The Ultimate Wilmington Travel Guide!

Hi everyone, I’m super excited to be sharing our time in Wilmington, NC with you guys and the Wilmington Travel Guide I’ve created!! I’ve included a ton of good information that will definitely help with your next trip to Wilmington!


WHERE TO EAT & DRINK IN WILMINGTON, NC


The Pilot House: We stumbled across this restaurant when we were strolling along the Riverwalk. We stopped for a little appetizer and drink break, the rosé was soooo good. & refreshing because this night was one of the more humid ones! They had a pretty extensive menu (mostly seafood, duh) but we weren’t crazy hungry. So we went with popcorn shrimp for an appetizer and drinks! They have outside and inside dinking and everything is right along the water. It was really breathtaking and memorable.

Beer Barrio: Our first day we stopped here for brunch/lunch. I ordered off the brunch side (french toast-SO good) & Den ordered from the lunch menu. He got the tacos and they were massive! They had a huge selection of beers/ciders, too & quite a few of them were local which we always like to try! We sat on the patio & enjoyed the nice weather. Definitely a place we’d go back to again! (Side note: there was a New Orleans themed restaurant across that street that we meant to try but ran out of time! But it definitely looked like a good one!! Definitely on the list for next time)

Growlers Tavern: We stumbled across Growlers Tavern one night when we were walking along trying to figure out where to stop first for a drink & this ended up being the one! It’s all downstairs in a basement & sort of a little hidden but it’s a really cool industrial vibe with pool tables, a big bar, and other games like pinball & alley roller (I think that’s what it’s called!) It was a great spot to start our night out at!

Wake n Bake: We went here each morning we were in Wilmington! First, the girl working there was hilarious and super personable. Second, the coffee was BOMB! A bunch of different flavors and combos to choose from. Third, their donuts!!! I ordered a cookies n’ cream one on our last day before we left and it did not disappoint! It’s right around the corner from Beer Barrio.

Copper Penny: WE ARE OBSESSED! One of the girls I studied abroad with who lives in Wilmington actually recommended this place. After that, we realized it was one of the restaurants from Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives-so we knew we had to try it out. There was quite a bit of a wait since the show has boosted its popularity but it was SO worth the wait. We were able to grab a drink from the bar and wait outside, too. It was a beautiful night so we didn’t mind at all. Their onion rings are MASSIVE, so if anything, I suggest you at least try those bad boys. We are still thinking about how good this restaurant was to this day. 10/10 recommend this place for your visit!!!

The Reel Cafe & Rooftop: Ahhh this place was incomparable! We actually only ordered drinks here & went for the live music that we heard from down the street. We spent a few hours there while the band played cover after cover. The place got packed, we were singing along, and they ended with an epic cover of The Beatles & the crowd was seriously going nuts. We loved it. This place is such a cool rooftop option for Wilmington!

These are definitely my top picks when I sat down to create my Wilmington Travel Guide. I truly believe these are some of the best of the best spots in Wilmington! Definitely Wilmington Travel Guide worthy!

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WHAT TO DO IN WILMINGTON, NC


Historic Riverwalk: We strolled along the Riverwalk each night because it was just so dreamy & felt like we were kids in high school again on our first date for some reason! Maybe I was channeling my inner One Tree Hill obsession (again) haha! But either way, it was so memorable & beautiful to watch the sunset each night and take it all in along the walkway! There were also restaurants along the riverwalk as well (The Pilot House) that you can stop at. There’s also an ice cream pop up. Then, a boat that’s a restaurant, and some rentals, too. It’s just too perfect!

*The Historic Riverwalk is honestly the highlight of this entire Wilmington Travel Guide. Most of the spots revolve around the Riverwalk being there and the views it offers along the river!

Bellamy Mansion Tour: We could have easily walked to this from downtown/our Airbnb but we had planned to head to UNCW after so we drove. But it was like maybe an 5 minute drive! Old historic mansions are my jam and I just love the history behind them. This was just a quick self guided tour that we decided to do. There was a tour guide option but we decided to just walk through ourselves with the headsets! I so wish we had historic homes like that in Arizona but we don’t, so give me all of the historic mansion tours while we’re vacationing!

Drive Through UNCW: Fun fact, I had looked into transferring to UNC Chapel Hill or UNC Wilmington after my freshman year of college! It never happened, but my dream definitely never went away! SO, we had to drive through the campus and see what it was like! It was just as pretty as I imagined it.

Bar Hop: There are TONS of restaurants and bars along Front Street that you can explore. There are bars, breweries, cafes, restaurants, rooftops, etc. As I said above, we started at Growlers Tavern to start. Then spent time at The Reel Cafe & Rooftop. Then finally grabbed a drink along the water. There is seriously a huge selection to check out on Front Street & the following streets that jut out to the riverwalk.

Live Music: We stumbled across live music on our last night and it was INCREDIBLE! & we did not plan that out at all but with the rooftop places downtown it seemed like it was a pretty regular occurrence.

One Tree Hill Tour: Okay, so we didn’t do this one because I wouldn’t want to drag Dennis through it. Haha. BUT for those huge fans out there (like me) there is a tour you can take that goes to all of the different epic places from the show!! I mean, CMON!! How cool is that for us obsessed fans?

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WHERE TO STAY IN WILMINGTON, NC


We actually stayed in an Airbnb right downtown near the riverwalk. However, we didn’t super love it (inside wise) & looking back, we would have probably spent a little more money for a hotel downtown or a nicer Airbnb-which is why I don’t really even want to include the link to the Airbnb that I booked because it’s not something I would recommend again! BUT the location was amazing!! We literally walked down the stairs and were right in the middle of everything, seriously incredible.

So if there’s any input I can give, it’s to stay as close to downtown & the riverwalk as you can! We walked to everything & had the best time. There are a few hotels downtown that are just as close & were great. The next time we head back there, we’ll definitely stay in either a nicer Airbnb or just a hotel in general. But I think we found out pretty quick that we are more hotel people than Airbnb people! haha. What about you guys!?

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I also created saved highlights to Instagram that have the videos from the night on the rooftop. Y’all have to check them out!! Also I love that we are able to save stories now to Instagram. It’s like an easier version of a scrapbook for this trip!

I’m still only getting started with blogging our travels, too! We were only a few days in when we left Wilmington to our next stop! If you missed the first two posts about our road trip, you can find them here for Hilton Head & then here for our quick lunch date in Charleston!

Like always, thank you for tuning in and reading about our time in Wilmington and reading about my Wilmington Travel Guide recommendations! If you ever hit up North Carolina, I hope this Wilmington travel guide helps give you a good starting point!!

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