Things to Do in Wilmington, NC – Tourist Attractions and Activities to Try When You’re Visiting Wilmington

Wilmington, North Carolina is a beautiful coastal town that charms tourists all year round. From visiting the local attractions to enjoying the great outdoors, there’s something for everyone. Let’s go through the best things to do in Wilmington, NC.

things to do in wilmington nc

Things to Do in Wilmington, NC on a Day Trip

If you’re looking for interesting things to do in Wilmington, NC during the day, here are some options that are hard to pass on. Pack your lunch and sunscreen and get ready for a great day out!

Visit the USS Battleship North Carolina

This WWII battleship offers tours, educational programs, and a chance to explore this historic vessel. For example, there’s a show of the un-restored parts of the battleship. Tickets are $14 for adults and teens, $10 for seniors, and $6 for children.

Explore the Wilmington Railroad Museum

This museum is perfect for those who love trains or are interested in learning about Wilmington’s railroad history. For example, there’s a model train display and a locomotive simulator. Admission is $10 for adults and teens, $9 for seniors, and $6 for children under 12.

Explore the Cape Fear Museum

This museum is perfect for history buffs and offers exhibits on the Civil War, pirates, and more. Science is also a regular theme. Tickets are $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and college students, and $5 for youth.

Take a Walk Through Historic District

Downtown Wilmington is full of historic sites, quaint shops, and restaurants. It’s the perfect place to spend an afternoon walking or riding a carriage down the Market Street or boardwalk. You could also visit the Latimer House Museum. Unfortunately, the Orton Plantation is now closed to the public.

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Any Refreshing Outdoor Attractions?

Yes! If you love the outdoors, Wilmington is the perfect place for you. There are plenty of things to do in Wilmington, NC that will get you outside and enjoying the fresh air. For example, you could visit:

  • Wrightsville Beach – it’s a beautiful place to relax, swim, sunbathe, and paddleboard just outside the city.
  • New Hanover County Arboretum – this 7-acre arboretum is perfect for a nature walk or a picnic lunch. Admission is free!
  • Kure Beach – known for its fishing pier, this beach is a great place to spend a day.

Relax in Wilmington Riverfront Park

This park is a great spot for picnics, walking, biking, and taking in the scenery. For kids, there’s a playground and a splash pad. Sometimes, performances are held on the Riverfront Stage, and there’s also a Festival Plaza.

Take in the stunning Airlie Gardens

These 67 acres of gardens are a must-see, especially during the spring when the 60,000 tulips and 75,000 azaleas are in bloom! You can also grab beer from the on-site brewery. General admission is $9.

What to Do in Wilmington on a Rainy Day?

If you’re looking for things to do in Wilmington, NC on a rainy day, don’t worry – there are plenty of options. Let’s go through some indoor attractions.

  • Bellamy Mansion Museum – this historic mansion offers tours, educational programs, and more. Tickets are $14 for adults, $12 for seniors, and $7 for students.
  • Cameron Art Museum – this museum features rotating exhibitions as well as a permanent collection. Admission is $20 for non-members.
  • Mayfaire Shopping Center – if rain suddenly pops up, this outdoor shopping center has you covered with plenty of stores and restaurants to kill time in.

Things to Do in Wilmington with Kids

If you’re traveling with kids, check out the hands-on exhibits at the Children’s Museum of Wilmington. Your little ones will learn about science, art, and more. For example, there are field trips where they can make their own slime or grow Lima beans. Tickets are $9.75 for adults or children and $8.75 for seniors.

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Another option is the Poplar Grove Plantation. Here, kids can learn about what life was like on a plantation in the 1800s. They can also explore the grounds, which include a maze, gardens, and more. There are even paranormal ghost tours for the brave!

Want to spend time actively as a family? The Jungle Rapids Family Fun Park has you covered. They have go-karts, laser tag, bumper cars, and an arcade. Plus, there’s a water park with slides and a lazy river. Prices vary depending on which activities you want to do.

Things to Do in Wilmington, NC at Night

When the sun goes down, there’s still plenty to do in Wilmington, NC. Here are some great things to check out.

Catch a Show at the Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts

This historic theater hosts a variety of shows throughout the year, ranging from Broadway musicals to stand-up comedy.

Dance the Night Away at Ibiza Nightclub

If you’re looking to let loose and have some fun, Ibiza is the place to be. They often have live music and there’s always a great crowd.

See a Movie at Theatres at Canal Place

This theater shows all the latest blockbusters. If your trip aligns with a movie premiere you’re particularly excited about, definitely go for it there!

Attractions to See Near Wilmington

If you’re looking to explore beyond Wilmington, NC, there are still plenty of things to do. For example, you could:

  • Visit the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher. This aquarium is located just south of Wilmington and features a wide variety of marine life.
  • Take a day trip to Bald Head Island. This island is only accessible by ferry, but it’s absolutely worth the trip. You can spend the day relaxing on the beach, hiking through the maritime forest, or taking a kayak out on the water.
  • Take a ferry ride to Southport. This charming town is located just across the water from Wilmington. It’s perfect for a day of shopping and exploring.
  • Immerse yourself in nature in Carolina Beach State Park. This park has hiking trails, a marina, and even a campground if you’re looking to spend more than just a day there.
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Visiting Wilmington Next Spring or Summer?

Now you know all about things to do in Wilmington, NC. If you’re thinking of visiting next spring or summer, there are a few things you should know.

First, the weather is usually perfect – it’s not too hot and not too humid. Second, there are tons of festivals and events happening throughout the season. And finally, hotel prices will be higher than usual due to the high demand.

So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to Wilmington, NC today! There’s something for everyone – no matter what you’re looking for, you’re sure to find it here.


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