7
10
13
11
10

Partly cloudy days
7
6
7
9
10
12
12
12
9
7
7
7

Cloudy days
15
14
14
11
13
11
12
11
11
11
11
14

Snowfall (in)
2.8
2.5
1.3
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.1
0.8

Getting around:

By Bus

Public transportation is offered by DATA (Durham Area Transit Authority).
919-687-7055.

By Car

The Triangle area is a transportation hub; I-85 comes in from the Virginia/Washington D.C. area bringing traffic from I-95. I-40 comes up from the Fayetteville/Wilmington area to the south and skirts Raleigh before heading northwest to Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and Charlotte.

Getting there:

By Car

Reached from the east via U.S. 70 and I-40 to N.C. 147, from the north via I-85, from the west via I-40/85 to I-85, and from the south via U.S. 15/501 joining I-40 to N.C. 147.

By Train

Amtrak, 800-USA-RAIL, has a station on Pettegrew Street, 919-872-7245.

By Plane

Raleigh-Durham International Airport

1600 Terminal Blvd., Morrisville

919-840-2123

Charlotte Douglas International Airport
5501 Josh Birmingham Parkway, Charlotte

704-359-4000

National Holidays:

New Year’s Day: Jan. 1

Martin Luther King, Jr., Day: 3rd Mon. in Jan.

President’s Day: 3rd Mon. in Feb.

Memorial Day: Last Mon. in May

Independence Day: July 4

Labor Day: 1st Mon. in Sept.

Thanksgiving Day: 4th Thurs. in Nov.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day: Dec. 24 and 25

New Year’s Eve: Dec. 31

C- Attractions/Things To Do:
Bennett Place State Historic Site

4409 Bennett Memorial Road.

919-383-4345

Open Monday through Friday from 9 – 5

Perhaps the official end of the Civil War was General Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, but the big surrender was at the Bennett farmstead where Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston surrendered to Union General William T. Sherman 17 days after Lee’s Appomattox surrender.
Here you can view the reconstructed farmhouse and outbuildings and visit the interpretive center and museum.

Duke Homestead State Historic Site

2828 Duke Homestead Road

Durham, North Carolina

919-477-5498

919-489-3364

Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm. Hours may vary.

Admission Free

As a Confederate soldier (circa mid-1800’s), Duke learned about the Union soldiers’ love of Bright Leaf tobacco, and he returned home to begin the enterprise that would one day establish North Carolina as the heart of a worldwide tobacco empire. National Historic Landmark of the Duke family’s home, this historic site includes authentic tobacco barns and original factories, as well as a museum filled with cigarette manufacturing and marketing memorabilia. Living history demonstrations of life on a typical yeoman farm in the 1800’s are regularly performed

Rosenzweig Gallery

2115 Cornwallis Road

Durham, NC 27705,

Judea Reform Congregation Building, 919-932-1844, Dedicated to presenting exhibits of Jewish religious and creative arts and crafts, this gallery features traveling exhibits of highly acclaimed Israeli and regional artists, as well as original programs of Judaica and religious prints and books from the Rosenzweig Collection.

Sarah P. Duke Gardens

418 Anderson Street

919-684-3698

Open daily from 8am to dusk.

Admission Free

55 acres of landscaped and wooded gardens featuring over 2,000 kinds of plants. Of special interest is their 20-acre Culberson Asiatic Arboretum. About 550 species and cultivars of Asian plants present a living example of the close relationship between the flora of the Eastern U.S. and the flora of eastern Asia. Five miles of pathways with landscaped bridges, courts, lawns, ponds and waterfalls help create a very enjoyable experience for the visitor. Docent-led tours are also available by advance arrangement.

West Point on the Eno

5101 North Roxboro Road,

Durham, NC 27701

919-471-1623

Located along a two mile stretch on the scenic Eno River, this 388 acre city park offers a variety of recreational activities such as picnicking, hiking, canoeing, and rafting. An amphitheater is also inside the park, as well as many historic buildings such as a reconstructed 1778 working gristmill, the McCown-Mangum House built in the 1880s, the Hugh Manhum Museum of Photography, and a recreation of a 19th century blacksmith shop

Museum of Life and Science

433 Murray Avenue just beyond the State Museum of Life and Science and adjacent to the NC Museum of Life and Science.

919-220-5429

Family Fun magazine wrote that the NC Museum of Life and Science is among the top four family-friendly museums in the Southeast.

This 78-acre, 50,000 square foot regional science-technology campus offers user-friendly learning experiences and a sense of discovery.

Includes renowned Magic Wings Butterfly House, new interactive outdoor exhibit Catch the Wind, Bayer CropScience Insectarium, Ellerbee Creek Railway, weather and aerospace, daily science shows and ever-changing traveling hands-on exhibits.

Magic Wings Butterfly House and Bayer Crop Science Insectarium

433 Murray Avenue

Durham, NC

919-220-5429

The Butterfly House is just beyond the State Museum of Life and Science and adjacent to the NC Museum of Life and Science.

This 3-story, tropical conservatory, largest museum butterfly house east of the Mississippi, features over 1,000 tropical butterflies in free flight including many rare species from Asia, Africa, and Central and South America. Butterflies are drawn to certain plants and blooms. This butterfly-friendly vegetation is available here with beds of exotic flowers, tropical fruit trees and a flowering meadow in a rainforest area (that even includes a stream garden).
The Insectarium presently has more than 25 live exotic and native species of insects and insect predators plus an extensive collection of mounted specimens.

Duke University Chapel

Chapel Drive

Duke University West Campus

919-684-2572

The Chapel is normally open to tourists daily from 8a to 5p. Tourists are also invited to attend Sunday service at 11am.
Durham’s most popular tourist attraction, the Duke University Chapel (built in 1930) is a prime example of English-Gothic architecture and represents one of the last great collegiate Gothic projects in the United States. It features the only significant Æolian Organ built for a church. This 4-manual, 5,200 pipe instrument is being restored to its original condition and has a pleasant tone. In the 210-foot tower of the chapel is installed a 50-bell carillon; the bells range up to 5 tons in size. The beautiful, stained-glass windows accent the aesthetic impact of the chapel.
The Inter-denominational chapel serves the university community and holds Sunday morning worship at 11am to which all are welcome. During the fall and spring semesters, there are numerous recitals and concerts by the university organists and guest performers. The carillonneur gives a recital at 5pm weekdays, and before and after the Sunday worship service.

Historic Stagsville (circa 1787)

5825 Old Oxford Highway

Durham, NC 27722,

919-620-0120

One of the largest pre-Civil War plantations, this historic plantation offers visitors a glimpse into the past, particularly of the African American slaves who worked the plantation. Two beautifully restored historic buildings and an old barn are on site and self guided tours of the extensive grounds are available, as well as an array of learning opportunities

Patterson’s Mill Country Store

5109 Farrington Road

Durham, NC 2751

919-493-8149

An authentic turn-of-the-century country store and doctor’s office/pharmacy that features relics from the Patterson’s Mill community, as well as extensive pharmaceutical exhibits and tobacco paraphernalia.

St. Joseph’s AME Church (circa 1869)

804 Old Fayetteville Street

Durham, NC 27412

919-683-1709

One of the first autonomous African-American churches in America, this beautiful church was converted into a performance hall in 2001 and features an 1891 brick sanctuary that includes a stained glass portrait of Washington Duke.

D- Family Fun Attractions:
Funwerks

4350 Garrett Road

Durham, NC 27701

919-401-6301

This amusement venue offers an array of activities for families to enjoy including a miniature golf course, go-carts, bumper boats, batting cages, paintball, and video games.

Magic Wings Butterfly House and Bayer Crop Science Insectarium

433 Murray Avenue

Durham, NC

919-220-5429

The Butterfly House is just beyond the State Museum of Life and Science and adjacent to the NC Museum of Life and Science.

This 3-story, tropical conservatory, largest museum butterfly house east of the Mississippi, features over 1,000 tropical butterflies in free flight including many rare species from Asia, Africa, and Central and South America. Butterflies are drawn to certain plants and blooms. This butterfly-friendly vegetation is available here with beds of exotic flowers, tropical fruit trees and a flowering meadow in a rainforest area (that even includes a stream garden).
The Insectarium presently has more than 25 live exotic and native species of insects and insect predators plus an extensive collection of mounted specimens.

Museum of Life and Science

433 Murray Avenue just beyond the State Museum of Life and Science and adjacent to the NC Museum of Life and Science.

919-220-5429

Family Fun magazine wrote that the NC Museum of Life and Science is among the top four family-friendly museums in the Southeast.

This 78-acre, 50,000 square foot regional science-technology campus offers user-friendly learning experiences and a sense of discovery, which enhances the learning experience.

Patterson’s Mill Country Store

5109 Farrington Road

Durham, NC 2751

919-493-8149

An authentic turn-of-the-century country store and doctor’s office/pharmacy that features relics from the Patterson’s Mill community, as well as extensive pharmaceutical exhibits and tobacco paraphernalia.

Bennett Place State Historic Site

4409 Bennett Memorial Road.

919-383-4345

Open Monday through Friday from 9 – 5

Perhaps the official end of the Civil War was General Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, but the big surrender was at the Bennett farmstead where Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston surrendered to Union General William T. Sherman 17 days after Lee’s Appomattox surrender.
Here you can view the reconstructed farmhouse and outbuildings and visit the interpretive center and museum.

Duke University Chapel

Chapel Drive

Duke University West Campus

919-684-2572

The Chapel is normally open to tourists daily from 8a to 5p. Tourists are also invited to attend Sunday service at 11am.
Durham’s most popular tourist attraction, the Duke University Chapel (built in 1930) is a prime example of English-Gothic architecture and represents one of the last great collegiate Gothic projects in the United States. It features the only significant Æolian Organ built for a church. This 4-manual, 5,200 pipe instrument is being restored to its original condition and has a pleasant tone. In the 210-foot tower of the chapel is installed a 50-bell carillon; the bells range up to 5 tons in size. The beautiful, stained-glass windows accent the aesthetic impact of the chapel.

The Inter-denominational chapel serves the university community and holds Sunday morning worship at 11am to which all are welcome. During the fall and spring semesters, there are numerous recitals and concerts by the university organists and guest performers. The carillonneur gives a recital at 5pm weekdays, and before and after the Sunday worship service.

Sarah P. Duke Gardens

418 Anderson Street

919-684-3698

Open daily from 8am to dusk.

Admission Free

55 acres of landscaped and wooded gardens featuring over 2,000 kinds of plants. Of special interest is their 20-acre Culberson Asiatic Arboretum. About 550 species and cultivars of Asian plants present a living example of the close relationship between the flora of the Eastern U.S. and the flora of eastern Asia. Five miles of pathways with landscaped bridges, courts, lawns, ponds and waterfalls help create a very enjoyable experience for the visitor. Docent-led tours are also available by advance arrangement.

West Point on the Eno

5101 North Roxboro Road,

Durham, NC 27701

919-471-1623

Located along a two mile stretch on the scenic Eno River, this 388 acre city park offers a variety of recreational activities such as picnicking, hiking, canoeing, and rafting. An amphitheater is also inside the park, as well as many historic buildings such as a reconstructed 1778 working gristmill, the McCown-Mangum House built in the 1880s, the Hugh Manhum Museum of Photography, and a recreation of a 19th century blacksmith shop

Wheels Family Fun Park

715 North Hoover Road, Durham, NC 27701

919-598-1944

An enjoyable activity for the whole family can be expected at this full service family entertainment amusement park that features a race course for remote controlled cars, a miniature golf course, a skateboarding park, an indoor playground, an indoor roller skating rink, go-carts, and batting cages

E- Events & Entertainment:
Events

January

Kwanzaa Celebration with the African American Ensemble (formerly KwanzaaFest)

919-683-1709
Durham Armory

Call for date and time.

Admission Free.
A full day of cultural festivities, entertainment, and educational activities, including an African style marketplace, a variety of live poetry readings, dance, music, and children’s activities.

Nevermore Horror and Gothic Film Festival
Carolina Theatre

919-560-3030

Call for date, time and admission charges.
Created in 1999, the Nevermore Horror and Gothic Film Festival is dedicated to screening audience-requested horror flicks as well as brand-new films from around the world.

February

Native American Powwow
North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

919-416-2730

Call for date, time and admission charges.
Full day of traditional Native American dancing, singing, crafts, food, and socializing.

North Carolina Jewish Film Festival
Carolina Theatre of Durham, Royall Center for the Arts

919-560-3030

Call for date, time and admission charges.
A celebration of Jewish history and culture through internationally acclaimed films and short features from around the globe, including motion pictures direct from theatrical release in Israel.

March

Annual Bike Show – Harley-Davidson
Durham Harley-Davidson, Inc.

919-682-6695

Call for date and time.

Admission Charged.
Events include a chili cook-off, Harley-Davidson motorcycle show, door prizes, and lots of food and fun for the whole family.

Annual Durham Spring Carnival

Durham County Stadium

Admission Charged.
Games, rides, prizes, music, food and entertainment for the entire family.

April

Annual Grady Tate Jazz Festival
B.N. Duke Auditorium, North Carolina Central University Campus
Two nights of Jazz greats featuring the NCCU Jazz Vocal Ensemble, Grady Tate, and various jazz vocalists.

Earth Day Festival and Celebration
Durham Central Park

919-560-4100
The Triangle’s largest Earth Day celebration featuring an eclectic mix of music, educational booths and events.

“Getting a Jump on Easter” Egg Hunt

Durham Central Park, Downtown
919-682-2800

Admission Free.

Features a traditional egg hunt and also educational activities with farmyard and domestic animals.

Bennett Place Living History Civil War Surrender Reenactment
Bennett Place State Historic Site
Reenactment of negotiations and surrender between Generals Sherman and Johnston that ended the Civil War. Occurs bi-annually in odd years.

Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
Carolina Theatre of Durham, Royall Center for the Arts
The only international festival of its kind celebrating strictly the power and artistry of documentary cinema. Formerly Doubletake Documentary Film Festival.

May

May Day Music at Durham Central Park

Durham Central Park, Downtown
919-560-2788

Admission: donation suggested. Children and students free.

Classical Music is performed in the park. Also includes an orchestral instrument petting zoo, cake walk, May pole, instrument-making session, and other activities.

June

Alive After Five Concert Series (summer months)

Durham Bulls Athletic Ball Park

Admission Free.
FREE concerts and outdoor fun for the entire family. Concerts are normally held on the last Thursday of the month. Musical entertainment provided by various artists.

Durham Arts Council’s Edible Arts Festival
Durham Civic Center

Admission Charged.
Sample gourmet creations and signature dishes by Durham’s finest culinary artists and nationally acclaimed chefs.

American Dance Festival
Various locations on Duke University West Campus
The largest and most influential modern dance festival in the world, featuring more than two dozen modern dance companies and hundreds of choreographers, writers, and students participating in classes, seminars, and performances.

Duke Homestead Herb, Garden and Craft Festival
Duke Homestead State Historic Site

Admission Free.
Enjoy this historical outdoor herb festival, which features traditional herbal-use displays and a wide variety of herb and craft vendors. Musical entertainment, guided tours of the Homestead and food are available.

July

Children’s Independence Day Parade & Family Fun Day

Durham Central Park, Corner of Hunt St. and Foster St.
919-682-2800

July 4

Admission Free.

This July 4 event has been expanded to include a family picnic and ice-cream social following the parade. Children decorate their bikes and scooters using patriotic colors and will then follow a police escort around the block. Afterwards, everyone can enjoy a tasty lunch and additional entertainment.

Festival for the Eno
West Point on the Eno City Park

Admission Free.

One of the region’s premier Independence Day celebrations with exhibits, displays, arts, crafts, and live entertainment on the banks of the Eno River to benefit efforts to preserve this beautiful natural area.

Durham Music Festival

Various Downtown Durham locations.
919-560-2730

Call for information.

Admission Charged.

Come out and enjoy the music, artists, exhibits and activities. Past festivals have featured more than 35 live bands!

Bimbe Cultural Arts Festival
Durham Central Park, Downtown

919-560-4965
African-American music and arts festival. One of the oldest cultural festivals in the country and one of the region’s most comprehensive celebrations of music, art and dance, from African and Caribbean to reggae and rap.

August

Bull City Chili Challenge

Durham Central Park

919-682-2800

Call for exact date and time.

Admission Charged.

The Bull City Chili Challenge is an annual event featuring sampling and judging of a wide selection of tasty chili showcasing local restaurants and produce. The area’s first cook-off is sanctioned by the Chili Appreciation Society International! Tasting kits will be sold and you will be able to sample chilies in 5 categories: Vegetarian, Youth, Restaurant, Free Style, and Texas Style. All proceeds will benefit Durham Special Olympics. Also features live music, a raffle and special activities for children.

North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
Carolina Theatre of Durham, Royall Center for the Arts

919-560-3030
One of the nation’s premier gay and lesbian film festivals, with more than 100 films screened (including world-premiere showings) and more than 10,000 tickets sold each year.

September

Bull Durham Blues Festival
Historic Durham Athletic Park

919-683-1709
A celebration in the birthplace of the Piedmont Blues, featuring national, regional, and local blues, from the mournful sounds of the Mississippi Delta to the fine finger-picking and ragtime exuberance of the Piedmont Blues.

Durham Arts Council’s Centerfest
Five Points Plaza, Downtown Durham

919-560-2723
One of North Carolina’s oldest and one the Southeast’s largest street-arts fairs. The streets of Downtown Durham come alive with arts, crafts, entertainment, food, and fun.

North Carolina Gay Pride Parade
Duke East Campus and Ninth Street District
The largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, & transgender event in a five-state area, attracting 6,000 festival participants.

World Beer Festival
Historic Durham Athletic Park

500 West Corporation Street

919-530-8160
Featuring more than 300 beer vendors from all over the country as well as local restaurant vendors, family entertainment, and great music by local and regional artists.

October

Broadway at Duke Series
Page Auditorium, Duke West Campus
Since 1968, Broadway at Duke has brought the best of Broadway, off-Broadway, and major national and international repertory companies to Durham.

Oktoberfest
Main Quad, Duke University West Campus

Admission Free.
Oktoberfest is a day-long party on the main quad featuring craft and food vendors as well as a large variety of local artists.

November

Durham Art Guild’s Annual Juried Art Show
Durham Arts Council, Royall Center for the Arts

Admission Charged.
Durham’s more than 100 working artists join with regional artists to compete and display in a variety of media.

December

Christmas by Candlelight at Duke Homestead
Duke Homestead State Historic Site

Call for exact date and time.

Admission Free.
A celebration of an 1870 Christmas with evening candlelight tours of the Homestead featuring period decorations, caroling, hot apple cider, and other goodies.

Light Up Durham
Downtown Durham

Call for exact date and time.

919-687-6561

Admission Free.
Seasonal music, performers, tree lighting, food and fun, including a parade that brings Santa to town.

Wilmington, North Carolina

A- Overview:
Just minutes from the beaches, Wilmington’s picturesque riverfront emerges from the Cape Fear River. Gracing its banks is one of the state’s largest historic districts, numbering approximately 230 blocks. Downtown Wilmington is a place where revitalization has proceeded with honor, dignity and respect, preserving the social and artistic heritage of days gone by. See the historic district’s mansions and landmark buildings via horse-drawn trolley or carriage tour, riverboat cruise, restored trolley car, or take a walking tour given by some of the port city’s most intriguing residents.

Across the river on Eagles Island rests the majestic Battleship North Carolina, a restored World War II memorial. There are also other museums for children, fine art lovers, railroad and history buffs, including North Carolina’s oldest history museum.

Feast upon the Atlantic Ocean’s bounty of fresh seafood, or enjoy a variety of ethnic cuisine and regional specialties, all served with Southern flair and hospitality. Visitors can lose track of time as they browse distinctive specialty and antique shops, clothing boutiques, shopping complexes, pottery outlets, and year-round holiday shops.

At day’s end, relax outdoors and behold nature’s beauty as the sun sinks into the river. Saunter along historic Wilmington’s riverwalk or taste the salty ocean spray as you stroll along the beach. Enjoy an evening at the theatre, a symphony concert, or other exciting nightlife options.

Whatever your pleasure, the visitor to this historic North Carolina town is sure to find what they are looking for at North Carolina’s Cape Fear Coast, a variety vacationland for the discriminating traveler. Visitors find out first-hand why those who live in Wilmington are fond of saying, “It’s always a beautiful day at the Cape Fear Coast.”

The city itself is nestled between North Carolina’s mighty Cape Fear River on the west and the powerful Atlantic Ocean on the east, has long been known as the “Port City of Progress and Pleasure.” Founded in 1739, Wilmington prospered during its early years as a major port and ship-building center. Today the city continues to flourish.

Boasting one of the largest districts listed in the National Register of Historic Places, Wilmington takes pride in its reputation as a leader in preservation efforts. Along the river, a number of Victorian, Georgian, Italianate and antebellum-style homes, buildings and churches have been carefully restored to their original grandeur. Many of these beautiful structures are now used as museums, shopping venues and bed-and-breakfasts.

Downtown Wilmington offers eclectic shopping, vibrant nightlife, theatrical productions, coffeehouses and outstanding restaurants that feature fresh local seafood and regional specialties. Inland, visitors will find excellent golf courses, department stores, parks, entertainment complexes, amusements, plantations, a state university and restaurants galore.

Local attractions and annual events are as diverse as the city itself. Visitors can enjoy more than 45 attractions, including day or evening riverboat cruises, museums showcasing North Carolina artists and history, and a variety of tours of the historic district, nature preserves, or movie studios. Traditional festivals such as the N.C. Azalea Festival and RiverFest, among others, celebrate the area’s arts and culture.

The city of Wilmington has experienced a dramatic and exciting growth. With the influence of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf Stream, some 45-60 miles offshore, Historic Wilmington enjoys a temperate subtropical climate year-round. It’s no wonder that it is one of the fastest growing East Coast deep-water ports. Summer temperatures are usually in the 80s. Seasons are mild, with an average 212 sunshine days and a mean average temperature of 63.7 degrees Fahrenheit. The average winter temperature is about 50 degrees.

A climate like this affords the lucky visitor to take advantage of many of the sites and attractions available. The Historic Battleship North Carolina allows visitors to come aboard and experience the North Carolina’s “Star Appeal”. Because she is preserved just as she was in World War II, the Battleship North Carolina has been the site for many dramatic documentaries. For those brave souls who are adventurous the Haunted Pub Crawl is a unique adventure. Guests partake in an evening of spirituous adventure on a journey to Wilmington’s most vividly haunted pubs. They can revel in the seamy red-light district of yore & uncover startling truths of life in a violent 18th century port city. From the disreputable obsession of the merry wench Gallus Meg, to the barbarous haunts of a notorious madman, it’s an evening of levity & libations!

For a family outing, be sure to visit Jungle Rapids Family Fun Park. Open seasonally, Jungle Rapids is Wilmington’s coolest place to play and a full day of fun for the entire family. After a full day of activity, visitors often take in a play at Thalian Hall. The Hall is one of the oldest and most beautiful theatres in America. THCPA has been in continuous use since it opened in 1858. Forming the east wing of Wilmington’s magnificent City Hall, the facility hosts over 250 performance events annually.

Whatever the interest of any visitor, this historic, yet modern North Carolina city has something new and interesting for even the most experienced and discriminating traveler.

B- City Information:
Population: 75,838

Elevation: 50 feet above sea level

Land Area: 41.0 square miles

Location: Located in the southeastern portion of North Carolina, just minutes from the Atlantic Ocean

Time Zone: Eastern Time Zone (when it’s noon in Wilmington, it’s 11am in Chicago and 9am in Los Angeles). Wilmington observes Daylight Savings Time from April – October

Weather:

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Average temp. (°F)
45.8
48.2
54.8
62.5
70.0
76.8
80.9
79.5
74.7
64.5
56.3
48.6

High temperature (°F)
56.3
59.4
66.2
74.1
80.6
86.4
89.9
88.3
84.0
75.5
67.8
59.5

Low temperature (°F)
35.3
37.0
43.4
50.7
59.4
67.2
71.9
70.5
65.4
53.4
44.7
37.6

Precipitation (in)
4.6
3.7
4.2
3.0
4.4
5.3
7.7
7.3
6.9
3.2
3.3
3.8

Climate:

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Days with precipitation
11
10
10
8
9
10
13
12
10
7
8
9

Wind speed (mph)
9.0
9.6
10.0
10.1
9.1
8.4
7.9
7.3
7.8
7.9
8.1
8.4

Morning humidity (%)
81
80
82
81
84
85
87
90
90
89
85
82

Afternoon humidity (%)
56
52
52
48
55
60
63
64
62
56
53
55

Sunshine (%)
56
59
64
70
67
66
64
62
61
64
63
59

Days clear of clouds
10
9
10
11
8
7
6
7
8
12
12
10

Partly cloudy days
6
6
8
8
11
11
12
12
10
7
7
7

Cloudy days
15
13
14
11
12
12
13
12
12
11
11
14

Snowfall (in)
0.5
0.5
0.4
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.6

Local Seasons:

At any time of year there is something wonderful taking place in this historic and beautiful North Carolina town. With the influence of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf Stream, some 45-60 miles offshore, Historic Wilmington and North Carolina’s Cape Fear Coast enjoy a temperate subtropical climate year-round. Summer temperatures are usually in the 80s. Seasons are mild, with an average 212 sunshine days and a mean average temperature of 63.7 degrees Fahrenheit. The average winter temperature is about 50 degrees. Summers tend to be busy as tourists come to the area to experience the many attractions in and around Wilmington as well as bask in the sunshine at the nearby beaches. With the daytime temperatures in the high 80’s F and relatively low humidity, it’s the perfect time to work on an enviable tan. Evenings are cool, with the temperature dropping into the 60’s, making it ideal for a casual dinner followed by a walk through the historic downtown area. Spring and fall bring cooler temperatures with the change of seasons. During these periods visitors can take advantage of both indoor and outdoor activities in comfort. Winters are generally mild with just a dusting of snow. It doesn’t usually stay on the ground but while it’s there, it transforms the area into a postcard like effect.

How to Get There:

By Air:

Wilmington International Airport

1740 Airport Blvd.

Wilmington, NC 28405

910-341-4333

Conveniently located to the town, the airport has daily departures and arrivals available with direct flights in major hubs along the East Coast.

Ground Transportation:

Most of the major car rental companies, as well as taxi, limousine, and shuttle services are available at the airport as well as at select locations throughout the town.

By Car:

The major East/West Interstate artery I-40 leads to the Cape Fear Coast, which is located midway between New York & Florida just off I-95 and I-40; also served by Highways 17, 74/76, 117, and 421. Interstate I-95 is 73 miles from Historic Wilmington and North Carolina’s Cape Fear Coast.

By Bus:

Greyhound

201 Harnett St.
Wilmington, NC 28402

910-762-6073

How to Get Around:

The best way to get around is by either personal or rental car. In addition, other local transportation is available:

Front Street Free Trolley

910-343-0106

Greenleaf Carriage & Trolley Co. (Beach Trolley, Pleasure Island)

910-458-1141

National Holidays:

New Year’s Day- Jan. 1

Martin Luther King, Jr., Day- 3rd Mon. in Jan.

President’s Day- 3rd Mon. in Feb.

Memorial Day- last Mon. in May

Independence Day- July 4

Labor Day- 1st Mon. in Sept.

Thanksgiving Day- 4th Thurs. in Nov.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day- Dec. 24 and 25

New Year’s Eve- Dec. 31

C- Attractions/Things To Do:
Sadgwar Family Home
15 N. 8th Street
Wilmington, NC 28401
910-762-7074

Hours: Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

An African American Heritage site

St. Stephen AME Church
501 Red Cross Street
Wilmington, NC 28401
910-762-9829

Hours: Call for additional information

Admission Free

An African American Heritage site

Haunted Pub Crawl
The Cotton Exchange
321 N. Front Street

Wilmington, NC 28401
910-794-1866

Hours: Open year round, call for additional information

Admission Charged

Partake in an evening of spirituous adventure on a journey to Wilmington’s most vividly haunted pubs. Revel in the seamy red-light district of yore & uncover startling truths of life in a violent 18th century port city. From the disreputable obsession of the merry wench Gallus Meg, to the barbarous haunts of a notorious madman, accompany us on a fun-filled night of levity & libations!

Hollywood South on Location Tours
Historic Downtown Wilmington
Corner of Water & Market Streets

Wilmington, NC 28401
910-763-0288

Hours: Vary by season, call for additional information

Admission Charged

Take a Magic Hour Walking Tour through historic downtown Wilmington, the movie capital of the Southeast. Learn about the “Magic of Making Movies” and “behind-the-scenes” tales from a Movie Pro, tour actual locations from Dawson’s Creek, One Tree Hill, Empire Records, Ramblin’ Rose, Domestic Disturbance, Black Dog, Sleeping with the Enemy, Matlock and many more!

Jungle Rapids Family Fun Park
5320 Oleander Drive
Wilmington, NC 28403
910-791-0666

Hours: Open May – September, call for additional information

Admission Charged

Located between downtown Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach, Jungle Rapids is Wilmington’s coolest place to play, offering something for the entire family.

Thalian Hall
310 Chestnut Street
Wilmington, NC 28401
800-523-2820
Hours: Call for additional information

Admission Charged

One of the oldest and most beautiful theatres in America, THCPA has been in continuous use since it opened in 1858. Forming the east wing of Wilmington’s magnificent City Hall, the facility hosts over 250 performance events annually. The complex houses three performance venues, the Main Stage, the Grand Ballroom, and the Studio Theatre.

The Stadium Batting Cages
5570 Oleander Drive
Wilmington, NC 28403
910-791-9660

Hours: Call for additional information

Admission Charged

Try your batting skill. It’s fun for the whole family.

Wilmington Children’s Museum
1020 Market Street
Wilmington, NC 28401
910-254-3534
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 5pm; Sundays 1pm – 4pm;
Summer Hours: Open Mondays in June, July & August

Admission Charged

The Wilmington Children’s Museum stimulates children’s imagination, curiosity and innate love of learning.

Wilmington Ice House
7201 Ogden Business Lane
Wilmington, NC 28411
910-686-1987

Hours: Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

30,000 square foot ice-skating and recreation center is located near Ogden Park off Market Street. It features an NHL regulation sized ice surface, snack bar with viewing area, pro shop stocked with the latest equipment and private rooms for birthday parties and meetings.

Airlie Gardens
300 Airlie Road
Wilmington, NC 28403
910-798-7700

Hours: Vary by season, call for additional information

Admission Charged

Savor the seasons year-round in Wilmington’s Historic Garden by the Sea. Airlie Gardens offers tranquility and natural delights all year long. Take a meandering stroll back in time among towering ancient oaks, southern magnolia and native palms. Wander along freshwater lakes, spying on tree-perched egrets and gracefully circling swans. Catch the sunset over scenic Bradley Creek and its ever-changing salt marsh.

Battleship North Carolina
Eagles Island
Wilmington, NC 28402
910-251-5797

Hours: Vary by season, call for additional information

Admission Charged

Come aboard and experience the North Carolina’s “Star Appeal”. Because she is preserved just as she was in World War II, the Battleship North Carolina has been the site for many dramatic documentaries. This supporting actress received 15 battlestars for her performance in WWII and will deliver an award winning performance for you. Explore nine decks and see her new visual displays.

Bellamy Mansion Museum & Gardens
503 Market Street
Wilmington, NC 28401
910-251-3700

Hours: Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

Visit the Bellamy Mansion Museum, one of North Carolina’s premier architectural and historic treasures, that offers tours, changing exhibitions on history and design arts, and an informative look at historic preservation in action.

Burgwin-Wright Museum House & Gardens
224 Market Street
Wilmington, NC 28401
910-762-0570

Hours: Vary by season, call for additional information

Admission Charged

Today, the Burgwin-Wright House, beautifully restored, is one of the oldest museum houses in Southeastern North Carolina. Visitors will enjoy the fine detail of the Georgian style architecture, the 18th and early 19th century furnishings and stories of the people who have lived in this house. The house is graced by a formal or parterre garden, a terraced garden, and an orchard, all featuring appropriate plants and trees.

Cape Fear Museum of History & Science
814 Market Street
Wilmington, NC 28401
910-341-4350

Hours: Call for additional information

Admission Charged

Guests find more history, more science and more fun at Cape Fear Museum!

Cape Fear Serpentarium
20 Orange Street
Wilmington, NC 28401
910-762-1669

Hours: Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

The Cape Fear Serpentarium houses the world’s largest collection of Bushmasters and other reptiles from all over the world.

Ghost Walk of Old Wilmington
Riverfront at Market & Water Streets
Wilmington, NC 28401
910-794-1866

Hours: Vary by season, call for additional information

Admission Charged

Join locally renowned actors and ghost hunters on a journey into the depths of Old Wilmington. Traverse 270 year old alleyways littered with tales of pirates and cut-throats who frequented Wilmington’s bustling port. Stumble upon the south’s most actively haunted homes and landmarks, nestled quietly beneath the outstretched canopy of centuries old live oaks, their cryptic limbs straining under the duress of thick clumps of dangling Spanish moss. Hear the dismal accounts behind our most unfortunate wretches and discover the poor lost souls that still linger in this fine city. Hear tales past and present, including the most recent encounters with these spirits (many of which have been experienced on past tours).

Greenfield Park & Gardens
Burnett Boulevard of South 3rd Street
Wilmington, NC 28401
910-341-7868

Hours: Call for additional information

Admission Charged

Halyburton Memorial Park
4099 17th Street
Wilmington, NC 28412
910-343-4750

Hours: Open dawn to dusk

Admission Free

Halyburton Memorial Park contains a 58-acre nature preserve, a 1.5 mile walking and biking trail, picnic shelters and playground equipment, and a unique environmental education and events center.

Latimer House Museum
126 S. Third Street
Wilmington, NC 28401
910-762-0492

Hours: Call for additional information

Admission Charged

The Latimer House, built in 1852 by local merchant Zebulon Latimer, has housed the Historical Society since 1963 and is currently open to the public as a house museum exemplary of upper-class life in Wilmington during the Victorian period. With 14 rooms containing over 600 historic objects (including furniture, jewelry, ephemera, tableware, tools, and more), the Latimer House lets visitors step back in time to a more elegant era.

Louise Wells Cameron Art Museum
3201 S. 17th Street
Wilmington, NC 28412
910-395-5999

Hours: 10am – 5pm Tuesday – Saturday; 10:30am – 4pm Sunday

Admission Charged

The Louise Wells Cameron Art Museum is dedicated to displaying the state’s rich artistic heritage. The 42,000 sq. ft. Museum boasts 15 galleries, displaying a unique blend of artwork ranging from 18th century paintings to 20th century ceramics, decoys, sculptures and even computer generated art. After viewing the renowned permanent collection and fascinating traveling exhibitions, stroll the 10-acres campus including the Civil War Battlefield and Sculpture Park.

New Hanover County Arboretum
6206 Oleander Drive
Wilmington, NC 28403
910-452-6393

Hours: Call for additional information

Admission Free

Poplar Grove Historic Plantation
10200 US Hwy. 17 North
Wilmington, NC 28411
910-686-9518

Hours: 9am – 5pm Mon – Sat & 12pm – 5pm Sun

Admission Charged

Poplar Grove Plantation preserves the homestead of a successful farming family, and the outbuildings and crafts typical of a 1800s era working community. Poplar Grove is preserved through the efforts of the non-profit Poplar Grove Foundation.

Tregembo Animal Park
5813 Carolina Beach Rd
Wilmington, NC 28412
910-392-3604

Wilmington Railroad Museum
501 Nutt Street
Wilmington, NC 28401
910-763-2634
Hours: Vary by season, call for additional information

Admission Charged

The Wilmington Railroad Museum is dedicated to preserving the history of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad and the history of railroading in the southeastern United States. The Wilmington Railroad Museum has an eclectic collection of displays, which you and your children should find fun and educational.

Wilmington Trolley Company
Corner of Dock & Water Streets
Wilmington, NC 28401
910-763-4483

Hours: Vary by season, call for additional information

Admission Charged

Experience the Grandeur and Charm of Old Wilmington with an 8 mile sightseeing trolley tour.

Cape Fear Riverboats, Inc.
101 South Water Street Unit 1
Wilmington, NC 28402
800-676-0162

Hours: Call for reservations and additional information

Admission Charged

‘Welcome aboard!’ is the motto of Henrietta III’s Captain and crew as they strive to offer the finest in Southern hospitality. A favorite for locals and visitors.

D- Family Fun Attractions:
Hollywood South on Location Tours
Historic Downtown Wilmington
Corner of Water & Market Streets

Wilmington, NC 28401
910-763-0288

Hours: Vary by season, call for additional information

Admission Charged

Take a Magic Hour Walking Tour through historic downtown Wilmington, the movie capital of the Southeast. Learn about the “Magic of Making Movies” and “behind-the-scenes” tales from a movie pro, tour actual locations from Dawson’s Creek, One Tree Hill, Empire Records, Ramblin’ Rose, Domestic Disturbance, Black Dog, Sleeping with the Enemy, Matlock and many more!

Jungle Rapids Family Fun Park
5320 Oleander Drive
Wilmington, NC 28403
910-791-0666

Hours: Open May – September, call for additional information

Admission Charged

Located between downtown Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach, Jungle Rapids is Wilmington’s coolest place to play, offering something for the entire family.

The Stadium Batting Cages
5570 Oleander Drive
Wilmington, NC 28403
910-791-9660

Hours: Call for additional information

Admission Charged

Try your batting skill. It’s fun for the whole family.

Battleship North Carolina
Eagles Island
Wilmington, NC 28402
910-251-5797

Hours: Vary by season, call for additional information

Admission Charged

Come aboard and experience the North Carolina’s “Star Appeal”. Because she is preserved just as she was in World War II, the Battleship North Carolina has been the site for many dramatic documentaries. This supporting actress received 15 battlestars for her performance in WWII and will deliver an award winning performance for you. Explore nine decks and see her new visual displays.

Cape Fear Serpentarium
20 Orange Street
Wilmington, NC 28401
910-762-1669

Hours: Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

The Cape Fear Serpentarium houses the world’s largest collection of Bushmasters and other reptiles from all over the world.

Ghost Walk of Old Wilmington
Riverfront at Market & Water Streets
Wilmington, NC 28401
910-794-1866

Hours: Vary by season, call for additional information

Admission Charged

Join locally renowned actors and ghost hunters on a journey into the depths of Old Wilmington. Traverse 270 year old alleyways littered with tales of pirates and cut-throats who frequented Wilmington’s bustling port. Stumble upon the south’s most actively haunted homes and landmarks, nestled quietly beneath the outstretched canopy of centuries old live oaks, their cryptic limbs straining under the duress of thick clumps of dangling Spanish moss. Hear the dismal accounts behind our most unfortunate wretches and discover the poor lost souls that still linger in this fine city. Hear tales past and present, including the most recent encounters with these spirits (many of which have been experienced on past tours).

Cape Fear Riverboats, Inc.
101 South Water Street Unit 1
Wilmington, NC 28402
800-676-0162

Hours: Call for reservations and additional information

Admission Charged

‘Welcome aboard!’ is the motto of HENRIETTA III’s Captain Carl Marshburn and crew as they strive to offer the finest in Southern hospitality. A favorite for locals and visitors.

E- Events & Entertainment:

Events & Entertainment

January

Gingerbread Fantasy

Held through early January

Location: Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort

910-256-2231

Highlights includes 5 life size gingerbread houses in an enchanting holiday winter setting, a gingerbread house workshop, a display of miniature gingerbread houses, evening fireside storytelling with cookies and cocoa for the children, visits from Santa and the hotel’s mascot, Gabby the Parrot, and special holiday Sunday brunch buffets.

Annual Holiday Lighting of the Battleship

Held through early January

Location: Historic Downtown Wilmington

910-251-5797

Part of historic downtown Wilmington’s annual holiday light celebration and naval tradition, the Battleship is dressed in lights strung from the bow up to the masts and down to the stern. Enjoy nightly. Free viewing from downtown Wilmington.

February

North Carolina Jazz Festival

Held in early February

Location: Riverside

910-763-8585

The Annual North Carolina Jazz Festival features eight sets nightly with a different combination of musicians.

Annual Camellia Show

Held in late February

Location: Scottish Rite Temple

910- 791-3455

The Tidewater Camellia Club presents this long standing community event free of charge to the public. Come and see approximately a thousand camellia blooms, grown inside and outdoors. The blooms will compete for exquisite prizes and more importantly, “bragging rights.” A panel of American Camellia Society certified judges adjudicates the blooms.

March

Annual Festival of Black Film

Held in early March

Location: Varies throughout the city

The four-day jury and invitational screenings of independent and major motion pictures by African-American filmmakers showcases feature-length, short subject, animation and documentary films.

Annual Summer Camp Fair

Held in early March

Location: Coast Line Convention Center

910-763-6739

Admission Free
A variety of local and regional camps for children of all ages. The fair includes entertainment, demonstrations and door prizes.

Cucalorus Festival of Independent Film

Held in late March – early April

Location: Thalian Hall, Community Arts Center, City Stage Theatre

910-343-5995

The Annual Cucalorus Film Festival is a five-day showcase of independent film. Dubbed “the best kept secret on the indie-fest circuit,” by MovieMaker magazine, the festival brings shorts, documentaries and features to Wilmington audiences.

Master Gardener Plant Sale

Held in late March – early April

Location: The Arboretum

910-452-6393

Over 30 varieties of Azaleas, perennials, annuals, vines, hanging baskets, flowering trees, shrubs and herbs.

April

North Carolina Festival Street Fair

Held in early – mid April

Location: Downtown Wilmington

910-794-4650

The annual North Carolina Azalea Festival Street Fair provides more fun, excitement and action with each passing year. The event includes arts, crafts, food, dance troupes, jugglers, costumed characters, rock-climbing walls and many other events for families and children of all ages to enjoy. Over 200 crafters converge on Water Street, over thirty-five food vendors stretching from Red Cross Street to Dock Street; offer something for every taste, from alligator tail to funnel cakes, costumed characters stroll throughout the day. Also four stages of non stop entertainment with dance troupes on the Riverfront Stage will perform.

North Carolina Festival Horse Show

Held in mid April

Location: Hugh MacRae Park

910-791-5773

Competitions in dozens of classes and various styles of riding are featured in the North Carolina Azalea Festival Horse Show, which is held at Hugh MacRae Park. Organized by the Seagate Saddle Club, the show awards trophies and ribbons to competitors in the Game Show, Hunter-English Show and Western Pleasure Show. Competitors from across the state compete in this well-known annual event.

Pleasure Island Chowder Cook-Off

Held in mid April

Location: Jubilee Park

910-200-3288

Taste and vote on all types and styles of delicious chowder prepared by some of the finest restaurants in South Eastern North Carolina. The daylong event features live blues, rock, and beach music. Children can take part in the activities planned for them. If you love chowder, music, and family fun, don’t miss this annual event presented by the Pleasure Island Merchants Association.

May

Jazz-in-the-Park

Held in early May

Location: Wrightsville Beach Park
CFJAS holds its annual “Jazz-In-The Park”. Several bands perform at Wrightsville Beach Park. The music is free and open to the public. Bring the family, a picnic lunch and lawn chairs.

Annual Thalian Hall 5K/1 Mile Walk

Held in early May

Location: Thalian Hall

The annual Thalian Hall 5K/1-Mile Walk benefits Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts in its continued effort to bring the finest in entertainment to the southeast region and to be a first-class facility for the more than 30 area non-profit groups that utilize the building each year.

Airlie Arts Festival

Held in early May

Location: Airlie Gardens

910-798-7700

The Airlie Arts Festival is an annual event that showcases outstanding art and music in one of the Southeast’s most beautiful and historic venues, Airlie Gardens, in Wilmington, NC. It is held every year during the first full weekend in May, when the garden is in spring bloom and the weather is likely to be pleasantly warm.

Cape Fear Disabled Sportsman’s Tournament

Held in mid May

Location: Kure Beach Fishing Pier
910-458-1202

The Cape Fear Disabled Sportsman’s Tournament is put on annually by the Got Em On Live Bait fishing club and they really throw a shindig. The tourney is held at the Kure Beach Fishing Pier in Kure Beach, North Carolina and is free for disabled anglers. Participants are provided with rods, tackle, bait, refreshments, food, t-shirts and prizes.

Surf-Sun-Sand Co-ed Volleyball Tournament

Held in mid – late May

Location: Wrightsville Beach Park

910-256-7925

Wrightsville Beach Parks and Recreation is hosting the Annual Surf-Sun-Sand Volleyball tournament. This six or four-person co-ed volleyball tournament has divisions for skill levels including Novice and Intermediate. All players receive a t-shirt, and prizes are awarded to the players from the winning team in each division. There is a limit of 36 teams for this tournament, and pre-registration is required.

Seaside Soccer Classic

Held in mid – late May

Location: Soccer Fields throughout NHC
910-392-0306

Spring soccer tournament that includes youth teams from throughout North Carolina and other states.

Port of Wilmington Maritime Day Festival

Held in mid May

Location: North Carolina State Ports

910-763-1621

The festival is designed to promote in an entertaining and educational way, the importance of maritime commerce on the Cape Fear River, and to honor past and present members of our nation’s merchant marine. It’s an opportunity for those of us in the maritime community and the general public to come together and learn more about international and domestic waterborne commerce, and the business, industry and labor throughout our region that use and depend on the Port of Wilmington. Highlights of the day’s activities will include a special dockside Maritime Day Memorial Ceremony. Other activities will include port tours and vessel tours. Maritime businesses, as well as historical and environmental agencies, will have special exhibits.

Wilmington Exchange Festival

Held in late May

Location: SoapBox Laundro Lounge

An annual celebration of independent music, featuring bands that range from country to experimental to metal, across all genres.

June

Annual Beach Music Festival

Held in early June

Location: Ocean Front Beach Stage

910-200-3288

Carolina Beach Music Festival features four beach music bands.

Greater Wilmington King Mackerel Tournament

Held in late June

Location: Wrightsville Beach

910-452-9740

Annual tournament benefits Teach a Kid to Fish, Children’s Fishing Foundation. Largest cash prize King Mackerel Tournament.

July

Cape Fear 7’s Rugby Tournament

Held in early July

Location: Ogden Park

910-264-5277

Admission Free

The Cape Fear Rugby Football Club hosts the Annual Cape Fear 7’s Rugby Tournament. Cape Fear 7’s is one of the oldest and largest 7-a-side weekend rugby tournaments in the entire United States of America and attracts over 60+ teams from throughout the United States and from many international locations, as well.

Battleship Blast

Held on the fourth of July

Location: Battleship North Carolina

910-251-5797

The Battleship NORTH CAROLINA hosts the Annual “BATTLESHIP BLAST” fireworks spectacular. This production by PYRO SHOWS, an international award-winning pyrotechnics company, is guaranteed to dazzle residents and visitors alike. Watch one of the largest choreographed fireworks displays in North Carolina cascade over the Battleship. Bring the entire family and enjoy an explosive evening! Primary viewing from historic downtown Wilmington.

Annual East Coast Got-Em-On Classic

Held in early – mid July

Location: Carolina Beach

Enjoy this long running fishing tournament. Sponsored by the East Coast Got Em On Live.

Cape Fear Blues Festival

Held in late July

Location: Battleship Park & other locations
910-350-8822

Four days of Blues music nestled between the beautiful beaches of the Cape Fear Coast and the Historic Riverfront of downtown Wilmington. Cruises, concerts, workshops and more.

September

Art in the Gardens Tour

Held in late September

Location: Various Gardens
910-452-6393

Gardens are on tour, both private and public and feature beautiful designs and floral displays enhanced by art and music.

October

Pleasure Island Seafood, Blues & Jazz Festival

Held in early October

Location: Fort Fisher Military Recreation

910-458-8434

A 2-day event at Fort Fisher on the Cape Fear River. Feast on fresh seafood prepared by top Southeastern NC restaurants. Three music stages with non-stop Blues and Jazz music.

November

Annual Battleship Half Marathon

Held in mid November

Location: Battleship North Carolina

910-251-9622

The Wilmington Roadrunners conduct this challenging TAC-certified race that starts and finishes at the Battleship, encompassing three bridges and Greenfield Lake. Funds benefit the Battleship and the Wilmington Family YMCA.

North Carolina Holiday Flotilla

Held in late November

Location: Wrightsville Beach
910-509-1204

The spectacular lighted boat parade is a holiday tradition at Wrightsville Beach for locals, boat lovers, and tourists. It is one of the top 20 November events in the Southeast with over 30 boats ranging from yachts to personal watercrafts decorated for the holiday display. Spend the day in the park (10am to 4:30pm) and enjoy a lighted boat parade on Banks Channel with fireworks in the evening.

December

Annual Holiday Lighting of the Battleship

Held in early December – early January

Location: View from Historic Downtown Wilmington

910-251-5797

Part of historic downtown Wilmington’s annual holiday light celebration and naval tradition, the Battleship is dressed in lights strung from the bow up to the masts and down to the stern. Enjoy nightly. Free viewing from downtown Wilmington.

Entertainment

Showtime Theatre
103 North Lake Park Blvd.
Carolina Beach, NC 28428
910-458-1771

Call for performance schedule

Thalian Hall

310 Chestnut Street
Wilmington, NC 28401
800-523-2820

Call for performance schedule

One of the oldest and most beautiful theatres in America, THCPA has been in continuous use since it opened in 1858. Forming the east wing of Wilmington’s magnificent City Hall, the facility hosts over 250 performance events annually. The complex houses three performance venues, the Main Stage, the Grand Ballroom, and the Studio Theatre.

Kenan Auditorium – UNCW
600 South College Road
Wilmington, NC 28403
800-732-3643
Call for performance schedule

Level 5 at City Stage
21 North Front Street
Wilmington, NC 28401
910-342-0272

Call for performance schedule

SRO Theatre
UNCW, 601 S College Rd
Wilmington, NC 28403
910-962-3500

Call for performance schedule

Charlotte, North Carolina

A- Overview:
Charlotte has the air of a congenial southern town, where hospitality is taken seriously and guests are made to feel not only welcome but at home. At the same time, it is a bustling cosmopolitan city, and also home to the NFL Panthers and the NBA Hornets.
Charlotte’s outdoor activities include sightseeing in the surrounding countryside as well as a number of more structured events. Charlotte offers over 14,000 acres of parks and 17 designated recreation centers. Charlotte Metro Zoo prides itself on letting visitors “see the animals up close at a safe distance,” including its prized collection of large primates, bears, and big cats. The Lazy 5 Ranch allows visitors to drive through a real ranch and look at over 600 animals. Visitors can enjoy the 3 ½ miles safari drive in their own cars or in horse-drawn wagons. Some outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate Balloons Over Carolina, offering one-hour balloon rides over Charlotte and the surrounding environs 7 days a week. Two large lakes nearby encourage a variety of water sports including water skiing, boating and fishing.

The city’s museums and galleries display many of the much sought after crafts produced by area residents. The Brem House Artisans Gallery and the Fieldcrest Cannon Textile Museum offer visitors a look at local handicrafts from times past and from the present. The First Light Fine-Craft Gallery and the Harris Holt Gallery also showcase local artists and their creative talents. For more traditional art offerings, visitors should seek out the Mint Art Museum, the first art museum in North Carolina. Children love Discovery Place, which is rated one of the top hands-on science museums in the country.

North Carolina has become one of the nation’s premiere vacation spots in recent years, and Charlotte is the ideal place to begin an exploration of this remarkable state. Natural splendor is only a short drive in any direction, whether one is looking for spectacular beaches or for the Blue Ridge Mountains. There is so much to see and explore in this family friendly southern city. Some parts of the itinerary can be planned in advance, but leave room in the schedule for the enjoyable discoveries that will be sure to occur during a Charlotte, North Carolina vacation.

B- City Information:
Population: 540,828

Elevation: 850 feet above sea level

Land Area: 242.3 square miles

Location: Located in the southwestern section of North Carolina, only 15 miles from the South Carolina border, at the intersection of Interstate 77 from the north and south and Interstate 85 from the southwest and northeast

Time Zone: Eastern Time Zone (when it’s noon in Charlotte, it’s 11am in Chicago and 9am in Los Angeles)

Average Temperatures:

Month
High
Low

January
51F
31F

February
55F
33F

March
63F
40F

April
72F
48F

May
79F
57F

June
86F
65F

July
90F
70F

August
88F
68F

September
82F
62F

October
72F
50F

November
62F
41F

December
53F
34F

Local Seasons:

Charlotte is a four season city. The summer does tend to be busier as a result of the city’s convenient location to major interstate highways. In addition, with a moderate climate year round, any season is ideal for a visit. In the summer daytime temperatures can reach into the low 90s F but with the nights dropping to the 60s, it is quite pleasant. Spring and fall are very beautiful due to the changing of the seasons. With ideal temperatures, it’s the perfect time to experience Nature’s seasonal changes. During these times, the city and its surrounding area abound with a multitude of color. Winters are equally temperate with very little snow.

How to Get There:

By Air

Charlotte – Douglas International Airport

6501 Old Dowd

Charlotte, NC 28219

704-359-4000

Ground Transportation:

Most of the major car rental companies as well as taxi and limousine service is available at the airport and throughout the city.

By Car

Major routes into Charlotte are I-85 from the northeast and southwest, and I-77 from the north and south.

By Bus

Greyhound

601 W Trade St.
Charlotte, NC 28202

704-375-3332

By Train

Amtrak

1914 North Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC 28206

800-USA-RAIL

How to Get Around:

Due to the many sites and attractions available in and around Charlotte, the easiest way to get around is by car, either personal or rental.

National Holidays:

New Year’s Day, Jan. 1

Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, 3rd Mon. in Jan.

President’s Day, 3rd Mon. in Feb.

Memorial Day, last Mon. in May

Independence Day, July 4

Labor Day, 1st Mon. in Sept.

Thanksgiving Day, 4th Thurs. in Nov.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Dec. 24 and 25

New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31

C- Attractions/Things To Do:
Wing Haven Gardens and Bird Sanctuary
248 Ridgewood Avenue
Charlotte, NC 28209
Once a private residence, Wing Haven features four acres filled with woods, formal gardens and walks. The gardens, designed as a bird sanctuary, provide plenty of food and shelter for numerous species of birds. Visitors can also tour the home and visit the garden shop.

UNC-Charlotte Botanical Gardens
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28223
704-547-2555
These gardens feature hundreds of varieties of flowers, from roses to rhododendron to crepe myrtles to cymbidium orchids. The Van Landingham Glen, one of the leading rhododendron gardens in the Southeast, and the Susie Harwood Garden with its Oriental gazebo, winter garden, and plants from around the world, are both open to the public daily during daylight hours. A special highlight of the Greenhouse is a two-story simulated rain forest. The Greenhouse also offers a number of other climate areas which house desert plants, winter-flowering orchids, carnivorous pitcher plants and many others.

The Energy Explorium at Lake Norman
13339 Hagers Ferry Rd
Huntersville, NC 28078
704-875-5600
Located at McGuire Nuclear Station, the Explorium features a a number of hands-on exhibits and interactive games designed to introduce and educate kids about the wonders of atomic power generation. The Explorium also offers a mile-long nature trail, wildflower garden, and picnic area.

Paramount’s Carowinds Water and Theme Park
14523 Carowinds Blvd
Charlotte, NC
704-588-2600
Paramount’s Carowinds Water and Theme Park commands over 100 acres and includes more than 50 roller coasters and thrill rides. The WaterWorks boasts water slides, a river ride, and a wave pool. The Drop Zone hoists you and your loved ones up 100 feet and (safely) drops you. The Carolina Cyclone coaster includes four consecutive 360-degree loops and a 450-degree uphill helix. Top Gun: The Jet Coaster is an inverted steel coaster (the only one in the Carolinas) with floorless cars suspended below the track. For a break from the thrill seeking, visitors might want to head to the Family Fun area that features child friendly attractions and rides, with several life-size Hanna-Barbera and Nickelodeon cartoon characters roaming the streets.

Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Rd
Huntersville, NC 28078
704-875-6521
Visitors to the Carolina Raptor Center can watch these magnificent wild birds. Located within the Latta Preserve complex, the Raptor Center is an outdoor recreation spot. The center focuses on research and rehabilitation, helping injured birds heal and return safely into the wild. Indoor facilities house a visitor center and exhibits, while outdoor attractions include aviaries.

Charlotte Metro Zoo
4400 Cook Rd
Rockwell, NC 28138
704-279-6363
Large cats, primates, bears, and reptiles call this zoo home, and there is a large petting zoo. Bring a lunch and enjoy the picnic facilities.

Charlotte Museum of History
3500 Shamrock Dr
Charlotte, NC 28215
Recently expanded to cover 36,000 square feet, the Charlotte Museum of History now emphasizes three themes: freedom, the influence of our environment, and the changing face of Charlotte. The museum is near the Hezekiah Alexander house, home to a Carolinian who signed the Declaration of Independence and co-framed the first North Carolina State Constitution and Bill of Rights. Built in 1774, it is the oldest original structure in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. On the homesite tour, guides in authentic colonial dress show visitors around. The museum’s collection of art and objects from around the world, date from pre-colonial times to the present.

Charlotte Trolley and Museum
2104 South Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28203
704-375-0850
This museum features the last surviving trolley (since 1938) in Charlotte. The trolley ride goes 1/2 mile from Atherton Mill and back again. The conductors point out items of interest along the way, making this a good tour of the area. The Museum contains several trolley cars in the process of being renovated; also offered are historical displays on the role of the streetcar in Charlotte’s history, photos of trolleys around the world, and the trolley-themed gift shop.

Crowders Mountain State Park
25 miles west of Charlotte
701-853-5375
Crowders Mountain State Park will challenge the experienced as well as the novice climber, and is perfect for both lead and top-rope climbing. For the hiker, Crowders offers 12 miles of scenic, and somewhat strenuous, hiking trails. Spacious picnic areas and a nine-acre lake with canoe rentals are also available within the park.

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 S. New Hope Rd
Belmont, NC 28012
704-825-9286
The gardens are located on the banks of Lake Wylie and have recently expanded to 110 acres comprising four major gardens: the Perennial garden, the Cottage garden, the Four Seasons garden and the Canal garden. The gardens’ managers have designed a Southern-style visitors’ center framed by enormous white columns and topped with an authentic stained glass roof. With many species ranging from crepe myrtle and gromfina to roses and sweet potato plants, the Botanical Garden offers much to see and to delight the eye.

Discovery Place
301 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
704-372-6261
This museum features some of the coolest science exhibits around, including the “Sparks, Anyone?” electricity demonstration of an enormous Van der Graaf generator crackling with menacing-appearing blue lightning bolts. There’s also a giant walk-through replica of a human eyeball and an assortment of animatronic dinosaurs, complete with sound effects. A three-story rainforest, aquarium, NASA control-room simulation, and other hands-on areas offer more than enough to keep children and adults busy and entertained.

Historic Latta Plantation
5225 Sample Rd
Huntersville, NC 28078
704-875-2312
The house, built in the early 1800s by prosperous traveling merchant James Latta, has been carefully restored and refurbished with antiques approximating, as closely as possible, the Lattas’ original furnishings. Several personable and knowledgeable costumed guides lead tours throughout the two-story, Federal-style home. Visitors should be prepared to make a day of it: Latta Place is just one of Latta Plantation Park’s many offerings. The Carolina Raptor Center, an Equestrian Center, canoe rentals, and picnic areas also await guests.

Independence Park
Charlotte, NC 28204
704-336-3854
Newly remodeled Independence Park is located in the popular Elizabeth and Chantilly neighborhoods near the hospitals and downtown Charlotte. The park has big playgrounds with new, lead-free equipment for the kids including a special toddler area, as well as soccer fields, basketball courts and nearby tennis courts.

NASCAR Silicon Motor Speedway
Concord Mills Shopping Mall
704-979-3000
Anyone who’s ever thought about driving a real Winston Cup racing car should visit this part of the Concord Mills Shopping Mall. Visitors strap themselves into one of 12 fully-equipped, 750-horsepower interactive stock cars and take it for a virtual spin. All the motions, sights and sounds of the raceway are there.

D- Family Fun Attractions:
Wing Haven Gardens and Bird Sanctuary
248 Ridgewood Avenue
Charlotte, NC 28209
Once a private residence, Wing Haven features four acres filled with woods, formal gardens and walks. The gardens, designed as a bird sanctuary, provide food and shelter for numerous species of birds. Visitors can also tour the home and visit the garden shop.

UNC-Charlotte Botanical Gardens
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28223
704-547-2555
These gardens feature hundreds of varieties of flowers, from roses to rhododendron to crepe myrtles to cymbidium orchids. The Van Landingham Glen, one of the leading rhododendron gardens in the Southeast, and the Susie Harwood Garden with its Oriental gazebo, winter garden, and plants from around the world, are both open to the public daily during daylight hours. A special highlight of the Greenhouse is a two-story simulated rain forest. The Greenhouse also offers a number of other climate areas which house desert plants, winter-flowering orchids, carnivorous pitcher plants, and many others.

The Energy Explorium at Lake Norman
13339 Hagers Ferry Rd
Huntersville, NC 28078
704-875-5600
Located at McGuire Nuclear Station, the Explorium features a a number of hands-on exhibits and interactive games designed to introduce and educate kids about the wonders of atomic power generation. The Explorium also offers a mile-long nature trail, wildflower garden, and picnic area.

Paramount’s Carowinds Water and Theme Park
14523 Carowinds Blvd
Charlotte, NC
704-588-2600
Paramount’s Carowinds Water and Theme Park commands over 100 acres and includes more than 50 roller coasters and thrill rides. The WaterWorks boasts water slides, a river ride, and a wave pool. The Drop Zone hoists you and your loved ones up100 feet and gives you a serious scare as it (safely) drops you. The Carolina Cyclone coaster includes four consecutive 360-degree loops and a 450-degree uphill helix. Top Gun: The Jet Coaster is an inverted steel coaster (the only one in the Carolinas) with floorless cars suspended below the track. For a break from the thrill seeking, visitors might want to head to the Family Fun area that features kid-paced attractions and rides, with several life-size Hanna-Barbera and Nickelodeon cartoon characters roaming the streets.

Charlotte Metro Zoo
4400 Cook Rd
Rockwell, NC 28138
704-279-6363
Large cats, primates, bears and reptiles call this zoo home, and there’s a large petting zoo. Bring a lunch and enjoy the picnic facilities.

Charlotte Museum of History
3500 Shamrock Dr
Charlotte, NC 28215
Recently expanded to cover 36,000 square feet, the Charlotte Museum of History now emphasizes three themes: freedom, the influence of our environment, and the changing face of Charlotte. The museum is near the Hezekiah Alexander house, home to a Carolinian who signed the Declaration of Independence and co-framed the first North Carolina State Constitution and Bill of Rights. Built in 1774, it’s the oldest original structure in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. On the home site tour, guides in authentic colonial dress show visitors around. After checking out the house, enjoy the museum’s collection of art and objects from around the world, dating from pre-colonial times to the present.

Charlotte Trolley and Museum
2104 South Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28203
704-375-0850
This museum features the last surviving trolley (since 1938) in Charlotte. The trolley ride will take you about 1/2 mile to Atherton Mill and back again. The conductors point out items of interest along the way, for a good tour of the area. The Museum contains several trolley cars in the process of being renovated; also offered are historical displays on the role of the streetcar in Charlotte’s history, photos of trolleys around the world, and the trolley-themed gift shop.

Crowders Mountain State Park
25 miles west of Charlotte
701-853-5375
Crowders Mountain State Park will challenge the experienced as well as the novice climber, and is perfect for both lead and top-rope climbing. For the hiker, Crowders offers 12 miles of scenic, and somewhat strenuous, hiking trails. Spacious picnic areas and a nine-acre lake with canoe rentals are also available within the park.

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 S. New Hope Rd
Belmont, NC 28012
704-825-9286
The gardens are located on the banks of Lake Wylie and have expanded to 110 new acres comprising four major gardens: the Perennial garden, the Cottage garden, the Four Seasons garden and the Canal garden. The gardens’ managers have designed a Southern-style visitors center framed by enormous white columns and topped with an authentic stained glass roof. With many species ranging from crepe myrtle and gromfina to roses and sweet potato plants, the Botanical Garden offers much to see.

Discovery Place
301 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
704-372-6261
This museum features some of the coolest science exhibits around, including the “Sparks, Anyone?” electricity demonstration of an enormous Van der Graaf generator crackling with menacing-appearing blue lightning bolts. There’s also a giant walk-through replica of a human eyeball and an assortment of animatronic dinosaurs, complete with sound effects. A three-story rainforest, aquarium, NASA control-room simulation, and other hands-on areas offer plenty to keep kids and adults busy.

Historic Latta Plantation
5225 Sample Rd
Huntersville, NC 28078
704-875-2312
The house, built in the early 1800s by prosperous traveling merchant James Latta, has been carefully restored and refurbished with antiques approximating, as closely as possible, the Lattas’ original furnishings. Several personable and knowledgeable costumed guides lead tours throughout the two-story, Federal-style home. Visitors should be prepared to make a day of it: Latta Place is just one of Latta Plantation Park’s many offerings. The Carolina Raptor Center, an Equestrian Center, canoe rentals, and picnic areas also await guests.

Independence Park
Charlotte, NC 28204
704-336-3854
Newly remodeled Independence Park is located in the popular Elizabeth and Chantilly neighborhoods near the hospitals and downtown Charlotte. The park has extensive playgrounds with new, lead-free equipment for the children, including a special toddler area, as well as soccer fields, basketball courts and nearby tennis courts.

E- Events & Entertainment:
Charlotte Events & Entertainment

January

A Scots-Irish Twelfth Night Celebration

Held in early January

Location: Charlotte Museum of History

704-568-1774

Celebrate a tradition of old the way the Alexander Family may have. Frolick with costumes docents and interpreters, tour the 1774 Hezekiah Alexander House, participate with colonial dancers at the Twelfth Night Ball, and learn about the traditions of this historic celebration, including the Twelfth Night Cake.

Charlotte Observer Marathon Run for Peach

Held in early – mid January

Location: Charlotte Observer Building

704-358-5798

Marathon begins at 8AM, The 10K begins at 8:30AM at The Charlotte Observer Building; The 5K Walk begins at 9AM in front of The Charlotte Observer Building.

February

Africa Alive

Held in late February

Location: Museum of York County

803-329-2121

March

From Your Nose to Your Toes Health Festival

Held in early March

Location: Discovery Place

704-372-6261

Annual health festival for the entire family. Good health equals good life.

Charlotte Mime Festival & Circus

Held in late March

Location: Blumenthal Performing Arts Center

704-372-1000

Awe-inspiring aerial circus skills, comedy, juggling and subtle European clowning combine in this theatrically spectacular show featuring Cirque du Soleil and Ringling Bros. Circus performers.

May

Smokin” Bluz Festival

Held in early May

Location: Lowe’s Motor Speedway

704-455-3200

Annual celebration at the Speedway

Lake Norman Festival

Held in mid May

Location: Lake Norman

704-664-3898

Annual festival with fun and activities for the entire family.

Celebration on Trade & Tryon

Held in mid May

Location: Main Library Auditorium

704-336-2980

The laying of a wreath at Settler’s Cemetery.

The Greater Hickory Smoke Barbeque Festival

Held in late May

Location: Catawba Furniture Mall

828-345-1445

Southwest Business Association of Hickory announces the annual Greater Hickory Smoke BBQ Festival with all proceeds to benefit Sipes Orchard Home and Catawba Valley Habitat for Humanity.

June

National Balloon Rally

Held in early June

Location: Iredell Country Fairgrounds

704-873-2892

See beautiful hot air balloons as well as a host of activities at this annual event. Fun for the whole family.

Mid Summer Festival at the Schiele Museum

Held in mid June

Location: Schiele Museum

704-866-6900

The Schiele Museum offers exceptional opportunities for families and visitors of all ages to see the region’s rocks and minerals, hills and rivers, plants and animals with fresh wonder.

August

Caribbean Festival

Held in mid – late August

Location: Marshall Park

704-598-7644

Join in the all of the Caribbean festivities at this annual all day family event.

September

Charlotte Shout

Held in early – late September

Location: Throughout Charlotte

704-332-1800

More than 200 events all across Charlotte celebrating art, music, culture, and food.

Our State Magazine’s Best of Our State

Held in early September

Location: Ballantyne Resort

704-332-2227

A festival to celebrate the arts, crafts, culture, music and food that makes North Carolina unique.

Food Lion Auto Fair

Held in mid September

Location: Lowe’s Motor Speedway

704-455-3205

The four-day Food Lion AutoFair includes a car show featuring various makes and models from nearly 50 clubs; thousands of vendor spaces that offer a plethora of automotive parts and memorabilia; and a car corral with nearly 2,000 vehicles of all makes and models available for sale or trade.

Festival in the Park

Held in late September

Location: Freedom Park

704-338-1060

A fun day for the entire family at this annual popular event.

Murray’s Mill Harvest Festival

Held in late September

Location: Murray’s Mill Historic District

828-465-9383

Come and join the festivities! There is molasses making, bee keeping, petting zoo, farrier, gold panning, Civil War re-enactors, apple cider making, quilting, blacksmith, steam engines & antique farm machinery, butter & apple butter making, to name a few. Come browse the wares of craftsmen, local potters and woodcarvers as well.

October

Annual Carolina Renaissance Festival

Held weekends early October – mid November

Location: Charlotte

704-896-5544

Looking for an uplifting good time? The Renaissance is back and you can be part of one of the greatest parties since Camelot!

Beerfest

Held in early October

Location: Wine Vault @ the Shoppes at University Place

704-548-9463

A benefit for the Charlotte 49er Athletic Foundation. 20 Breweries with 75 beers; live music; food by Boardwalk Billy’s.

UNC Charlotte International Festival

Held in early October

Location: UNC Charlotte

704-687-2410

Follow your nose to global delicacies at the annual multicultural International Festival at UNC Charlotte.

Haunting Creatures of Halloween

Held in late October

Location: Schiele Museum

704-866-6900

Have fun at this annual Halloween event.

November

Annual Carolina Pottery Festival

Held in mid November

Location: Cleveland County Fairgrounds

A one day pottery-only festival featuring the works of over 85 local and regional potters. A fine variation of work, ranging from dinnerware and serving pieces to sculptural and decorative art are available for purchase, with each piece hand crafted and the artists present to discuss their work and answer questions as to inspiration, use and care of these created objects.

Annual Carolina Renaissance Festival

Held weekends through mid November

Location: Charlotte

704-896-5544

Looking for an uplifting good time? The Renaissance is back and you can be part of one of the greatest parties since Camelot!

Harvest Day

Held in late November

Location: Schiele Museum

704-866-6900

The Schiele Museum offers exceptional opportunities for families and visitors of all ages to see the region’s rocks and minerals, hills and rivers, plants and animals with fresh wonder.

Souvenir Blow-Out

Held in late November

Location: Lowe’s Motor Speedway

704-455-3204

NASCAR enthusiasts will have the opportunity to fulfill their dream of driving around Lowe’s Motor Speedway during the Souvenir Blow-Out.

Annual Love Lights

Held in late November

Location: Freedom Park Lake

704-814-4567

The Pilot Club of Charlotte, Inc. lights thousands of luminaries during its Annual “Love Lights” around Freedom Park. This will benefit Alzheimer’s research.

December

Celtic Traditions Festival

Held in mid December

Location: The Charlotte Museum of History

704-568-1774

Celebrate the rich Celtic heritage of this region at this annual festival! Enjoy traditional Irish and Scottish dance, bagpipes, contemporary Celtic music, and more at The Charlotte Museum of History. Young people will enjoy Celtic craft making in the Hands-on-History Room.

Continental Tire Bowl Uptown Street Festival

Held in late December

Location: Trade & Tryon Streets

800-618-8149

Come out and enjoy the prelude to the Continental Tire Bowl. There are interactive games & rides, live entertainment, team appearances, cheerleaders and team band performances.

Continental Tire bowl

Held in late December

Location: Bank of America Stadium

800-618-8149

The Continental Tire Bowl brings the passion and excitement of college football to Charlotte and the Carolinas. The game features teams from the ACC and the Big East.

Entertainment

Charlotte Opera

345 N. College Street
Charlotte, NC 28202
704-332-7177

Call for performance schedule

The mission of Opera Carolina is to inspire and entertain the region’s diverse community through the presentation of excellent Opera, Operetta, Music Theater and Education & Outreach Programs that elevate the quality of life in the Carolinas.

Charlotte Symphony Orchestra

201 South College Street

Charlotte, NC 28244
704-972-2000

Call for performance schedule

Afro-American Cultural Center

401 North Myers Street
Charlotte, NC 28202
704-374-1565

Call for additional information

The center was established in 1974 and offers exhibits, educational programs, fascinating facts, music, theatre, dance and more.

Booth Playhouse

Founders Hall

130 North Tryon St.

Charlotte, NC 28202

704-372-1000

A 434-seat facility, the Booth Playhouse is a courtyard-style proscenium theater. The theater has the capability for theater-in-the-round. Generally, the Booth Playhouse hosts choral, dance and musical ensembles.

Paladium Amphitheatre at Paramount’s Carowinds

14523 Carowinds Boulevard

Charlotte, NC 28202

704-588-2600

Outdoor amphitheater which seats 13,000. Concerts are presented mid-spring through mid-fall.

Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre

707 Pavilion Boulevard

Charlotte, NC 28262

704-549-1292

State-of-the-art amphitheatre with concerts held May through October.

Sports

Carolina Panthers – NFL

Professional Football

800 South Mint Street

Charlotte, NC 28202

704-358-7000

Season runs September – January

Charlotte Bobcats – NBA

Games played at the Uptown Arena

129 W. Trade Street

Charlotte, NC 28202

704-BOBCATS

Season runs October – April

Charlotte Sting

Professional Women’s Basketball

129 West Trade Street

Charlotte, NC 28202

704-357-0252

Season runs May – September

Lowe’s Motor Speedway

Professional Race Car Racing

5555 Concord Parkway South

Concord, NC 28027

704-455-3200

Call for racing schedule and additional information