Next Vacation: Wilmington

by - Friday, April 18, 2014

First of all, riverboats cruise up and down the Christina River at a leisurely pace, offering excellent views to relaxed boaters. Narrated tours provide information to tourists while they sit and enjoy the ride. A lunch cruise and dinner cruises of various kinds add some fun to the boating. Who wouldn't want to do that?

The Riverwalk, which is on Water Street, is full of possibilities for dining, drinking and entertainment. A quarter-mile long, this walk allows visitors to amble along and find out where to shop or have a snack. There are plenty of lunch and dinner offerings, some on the water. The sight of a celebrity is not uncommon since Screen Gem Studios make shows, films and advertisements on a regular basis, including "Iron Man 3" and "Under the Dome." Tours of the studio are available.

Three area beaches, 5-10 miles from the city center, are certainly big draws for vacationers in Wilmington, and at least two have long piers. Wrightsville, Caroline and Kure Beaches are clean, family-oriented and accessible. There is surfing at Wrightsville Beach and a restaurant with its own pier for over-the-water dining. Speaking of restaurants, it's difficult to find one without fresh seafood year-round.The rich history of Wilmington begins with Native-Americans, but the English began settling there in the 1720s. As a key site in the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, many events took place that are documented for visitors in old homes and area museums. The Burgwin-Wright House, from 1770, is particularly well-preserved, and is about two blocks back from the Riverwalk. Take a water taxi to see the WWII battleship, the USS North Carolina, across the river from downtown Wilmington.

The Saturday Riverfront Farmers' Market takes place every week, except during two waterfront festivals, and offers locally grown organic fruits and produce in season. During the hours of 8am-1pm, local artisans and craftspeople sell their wares along side purveyors of homemade foods, flowers, herbs, eggs, meats and cheeses, seafood and honey. This market is held from early April through late November.

There is no shortage of nightlife here and plenty of bars with all kinds of liquid fortification. The wide range of attractions in this area pleases just about every age group, so call a Wilmington travel agency and start planning the trip. Sun, sea, sand and fun await travelers with many points of interest in and around town.

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