• Boaz Albert

Three days in Wilmington

citytraveljournal Wilmington map

We came to Wilmington to attend a conference that Liat was invited to. Because the only reasonable flight to the area landed in Charlotte, we started our visit in Charlotte, and then headed to Wilmington by car.

Our first stop in Wilmington was the Battleship North Carolina – a WWII vessel that was transferred to a floating museum. It's a top-rated tourist attraction, and we had a lot of fun exploring all the ship's rooms and facilities.

From there, we went to our hotel, which was located on the northern side of the Historic Downtown and the Riverwalk. After a short break, we started exploring the beautiful Historic Downtown, beginning from the Cotton Exchange – a lovely mall consisted of eight renovated buildings. In the evening, we looked for a bar, and we entered a marvelous place for beer lovers – Pour Taproom. It's a heaven for people like us that always want to taste new beers. You can try as many beers as you like (they got dozens), and you pay for the exact amount you drank. It's awesome. We drank a lot and paid little.

The next morning Liat joined her colleagues for a conference meeting, and I drove to Carolina Beach, island-town south to Wilmington. I walked the sandy beach for more than an hour and then headed to the nearby lake to take a walk around it. It was beautiful.

On my way back, I saw a sign for Carolina Beach State Park and decided to check it. I drove until I reached a marina, with a shop and information center. I took a self-guided map, chose a 3-miles circle route, took some water, and went hiking. It was great. In the middle of the road, I reached a high spot where I could observe all of the Cape Fear River.

My next stop was Wrightsville Beach – a small island town east to Wilmington. I took a walk around the city, mainly on the sandy beach, and was very impressed by all the houses that have a small private pier to the river. It looks like you can't live here if you don't have a boat.

Back to Wilmington, I walked the gorgeous Riverwalk on the bank of Cape Fear River. The road is part of the Historic Downtown and has a lot of signs telling the story of this historical city. After I reached the end of the Riverwalk on Nun street, I saw that all the houses were exceptional, with a 19th-century look. I took a long walk, exploring those lovely renovated houses, feeling like I live in the past.

The next morning I was walking excitedly to the headquarters of Untapped – a mobile app for beer lovers. I'm a big fan of the app and using it for the last four years, so I was very excited to find out that their offices are in the middle of the Historic Downtown. I rang the doorbell, and a lovely young woman gave me a full tour of their offices. Very cool.

Then I went to the Bellamy Mansion. Because of the historical role of Wilmington in the revolution and in the civil war, there are some attractive sites to visit. I gambled on Bellamy mansion, and I wasn't disappointed. I joined a small group with a guide, who told us the story of the villa and its residence – the wealthy white family and their slaves. We learned about their way of life, their menu, and more. It was fascinating.

At noon Liat's conference ended, and I took her to Fort Fisher Aquarium. It considered to be a central attraction in the area, but I admit I wasn't so enthusiastic. Maybe they reduced the display because of renovations – I found it a little small. However, they let the visitors touch the animals – so we patted sharks, eels, rays, and a sea turtle. It was fun.

The visit to the aquarium finished our trip to Wilmington, and we started drove back to Charlotte to catch our flight back home.

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