1. Visit Beautiful Airlie Gardens
There is perhaps no better way to spend a beautiful day in Wilmington than to explore Airlie Gardens. The site has over 67 acres of walking paths that will allow you to view a myriad of beautiful trees, flowers, and architecture during your exploration. There is also much to learn during your journey through the gardens, as the rich history of the site is provided to you through pamphlets, tour guides, and informational signs next to significant landmarks. Whether you are taking a tour, having a photo shoot, or just having a nice stroll, Airlie Gardens will give you a great breath of fresh air while simultaneously taking your breath away with its true beauty.
2. Take a Ghost Tour of Downtown Wilmington
Prepare to be spooked with history! Ghost Walk of Old Wilmington offers a journey through all of Wilmington’s eerie tales for those brave enough to take the tour. For 90 minutes, you and your friends will be taken through some of Wilmington’s most notable burial grounds, haunted houses, and sites of actual encounters during past tours. Skeptical about the authenticity of the spookiness? No need! USA Today places it in the “Top 5 Ghost Walks in America” as well as Encore Magazine calling it the “Best Tour.” For those seeking thrilling and frightful adventures, it is a must.
3. Tour Battleship USS North Carolina
While we’re still talking about tours, the Battleship is a staple for Wilmington. The Battleship USS North Carolina is proudly displayed in a waterway right in the heart of Wilmington. It is easily visible from downtown, and creates a visual masterpiece as the sun goes down behind it. It’s not just there to be looked at and admired, though. There are regular tours provided for the historic warship. You can have a tour guide, or explore the decks yourself! No matter the age, it is a must for anyone who wants to feed their adventurous side while also learning a great deal of history.
4. Sing Your Heart Out at Karaoke
If there is one thing that the downtown Wilmington community loves, it is to sing. To capitalize on this passion, bar owners across downtown Wilmington have implemented a karaoke night once a week. It just so happens that they all occur on different nights of the week, so on any given night (currently Wednesday through Sunday) one could pick up and go sing karaoke at any of these bars. These bars are also keeping the legacy of the recently closed Brown Coat Pub and Theatre alive. Once home to Wilmington’s favorite karaoke, it now inspires other bars to put on karaoke such as Liquid Room (Wednesday’s), Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (Thursday’s), Reel Café (Friday’s and Saturday’s), and Calico Room (Sunday’s). If singing is your thing, make sure to visit one of these places to show your stuff.
5. Find Some Live Music Downtown
In addition to the casual karaoke singers, Wilmington is a hot-spot for those who sing and perform music professionally. If you walk through downtown Wilmington, you will almost undoubtedly hear live music from any direction. These musicians are welcomed in restaurants, bars, and even street corners. The range of styles from these performers is quite incredible as well. Whether they are a smooth jazz artist, gospel singer, or head-thrashing rocker, they will be welcome in Wilmington. It is always an incredible experience to stumble upon any of these performers while strolling through downtown Wilmington, so be on the lookout next time you’re downtown!
6. View a Theatrical Spectacle
Wilmington has a rich pool of talent when it comes to community theatre. Whether you’re looking for a musical extravaganza or a thought provoking drama, there is always a company producing a show that will satisfy your wants. Wilmington is home to the Thalian Association, the Official Community Theatre of North Carolina, along with several other companies that go all out to bring you the best form of pure, live entertainment.
7. Go to the Beach!!!
It’s one of the main reasons students pick the Dub over other colleges. Everybody loves to catch rays and splash around, so why not go to a school where you can do it all the time? There’s something special about living in a place where other people come to vacation. Why not catch some beach time in between classes? It may very well be the stress reliever you need.