This Wilmington North Carolina Hotels guide will give you all the information you need to plan a great vacation to Wilmington. Wilmington is one of the South’s best kept secrets. It’s filled with gorgeous old homes and gardens, and the city is known as “Hollywood East” for its large production studio and the number of movies and shows that have been filmed here, including “Dawson’s Creek,” “One Tree Hill” and “Iron Man 3.” But along with its historic attractions and Hollywood appeal, Wilmington is loved by visitors for its relaxed beachy vibe, its slow Southern gait and its swelling foodie scene.
Wilmington NC Weather – When to Visit
The best times to visit Wilmington, North Carolina, are from March to May and September to November when room rates and temperatures drop (lower 70s to lower 80s) from their summertime highs (high 80s). The months between June and August is high season, when the city and nearby beaches are crowded.
Wrightsville Beach receives high praise for its wide ribbon of sand, which is easily accessible and lined by hotels, vacation homes, restaurants, bars and shops. There are restrooms and showers at several beach-access points. Since the beach is situated several dozen miles from the Gulf Stream, it offers travelers warmer, almost transparent waters.
Best Wilmington Tours & Activities by Viator
Sunset Sail Tour from Wrightsville Beach
Cruise through the waters of Wrightsville Beach aboard a 42-foot (13-meter) yacht during this small-group coastal sailing adventure. Enjoy scenic views of the surrounding waterways and barrier islands, and catch a glimpse of marine life. Soft drinks, juice, bottled water, and light refreshments are provided on board the boat. Plus, choose from morning, afternoon, or sunset cruises to best suit your schedule. Learn more about the Sunset Sail Tour.
Wrightsville Beach Fishing Trips
Let Capt. Jennings Rose of North State Guide Service take you to fish and explore the water around Wrightsville Beach! We are dedicated to ensuring you have a excellent experience on the water. Fishing trips, family outings, scenic cruises and dolphin tours; we’ve got you covered! Over 10 years of professional guiding experience. Learn more about the Wrightsville Beach Fishing Trips.
Take a 2.0 hour sailing cruise on a Sparkman and Stephens Sailing Yacht. With your small-group, engage on this classic 42 ft yacht, that accommodates a 6 passenger maximum for an intimate cruise through the waters of Wrightsville Beach. This tour is a spectacular way to see the waterways, barrier islands, and marine life surrounding Wrightsville Beach in North Carolina. Learn more about the Afternoon Sail.
The captain works with the guest to design a custom outing based on his 30 years of cruising experience in the local area. With knowledge of the local sea conditions and coastal ecology. you build a custom experience. Learn more about the Private Charter.
Best Wilmington Restaurants
Rx Restaurant & Bar $11 – 30
They create dishes that highlight the region’s organic farmers and fishermen. If their family of farmers is growing it, it’s on their menu. That same philosophy is applied to their seasonal cocktail menu, and they feature local craft beers on their rotating taps. Telephone: 910-399-3080 Web: Rx Restaurant & Bar
Manna Ave. 123 $11 – 30
The menu is uses the freshest ingredients from local farmers and fisheries to create colorful, American dishes. The restaurant is also famous for its craft cocktails that utilize unique, fresh ingredients. Manna Ave. 123 is the first and only restaurant in Wilmington to receive the prestigious AAA Four Diamond Award. Telephone: 910-763-5252 Web: Manna Ave. 123
Pinpoint Restaurant $11 – 30
Pinpoint Restaurant is known for its menu that changes daily and a selection of local raw oysters on the half shell. Pinpoint was named among “The South’s Best Restaurants” by Southern Living. Be sure to try the Cornmeal Crusted N.C. Catfish which was featured on The Cooking Channel’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate.” Telephone: 910-769-2972 Web: Pinpoint Restaurant
Steam Restaurant & Bar $11 – 30
Steam brings American cuisine to Wilmington using locally sources good ingredients. With an extensive wine & beer selection, plenty of cocktails, & beautiful views of the Cape Fear River, Steam is your go-to downtown restaurant. Telephone: 910-726-9226 Web: Steam Restaurant & Bar
Catch $11 – 30
Modern seafood cuisine served alongside vibrant organic produce and herbs – Catch is a feast for the senses. An award-winning eatery with a passion for Southern cuisine made new again. They serve the best seafood found across North Carolina’s Cape Fear Coast. Telephone: 910-799-3847 Web: Catch
Best Wilmington Nightlife
Reel Cafe Rooftop Bar
Enjoy dining in the restaurant with everything from snacks to entrees, live music in the courtyard Oyster Bar, dancing in the second-floor dance club and sports bar with pool tables or cocktails on the Rooftop Bar overlooking the Cape Fear River. Telephone: 910-251-1832 Web: Reel Cafe Rooftop Bar
Ogden Tap Room
With over 40 beers on rotating tap, enjoy this family-friendly taproom’s extensive casual dining menu. Mentioned in the Garden and Gun Guide to the South’s Best Burgers, they also offer chalkboard lunch and dinner specials of traditional pub favorites. Telephone: 910-821-8185 Web: Ogden Tap Room
Showcasing amazing local, regional and smaller national acts, this intimate venue has brilliant acoustics for a great night out and live music. Enjoy all Bourgie Nights has to offer on your next night out with their unique bar and great live music. Telephone: 910-763-5252 Web: Bourgie Nights
Satellite Bar & Lounge
A favorite for both locals and visitors for over a decade for the amazing selection of wines, Southern Sweet Iced Tea, nearly 250 craft beers in addition to gose, cider, hard seltzer, hard kombucha and champagne splits, a friendly staff, live music and a dog and family-friendly attitude. Telephone: 910-399-2796 Web: Satellite Bar & Lounge
Waterline Brewing Company
Located in an historic 1940s era warehouse beneath the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge, we’ll distribute keg beer locally, give tours, and welcome you to sit and enjoy our brews in our expansive tasting room. Everyday find delicious organic munchies like hummus and chips, and Special Events find Yoga, Farmers Markets, Food Trucks, Wine Tasting, Live Music and of course Octoberfest. Telephone: 910-777-5599 Web: Waterline Brewing Company