Whether you live close to Wilmington and just need a day to escape, or you’re planning a couples getaway, I’ve got a good itinerary for you. When Keith and I traveled back east we tried to see as much as we could between Williamsburg, VA and Charleston, SC, in a week. Wilmington was one of our favorite stops, and with the help of the Wilmington CVB, we’ve come up with what to do in Wilmington for a Couples Getaway!
We had two nights in Wilmington and we really maximized our time so we could see and do the best of the best, which includes a stop over at Wrightsville Beach. I’ll walk you through an itinerary and you can rearrange as you see fit.
Sometime during your trip, visit Wrightsville Beach and take a narrated harbor cruise with Wrightsville Beach Scenic Tours & Cruises. This is super relaxing and the tour guides are very knowledgeable. You’ll learn everything you want about other yachts and boats docked around the harbor, the restaurants and homes (and who owns them), and you’ll even spot a restaurant that is in a famous Nicholas Sparks movie!
Before or after your cruise, walk across the street to EAST Oceanfront Dining at Blockade Runner Resort. I’ll be sharing our dining experience in my next travel piece.
On your way out of Wrightsville Beach and into Wilmington, stop by Redix for some souvenir shopping and beach apparel!
Check into your hotel or B&B (Front Street Inn for us), then head into town for dinner and a Horse-drawn Carriage Tour of Historic Wilmington. If you time it right, you can have the carriage ride just before dinner. I’ll be sharing where to eat later. The weather was perfect while we were there and this was very relaxing, and awe inspiring. We learned a bit about the town, and got to see some gorgeous Victorian homes.
After dinner, I recommend the Ghost Walk of Old Wilmington. Although it’s dark, it’s a fun way to see the city at night, and to get some real stories of the town’s history. Our tour guide was very entertaining and seemed to love his job, as well as the history he was teaching.
Wake up nice and refreshed and head over to Airlie Gardens. While everything else is walkable from Front Street Inn, you’ll need a car to get out to the gardens. You can spend as much or as little time as you’d like here, throughout the 67-acre showcase of Victorian-era botanical gardens. Get a peek at the “real” Dawson’s Creek, as well as some truly lovely gardens. Everything is in bloom in the spring and I’d love to visit again during that time.
Drive back to the hotel and walk down to the historic Riverwalk. Explore the many shops and galleries, grab lunch and even take a little nap back at the hotel if you need it. Then get ready for a Hollywood Location Walk, if you’re into One Tree Hill or Dawson’s Creek. This ended up being a bit cheesier than we anticipated – we thought there might be more movies and whatnot, but the other people on our tour were pretty young and die-hard OTH and Dawson fans. They clearly were loving the tour!
After the walking tour, I highly recommend the Eagles Island Cruise. You’ll board right off the Riverwalk, and it’s very enjoyable and educational. There’s a bar on board and the staff was excellent. I was so fascinated with the shipping ports we got to see and learn about on this cruise. We saw some HUGE ships and got to watch as they removed shipping containers. I found it so interesting, and relaxing all at the same time. It was a fun way to see the city from a different vantage point.
Head back to the hotel to freshen up for dinner and a show. We had dinner near the Thalian Hall Center for Performing Arts, so we could walk right over to the show afterwards. We got to see Young Frankenstein, Mel Brooks’ musical comedy and we absolutely loved it! The costumes and performances were outstanding, and we hardly could have guessed it was community theatre. Some seriously great talent, and an excellent way to end our time in Wilmington.
Wilmington is so charming and it’s a great go-to destination for couples, families or even for a girls’ getaway! I’d love to hear your must-do activities! Don’t forget to read my article on Yummy Places to Eat in Wilmington.