WILMINGTON AREA INFORMATION
Wilmington is a 250-year old port city, nestled between North Carolina’s Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean. Established in 1739, Wilmington prospered during its early years as a major port and ship-building center. Nestled along the edge of the Cape Fear River, downtown Wilmington has much to offer from eclectic shops, vibrant nightlife, theatre productions, coffeehouses, Gothic churches, and outstanding restaurants. Inland, you’ll find excellent golf courses, department stores, parks, entertainment complexes, amusements, plantations, UNC-Wilmington (with a Marine Science program ranked fifth in the world), and restaurants galore.
There is something for everyone in Wilmington. With our highly ranked schools, beautiful beaches, challenging golf courses, and cultural events, Wilmington has become a destination of choice. Through diligent preservation efforts, buildings have been restored, creating one of the largest historic districts on the National Register of Historic Places.
Although Wilmington is the largest city in southeastern North Carolina, it retains a small town atmosphere. Visitors immediately recognize the warm hospitality and sense the strong community pride Wilmingtonians exhibit. Residents continuously strive to improve all aspects of the Port City, in order to maintain the same charm and natural beauty that has been celebrated for over 250 years.
A quick tour around Wilmington is all you need to realize that Wilmington is a special place to call home.
Geography is an inevitable factor that sets Wilmington apart from the overall North Carolina economy. It is also driving some new trends that are positioning Wilmington to take advantage of a new and prosperous era. Its maritime environment creates opportunities for business based on what is naturally available - the sea, the river, the many beautiful views - instead of that which must be manufactured. Although manufacturing is still an economic force in the region, statistics compiled by the University of North Carolina at Wilmington's Cameron School of Business indicate that the bulk of today's employment opportunities are in the services sector. This is a broad category that includes such diverse occupations as physicians, government workers, educators, and fast-food employees.
Wilmington Industrial Development list of top New Hanover County Employers for 2006
New Hanover Regional Medical Center
New Hanover County Schools
General Electric Nuclear Energy Production/Aircraft Engines
New Hanover County
University of North Carolina Wilmington
City of Wilmington
The hospitals and services that are part of New Hanover Health Network have long, established roots in Southeastern North Carolina.
Today, working together under the umbrella of New Hanover Health Network, they are better equipped than ever to handle your family's health care needs. Offering the most comprehensive and sophisticated array of services in the region, New Hanover Health Network is the ninth largest health care system in the state.
Wilmington is brimming with physicians and other healthcare professionals operating in any and every possible field. You can feel safe and assured that you and your family will receive competent care in Wilmington.Cape Fear Hospital
New Hanover Health Network
Located midway between New York and Florida, Wilmington and the Cape Fear coast are far enough south to have mild weather year-round, yet far enough North to have four distinct seasons.
The influence of the ocean and the Gulf Stream, approximately 45 miles offshore, keep the counties around the Cape Fear from being too hot or too cold. Cooled by the breezes of the sea and river, summer temperatures are generally in the 80’s. Snow is rare. Average annual rainfall is approximately 51”.
Travel and transportation to, from, and within Wilmington is a very accessible, uncomplicated issue. Wilmington is easy to reach and once you're here, it's easy to navigate.
Wilmington provides many choices for travelers to enter its boundaries. If traveling by automobile, there are several highways and interstate I-40 passing directly into the port city. As Wilmington and surrounding areas have grown considerably over the years, many major improvements have been made to the various roadways in and around the city. Take a relaxing ride into Wilmington and once here, we're sure you'll find that getting around within Wilmington will be a breeze.
If traveling into Wilmington by plane, you have a few choices. The most direct option is to fly directly into the Wilmington International Airport, a futuristic facility with a small-airport charm, and it connects with most of the surrounding cities, including Raleigh, Charlotte, and Atlanta. Other flight options include flying out of the small Brunswick County Airport in Southport and the Ocean Isle Airstrip if you are flying in on a small charter aircraft. They will both allow you to touchdown near Wilmington. If you would rather fly into nearby Raleigh, daily van transportation is provided into Wilmington by the Wilmington Shuttle. Finally, nearby Myrtle Beach also has a private craft airport and a major commercial airport for your convenience in travel.
If you prefer travel on the high seas, the entire coastal area surrounding Wilmington is accessible to boaters from the Florida Keys all the way to Canada. Whether you choose to sail in through the ocean waters, the Intracoastal Waterway, or the Cape Fear River, scores of marinas await you along nearly 90 miles of protected waterway.
Once in Wilmington you have unlimited choices of travel around the area. In addition to accessibility automobile travel, Wilmington provides travel on bus, trolley, bicycle, taxicabs, limousines, and ferries. Though more of a tour, the trolley provides a ride throughout the historic district, as does the horse-drawn carriage tours. In addition to the increasing amount of bike paths in Wilmington, three state-funded bicycling highways pass through Wilmington and along the neighboring coast. Wilmington offers many safe limousine and taxicab companies for your leisurely travel anywhere within the area.
Finally, the ferry system in the coastal area is perhaps the most beautiful and charming of all the modes of transportation. Though ferries are usually used to take passengers to island destinations, they are still the most pleasurable rides imaginable, and they usually mark the beginning of a peaceful escape from the mainland.
So, whether you are coming, going, or staying, feel free to utilize the many aspects of Wilmington transportation.
Wilmington, North Carolina and surrounding areas are becoming increasingly attractive to retired individuals globally because of their beautiful landscapes, readily accessible services, vast recreational opportunities, cultural activities, low cost of living, low crime rate, and mild climate.
Traditionally, many have chosen to escape their colder weather and exchange it for a chance to live in the much gentler environment of coastal North Carolina.
In addition to pleasant weather, the southern coast has much to offer its retired population. You'll find abundant shopping facilities, top-notch healthcare, inexpensive housing opportunities, a healthy industry emerging toward more services to our older society, and more culture than you can "shake a stick at."
When it comes time for you and your family to relocate to the coastal town of Wilmington, some will have questions concerning their pets. For many, pets are considered to be members of the family.
There are a large number of public parks in which animals are allowed to run. There is a leash law in the city limits of Wilmington.
During the tourist season at Wrightsville Beach, dogs are not permitted on the main beach, but during the off-season, leashed pets are permitted. There are several lodging facilities that allow pets and there are many boarding services as well, so bring your pet on your next visit to Wilmington and introduce your "family member" to the Port City.
History and geography have shaped the kinds of attractions that flourish on the southeastern coast of North Carolina. Wilmington's historical legacy manifests itself in the structure of its architecture and is vibrant due to the preservation efforts of so many parties. Within the Port City, you can encounter museums, tours of homes and plantations, The entire region in and around Wilmington is integrated with so many historical attractions, that it is nearly impossible to see all of them. For instance, the Battleship Memorial is not only a favorite visiting spot for both tourists and locals, but it is also a visible landmark that identifies the Wilmington riverfront. Such historic houses as the Latimer House and the Burgin-Wright House seem to breathe the mystery of the old Cape Fear. If the outdoors calls you, there are grand plantations and gardens the have been kept up for many, many years. If your passion lies in art, then art it is! Both young and old can be found in the many art galleries that reside in the Wilmington area. Finally, if you want a glimpse of it all, jump in a horse-drawn carriage and enjoy the beauty of the entire historic downtown district.
These historic attractions are balanced by the many new attractions and amusements that have found their way into Wilmington much more recently. A water park, museums, playgrounds, and art galleries are all available for your pleasure.
In addition, we have miles of beach towns surrounding the Port City. One thing is for sure, if you enjoy the beach, then you will LOVE Wilmington.
Battleship North Carolina
Cameron Art Museum
Cape Fear Museum
Cape Fear Riverboats
Fort Fisher Aquarium
Historic Fort Fisher
Screen Gems Studios
Poplar Grove Plantation
The Wilmington area offers an exciting nightlife that covers every possible taste. Whether you're in the mood for dinner and a movie, a trip to the theater, or if music is your passion, then the Wilmington area has got you completely covered.
Wilmington has several movie theaters which will allow you to catch any new releases or current box-office favorites. If you are searching for something a bit more eclectic, check out Thalian Hall's Cinematique.
Thalian Hall is known for its schedule of shows displaying some of the best performing arts in the region. With ballet, opera, theater, and other cultural necessities, a year-round schedule, and a beautiful historically restored theater, Thalian Hall is a venue frequented by locals and visitors alike.
With pubs and clubs on the beach and in the downtown and UNCW areas, you can find everything from dance to live music each and every night of the week. Most of the Wilmington area nightlife is concentrated in the historic downtown area, providing music and crowds that fit any individuals taste.
Wilmington offers many exciting events. Azalea Festival and Riverfest are two of the largest events of the year with parades and street fairs including music, art, and other entertainment on the waterfront of the Cape Fear River. These events draw thousands of locals and visitors alike for full weekends of fun in the sun. Wilmington's Fourth of July celebration is also a big event with a street fair and an amazing fireworks display which continues to get better and better.
There are many other events all of which capture the energy and vitality of the Wilmington area.
NC 4th of July Festival
Sports and recreation is a major source of entertainment within the Wilmington community. Whether you are participating as a player or a spectator, the time of your life is awaiting you in Wilmington. With many golf courses, marinas, parks, and fitness centers, you can fill your days with endless entertainment. The beach is just minutes away, so your desires for fishing, swimming, boating, and surfing are all easily quenched.
If watching sports is your passion, Wilmington boasts a highly successful professional soccer team, The Wilmington Hammerheads. Explore the world of sports and recreation in Wilmington. It's an easy place to be active.
As with most beach communities, seafood is a prevalent form of cuisine in the Wilmington area. The waters off the coast provide quality fish and many other seafood catches that can be sampled in some of the very best restaurants in the Carolinas.
The region's restaurants offer a variety of cuisine including Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, German, French, Greek, Caribbean, and many others. There are also many chain restaurants within the Wilmington region (too many to name here). Listed below are some of the best privately-owned gourmet establishments in the area. Your Wilmington dining experience is sure to be a memorable one.
4 Marina Street - Wrightsville Beach - phone 910.256.8500
Bluewater is located right on the intracoastal waterway.While watching all types of boats slowly cruise by, enjoy dining inside or outside. The dinner menu is casual American featuring favorites such as baby back ribs, chargrilled steaks and fresh fish, oven roasted fish, slow roasted prime rib, and signature combination platters.
The Bridge Tender
1414 Airlie Rd - Wilmington - phone 910.256.4519
The Bridge Tender is a waterfront restaurant, renowned for more than two decades for beef, seafood, pasta, and regional specialties. Reservations suggested.
9 South Front St - Wilmington - phone 910.343.1395
Located in a light and spacious 100 year old warehouse in downtown Wilmington, Caffe Phoenix serves house-made pastas, desserts, and breads with a multi-cultural influenced menu and an emphasis on rustic Mediterranean cuisine. Sidewalk dining is available when weather permits.
8 North Front St - Wilmington - phone 910.762.1922
Circa 1922 is Wilmington's first Tapas (small plates) restaurant. Enjoy the delightfully authentic 1920's theme and enjoy the excellence in dining and service that Wilmingtonians are raving about. Extensive menu with over 70 items, featuring dips, salads, sandwiches, seafood, pasta, and sushi.
Dockside Restaurant & Marina
1308 Airlie Rd - Wilmington - phone 910.256.2752
Enjoy viewing the boat activity on the Intracoastal Waterway at this casual and very popular restaurant and marina. The Dockside serves fresh local seafood, salads, pastas, burgers, and sandwiches.
2 Ann St - Wilmington - phone 910.343.1448
Located on the banks of the Cape Fear river, Elijah's offers a panoramic view of the riverfront. This popular restaurant is an American Seafood Grill, featuring an Oyster Bar with outdoor dining. Beef, poultry, and pasta complement the seafood menu. A lively, fun crowd, expert service, and excellent food await you.
Fish House Grill
1410 Airlie Rd - Wilmington - phone 910.256.3693
The Fish House Grill is a casual Intracoastal Waterway cafe. Come by boat and use their docks! Dine inside or on the deck. Great hamburgers, seafood, salads, and cold drinks. Daily specials are offered in addition to the house specialties. Take-out is always available.
8211 Market St - Wilmington - phone 910.686.8211
K-38 Baja Grill
5410 Oleander Dr - Wilmington - phone 910.395.6040
Enter into this warm and cozy atmosphere and enjoy the K-38 Baja Grill experience! Chilies and spices from all over the Southwest and Mexico combine with the freshest ingredients to create authentic South of the Baja Border taste sensations.
703 South Lumina Ave - Wrightsville Beach - phone 910.256-5551
Fresh local seafood, specialty chicken, hearty steaks, and a variety of extras ranging from salads, seafood gumbo, and she-crab soup to hush puppies, slaw, rice pilaf, vegetables, potatoes and confetti orzo. All overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Outside dining is also available.
2 Ann St - Wilmington - phone 910.343.0200
The Pilot House, located in the Historic Craig House in Chandler's Wharf on the Cape Fear Riverfront, serves the finest in creative Southern fare. Their innovative regional seafoods are sure to please your palate. Relax at lunch or dinner in the casual elegance of the dining room, or enjoy a meal on their expansive waterfront deck.
Port City Chop House
1981 Eastwood Rd - Wilmington - phone 910.256.4955
Port City Chop House is located near the main Landfall entrance in a beautiful setting. They specialize in center cut beef, lamb, and pork, and serve only certified Angus Beef. Also offered are a variety of seafood and pasta dishes. Lunch and dinner specials are served every day.
100 South Front St - Wilmington - phone 910.251.1832
The Reel Care offers a decor of original cinematic memorabilia from the Carolina movie industry. Featuring courtyard dining, live rooftop entertainment, and a unique menu offering a wide variety of lunch and dinner items, there is something for everyone.
Roy's Riverboat Landing
2 Market St - Wilmington - phone 910.763.7227
Situated on one of the oldest building sites in town, Roy's Riverboat Landing offers romantic fine-dining along the banks of the Cape Fear River in Historic Wilmington, overlooking the Battleship USS North Carolina. Enjoy signature seafood dishes, outstanding beef, and seasonal offerings.
South Beach Grill
100 South Lumina Ave - Wrightsville Beach - phone 910.256.4646
A favorite with locals and beach visitors, South Beach Grill offers excellent, creative cuisine with a beach attitude! Experience delightful and intimate casual dining overlooking Banks Channel. Nightly dinner specials add to an excellent menu. Consistency in providing local fresh seafood adds to its popularity.
Whether you are coming to Wilmington for a vacation, business trip, or home buying trip, I hope you find this section of the website helpful. I recognize that many visitors to the area eventually become buyers. When you decide its time to invest in Wilmington, I hope you remember me.
Marriott Residence Inn
Holiday Inn Sunspree
Hampton Inn Landfall
Shell Island Resort
Holiday Inn Express
The word that best describes your shopping experience in the coastal town of Wilmington is Wilmington’s shopping is diverse, not only diverse in merchandise, but also diverse in locale and atmosphere. Wilmington has its share of chain retailers such as Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, Circuit City, and Target, just to name a few, but it is the specialty shops that exist in the Port City that illustrate the character and experience of the Cape Fear area. The major shopping areas are along College Road, Oleander Drive, Market Street, Military Cutoff, and in the historic downtown area.
The downtown historic district is a shopping experience that you will remember and want to return to. There are no department or chain stores in the area. For a full day of shopping, you will also find many unique cafes and coffee shops for relaxation between stores.
Each shop has its own charisma in a small boutique atmosphere. Many shops are locally owned, and they are usually operated fully by the owners and their friends. The Cotton Exchange and Chandler's Wharf are two very charming centers that provide the atmosphere for a relaxing shopping experience. Likewise, Wilmington's Shops at Lumina Station and Shops at TheForum provide a similar atmosphere, with beautiful little shops and charming cafes.
If you view shopping as more than a hurried purchasing activity, then discover the beauty and character of the beautiful historic downtown market. See you soon!
The Cotton Exchange
Mayfaire Town Center