Wilmington is the 8th largest city in North Carolina, and with that comes a lot of fun developments and new experiences to try.

Here’s a list of some of our favorite things to do, and best grub, in Wilmington:

Airlie Gardens 

One of the most picturesque locations in the entire city, the gardens at Airlie offer a diverse selection of flora and a whimsical display. Special events like weddings take place here quite often, so be sure to check out their online calendar!

Additionally, if you’re lucky enough to be here around the holidays, the Enchanted Airlie lights display is definitely a sight to see.

Sunrise/Sunset Paddle Boarding

What better way to wake up or wind down than paddleboarding down the Intercoastal Waterway while the sun is rising or setting? Several local paddleboard rental companies offer great deals if you don’t have one at your disposal.

Whether you’re alone or with a loved one, this is an experience everyone needs to have.

Historic Downtown

Eclectic is the best way to describe downtown Wilmington. There is truly something for everyone from a massive, decommissioned battleship, drool-worthy restaurants, horse-drawn carriages, and dog-friendly shops! 

Nikki’s Steakhouse & Sushi Bar

Take it from a self-proclaimed sushi buff; Nikki's is the place to go if you’re looking for delicious hibachi or sushi. Located on Military Cutoff Rd, their food is something to keep coming back for. Their sister restaurant, Nori, located on Shipyard Blvd, is equally as delicious with an even greater variety of Asian cuisine – my suggestion: The Angel Hair Roll.

Port Land Grille

Located in Lumina Station, this is arguably the best fine dining in Wilmington. With Port Land Grills frequently changing menu, open kitchen, and experienced staff, you get the freshest and the finest. They offer a lovely patio setting as well for those warm summer nights. Some other must-visit restaurants in Wilmington include: 

  • South Beach Grill
  • Indochine
  • Ceviches 
  • Savorez
  • RX Restaurant & Bar
  • Manna
  • Fork & Cork

Jungle Rapids

Water parks, laser tag, arcade, oh my! This place is every kids’ dream! Their arcade is state-of-the-art and will keep your little ones occupied for hours. If they do, by chance get bored, simply take them outside to partake in go-karts, water slides, mini-golf, or a drop zone ride.

Spill Coffee Co

The product of two ambitious women taking their coffee truck and transforming it into a whole café. The store is very stylish and adorned with pink accents and cozy furniture, making it the perfect work environment. Their house blend is farmed by an all-female coffee farm with endless drink options and a plethora of beneficial health additives to choose from.

They also partner with other local businesses on their sweet treats and breakfast foods.

Sunset Swimming

Not everything fun has to cost money! Time your trip and take your loved ones to the beach at sunset to enjoy the last bit of sunshine of the day. This is a great way to make fun memories with friends and family and, if you’re lucky, the water can actually be pretty warm at the end of a summer’s day!

Wilmington is one Southern destination with something for everyone, and it's overflowing with coastal fun! Want to know about what Wilmington, NC has to offer - check out our blog