ideal-LIVING.com ideal-LIVING • fall 2015
ideal towns >>> wilmington, nc
Wilmington, NC, is one of those cities whose stories seep from its cobblestone streets. The tannin-stained, picturesque Cape Fear River ebbs and flows be- neath the two bridges built at either end of historic downtown to invite people
in from highways running through neighboring coastal and rural towns beyond. Even
Wilmington area beaches are built on layers upon layers of characters, events and both
famous and infamous locations that spread colors of every shade across this beautifully
And it’s this energy, all these stories and vivid pictures, blended with Southern charm,
historic and coastal architecture, endless adventures and breathtaking views that draw
The Downtown Scoop
Whether it be via the Ghost Walk of Old Wilmington tour, a horse-drawn trolley tour
or catching a ride with the Wilmington Trolley Company, the quick skinny on all the
gritty and fascinating historic downtown details is offered in a variety of venues.
Downtown Wilmington is charming, but not overwhelming. It’s Charleston’s slightly
quieter, but still intriguing smaller sister. Oaks, similarly, drape over residential streets
downtown casting shadows on the cobblestones, and downtown architecture has remained
as historic as possible.
Walking through downtown Wilmington feels more like walking through your own
neighborhood than in a town. People are superbly friendly and welcoming, and shop and
gallery owners have been known to sit on benches
outside their shops to chat with customers.
The River Walk along the Cape Fear takes
you on a self-guided tour. Along the way, pass-ersby come upon River Front Park in front of
the Federal Court House at the center of town
directly opposite the USS North Carolina Battleship docked across the river. If they’re lucky, it’s
a Saturday morning, and the farmer’s market adjacent to the park is alive with a consistent buzz
of chatter and exchanges.
Quaint bed and breakfasts, small downtown inns and a couple of hotels offer proximity
to many of Wilmington’s main attractions like the Battleship, the Cape Fear Natural
History Museum, fine dining and local shops and artisan collectives, like the City Market
and The Cotton Exchange.
There’s No Place Like
by Jamie Penn
feels more like walking
through your own
in a town.