Beat the Heat in Wilmington and Nearby Beaches

Wilmington’s Riverwalk is the city’s top attraction and a popular spot for dog-walkers, photographers and strollers of all sorts.

Just a few hours drive from the Triangle, Wilmington is a great destination to enjoy an abundance of outdoor activities and open space.

Surrounded by water, Wilmington and its island beaches – Carolina, Kure and Wrightsville – feature plenty of places to enjoy ocean sunrises, riverfront sunsets, Intracoastal Waterway and marsh views. Here you will find world-class gardens, state and municipal parks in natural settings, fitness trails, and a 230-block National Register historic district perfect for strolling through.

“Research indicates that current traveler priorities include feelings of emotional well-being, joy, happiness and relaxation, and we are very fortunate that our destination naturally lends itself to these very desires,” said Kim Hufham, President and CEO of the Wilmington and Beaches Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Anyone in search of some R&R via a socially distanced getaway should put Wilmington and beaches at the top of their list.”

The visitors bureau has developed summer vacation trip ideas and 48-hour road trip itineraries intended to help travelers make the most of a vacation or quick trip to Wilmington or one of its beaches while still practicing social distancing.

Here are a few attractions that lend themselves to a safe and relaxing weekend:

The Riverwalk: Stretching nearly two miles along the Cape Fear River, the Wilmington Riverwalk is a popular destination for dog-walkers, sightseers and pedestrians of all sorts. Since 1980, the city has spent nearly $33 million to revitalize the once dreary industrial zone. Now Wilmington’s top tourist destination, the iconic raised timber boardwalk provides breathtaking views of the river. Also, several restaurants have built large outdoor seating areas along the Riverwalk, taking advantage of the marvelous scenery and river breezes.

Front Street Brewery: After a day of sightseeing, Wilmington’s oldest and best-known craft brewery offers a pleasant respite. Order from the extensive menu or try one of Front Street’s flagship brews.

Airlie Gardens: Get lost in this lush coastal garden featuring 67 acres of walking paths, formal gardens, seasonal blooms and tranquil hideaways. A nearly one-mile path winds past the huge Airlie Oak, which dates to 1545; a freshwater lake and pavilion; a butterfly house and other surprises. Adding interest to the garden are several outdoor sculptures including the Bottle Chapel, featuring more than 2,800 glass bottles.

Carolina Beach: A family-friendly, authentic beach town, Carolina Beach has a scenic beachside boardwalk, a state park, colorful characters, miles of alluring beach, world-class fishing and colorful one-of-a-kind events and festivals.

Wrightsville Beach: Only 20 minutes from downtown Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach has been named one of the world’s best surf towns. With surfing, paddle-boarding, kayaking and sparkling water along the beach and Intracoastal Waterway, you can’t leave the island without trying something new.

Kure Beach: This small town beach is big on things to see and do including watching the dive shows, live animal encounters and feeding programs at the N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher. Experience history with a visit to the Civil-War-era Fort Fisher State Historic Site or explore nature and a six-mile protected shoreline at Fort Fisher State Recreation Area.


1 Comment

  • Nicole says:

    Local says: Don’t forget Greenfield Lake’s walking path/gardens, with the up and coming South Front Street shops and restaurants, shopping on Castle Street, and the beautiful Arboretum with children’s and meditation gardens, all outdoors with free entrance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *