There are several good beaches very near Wilmington. We were there two days. One day we drove North to Topsail Beach and the other day we drove South and saw Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and took the toll ferry to the mainland at charming, historic Southport. A good place to stop and spend a little time exploring their shops and town.
We drove into Wilmington from Jacksonville and as we drove in there were historical signs EVERYWHERE! It was just amazing how many there were. Some of them are really neat and some are almost comical. "This is where Abraham Lincoln's nephew's daughter slept one night while passing through." (I mean no disrespect, it's really very neat how well history must have been kept here.)
In the Downtown area there are just so many signs I can't explain it. Almost every house has one by the door as well. I literally did not know in which direction to look. I wasn't driving and I kept begging my dad to pull over. I would have walked for miles if I was there alone just to read all the signs. There's another....oh, and another...oh! over there...
Enjoy some of the few I collected...
You can't get away from the Condfederacy while in Wilmington. In fact, while on Third St you'll see the statue that commemorates the Confederacy Memorial. The inscription of the monument is as follows:
TO THE SOLDIERS OF
CONFEDERATES BLEND YOUR RECOLLECTIONS
LET MEMORY WEAVE ITS BRIGHT REFLECTIONS
LET LOVE REVIVE LIFE'S ASHEN EMBERS
FOR LOVE IS LIFE SINCE LOVE REMEMBERS
PRO ARIS ET FOCIS
THIS MONUMENT IS A LEGACY OF GABRIEL JAMES BONEY/BORN WALLACE, N. C. 1846--DIED WILMINGTON, N. C. 1915
A CONFEDERATE SOLDIER
The back of the monument is inscribed:
Erected by a committee under the testator's will representing the Daughters of the Confederacy, the Confederate Veterans Association and his Executor MCMXXIV
From the Smithsonian's Website-
Description: An upright granite stele bearing inscriptions and a bronze figural sculpture in high relief. Sculpture depicts a standing Confederate soldier and a fallen soldier, the latter lying on the ground behind the feet of the former. The standing soldier is hatless, wears a military overcoat with cape which is flying open, shirt, trousers, and boots; he holds his rifle in his proper right hand and props its butt-end on the ground; his proper left arm is bent with the hand held in front of the body and he gazes forward in stern resolve. Fallen soldier below has bandaged forehead and head slumps onto proper right shoulder; a canteen lies beneath his proper right arm. Figures represent courage (standing) and self-sacrifice (recumbent).
Across the street from the Latimer House you'll see a big, beautiful church along with the historical marker. This one is actually pretty interesting. Our 28th President's Dad was the preacher here at the First Presbyterian Church, which is still open to visiters and worshippers.
From the church's website:
Thomas Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the United States, was a member of this church during the years his father, Dr. Joseph R. Wilson, was Pastor (1874-1885). Woodrow Wilson was a college student at the time; he spent one full year and his vacations in the Manse, which stood at the corner of Fourth and Orange Streets. A copy of a letter he wrote back to the church in 1886 is on display in the room at the Southeast corner of the Sanctuary (the door near the Lectern).
Just thought I'd add this so you'll know what all the fuss is about when passing by the church!
It's so weird to walk past all these old houses and every now and then there are beautiful gardens like this one here... I understand how it's so close to the water so the old days had plenty of irrigation. But, nowadays, with capitalization on tourists...Amazing.
It really says a lot about the city and the respect they have for nature and the beauty of the land.
Sweet Tea! This isn't really exclusive to Wilmington, but it is exclusive to the South. Sweet tea has been a beverage around these parts since, well, as long as I can remember. It's actually just tea with sugar brewed together and is offered on the menu just about anywhere you eat, including Chinese restaurants. You can also put in a couple of lemons in there to add to the taste. To feel like a local (and if you're able to have sugar or caffeine in your diet), order some sweet tea to go along with your meal. It's so ingrained in the Southern culture that a South Carolina band (now disbanded), Cravin' Melon, wrote a song as a tribute to it, simply named "Sweet Tea," which is where I got the title of this tip. For my money; PT's, Bojangles (fast food chicken restaurant), and Priddy Boy's make the best ones.
Wilmington is surprisingly well-decorated with spires and wonderful architectural accents. Be sure you come prepared with lots of film.