Wilmington Shopping

  • Shopping
    by msbrandysue
  • Shopping
    by msbrandysue
  • Shopping
    by msbrandysue

Best Rated Shopping in Wilmington

  • mocks's Profile Photo

    The Cotton Exchange: Quaint

    by mocks Written Jun 15, 2005

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    One of the more well known places to shop is the Cotton Exchange. You walk in and there are various shops that you wander in and out of on 2 levels of walkways. I used to go here a lot when I first moved to Wilmington, but then the newness kind of wore off. One of the nicer restaurants is located here: Paddy's Hallow, an Irish pub/eating establishment. There's also an ice cream shop within the building.

    What to buy: It varies.

    What to pay: Varies.

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    Westfield Shopping Center: Obligatory Mall

    by mocks Written Jun 15, 2005

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    Shopping in Wilmington is decent, but after a few months, it kind of gets old. I decided to start off with talking about the mall. Westfield used to be called Independence Mall, but after having an addition made to it a couple of years ago, the company that owns it decided to make a name change as well.

    What to buy: You can buy a wide variety of things here as well as sit down and eat at the recently made food court.

    What to pay: What you pay is depending on what you want to get. It's a mall, shops vary.

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    Hanover Center: Easy Access

    by mocks Updated Jun 15, 2005

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    Right across the street from Westfield is Hanover Center, another shopping area where you can buy to your heart's content. You can also do a little bit of dining or shop for groceries. The only time I go there is when I want to check out the AAA office located there or go cafeteria style on dinner at K&W's. Mmmmm. Ok, so the patrons at K&W's are mostly retirees (or after church families), but, darn it, I like the low cost of meals there.

    What to buy: Like the mall, the pricings vary depending on the shops.

    What to pay: What you pay is depending on what you want to get. It's a mall, shops vary.

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    Mayfaire Towne Center: Growth of the area

    by mocks Updated Jun 15, 2005

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    The newest shopping area is a collection of buildings with different shops occupying them. It opened May of 2004 and people have been flocking to it ever since. I usually go to frequent the Barnes & Noble and take in the occasional movie (in a 16-plex). Up until last year, it was just land, but the family that owned the area sold it to the city and plans were made to build not only Mayfaire, but several townhouse communities around it. Because of the location, I suspect the idea was, in part, because of the high end families that live in and around Wrightsville Beach.

    What to buy: Anything that you can get your hands on (well, legally).

    What to pay: Again, prices vary.

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    Lumina Station: Enjoying the Day

    by mocks Updated Jun 15, 2005

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    If you are looking for a quaint day to shop, another place to do so is Lumina Station, which is on the way to Wrightsville Beach. Show here is the more recent back addition to the area. It's only a few years old, but adds a bit of tranquility to the day. Here, you can do some trinket shopping, dine in, or just sit outside and take in the scene. A little note: one of the best shops is located in the new addition: Bristol Books, a locally owned bookshop that I consider a hidden gem. Although I like Barnes&Noble, sometimes, you just have to go local. A friend of mine is one of the managers there. Also, another location of Port City Java is in the front end. A friend's girlfriend (normally an elementary teacher) just got a summer job there (what does that tell you about teacher salaries?)

    What to buy: A wide variety of items can be pricey or inexpensive depending on what you get.

    What to pay: It varies.

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    The Cotton Exchange: Variety of Small Shops

    by msbrandysue Written Feb 15, 2009

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    "In constant occupancy since the pre-Civil War decade, the Sprunt Building was home of the Cape Fear Flour and Pearl Hominy Mill in 1884--the largest of its kind in the South. In 1919-20, Alexander Sprunt & Sons rebuilt the structure to its current Neoclassic revival style to house the thriving cotton export business. They shipped cotton to ports in Europe, England, and America, and the Sprunt Building overlooked all the cotton compresses on the river and was, in actuality, a cotton exchange." From their website

    The Cotton Exchange is what you will come across first if coming in from the northwest side going towards the water. There appears to be plenty of parking here but it's for the Exchange only. However, I admit, I parked here then wandered out of the exchange and there was no one in the ticket booth anyways.

    Getting close to it I was excited because I saw a cute bookstore and small cafe. There was a little sidewalk sale but I figured I shouldn't start spending all my money quite yet. I had the whole day to make it through.

    There are a few main entrances but there are stairs. So, have your climbing shoes on if stairs are tricky for you. Upstairs are little shops but it was confusing for me to figure out how it was all set up. My family wasn't interested in exploring it as we had a big stroller, though and would have had to carry it up the stairs and there didn't seem to be a lot of room to maneuver it among the shop set-ups.

    Also, there are a few different restaurants here, too. They had a variety but they looked nice. We had just eaten breakfast so we didn't try any.

    What to buy: I'm going to go all out and say you can find almost everything. I would go here for the book shop and souvenirs. Also, things you'd find at an arts and crafts show. Cute Celtic shop too if you have that particular heritage.

    What to pay: Souvenir prices....Some bargains and sales going on

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    Historic Downtown Shops: Small Shops

    by msbrandysue Written Feb 15, 2009

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    Historic Downtown was probably my favorite part of the trip. In the intersection of Market St (the main street) and 3rd street is a bunch of shops. They range from buddha shops, coffee shops to ice cream shops to clothing stores and art galleries. There are people drinking coffee at small tables and some getting a bite to eat. Others are walking around while some are on the benches taking it all in. And you'll see the big, beautiful horses carrying the tourist trolley around.

    It's fun to watch it all and explore. Don't miss it!

    What to buy: Quirky things...Clothing...Etc, etc.

    What to pay: Some bargains

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    The Cotton Exchange: Local merchants selling crafts

    by MovingMere Written Feb 3, 2008

    The Cotton Exchange houses dozens of shops and several restaurants that make it easy to lose track of your day. Ranging from thrifty to expensive, the stores offer something for everyone. I used to make necklaces, and there is a store there that was my favorite place to buy beads.

    Mon. - Sat. 10:00am - 5: 30 pm, many shops open Sunday afternoon

    A bit of history lifted from the website:

    At the turn of the century, majestic sailing ships delivered treasures from around the world to the Port of Wilmington. Paddle-wheel boats plied the broad Cape Fear River from Southport to Fayetteville. Cotton was king, and one of the largest and busiest cotton export companies in the world was located in Wilmington. Today, The Cotton Exchange is still an adventure in trade. Eight graciously restored buildings connected by brick walkways, open-air courtyards, and gigantic heart pine beams house 30 unique specialty shops and restaurants, each a charming reflection of the style and feel of Wilmington's 19th century working port days. In 1975-76, The Cotton Exchange was the first downtown complex in North Carolina to adapt and utilize existing buildings, serving as an excellent example of local preservation efforts.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Festivals
    • Historical Travel

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