10 Things to do in Wilmington, NC for First Time Visitors

The city of Wilmington in the state of North Carolina was founded in colonial times, so it should come as no surprise to learn that it boasts multiple historic districts that might interest those with a passion for historic architecture. However, it is important to note that the city has other sites of interest in it, with examples ranging from a particularly famous war memorial to its convenient location between river and ocean.

1. Bellamy Mansion Museum

The Bellamy Mansion was built for the Bellamy family. It is an excellent example of Victorian architecture, as shown by the soaring columns that stand in its front. Currently, the Bellamy Mansion is a museum that serves to teach interested individuals about the historic culture of the region, which includes its less pleasant aspects.

2. Airlie Gardens

Airlie Gardens started out as a public garden measuring 67 acres that was established in 1901. Later, it received a thorough remodeling, with the result that it is now a fascinating combination of both formal and informal spaces enhanced via the strategic use of flowers as well as other sights to soothe the soul.

3. USS North Carolina

Launched in 1940, the USS North Carolina was a battleship that more than proved its worth in the Pacific theater of the Second World War. For proof, look no further than the fact that it has 15 battle stars, which makes it the single most decorated U.S. battleship of the war. Decommissioned in 1947, the USS North Carolina’s eventual fate was being turned into a museum in Wilmington, where it continues to teach interested individuals about the war as well as other matters.

4. Cape Fear Museum

Wilmington is situated between the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean. Over the course of its existence, it has been a focal point for its surroundings, which makes sense because of its strategic location. As a result, Wilmington is a fitting place for the Cape Fear Museum, which documents the history of the Lower Cape Fear.

5. Cameron Art Museum

Content-wise, the Cameron Art Museum features artworks by both modern and pre-modern artists on permanent exhibition. Location-wise, it is interesting because it sits on the site of the Battle of Forks Road, which was a Union victory that brought the Confederacy’s last seaport of note under Union control.

6. Burgwin-Wright House and Gardens

The Burgwin-Wright House is another excellent example of a historic house that has been turned into a museum for both the education and the entertainment of its visitors. In its case, it is a fine example of Georgian architecture, which refers to the period between 1714 and 1830s. For those who are curious, this is the period when the United Kingdom was presided over by four monarchs named George in continuous succession.

7. Masonboro Island Reserve

There are a lot of barrier islands in the region, but there are fewer that can claim to have remained untouched. Masonboro Island is the biggest of those, which is why it is home to a wide range of natural habitats that should provide plenty of interest to nature enthusiasts. Please note that there are strict rules about how people can interact with the island reserve that serve to keep it in a pristine state for the foreseeable future.

8. Wilmington Railroad Museum

In the not too distant past, railroads played a critical role in the logistical chains that make civilization possible. As a result, it can be worthwhile to learn more about railroading as well as how it has influenced the region, which can be done at the Wilmington Railroad Museum.

9. Legion Stadium

Legion Stadium is the home of the Wilmington Hammerheads, who play in the United Soccer League. Due to this, people who are fond of soccer might want to attend one of the games, particularly since soccer is becoming more and more popular in the United States at a remarkable pace.

10. River to Sea Gallery

The River to Sea Gallery is interesting because it showcases the artwork of contemporary artists in Wilmington, which encompasses a surprising range of objects that might interest those seeking something to indulge their artistic side. With that said, its surroundings are worth checking out as well, seeing as how it is situated on the Cape Fear Riverwalk, which holds a fair amount of appeal for visitors to the city.


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