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Historic District picture in Wilmington, NC
Pgiam / Getty Images

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  • Historic Homes/Mansions, Sightseeing Type
  • 2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.6
Overall
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  • Value
    5.0
  • Facilities
    4.5
  • Atmosphere
    4.5

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The 230-plus blocks that comprise Wilmington's historic district are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and they contain everything from mansions to museums, as well as a host of restaurants and shops. One of the best ways to see the district's highlights is via a guided tour. Some traveler-approved operators include Haunted Wilmington and Wilmington Trolley Company. But you can also download the Wilmington.tours app to your smartphone, which includes four tours, including one with a pub crawl theme and another with a Civil War slant, if you'd rather take a self-guided tour. 

One visitor says it well when describing Wilmington as a "fascinating" but "under-appreciated" Southern city, citing the history that occurred on the port city's cobbled streets. Others say the historic district is charming and quaint, yet still feels cosmopolitan. 

The historic district is bounded by the Northeast Cape Fear River to the west, Wright Street to the south, South Seventh Street to the east and Harnett Street to the north. The area is free to visit but individual shops and restaurants operate different schedules. For more information, visit the visitor's bureau website

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Hotels Nearby

  • Thing to Do
  • Hotel
The Wilmingtonian

The Wilmingtonian ...

  • 0.3 Miles Away
  • 2.5-star Hotel Class
Best Western Plus Coastline Inn

Best Western Plus Coastline Inn ...

  • 0.3 Miles Away
  • 2.5-star Hotel Class
Hilton Wilmington Riverside

Hilton Wilmington Riverside ...

  • 0.2 Miles Away
  • 3.5-star Hotel Class
See all hotels in Wilmington, NC »

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#1 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 ... Read more » P A Thompson / Getty Images

#2 Historic District The 230-plus blocks that comprise Wilmington's historic district are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and they contain everything from mansions to museums, as well as a ... Read more » Pgiam / Getty Images

#3 Wrightsville Beach Wrightsville Beach is located just 10 miles east of the Historic District, and it receives high praise for its wide ribbon of sand, which is easily accessible and lined by ... Read more » Chad_Talton / Getty Images

#4 Airlie Gardens Wilmington's 67-acre Airlie Gardens are enchanting. Not only do the gardens feature the flora and fauna native to this corner of North Carolina, they also contain a butterfly house ... Read more » Brett Cottrell / Photo Courtesy of New Hanover County

#5 Battleship North Carolina 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 ... Read more » red_moon_rise / Getty Images

#6 Bellamy Mansion Museum This gorgeous 1800s Greek Revival mansion housed the Bellamy family, from the mid-19th century until the mid-20th century. The property contains 22 rooms, gorgeous gardens and restored slave quarters – and ... Read more » Pgiam / Getty Images

Riverwalk picture in Wilmington, NC
Historic District picture in Wilmington, NC
Wrightsville Beach picture in Wilmington, NC
Airlie Gardens picture in Wilmington, NC
Battleship North Carolina picture in Wilmington, NC
Bellamy Mansion Museum picture in Wilmington, NC
Riverwalk picture in Wilmington, NC
Historic District picture in Wilmington, NC
Wrightsville Beach picture in Wilmington, NC
Airlie Gardens picture in Wilmington, NC
Battleship North Carolina picture in Wilmington, NC
Bellamy Mansion Museum picture in Wilmington, NC

Along Cape Fear River, visitors can stretch their legs on the one-mile Riverwalk. P A Thompson / Getty Images

The Bellamy Mansion Museum is among a number of antebellum properties in Wilmington's Historic District Pgiam / Getty Images

Many visitors to Wilmington spend a day or two at nearby Wrightsville Beach. Chad_Talton / Getty Images

The Airlie Gardens feature 67 acres worth of North Carolina flora.  Brett Cottrell / Photo Courtesy of New Hanover County

This battleship glided through the Pacific Ocean and fought a number of offensives during World War II. These days, it's docked in Wilmington and open for tours year-round. red_moon_rise / Getty Images

The tour guides at the Bellamy Mansion Museum make its 22 rooms come alive, with stories about the home's architecture and Bellamy family. Pgiam / Getty Images

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