North Carolina

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