Battleship North Carolina#5 in Best Things To Do in Wilmington, NC
Back when Battleship North Carolina was commissioned in 1941, the ship was thought of as "the world's greatest sea weapon," and it turned out to be just that by participating in more than a dozen offensives in the Pacific Ocean during World War II. The ship was decommissioned in 1947 and was going to be sent for scrap metal but North Carolinians petitioned for the ship to be preserved as a museum – and in 1962, it was dedicated as just that. Today, visitors can tour the ship, all the while learning about the history of its veterans.
Recent travelers call Battleship North Carolina a must-see for travelers of all ages. But it's important to note that the ship decks can get pretty hot, especially in the summer, and there are lots of stairs to traverse. Recent visitors also recommended arriving early in the day to avoid the midday heat and heaviest crowds.
From Memorial Day to Labor Day, Battleship North Carolina is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., except on July Fourth when it closes at 5 p.m. for fireworks. The rest of the year, it's open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. except for Christmas Day when it opens at noon. General admission costs $14 for adults; $10 for seniors and active military; and $6 for children ages 6 through 11. Kids ages 5 and younger get in for free. Guided tours of the ship cost an additional fee and are offered at various times on Saturdays. The ship is nestled into Eagle Island on Cape Fear River. Parking is available on-site. For more information, visit Battleship North Carolina's website.
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#1 Wilmington's Riverwalk
No trip to Wilmington is complete without a stroll along its mile-long Riverwalk. This wooden boardwalk that borders Cape Fear River is lined with popular restaurants and bars – and punctuated by stools and benches that are perfect for taking a break and taking in the scene.
One traveler who praised the Riverwalk's views also recommended taking a water taxi to the Battleship North Carolina. Another traveler said the Riverwalk encapsulates the local culture, from the smell of the salty sea air to the surrounding history to the buzzy nightlife.
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