When planning a trip to the Cape Fear Coast region of North Carolina, make sure to include these Top 10 Wilmington, North Carolina attractions to your vacation agenda. Regardless of the age of your traveling companions, they will have an entertaining and illuminating experience when visiting one of the many historic, cultural or haunting attractions in the old “port” city.
1 – Screen Gems Studios
Experience a bit of movie magic in “Little Hollywood.” Screen Gem studios offers both on-site tours and visits to movie and television location shoots around the Wilmington, North Carolina area. Walk amid celebrities see what life on a sound stage and the costume department are really like.
2 – The Cotton Exchange
The historic Cotton Exchange buildings have been converted into boutiques featuring works by local artisans and crafters, cafes and galleries. Skip the typical tourists traps and spend a day learning about the history of the building, catch a live performance by regional musicians and fill your suitcases with hand-crafted souvenirs made in Wilmington.
3- Queen Anne’s Revenge
Tour the museum and remains of the vessel which sank along the Cape Fear Coast at the hands of notorious pirates. Both young and old alike will enjoy the displays and interactive programs at the Queen Anne’s Revenge facility.
4 – Fort Fisher
The historic fort was once the site of am important battle between the Federal troops of the United States and Confederate rebels. After taking a walk back in time to learn about the Civil War, you can go fishing, hiking, kayaking, swimming or have a picnic on the grounds at Fort Fisher. Interactive programs and displays at the visitor center add more than bit of realism to the historical tour.
5 – Poplar Grove Plantation
The beauty of the grounds and buildings is only a part of the journey at Poplar Grove Plantation. Enjoy the sculptures and art works as you walk amid a garden modeled after courtyard typical of late the 1800’s. Immerse yourself in both the cultural and historical significance of the property, which feels a world away from the hassles of modern reality.
6- Cape Fear Serpentarium
If the thought of encountering a snake makes your skin crawl, this may not be the attraction for you. The Cape Fear Serpentarium is home to the largest collection of venomous snakes in the entire world. The collection includes exotic reptiles from far away lands.
7 – Wilmington Riverwalk
Stroll along the Wilmington Riverwalk and chat with costumed interpreters, listen to the sounds of local musicians, grab a plate of fresh seafood or buy a ticket for a boat tour. Boutiques and galleries dot the landscape of the riverwalk offering visitors the chance to take home a bit of Cape Fear Coast in the form of artistic souvenirs or jewelry crafted by creative residents.
8 – Latimer House
The Latimer House is a living history center which offers tours of the historic home and grounds. Special presentations, cultural events and hands-on exhibits make this Wilmington attraction a different experience each time you visit. The building was constructed during the 1700’s and was home to prominent residents before being turned into a museum.
9 – Cape Fear Museum of History and Science
Even if history and science did not capture your attention in high school, this Cape Fear Coast attraction should remain on your “to do” list while visiting the historic “Port” city. The rich and colorful history of the region includes the integral role the coastline played during World War II. Visitors from four to 104 will surely discover at least an exhibit or two which peaks their interest. A hands-on exploration area for children allows youngsters to learn by doing.
10 – Guided Ghost Tours
Grab a flashlight and join the groups of brave souls who venture around the city during the darkest hours of the evening. Listen to the tour guide as he shares the tales of ghostly encounters in dark alleys, at Civil War burial sights and near the wharf where pirates once reigned supreme.