Travel Destinations

Wilmington to Wrightsville Beach, NC


While it might not sound very welcoming, Cape Fear River has carried that name since around 1585, and locals just think of it as part of their unique regional charm. Plus, the river's lovely waterfront adds a special personality to Wilmington. The town's coastal proximity on the Eastern seaboard sets the tone for community culture and activities in this rapidly growing city.

Mild winters and warm summers send the seawater to a comfortable 80 degrees in the summertime. Beautiful landscapes and diverse activities make Wilmington a lively haven for visitors and locals alike. Wilmington is bordered by Wrightsville Beach to the east, and it's an easy stop on the Intracoastal Waterway for transient boaters.

The summer season kicks off with the spring North Carolina Azalea Festival, entering its 71st year in April of 2019. This festival celebrates all of Wilmington's finest organizations, businesses, restaurants and of course, the azalea. Plant lovers can also enjoy a trip to Airlie Gardens, located just inshore of Wrightsville Beach and known for sprawling oaks set along Bradley Creek, Spanish moss and landscaped walking trails.When the weather heats up, everyone and takes to the water. Surfing has a long history in the region with local legends and beginners paddling out to their favorite break. Other popular outdoor activities: sailing, paddle boarding, kayaking, kite boarding, biking, rowing and running. Throughout the year, Wilmington hosts triathlon events  amidst the rolling farmlands a short  drive outside of town.

Downtown Wilmington's historic homes and buildings might look familiar; many served as sets in movies, a strong-hold industry for some time. Running along the Cape Fear River in downtown you find the Wilmington Riverwalk, a 1.75-mile stretch of wooden boardwalk that follows the curve of the river from Cape Fear Memorial Bridge to Isabel Holmes Bridge.

Venture off the riverwalk for a bite to eat at one of the many local restaurants, from sandwich shops to fine dining. Stop into a local store or gallery or enjoy a show at the newly constructed Wilson Center, a 1,540-seat performance hall. Ample dockage is available downtown, with city-run docks and private marinas capable of handling vessels up to superyacht size with deep-water access along with the 38 feet controlled-depth shipping channel.

When fall arrives and the crowds dwindle, head to Wrightsville Beach for the North Carolina Holiday Flotilla, an annual tradition culminating in a lighted boat parade each November. With beautiful landscapes, activities for every personality and, most of all, a seaside setting, it's no question why so many flock to North Carolina's southeast corner where Wilmington shines.



Seapath Yacht Club

This premier transient stop provides first-class floating docks including 190 slips and 600 feet of face dock.


Bennett Brothers Yachts/Cape Fear Marina

Celebrating 26 years repairing, building and brokering boats, its  staff of 20 skilled craftsmen and technicians are ABYC certified. With a 70-ton Marine Travel lift, they can haul boats up to 90 feet.

Port City Marina

The protected, deep-water, full-service marina, features state-of-the-art floating concrete wet slips, accommodates boats up to 250 feet and has 6,000 feet of linear dock space.

Wilmington City Docks

About 15 miles from the ICW on the Cape Fear River in downtown Wilmington with 1,200 feet of floating dock space that can accommodate vessels up to 100 feet.



The Bridge Tender

This waterfront seafood and steakhouse is located at the foot of the drawbridge.

Poe's Tavern

Come taste gourmet hamburgers and craft beer on South Harbor Island.

Tower 7

Fish tacos and Baja-inspired Mexican fare washed down with margaritas.



Traditional Latin American cuisine with fresh flavors and local ingredients.

Dock Street Oyster Bar

Hang with the locals and devour steamed oysters and seafood in a casual climate.

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