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Historical Things to Do in Wilmington NC

Historical Things to Do in Wilmington NC

Fort Fisher Mermaid at Sunrise? - Museum of the Bizarre

Looking to discover the best historic homes and historical sites in the South? Look no further than Wilmington, NC. Established in 1739 on the Cape Fear River. Wilmington has been an important city throughout American History.

  • Wilmington was the main access point for Confederate supplies. During the Civil War until its surrender in 1865.
  • Wilmington was the first city in the country. To receive the designation “American WW2 Heritage City.”

So come take a look as we discover great historical things to do in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Discover Historic Downtown Wilmington

Enjoy the funky shops, the great restaurants, and the beautiful riverwalk. As you take in historic downtown Wilmington. The Historic District is one of the largest. And prettiest districts on the National Register of Historic Places. It has over 230 blocks, 875 buildings, and 38 historic sites.

The Historic District is a great place to walk. Or if you prefer, you can tour the area by horse-drawn carriage.

Take a Stroll on the Riverwalk

Located on the banks of the Cape Fear River, this beautiful 2-mile Riverwalk is a great place to start. Sip an espresso at an outdoor cafe. Learn about the history of Wilmington on a guided tour. Check out the markets, unique boutiques, and art galleries open year-round.

Bellamy Mansion Museum

This history museum offers tours Mon-Sun from 10 am to 4 pm. Designed by architect James F Post for the Bellamy family. This 10,000 sq-foot home was built between 1859 and 1861. It shares architectural elements of Greek Revival, Neoclassical and Italianate styles.

Explore the mansion from the basement to the belvedere with a guided or self-guided tour. It hosts one of the best-preserved slave quarters in the country. After touring the house, stroll through the restored gardens that date back to the Civil War.

The Bellamy Mansion Museum features various events and exhibits throughout the year. Looking for jazz, check out the summer jazz series. The popular Nights of Lights Holiday Open House returns this winter 2022.

Museum of the Bizarre

This museum in historic downtown Wilmington features oddities and wonders. Some popular exhibits, that the whole family will enjoy:

  • Crystal Skull of Knowledge
  • Fort Fisher Mermaid
  • Houdini’s Ouija Board
  • Goat Brothers Heads

Looking for adventure? Test your Mission Impossible skills in the Laser Vault Maze. Avoid the crisscrossing laser beams as you make it to the other side in record time.

Burgin-Wright House

This historic home is the only structure from the colonial era open to the public. This Georgian-style home was built in 1770 on the stone walls of the former city jail. You can still see the remains of the outdoor and sub-basement jail cells.

The colonial-style gardens have 7 distinct areas. That includes the orchard, the kitchen garden, and the rose garden. Daily tours describe the lives and history of those who lived. And worked in this beautiful mansion.

The Latimer House

Now a history museum. The Latimer House depicts life in Wilmington during the Victorian era. This 14-room historic home was built in 1852. The furnishings and exhibits will take you back 160 years. To what life was like for three generations of the Latimer family. From the Latimer House, you can take a 1 ½ hour walking tour through the Historic District.

Blind Elephant Speakeasy

You don’t need a special knock to enter this 1920’s prohibition bar. It’s located down an abandoned alley in the middle of historic downtown Wilmington. Take a step back to a bygone era as you enjoy clandestine cocktails and great live music. Looking for somewhere private and cozy? Check out the Volstead Room upstairs, but you’ll need reservations and a password to enter.

Tour the Battleship North Carolina

Across from Historic Downtown on the Cape Fear River. Come tour the most decorated battleship in WW2, the USS North Carolina. See what life was like on a WW2 battleship as you explore 9 decks, crew quarters, and gun turrets.

Completed in April 1941. The Battleship North Carolina was the first in a new class of fast battleships for the US Navy. The ship saw extensive action in the South Pacific during WW2, earning 15 battle stars.

Decommissioned in 1947, the Battleship North Carolina. Now honors the more than 10,000 men and women of North Carolina. Who gave their lives defending America’s freedoms.

Ghost Walk of Old Wilmington

Discover the sordid history of Wilmington. As you tour the city’s actively haunted homes and burial grounds. This 90-minute tour has been named one of the “top 5 ghost walks in America” by USA Today.

Poplar Grove Plantation

Head north on US 17, and you’ll find the Poplar Grove Plantation. Formerly a sweet potato and peanut plantation. The Poplar Grove Plantation is now a living history museum. The museum offers tours Wed-Sat from 9:30 am - 3:30 pm during the summer.

See what plantation life was like as you tour the 835-acre site. On the grounds, you can explore the manor house (c. 1850), the original smokehouse, and the kitchen shed. The museum also has 3 heritage art studios: the Basket Gallery, Print Shop, and Blacksmith Shop.

Every Wednesday from April through September. The museum hosts a Local Market featuring local growers and producers.

Ready to Discover Wilmington NC?

Looking for history? Great restaurants? Beautiful southern architecture?

Or just a good old-fashioned ghost story?

Whatever you fancy, you’ll find it in Wilmington NC.

So plan your trip now and come discover all the great historical things to do in Wilmington NC.

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This place is for Publicity

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