Hotels in Wilmington, USA
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Wilmington, North Carolina’s Hidden Gem
North Carolina has a lot to brag about. Stately mansions with towering oak trees, gardens dripping with azaleas and Spanish moss, miles of beaches, and the panoramic Blue Ridge Parkway make this state a tourist hot spot. Add to the mix artsy Asheville, cosmopolitan Charlotte, and old fashioned seaside communities like Carolina Beach, and you have a recipe for a fantastic holiday. If you’re looking for the perfect base, Wilmington, NC might just be at the top of the list for the fun break that you’ve been looking for. Historic mansions and hotels? Check. Top notch arts and culture venues? Check. Lots of green space for the kids to run around? Check. An up and coming craft brewery scene? Check. And that’s just a sampling of what your time in gorgeous Wilmington has in store.
It Doesn’t Get Any Prettier than Wilmington’s Downtown
The best way to get to know the city is with a walk through the historic downtown. You’ll soon discover that Wilmington is big on charm – turn of the century opulence is everywhere you look, and hundreds of historic buildings can be found in the 200 blocks of the downtown core. It would be easy to spend all day admiring the colonial era architecture, but when you’ve wandered enough, stop in Bellamy Mansion. Just be warned that you might not be saving the best for last, as this top-rated tourist stop is often a favourite. The mansion has an interesting blend of neoclassical architectural styles and is indeed a walk through history. Be sure to spend some time amongst the lush gardens and towering magnolia trees when you are finished inside. From here, it’s easy to get to another important historical site, the Burgwin-Wright House and Gardens. But before you arrive, why not do it in style and hop on a horse drawn carriage? You’ll feel right at home when you pull up to this Georgian house circa 1770 that is also a museum with objects and furniture from its early beginnings. When you’re ready to move on, the Riverwalk along the Cape Fear River allows for stops at restaurants and boutiques, plus important attractions like the USS North Carolina, a WW II battleship that is now a museum.
Downtown Has a Museum for Everyone
If you’re a museum buff, downtown Wilmington has several excellent ones that are worth a visit. The Cape Fear Museum allows you to see everything from a giant ground sloth skeleton to Space Place, a science and technology marvel that will delight inquiring minds young and old. If you have little ones in tow, the Children’s Museum of Wilmington is another downtown stop that warrants consideration. Let your imagination run wild at the Toddler Treehouse, Teddy Bear Hospital and Pirate Ship, among other thought provoking activities that will make you wish you were a kid again. If you don’t want the fun to stop, it’s all aboard to the Wilmington Railroad Museum, which traces the roots of the Atlantic Coastline Railroad through engaging interactive exhibits and more than 20 model trains. A 100 year-old locomotive steals the show, but the younger crowd might be just as enamored with the Thomas the Tank Train play area. For something decidedly more adult, the Museum of the Bizarre is a weird and wacky look into the world of the downright unusual. Everything from a unicorn horn to horror movie props can be found here, and lovers of the paranormal and mysterious will pass the time quickly. Downtown hotels worth the spurge include the historic landmark Graystone Inn, and the Wilmingtonian, a restored mansion that is within walking distance to most downtown tourist stops.
Outside is Where it’s At
On a nice day, Wilmington will impress you with its great selection of outdoor parks and gardens. You can stop and smell the roses at a number of sites, with one of the nicest being Airlie Gardens. Prepare to be amazed by the expansive grounds that showcase a variety of formal and informal gardens, 10 acres of freshwater lakes and an oak tree that is over 450 years old, to name a few of the show-stopping natural landscapes waiting for you. A special concert series and bird tours might coincide with your visit, so be sure to check the schedule. While smaller in size at seven acres, the New Hanover County Arboretum is another fresh air favourite that is hard to beat for sheer natural beauty. Let Mother Nature take you away at any one of the seven gardens, such as the Pollinator Garden, Rose Garden and Camellia Garden, not to mention the many trees, shrubs and grasses that could give even the most experienced gardener some inspiration. If you’d like another photogenic spot to consider, keep in mind Greenfield Park. You’ll be sure to find the perfect photo opportunity amongst the many scenic backdrops, and it is especially picture-worthy in the spring when the dogwood and azalea flowers are in bloom.