There is a bajillion things to do in Wilmington, and the beach is super fun, but we have so much more to offer! Wilmington is perfect because we have many surrounding beaches, we have downtown with a river walk, AND we have a midtown area. We have it all! I have lived here for 5 years and visited here for summers since I was a little baby but I am still discovering new things to do every day! Here are 8 fun things to do in our amazing city, that you may not have known about before
1. Overnight Camping at Freeman Park
Freeman Park is located in the North End of Carolina beach. Not only is this a drive-on beach, but dogs are allowed also! If you’ve gone camping at a regular campsite in the woods, know that camping on the beach is a whole different kind of fun. I suggest having a fire and having hot dogs and smores! Sleep under the stars on a sleeping bag or bring a tent, the wind will most likely clear any bugs away and you will be sandy no matter what so just embrace it!
Daily drive on passes are $40 and year round passes are $200 (tip: early bird price for the annual pass is only $100! I always get this pass, it is worth every penny!) To go camping reservations are on a first come first serve basis. The campsite permit is $30 per night from April till the end of September (free, no reservation during any other time). To make a campsite reservation go to this site: https://freemanparkcamping.pmreserve.com
2. Sea Legs Pedal Pub or Cape Fear River Cruises
I recently went on the Sea legs Pedal Pub on 4th of July night during sunset when the fireworks were going off. Of course I posted some pictures on social media and everyone was wondering what I was doing. So this is definitely something to mention. The boat is kind of like a pontoon boat but with bike pedals on it. There is coolers in the middle and a table to rest your drink so feel free to bring a 6 pack of whatever your preference is. As you can see in the picture we also brought snacks. The pedals trigger a big wheel in the back of the boat that move the boat around but the boat will also move without anyone pedaling. We pedaled all along the canal in Carolina Beach while the sun was setting and there were many fireworks shows around us. https://sealegspedalpub.com/
Cape Fear River cruises are very similar except there is no pedaling involved. I like to think of the Cape Fear River as the hidden gem of North Carolina. Everyone likes to associate Wilmington with the beach but we live next to such a beautiful river as well. There is a bunch of different cruises you can take along the Cape Fear River. I definitely recommend trying it out, especially during sunset! Some tours include live music, dinner, or a bar to buy drinks. https://wilmingtonwatertours.net/cruises/
3. Axes and Allies
You literally throw axes at a bullseye and drink beer! This place opened last year and is such a great place to take your out of town friends especially for a rainy day. I have a really big family and we’ve gone here twice, we split up into teams and have a mini axe throwing tournament! https://axesandalliesnc.com/
4. Hiking at Carolina Beach State Park
Okay so you can also go camping at Carolina Beach State Park, but I wanted to mention the hiking trails because they are beyond beautiful. There are miles of trees, sandy trails, and views of the Cape Fear River. There are a couple different lookouts that look over the water. Make sure to pack snacks and stop by the picnic tables halfway along your hike to have lunch with a view. https://www.ncparks.gov/carolina-beach-state-park/trails
5. Panacea Kombucha Bar
Kombucha is super popular now and I love it. I don’t like soda, so it’s my drink of choice other than water and wine. I honestly had no idea about this place but I was asking around about what to add to this blog post and one of my friends mentioned Wilmington had a Kombucha bar. I had no idea! I can’t wait to try it out. Checkout their website to learn all about it: http://www.panaceabrewingcompany.com/latest
6. Cloud 9
A rooftop bar located above Embassy Suites in downtown with live music and wonderful lobster rolls, what more could you want? Another place I recommend during sunset because the view is just so dang pretty! You get a view of both the river and downtown Wilmington. You may know about this place already but it is worth mentioning just in case you haven’t heard about it yet! Get there early so you can get a spot on the fancy couches! https://www.cloud9ilm.com/
7. Mailbox on the beach
Yes the mailbox on the north end of Wrightsville beach survived Hurricane Florence! The mailbox is located closest to access 1, there is parking at access 2 and 3. This activity might not exactly be fun but it is a good place to meditate, relax, and take it all in. There is a notebook and a pen and you have the option to write your thoughts, a dream, a wish, a secret, a good poem, anything that makes you feel at peace. If you are chillin near the north end of Wrightsville beach relaxing by the ocean, take a walk to the mailbox and check it out.
8. Rock Climbing Gym
I just recently found out that Wilmington has a rock wall gym! There is a range of bouldering walls and climbing walls. They have various classes including learning how to belay. They have all the supplies to rent such as shoes, chalk, harness, etc. They design the gym in a way that prepares you to rock climb in the real world. https://www.wilmingtonrockgym.com/
So there you have it, 8 fun things to do in Wilmington that you may not know about. I challenge you to do one of these fun things this week and come back and comment your experience. Also, feel free to comment about your current experience at these places or if you want to add anything to the list! I would love to know and so would the readers!