If you have ever been to the beach, you know how great it is to have ocean breezes ruffle your hair and fill your nose with a salty aroma of the deep. Wilmington, North Carolina is on Cape Fear and is part of the North Carolina coast which attracts so many vacationers. Not everybody knows about the history, but Wilmington has plenty of that.
CIVIL WAR SIGNIFCANCE
A naval blockade of southern ports effectively shut off the Confederacy from much of the world. Wilmington, North Carolina was one of the few ports able to get badly needed supplies from overseas. It was thanks to Fort Fisher the port could hold out until the final days of the Civil War.
The Fort Fisher State Historic Site is on the ground where the original fort was located. You can see remains the original fortifications and a Civil War Museum. The Fort Fisher State Recreation Area has 4 miles of beach where you can do some bird watching and look at some of the other year-long residents such as loggerhead sea turtles.
There are a lot of things to do around the fort but do not skip out on Wilmington. This is one of the best vacation areas on the southern Atlantic coast, and you an opportunity to really enjoy the charm of this old seaport. You can ride through the historic districts on a horse-drawn carriage, or perhaps an open-air trolley. The Latimer House Museum is a Victorian era mansion, and the Bellamy Mansion Museum of History & Design is a fascinating example of antebellum architecture in the city. This museum is noted for having a preserved urban slave quarter; something not ordinarily seen.
Of course, you are going to have a chance to sample some excellent seafood while you are in the area. We suggest you take advantage of the opportunities to enjoy the harvest of the sea in one of the area restaurants.
Savorez (910-833-8894). It is a fairly new restaurant which is gaining the attention of the locals. Latin fusion cuisine is what you will find on the menu, and the shrimp and grits is something to have on your plate. The tuna tostada is also well worth trying.
Blue Surf Café (910-523-5362). Patrons love the blueberry compote waffles and enjoy the variety of selections on the menu. The sandwiches are great and there are several vegetarian options. This restaurant is located close to the UNCW campus and you can expect to see a good number of college students at the tables.
Indochine (910-251-9229). The taste of southeast Asia, notably Thailand, is here. The Tom Kah Gai soup gets good reviews from patrons, and folks like the Hokkien hot noodles. Food is served in big potions and you must keep in mind Thai food is very spicy. The only downside is the wait; the place is usually crowded with diners.
Courtyard by Marriott Hotel (910-632-2900). The hotel is in downtown Wilmington, and just a walk away from all the sights. Rooms are uber-clean and the staff is most at your service
Staybridge Suites Wilmington-Wrightsville Beach (910-202-8500). The suites have full kitchens and a manger’s reception has free beer and wine. This is a dog friendly hotel, which has a friendly and attentive staff.
Front Street Inn (910-762-6442). This is in downtown Wilmington. It is close by to the historic district and the river walk. The Hemingway Room gets high marks, and the hotel has excellent service.
FOR THE FAMILY
Jungle Rapids Family Fun Park (910-791-0666). Major features include arcade games and laser tag. The water slides and wave pool are also big attractions. This park gives a military discount.