Have you ever thought of embracing the magic of shared moments in a place where history whispers through fun things to do in Wilmington NC for couples, cinematic landscapes ignite your imagination, and where the charm of a bygone era intertwines with the present?
We’ve got you here! Wilmington is a place where love finds its perfect backdrop. Whether you stroll hand in hand, explore mansions that breathe tales of yesteryears, or indulge in candlelit dinners, Wilmington beckons couples to discover the art of togetherness in a setting that resonates with romance at every turn.
Moreover, The Bellamy Mansion and the Latimer House, both steeped in history, provide glimpses into the city’s past. At the same time, the Airlie Gardens offer a lush escape, ideal for romantic walks amidst vibrant blooms.
Wilmington’s enchanting Riverwalk, lined with cafes and boutiques, provides a charming setting for couples to savor a leisurely afternoon. Film fans will appreciate Wilmington’s Hollywood ties as it served as the backdrop for numerous productions, earning it the moniker “Hollywood East.”
For those seeking a touch of the supernatural, Wilmington’s reputation as one of the most haunted cities in the U.S. adds a mysterious allure. Ghost tours through historic sites captivate couples with tales of the city’s spectral past.
Furthermore, waterfront dining, showcasing fresh seafood and southern delicacies, provides an intimate setting for couples to savor each other’s company.
So if you’re a couple thinking of running away together for a while, Wilmington’s blend of history, cinematic charm, ghostly intrigue, and culinary delights crafts an enchanting tapestry, making it a magnet for couples seeking a romantic escape steeped in both the past and present.
But wait! Before you start exploring, let us share with you some top things to do in Wilmington, NC, for couples that we’ve found personally so you can have a hassle-free journey!
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1) Airlie Gardens
Airlie Gardens, established in 1901, is a historic garden in Wilmington that was part of a private estate opened to the public in 1999. The gardens showcase a diverse array of flora, including azaleas, camellias, and centuries-old oak trees, providing fun things to do in Wilmington, NC for couples.
The property’s history intertwines with the legacy of the Pembroke Jones family, who built the gardens as an extension of their picturesque estate. The 67-acre garden provides serene walking trails, showcasing the beauty of formal gardens, wildlife, and water features.
The historic Airlie Oak, dating back to the 16th century, is a must-see marvel also providing event spaces for weddings and gatherings, making it a picturesque venue for special occasions.
Educational programs and workshops engage visitors in horticulture and environmental awareness by regularly hosting cultural events, such as art exhibits and musical performances, enriching the cultural tapestry of the region.
For a family-friendly experience, the gardens provide activities like bird watching with a most popular attraction, The Butterfly House and Native Wildlife Habitat, offering immersive encounters with local flora and fauna.
Picnic areas provide a perfect setting for a leisurely outdoor meal that fosters community connections through its various amenities, offering a blend of natural beauty, educational opportunities, and recreational enjoyment for visitors of all ages.
300 Airlie Rd, Wilmington, NC 28403, United States
2) Riverwalk Wilmington
Riverwalk Wilmington, established in the 1980s, originating as a Colonial port, thrived with shipping and commerce in Wilmington. Riverwalk emerged, revitalizing the waterfront into a vibrant hub providing a focal point for events and festivities, blending contemporary amenities with historical charm.
It encapsulates Wilmington’s journey from a vital colonial port to a modern, bustling waterfront, preserving the essence of its past while embracing a dynamic future.
The scenic boardwalk features charming shops, inviting cafes, and diverse restaurants, creating a perfect setting for strolls and waterfront dining. The area hosts cultural events, live music, and festivals, infusing the atmosphere with energy and excitement.
For recreation and fun things to do in Wilmington, NC, for couples, the Riverwalk provides access to boat tours and water activities along the Cape Fear River, offering a unique perspective of the city.
The nearby parks and green spaces allow for relaxation and picnics, enhancing the outdoor experience. The vibrant nightlife along the Riverwalk ensures that the fun doesn’t end with the sunset.
From trendy bars to entertainment venues, there’s something for everyone after dark so visitors can enjoy it to their fullest, making it an ideal destination for all ages.
Whether you seek cultural exploration, dining, outdoor activities, or lively entertainment, Riverwalk Wilmington stands as a multifaceted destination, promising a memorable blend of history, recreation, and vibrant community life.
Wilmington Downtown Riverwalk, Wilmington, NC 28401, United States
3) Bellamy Mansion Museum
Built-in 1859 in Wilmington, North Carolina, the Bellamy Mansion Museum stands as a prominent antebellum architectural gem. Commissioned by physician and planter Dr. John D. Bellamy, the mansion exhibits a blend of neoclassical and Italianate styles.
In 1994, extensive restoration transformed it into a museum, showcasing its rich history and the broader societal shifts it witnessed. Today, the Bellamy Mansion Museum educates visitors about the complexities of Southern history, architecture, and the social dynamics of the 19th century.
The meticulously restored mansion itself stands as the centerpiece, providing guided tours that delve into its architectural significance and the historical context of the antebellum South.
The lush gardens surrounding the mansion create a serene atmosphere, inviting guests to enjoy strolls and discover the beauty of Southern landscaping. Additionally, its event spaces make it a popular venue for weddings, receptions, and other special occasions.
For those seeking a deeper connection to history, the museum conducts genealogy research services, allowing individuals to trace their roots and uncover family histories. The on-site museum shop offers a variety of souvenirs, books, and gifts, providing a chance to take a piece of history home.
Overall, you can find many fun things to do in Wilmington, NC, for couples. Still, Bellamy Mansion Museum is a multifaceted experience, blending history, culture, and natural beauty, making it a destination not only for history enthusiasts but also for those seeking a delightful and informative outing in Wilmington, North Carolina.
503 Market St, Wilmington, NC 28401, United States
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4) Battleship North Carolina
The USS North Carolina (BB-55), a renowned battleship, played a pivotal role in World War II. It was commissioned in 1941 and participated in major Pacific Theater operations, engaging in key battles like Guadalcanal and Leyte Gulf.
The ship earned 15 battle stars for its service, incorporating speed and protection, making it a formidable force. Decommissioned in 1947, the battleship became a museum in Wilmington, showcasing its rich history and serving as a tribute to those who served aboard.
By visiting this site, you can explore the ship’s various decks, from the command center to crew quarters, gaining insight into naval life during World War II. Educational exhibits and interactive displays provide a deeper understanding of the battleship’s history and technological advancements.
The museum also offers guided tours, enhancing the visitor’s experience with in-depth narratives and anecdotes. Audio guides are also available for self-paced exploration, allowing guests to take home souvenirs and memorabilia.
For those seeking relaxation, the scenic surroundings along the Cape Fear River provide a picturesque backdrop for strolls. Special events, such as reenactments and commemorations, take place throughout the year, providing a dynamic and immersive experience.
Photography enthusiasts can capture stunning views of the battleship against the river’s backdrop and enjoy many outdoor fun things to do in Wilmington, NC for couples.
Overall, the USS North Carolina Museum offers a blend of educational exploration, recreational opportunities, and historical engagement. It is an attractive destination, especially for couples who want to spend time far from the crowd.
1 Battleship Rd NE, Wilmington, NC 28401, United States
5) Wrightsville Beach
Wrightsville Beach, located in North Carolina, has a rich history dating back to the early 18th century when Native Americans inhabited it. In the 19th century, it became a popular summer retreat for residents of nearby Wilmington, serving as a key point for Confederate defense.
After the war, the beach saw increased tourism, leading to the construction of hotels and the establishment of a vibrant community. Hurricanes in the 20th century brought challenges, but the beach evolved into a popular destination for water sports and leisure.
The Wrightsville Beach drawbridge, built in 1956, connected the island to the mainland blending its historical roots with modern amenities, attracting visitors for its scenic beauty and recreational opportunities.
Its pristine sandy shores provide the perfect setting for sunbathing and beachcombing for love birds so they can enjoy fun things to do in Wilmington, NC, for couples.
The Crystal Pier is a popular spot for fishing and taking in panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. If you both are water enthusiasts, you can explore the Intracoastal Waterway through kayaking, paddleboarding, or sailing.
The island boasts a vibrant community with shops, restaurants, and bars lining Lumina Avenue. Go hand in hand and indulge in fresh seafood or savor local cuisine while enjoying oceanfront dining.
Wrightsville Beach hosts various events throughout the year, including surf competitions and festivals, while its warm climate invites outdoor activities like beach volleyball and bird watching.
With its blend of natural beauty and recreational options, Wrightsville Beach provides a relaxing getaway for those couples seeking both serenity and adventure in the heart of Wilmington.
321 Causeway Drive. Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480, United States
6) Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts
Thalian Hall, located in Wilmington, North Carolina, has a rich history dating back to its opening on October 12, 1858. Originally constructed as Wilmington’s City Hall, it quickly transformed into a cultural hub for the region hosting a variety of events, including plays, operas, and lectures, contributing to the city’s cultural development.
Its historic significance is reflected in its Greek Revival architecture and inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places, remaining a symbol of cultural heritage, entertaining audiences for over 160 years.
The main venue, a beautifully restored historic theater, boasts state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems, ensuring an immersive performance atmosphere. Additionally, the Ballroom and Studio Theater offers versatile spaces for various events, from receptions to intimate shows for couples to enjoy.
Visitors can enjoy amenities such as a charming lobby, art galleries, and a stylish grand staircase that adds to the venue’s historic charm. Thalian Hall also regularly hosts a diverse range of performances, including theatrical productions, concerts, and film screenings, catering to a broad audience.
Beyond performances, the surrounding area offers additional attractions and many fun things to do in Wilmington, NC for couples. Historic downtown Wilmington provides an array of dining options, shops, and picturesque streets for strolls.
Nearby parks like Riverfront Park offer outdoor spaces for relaxation, while the Cape Fear Riverwalk provides scenic views.
Thalian Hall, surrounded by a blend of history and modern amenities, creates a delightful experience for both culture enthusiasts and those seeking entertainment in a charming setting.
310 Chestnut St, Wilmington, NC 28401, United States
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7) Cinespace Studios
Cinespace Studios, founded in 1988, was once a distribution company that evolved into a state-of-the-art studio complex. Hosting major productions such as “Chicago” and “Resident Evil,” Cinespace gained international recognition and expanded globally.
As a key player in the entertainment industry, its history reflects a transformative journey from a modest distributor to a renowned studio shaping the cinematic landscape.
Its soundstages feature advanced equipment and adaptable sets, accommodating a range of productions from blockbuster films to television series. The studio also provides state-of-the-art post-production facilities, ensuring seamless editing and special effects integration.
If you want modern amenities, comfortable on-site accommodations for cast and crew are also available, fostering a collaborative and immersive experience. The studio prioritizes convenience, providing catering services, transportation, and ample parking to the visitors.
Beyond the production-focused offerings, Cinespace Studios recognizes the importance of recreation and relaxation, providing fun things to do in Wilmington, NC, for couples.
On-site recreational spaces allow for downtime activities, fostering a sense of community among the creative couples. In the surrounding area, there are diverse entertainment options, from restaurants and cafes to cultural attractions where you can enjoy lots of activities.
However, the studio’s location in vibrant urban settings provides easy access to theaters, museums, and parks, allowing filmmakers and crew members to enjoy a well-rounded experience during their time at Cinespace Studios.
1223 N 23rd St, Wilmington, NC 28405, United States
8) Cameron Art Museum
The Cameron Art Museum, located in Wilmington, North Carolina, has a rich history dating back to its establishment in 1962 as the St. John’s Museum of Art. Renamed in 2002, it honors the Cameron family’s commitment to the arts, expanding its collection and exhibition spaces.
Through the years, the Cameron Art Museum has served as a cultural hub, fostering creativity, education, and community engagement, making it a prominent institution in the regional art scene.
The architecturally striking building provides a dynamic backdrop for exploring diverse exhibitions featuring contemporary and regional artworks.
The museum boasts state-of-the-art galleries, a sculpture garden, and an outdoor amphitheater, creating an immersive experience for patrons.
Couples can enjoy a tranquil stroll through the picturesque sculpture garden or attend engaging events in the theater, fostering a connection between art and nature. The museum also features a museum store, allowing patrons to take home unique art-inspired souvenirs.
Additionally, the Cameron Art Museum hosts a variety of events, from gallery talks to live performances, enhancing the couple’s experience so they can enjoy many fun things to do in Wilmington, NC for couples.
Whether exploring thought-provoking exhibitions, participating in educational programs, or enjoying the serene outdoor spaces, the Cameron Art Museum offers a multifaceted and enriching experience for art enthusiasts and curious couples.
3201 S 17th St, Wilmington, NC 28412, United States
9) Cape Fear Museum
The Cape Fear Museum was established in 1898; it was known as the Wilmington Museum of Art and Science it evolved over the years, changing its focus to regional history and science.
The museum’s name was officially changed to Cape Fear Museum in 1991 housing a diverse collection of artifacts, documents, and exhibits that showcase the cultural and natural heritage of the Cape Fear region.
Visitors can explore exhibits ranging from colonial history to maritime heritage, providing insights into the area’s evolution. It is equipped with modern exhibition spaces, educational facilities, and event spaces, making it an ideal destination for both families and couples.
Interactive exhibits engage visitors in exploring the rich history of the Cape Fear region, covering topics from colonial times to contemporary culture. If you or your partner feel hungry, the on-site cafe provides a convenient spot for refreshments so you can have a delicious meal.
Fun activities abound with top things to do in Wilmington, NC, for couples, with hands-on exhibits for children, interactive displays, and educational programs that cater to diverse interests.
Whether you attend guided tours, participate in educational programs, or simply enjoy the interactive displays, the Cape Fear Museum offers a dynamic and entertaining experience, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking a blend of history, culture, and interactive learning in the heart of Wilmington.
814 Market St, Wilmington, NC 28401, United States
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10) Tregembo Animal Park
Tregembo Animal Park opened in 1952 as a small roadside zoo founded by Salvatore Tregembo and initially showcased local wildlife. In the early 2000s, it faced criticism for alleged animal welfare issues, leading to protests and legal challenges.
Its history is marked by a mix of growth, challenges, and public scrutiny, reflecting the broader issues associated with captive animal facilities. The park features animal exhibits showcasing a variety of species, including lions, monkeys, and reptiles.
Couples can enjoy amenities like picnic areas and concessions for a relaxed day out with special events and seasonal activities, adding a dynamic element to their experience.
Additionally, Tregembo Animal Park encourages hands-on experiences through feeding stations and encounters with certain animals under supervision, enhancing the visitor’s connection with wildlife.
For a more immersive adventure and fun things to do in Wilmington, NC, for couples, guided tours and behind-the-scenes experiences are available, offering in-depth information about the park’s inhabitants and operations.
Overall, Tregembo Animal Park aims to provide a blend of entertainment, education, and conservation awareness, making it an engaging destination for individuals and couples looking to appreciate and learn about the diverse world of animals.
5811 Carolina Beach Rd, Wilmington, NC 28412, United States
11) Wilmington Water Tours
Wilmington Water Tours is a company that has been a key player in narrating Wilmington’s story through its scenic water tours. The tours feature iconic landmarks of Wilmington, providing both locals and tourists with a captivating glimpse into Wilmington’s cultural and historical tapestry.
With a commitment to preserving and sharing the maritime legacy, Wilmington Water Tours continues to be a vital contributor to the city’s tourism and cultural appreciation.
The comfortable vessels are equipped with spacious seating, ensuring a relaxed journey as you cruise along the scenic Cape Fear River with your partner. Onboard amenities include informative commentary by knowledgeable guides, providing insights into Wilmington’s history and landmarks.
As you enjoy the tour, take advantage of amenities such as onboard refreshments and snacks, adding to the overall comfort of your journey. The company also provides options for private charters, accommodating special events or group outings with a personalized touch to provide fun things to do in Wilmington, NC, for couples.
For those seeking entertainment beyond the water, Wilmington boasts a vibrant waterfront with an array of dining options, boutique shopping, and cultural attractions.
Whether you’re a history enthusiast, nature lover, or someone simply seeking a leisurely experience, Wilmington Water Tours combines scenic beauty with cultural enrichment, offering a memorable and enjoyable outing for all, especially couples.
212 S Water St, Wilmington, NC 28401, United States
12) Poplar Grove Plantation
Poplar Grove Plantation, located in Wilmington, North Carolina, has a rich history dating back to its establishment in the late 18th century. Originally a peanut and sweet potato plantation, it thrived through slave labor, reflecting antebellum architecture and offering insights into the region’s pre-Civil War lifestyle.
Post-war, the plantation transitioned through various owners and purposes. Today, Poplar Grove is a historic site, showcasing the complexities of Southern plantation life and addressing the broader historical context of the American South.
The Manor House, a centerpiece, invites guests to delve into the plantation’s past. The site provides guided tours, educational programs, and special events, fostering a deeper understanding of Southern history and culture.
Nature enthusiasts can enjoy the serene landscapes and walking trails, immersing themselves in the scenic beauty of the gardens and river views. The property often hosts farmers’ markets, where couples can indulge in local produce and crafts.
For educational experiences, the on-site museum provides a comprehensive overview of the region’s history, making it an enriching place for couples of all ages.
The site caters to diverse interests, offering a blend of historical exploration, outdoor enjoyment, cultural immersion, and many fun things to do in Wilmington, NC for couples.
Whether you attend events, stroll through gardens, or participate in workshops with your partner, Poplar Grove Plantation offers an exciting experience for those seeking both relaxation and intellectual stimulation.
10200 Hwy 17, Wilmington, NC 28411, United States
13) Food For Thought
Food For Thought Restaurant in Wilmington, known for its eclectic cuisine, has a rich history rooted in the early 20th century. Established in 1925 as a quaint diner, it quickly became a local favorite, evolving over the decades into a culinary landmark.
Surviving economic challenges and adapting to changing tastes, the restaurant has preserved its historic charm while embracing innovation. Its menu reflects a blend of traditional Southern flavors and modern gastronomy, drawing inspiration from the region’s culinary heritage.
The establishment boasts a cozy and stylish interior, blending vintage charm with contemporary design. The attentive and knowledgeable staff contribute to a warm and welcoming atmosphere, ensuring guests feel comfortable and well-cared-for throughout their visit.
In addition to the delightful culinary offerings, the restaurant provides various amenities such as private dining spaces for special occasions or events, catering services, and takeout options for those who prefer dining at home.
For added enjoyment and fun things to do in Wilmington, NC, for couples, Food For Thought often hosts live music events, creating a vibrant and entertaining ambiance.
The restaurant is committed to creating a community hub, offering themed nights of culinary workshops, and even partnering with local artists to showcase their work.
Whether you’re a food enthusiast, art lover, or someone seeking a memorable dining experience with your soulmate, Food For Thought goes beyond just serving meals, aiming to provide a multifaceted experience that engages all senses and leaves a lasting impression on visitors.
1647 Richmond Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23185, United States
Best Hotels To Stay In Wilmington, NC
- Hotel Ballast
- The Umstead Hotel and Spa
- Graystone Inn
- Courtyard by Marriott Wilmington Downtown/Historic District
- Hilton Wilmington Riverside
- The Riverwalk Inn