Weekend in Wilmington

Beaches in the colder weather isn’t something on most people bucket lists but Wilmington in the cold did not disappoint plus I am not quite ready to attempt that sweater weather is over. Buuuut I am already planning my trip back to enjoy some sand & sunshine on the beaches!

Wilmington, North Carolina — Where to Stay!

Whenever I look for a place to stay, the most important deciding factor is location. Location, location, location! Safety first, obviously, but since that is a given, location is first! So if you’re traveling to Wilmington for the beaches, stay within walking distance from the sand. If you’re traveling to Wilmington for the history & bites then stay near historic downtown.

Depending on your budget for the trip: hotel, hostel or airbnb. We found a beautiful, quaint little airbnb, about a five minute walk from Carolina Beach.

honorable mentions:
– Hotel Ballast
– Cloud 9
– Blockade Runner Beach Resort
– The Hive Boutique
– Arrive Wilmington
– Dreamer’s Welcome
– Front Street Inn

Wilmington, North Carolina — Where to Eat & Drink!

COFFEE:
-Bespoke Coffee & Dry Goods 
-Spill Coffee 
-Drift Coffee
-Outpost Coffee 
-Wake n Bake 

Wilmington, just like most of North Carolina, is brewing in the beer industry. Not too long ago this historic town was home to just one brewery. Fast forward and today Wilmington has birthed the “Ale Trail” home to approximately 16 breweries and growing fast.


ALE TRAIL:
– Front Street Brewery 
– Flytrap Brewing
– New Anthem Beer Project 
– Wilmington Brewing Company 
-click the link above to check out the website and the full list of breweries
DRINKS:
-Blind Elephants Speakeasy: prohibition style speakeasy tucked in a little alley; try the tequila mule!
-Manna Ave 123: home to some award winning cocktails
– Whiskey Tango Foxtrot 

photo of scrumptious cocktails coming soon 🙂

FOOD:
Breakfast & Brunch and Lunch & Dinner
– Fork n Cork: features on Diners, Dive-In’s and Dives; so if Guy Fieri loves it then I am trying it! We ordered the rattlesnake bites & Brussel sprouts, veggie burger & the Rueben sandwich.

– Board & Barrel: small plates and shareable snacks. Right along the historic Riverwalk and a view of the Battleship, this is the perfect stop to grab a few snacks while exploring downtown.


– Beer Barrio : modern Mexican restaurant with “local sized” margaritas on tap!

– Dockside: boat drive up & eat
– Elijah’s – seafood heaven right along the Riverwalk, stop by for some delicious, salty eats & views
– Tarentelli’s – Italian spot; perfect for a romantic date night
– Civeche’s – Panamanian restaurant; do yourself a favor and get a rum mojito
– Breakfast at The Basics
– Beach Bagels: inexpensive & fulfilling bagels. Grab one to go and hit the sand!
– Sweet & Savory Cafe – a number of people recommended this brunch spot to me and it did not disappoint. The whole aseptic and sense of community made the food and atmosphere even more enjoyable. Also bomb ranch dressing. Try it; put it on your potato crunks.

Wilmington, North Carolina — What to Explore!

-Explore downtown Wilmington & walk along the Riverwalk

– Keep strolling through Old Wilmington and shop at the cutest boutiques & bookstores. Shout out to the small business owners of Wilmington, y’all are so kind and passionate, check out their media!

– Get active on Wrightsville Beach
– SUP paddle board / kayak / biking or surf lessons


– Treat yourself to a relaxing afternoon with a massage:
– Alice Lawson Salon & Spa
– Kj Spa and Salon
– Costal Massage
– Enjoy the colors of the sunset with a cruise through Wrightsville Beach
– Arlie Gardens
– Find local markets happening that weekend & support small businesses

– Carolina Beach State Park
– Fort Fisher & Kure Beach

Our Itinerary:

FRIDAY: Leave for Charlotte to Wilmington around 10:30am with snacks in the car 
– Arrive hungry/hangry in Wilmington and go straight to Fork n’ Cork and devour a burger & beer
– Riverwalk in historic downtown
– Photoshoot along Carolina Beach and Kure Beach

SATURDAY: Sunrise on the beach & Wake n Bake donuts
– Beach Bagels & a walk along Wrightsville Beach
– Explore & Shop Downtown Wilmington
– Beer Barrio & Growlers
-Thai food in bed & some Netflix & early zzzz

SUNDAY: Brunch at Sweet and Savory
– Cold brew from Outpost, explore the local pop-up market & buy a plant from The Plant Outpost
– hit the road back to Charlotte


Are you heading to North Carolina soon? I highly recommend adding a weekend trip to explore and relax in Wilmington. Soak in some sunshine and put your toes in sand at all its beaches!

Are you from North Carolina? Wilmington? Charlotte? Raleigh? Let me know!
Also, let me know if there is anything I should add or check out next time I travel to Wilmington!