From the mountains to the coast, North Carolina has plenty of hidden gems to satisfy a small town lover or a big city fanatic. If you’ve considered North Carolina for its four season climate and one day drive from snow to sea, look no further than Wilmington, North Carolina.
If you find yourself wondering where on the North Carolina/South Carolina coast to make your next move, let me show you some of the reasons that sold myself and my family to Wilmington. Whether you like downtown, or the sand between your toes, you can have it all in just one day here in the Port City.
Wilmington is said to be the next up and coming Asheville, with more breweries per capita than Charlotte and Raleigh. There’s no longer a need to travel to the mountains to experience the brewery culture, because it is thriving here on the coast. You’d have to try REALLY hard to not be able to find a beer you like here, with hundreds of stand alone breweries in town there is really something for everyone.
2. Big city feel in a small town
With downtown area growing each year, the trend towards a big city is ever present. However, once you live here for a couple of months you realize what a small town environment it really is. There is not a grocery store or a dinner place I visit without seeing someone twice, it gives Wilmington a cozy feel, while housing around 119,000 people.
3. Local cuisine
Seafood that comes straight out of the ocean and sold at Motts Channel, or oysters caught that morning and served at Brasserie makes Wilmington, NC one of the best places for fresh local cuisine. Crab dip is always served hot and made from crabs right out of the intracoastal and it’s hard to find a tuna sandwich much more delicious then the ones we indulge in here.
Lucky for us beach lovers, Wilmington enjoys the most divine 80-90 degree summers, and throughout the winters we sit at a comfortable 60-70 degrees at all times. As I write this we are experiencing some below average high temperatures in the 40s, but the rest of the week is forecasted in the mid-70s. What more could you want?! Beginning on October 1st and running until April 1st you can bring your dogs on the beach, and those 70 degree temperatures make it all the more appealing to take your pooch for a December swim.
From the Azalea Festival to the Jazz Festival, Wilmington loves celebrating old tradition. Downtown at the Bellamy Mansion and all through Wilmington’s Historic District you can immerse yourself in all that Wilmington has had to offer since 1740.
6. Tourist season vs. The off season
As someone who grew up directly on Wrightsville Beach, you learn to love and hate both tourist season and the off season. Every summer from May to August we are smack in the middle of tourist season, while this does bring a fun, more social aspect to the island, by the end of the summer you’re just hoping and praying that the traffic will die down. And the same for the off season, while you finally get to enjoy the smaller amount of traffic and it’s a little calmer throughout the winter, the night life and fun summer crowd is missed until the temperatures turn warmer again. It’s a love/hate relationship with both.
7. And of course, the beaches
This pretty much goes without saying, growing up just footsteps from the sand, the minute I graduated from the University of Alabama I came running back. From Wrightsville Beach, to Figure Eight, all the way up Topsail and down to Carolina beach, waking up and smelling that salt air is a lifestyle you become accustomed to, and I would recommend it to anyone thinking about making that big move to Wilmington, NC.
Interested in moving to Wilmington, NC? I’d love to help make it possible!