In addition to being close to UNCW, Wrightsville Beach and Carolina Beach, Downtown Wilmington houses many top cultural and historical attractions, employment centers, locally owned boutiques, nightlife, the iconic WWII Battleship USS North Carolina, and Cape Fear Community College.
With iconic destinations such as the Downtown Riverwalk, the Brooklyn Arts Center, an event venue that was built in 1888, Thalian Hall, Greenfield Lake Amphitheater and Bellamy Mansion, which is a part of a 230-block historic district that is on the National Register, Downtown Wilmington has something for everyone. Many also enjoy living there for its easy access to local craft breweries, nightclubs, fine dining, casual eateries and Greenfield Lake Park, home to a skate park, a walking/biking trail, tennis courts, playgrounds and paddle boats, where it’s possible to see turtles, ducks and an occasional alligator swimming by.
Some of the top business destinations and major employment centers in Downtown Wilmington include PPD, a contract research organization serving the pharmaceutical industry, the Wilmington Convention Center, and the North Carolina State Ports Authority. Not surprising given the number of business centers and tourism destinations that Downtown Wilmington has to offer, many leading hotels and boutique hotel offerings are located there. There are also several bed-and-breakfast-style hotels.
Things to Do in Downtown Wilmington
Aside from taking a stroll on Front Street to check out the many local restaurants, bars and museums, a fun thing to do in Downtown Wilmington is taking a carriage ride through the historic district. Some of the top museums, cultural destinations and historic properties in Downtown Wilmington include the Bellamy Mansion, the Latimer House, the Burgwin-Wright House and Gardens, which is the only Colonial-era structure in historic Wilmington that is open to the public, the Cape Fear Children’s Museum, Wilmington Railroad Museum, and the nearby Cape Fear Museum of History and Science.
Downtown Wilmington History
First incorporated by the English in 1739, Wilmington has been a major port since it was founded, and the city has many points of interest for history buffs.
Wilmington was home to numerous blockade runners and was home to the N.C. Shipbuilding Company, an emergency WWII shipbuilding effort, which was located a stone’s throw from Downtown at the N.C. State Ports Authority.
The USS North Carolina National Historic Landmark is located just across the Cape Fear River from Downtown Wilmington. Anyone visiting Downtown Wilmington will immediately notice the historic Murchison Building, a fixture of the Wilmington skyline since 1914. Those with an interest in shopping and history should make a visit to the Cotton Exchange, a shopping center that consists of over eight historical buildings dating back to the 1800s.
Downtown Wilmington Property Types
With the chance to walk to great shopping and dining, nightlife, a community college and major employment centers, Downtown Wilmington real estate is a sought-after commodity. The fact that there are historic properties, luxury high-rise condominiums, starter homes and investment properties available for purchase only adds to the appeal.