Featured Posts

'Tis The Season Wilmington loves this time of the year.  We have tree lightings, special seasonal shows, exhibits and a host of seasonal activities for young and old.   Looking for a new idea for your Christmas Tree?...

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Very Special Around Here Tomorrow is Veterans Day.  It's a good time to take a moment and thank a Veteran for his or her service to our nation.  The folks at South Beach Grill in Wrightsville Beach will be doing this on a grand...

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Horror and laughs and art, oh my Halloween is in the air.  The Cape Fear Playhouse has all kinds of scary shows and the ghost walk takes on special spice.  Downtown holds its Art Blast.  And there're plenty of places to laugh. Enjoy...

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Celebrating the River, Cool Kitchens and a whole lot... The next fortnight is highlighted with a celebration of the river, a tour into some of our historic homes' kitchens, and North Carolina art.   Riverfest comes to town this weekend and the Back Door Kitchen...

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Special Fall Events Keep Rolling Out Some of our highlights this week and next The Best of the Best ArtistsState of the Art/Art of the State returns to Cameron Art Museum next weekend.  Folks who enjoyed this exhibit in 2011 will be sure...

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The Unique Lower Cape Fear

Category : Featured Post, What To Do

Let’s use this issue of Compass to look at a few of the unique things to do around Wilmington.  Maybe you’d like a little walking tour?  You
can walk for Hollywood sets, haunted pubs, ghosts, food, history and more around here.  Maybe you’re into nature?  The State Park, and the
towns of Wilmington and Kure Beach have something for you.  Maybe you’re looking for that unique activity like a Tiki bar or connecting with young
professionals.  Got it.  Perhaps you’ll be here awhile and need something for the kids besides the sand and waves.  Or, maybe, an adult
break from the kids?  Covered.  Maybe you’re a blues fan and are about to learn that you must be here the last weekend of
July.  We’ve got all that and more.  Read on for highlights of all those events or just go straight to the website and look over the entire
schedule.  Find all your events, restaurants, lodging and fun on the website at EnjoyWilmington.com.  And don’t forget your sunscreen.


Check out a walking tour

Ghosts, haunted pubs, Hollywood, history, food can all be found on walking tours.  Most of them leave from the Riverwalk at the foot of Market street and wend around Wilmington’s historic downtown.  From there, you’ll hear tales of ghost sightings around town, or in pubs, find the locations used in films and television from Firestarter to Under The Dome, or get to visit restaurant kitchens to pick up some secrets from our finer dining establishments.  Oakdale Cemetery also offers  tours mixing history, legend and our ever changing customs in an engaging walk amidst the headstones.  Or head up just out of the downtown area and the Historic Wilmington Foundation will lead you on tours of our first ‘streetcar suburbs’ or ‘automobile suburbs.’  These are areas that only opened for residential development when transportation beyond the foot or horse came along.  You can find details and the schedule for the non-history tours at Our Walking Tours and find the Foundation’s history tours at Our History. (Tip: click on the little magnifying glass next to each event for more detail.)

Maybe you’d like to get in touch with nature?

There’s always fascinating nature wherever a river and coast come together.  The obvious pieces are the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean which can be enjoyed by anyone with a swimsuit or the willingness to jump on a boat or surfboard.  You can find more about that including beach access information at Our Beaches and Water.

But here are some ideas if you’d like to get a bit closer to Mother Nature.  Maybe you’d like to know something about sea turtles (we’re very protective of those guys), or maybe mosquitoes and other bloodsuckers, or maybe you have an interest in the care and feeding of all kinds of ocean life, or maybe you remember Little Shop or Horrors and wonder if plants really do eat animals. 

Kure Beach hosts a talk about turtles every week.  They’ll talk about their importance, behavior and all that’s done around here to protect them.  Carolina Beach State Park also has a turtle hike and holds a carnivorous plant hike that looks at plants that like to eat animals.  The famous Venus Fly Trap is native to only this part of the world.  Please respect it.  The NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher likes to explain how they handle their guests.  Their Behind The Scenes Tour will let you in on the secrets. The Cape Fear Museum has a special science exhibit thru September, Attack of the Bloodsuckers.

You can find schedules and more detail on these at Our Nature Events.

Looking for something a bit unique?

Have you ever seen a band performing while levitating over the ocean?  You can do that in Carolina Beach.  The pier under them has nothing to do with their perch over the Atlantic.  The Ocean Grill and Tiki Bar behind the Golden Sands motel has music out on the pier most Thursdays and many Sundays.  The waves crashing, an adult beverage, music from The Travelers, da Howlies, Benji Hughes, or another performer, a glimpse of the Thursday night fireworks and convivial compatriots combines for a special evening.  Find more about that at Carolina Beach Events.

Get an inside look at Wilmington with Wilmington Young Professionals (fortunately they have a very generous definition of young.)  This group holds a monthly networking event.  I always enjoy meeting locals wherever I go and thought you might also.  You can find their next event at Our Networking Events.

The Cape Fear Blues Festival is next weekend

July brings the Cape Fear Blues Festival to town.  The Festival opens with a Blues Cruise Friday night that puts fans on the Henrietta Riverboat for an evening of dinner, touring the river and blues.  It continues all day Saturday with a Blues Workshop, and performances at The Rusty Nail and Ziggys. and wraps up Sunday with An All Day Blues Jam at The Rusty Nail.  It’s the 26th to 28th.  Details are under Our Great Music.

More Music

Draw the Line, an official Aerosmith cover band, is coming to the Wilmington Riverfront this Friday.  Dream On, Dude, Mama Kin and other great Aerosmith hits will be wafting across the Cape Fear River.  And all the fans will be along the river and on the Courthouse steps.  It’s also just one of the outdoor concerts to enjoy this weekend and next.  Big Wooly Mammoth a Widespread Panic cover will be on the River the next Friday.  Carolina Beach has L Shape Lot for this Thursday’s Band and Fireworks at the Boardwalk and Eastbound Country the following Thursday.  Mayfaire offers Velcro (80s rock) this Friday and Painted Man next Friday for their Town Series.  Airlie Gardens offers Jack Jack 180 this Friday.  Kure Beach brings Selah Dub this Sunday and Wooden Steel the next Sunday. All are free save for the Airlie event.

You can find more details about the outdoor concerts and our other great musical offerings at Our Music.

For the Youth & their parents 

It’s a great visit to the beach but you need to find something else for the kids besides the sand and saltwater.  This area has a great selection.  The Cape Fear Museum has regular kid oriented events, the Children’s Museum is 100% kid oriented, the Wilmington Railroad Museum is a hit with anyone who likes trains, much of the NC Aquarium’s focus is very kid friendly, and a number of other institutions have kid oriented events as part of their offering.  There’s also one special activity for the Parents.  Carolina Gymnastics holds its Parents’ Night Out every Friday and Saturday night.  It’s supervised activity allowing the parents to have a night out on the town.  You can find details on all of this at Our Kids.

You can also check out our Sports and Nature listings for other events that are attractive to kids of all ages.


Wilmington’s pro and semi-pro teams are still playing.  The Wilmington Sharks, a baseball team composed of top college players, are at home in the next two weeks and the Wilmington Hammerheads soccer will be holding their next home game on the 26th.  UNCW Seahawks soccer opens its men’s and women’s seasons in early August.

Find the schedule for all of these at Our Sports.

And there’s more to do

You can find the whole schedule on the website.  It’s at Our Events. We have restaurants for every palette and wallet.  You can find a complete searchable listing at Dine Here.  And you can find lodging at Our Hotels and more. Use the search function (look for the binoculars) to refine your search.

Our Nonprofit Event of the Week

Like to fish?  The Carousel Center is holding a fun fundraising fishing tournament July 27.  You can get more details at Carousel Tournament.

Find your nonprofit

We have a robust nonprofit community around southeastern North Carolina.  You can find a great directory of nonprofits at www.WilmingtonGivesBack.org or find a calendar of nonprofit events at SENC Nonprofit Events.

Share this newsletter with a friend

We have a great community here in southeastern NC. Forward this email to a friend and let them know how great this place is! They can click on www.EnjoyWilmington.com and find our restaurants, lodging, events and much more. They’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness.

A Great Planning Tool-all year ’round

Enjoy Wilmington is clearly a great planning tool for your time in New Hanover but did you know it can help you all year around?  Visit Plan.EnjoyWilmington.com to find a calendar of holidays, famous birthdays, and special events such as the Superbowl or future Olympics that you want to know about when planning your year.

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