Wilmington, NC, offers plenty of great places revolving around the city's waterways and history. For example, the region was discovered in 1524 and houses enough historical attractions to fill your whole vacation, like the Battleship North Carolina deployed in WWII and the Bellamy House in the 200-block historic District. But the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean offer some great opportunities to explore, too, like the Riverwalk and Wrightsville Beach. Out experts on apartments for rent in Wilmington, NC, recommend the best places to go in the coastal city.
Part of the National Park Service’s Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor, running from north Wilmington to Jacksonville, FL, Poplar Grove Plantation is a great place to visit. The Gullah Geechee people are African descendants enslaved on Sea Island cotton, indigo, and rice plantations on the lower Atlantic coast. They have a unique Creole language and are known for their unique religious practices, food, music, crafts, and art. Poplar Grove Plantation, a former peanut and sweet potato plantation, will give you a look into the Gullah Geechee way of life.
Dr. John Bellamy was one of the primary enslavers in North Carolina from the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century. He, his wife, and their ten children resided in this massive 1800s-era Greek Revival style mansion. The property has restored slave quarters, lush gardens, and 22 rooms to visit on your tour, providing a history of the family, architecture, and enslaved people who worked the property. In addition, you can tour the mansion and the 2-story brick slave quarters with four sleeping chambers, a laundry area, and two five-seat bathrooms.
Commissioned in 1941, the Battleship North Carolina was thought to be the world's greatest sea weapon. It was used in more than a dozen Pacific Ocean offensives during WWII. In 1947, it was decommissioned to be reduced to scrap metal, but North Carolina residents petitioned for it to be rescued and preserved as a museum. In 1962 their hopes came to life, and today visitors tour the ship and learn about the veterans who operated it. We recommend visiting early in the day to avoid the heaviest crowds and midday heat.
You will be enchanted by the 67-acres of Wilmington's Airlie Gardens. The gardens feature a tangle of footpaths ideal for a stroll through the woods, a butterfly house, and gardens full of fauna and flora native to this part of North Carolina. In addition, the gardens host a roster of special events that add to their allure. For example, the gardens host a month-long festival of lights in December and concerts every other Friday in the summer.
The mile-long Riverwalk is one of the most popular attractions in the city. The wooden boardwalk bordering Cape Fear River features popular bars and restaurants, with benches and stools perfect for taking in the scenery and taking a load off.