This weekend I had the opportunity to once again resume my “Southern Exploration Tour” as Sidney and I dashed out of town on a weekend getaway to Wilmington, North Carolina. Although most people told me that I had to visit Charleston the second town that always came up was Wilmington. With Charleston crossed off the to-do list from two weeks ago it was time to set my eyes on the city located in that other Carolina state.
On Saturday at around noon Sidney and I made the short ninety minute drive from Myrtle Beach to Wilmington. We were warmly welcomed at the home of Kendra and Josh, the couple who we were fortunate enough to celebrate their one year anniversary with when the four of us made the trip to Charleston. Josh is a member of the Coast Guard and Wilmington serves as the home port for the USCGC Diligence, a ship under the branch’s watch. To have a place to stay and people more than eager to show us around helped to insure that it was going to be a great weekend.
We arrived at the house of Kendra and Josh and after meeting the animals and taking a tour we drove right to the heart of downtown Wilmington. We walked down the main street, then along the water, and finally up into a restaurant called The George. Situated right on the riverfront we sat on the restaurant’s deck that overlooked the Cape Fear River. We ate lunch, enjoyed the view, and plotted what we would do for the duration of our stay. After we concluded our meal we went back to the streets of downtown and after checking out a really cool magic/novelty store with a real life wizard outside to greet us (no joke) we ducked into an ice cream parlor. Called Kilwin’s Ice Cream, Chocolates, and Fudge we waited in a decent line to get waffle cones. Once we had our ice cream we sat on a couple benches next to a horsedrawn carriage and enjoyed. With the humidity high and after subjecting ourselves to the wonderful smell inside of Kilwin’s (nothing smells better than an ice cream parlor) the ice cream tasted wonderful. It tasted so great in fact that after I finished my peanut butter chocolate waffle cone I ate the rest of Sidney’s cake batter cone.
We then got back into the car and went on a little ride. Wilmington is home to four beach communities including Fort Fisher, Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, and Kure Beach. We drove through all four and I personally got a kick out of seeing the brightly colored houses that give these communities such personality. We got out at a random spot at Fort Fisher and enjoyed the view of the ocean and the high winds that provided some relief during the humid day. After a couple hours touring these little pieces of paradise we drove back to the house where the girls showered and Josh and I watched Sportscenter and the World Cup.
Once Sidney and Kendra finished getting ready we went back downtown to enjoy the nightlife of Wilmington. The downtown district in Wilmington is awesome. Small and charming you got several options all within walking distance to pick your poison and have a blast. After starting at a little joint called the Liquid Room while we waited out the dinner rush we moved to a place called Front Street Brewery. This place had it going on. Packed and festive we waited about twenty minutes and then got ushered up the eclectic building’s steep stairs to our table. I scarfed down a very interesting take on Shepherds Pie and enjoyed the atmosphere. We then hit up a few more places including a location where I finally got to play cornhole! Sid and I played against Kendra and Josh before switching it up and going boys against girls. It was a lot of fun. With the area really bumping we stopped while we were ahead and went home for the night.
Early in the morning Sidney and I said goodbye to Kendra and Josh and hit the road back to Myrtle Beach. However, on the way out of town we got to go through the main part of the city and get a glimpse of the everyday, non-tourist perspective of Wilmington life. It put a fitting end to our experience.
Some of my readers might freak out at this but I actually liked Wilmington more than Charleston. It was more intimate and less upscale, two things that appeal to me. Just like Charleston you had the history and the water but I just felt more at home in Wilmington. I am very thankful to Kendra and Josh for serving as wonderful hosts and to Sidney for taking me. I can’t wait to see where we go next! Don’t Blink.