Wilmington, NC Day 2

May 29, 2023 Happy Memorial Day! Thank you to those who have served, are currently serving, and those that have given their lives to serving our country! We got an earlier start today and left the campground at 10:30. Right next door to the campground is an RV wash. We went there to check it out as we had never seen one before.

The weather was partly cloudy with an expected high of 72. We dressed for the cooler weather, especially down by the waterfront. We drove 9 miles down Highway 17 right from the campground toward the riverfront. Coming in on Highway 17/Market St. brought us through Wilmington’s Historic Downtown.

The houses were large estates and this beautiful fountain sat in the middle of the street.

We found a place to park on the street for free and walked down to the Cape Fear River. (Cape Fear is near a prominent shoal that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean. It is called Fry Pan Shoals where many a shipwreck can be found. Hence the name.) There we found the 2-mile long Riverwalk lined with boutiques, cafes, and a riverfront park.

The Riverwalk takes you along the Cape Fear River and Wilmington’s waterfront.

We could see the Beeline Water Taxi that takes you across the river and the Cape Fear Memorial Lift Bridge.

From there, we could look across the river to see the WWII Battleship North Carolina. Many people were touring the ship and flags were flying.

Wilmington’s river district has more than 40 restaurants and pubs, with cafes lining the Riverwalk and Front St. We walked along the Riverwalk taking in the sights.

This was a very unique artistic display of the Venus Fly Traps. This carnivorous plant is only native within a 75-mile radius of Wilmington. In 2005, it was named the North Carolina state official carnivorous plant. It is the only state in the U.S. that designates such a plant. How interesting!

We saw a few homeless people in the downtown area panhandling. Later, we came across this interesting sign on the Riverwalk. We thought that was a very interesting approach.

The Riverwalk had some nice restaurants along the waterfront. This was Anne Bonny’s Bar and Grill floating on the river.

The river tour boat, Henrietta, was conducting tours up and down the river.

As we walked along the river, the Lift Bridge sounded its horn and the bridge began to rise for the sailboats that needed to pass under it.

This group of ladies seemed to be enjoying themselves on the Brew Boat by the loud laughter and singing we heard.

We walked all the way to the south end of the Riverwalk and turned around to return the way we came. We decided to walk through the Old Wilmington City Market, established in 1880, which would bring us through to the street level.

The Market was filled with eclectic shops selling handmade products of all kinds. There were some beautiful items there for sale.

Up on Front St., we got a good look at many of the old buildings and beautiful architecture there. The lower picture shows the tallest building in town. It stood out like a sore thumb!

There were many different shops, cafes, and restaurants to choose from. This was the North Front Theater which was still in operation with comedy and theater shows. It has a rooftop bar for great views of the sunsets.

We stopped at the Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar for some raw oysters and Bloody Marys.

Bob ordered the $3/each North Carolina oysters which are supposed to be saltier. Nobody said they would be the smallest oysters we’ve ever seen, but Bob said they were good!

From there, we continued down Front St. and saw more of the historic buildings. The old Post Office and the Courthouse (top and bottom pictures) were quite the stately buildings.

As you can tell, we like to look at old buildings and their architecture. he Bijou Park, located among the buildings, was recently developed and the mural on the building was still in the process of being painted. This is the entrance to the park from Front St.

This is the entrance to the park from the Riverwalk-side with a waterfall down the center of the stairs.

We continued on Front St. and then made our way down to the northern end of the Riverwalk. From there, we walked back to the Jeep. Leaving downtown, we saw a horse-drawn carriage giving tours of Historic Wilmington.

We really enjoyed our visit to Wilmington. It had a lot to see and was a very interesting place. If we ever come back this way, we will make a point to visit again. We didn’t get a chance to visit Wrightsville and Carolina Beaches out on the island due to the weather, so that will be on our list of must-sees next time. Back at the campground, we sat outside with Auggie after changing into some warmer clothes. The sun never really came out and it barely reached 70 today. Most of the tourists downtown were wearing shorts, but the locals dressed more wisely. The campground really emptied out from all the weekenders by the time we returned and it was peaceful and quiet. We watched more campers arrive later in the afternoon and cooked dinner inside. We walked Auggie as the sun went down and then it really began to cool off. Tomorrow we are on our way to Virginia Beach.

2 thoughts on “Wilmington, NC Day 2”

  1. I love the old architecture and am glad that cities maintain them. We were in Hendersonville, NC yesterday, each building was different from its next door neighbor. And, the buildings were close, touching each other! Quite the conglomeration!

    1. bshaw16872@aol.com

      I love that someone had the foresight to preserve and protect the history of the area with some of these old buildings.

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