The heart of the historic district in Wilmington is its riverfront. Once a bustling wharf of warehouses, boatsheds, docks and stables, today, a cluster of shops and restaurants span several city blocks along the Cape Fear River. The 1-mile-long Riverwalk follows the borders of the Cape Fear River and provides beautiful views framed with antebellum homes wrapped in picket fences, jasmine and magnolias. The wooden walkway passes shops and restaurants as well as a number of landmarks including the USS North Carolina Battleship and the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge.
If you have transportation, take a trip to 67-acre Airlie Gardens and stroll through the beautiful gardens. The iconic Airlie Oak is here–a 128-foot-tall live oak that is nearly 500 years old. Also home to a butterfly house, sculptures, a chapel made from recycled bottles and beautiful views of Bradley Creek. In addition to massive live oaks, Wilmington knows how to grow azaleas and still hosts the annual North Carolina Azalea Festival that first took place in 1948. Held in spring when the azaleas are at full bloom.
The Waterway Guide Team has gained extensive boating knowledge over the years, and now we are sharing all of the tips, skills and tools we’ve picked up along the way!