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Best Times to Visit Wilmington, NC

The best times to visit Wilmington, North Carolina, are from March to May and September to November when room rates and temperatures drop from their summertime highs. The months between June and August are considered high season, when vacationers descend on the city and nearby beaches. The winter months of December, January and February are characterized by cold weather and a deserted city.  

Weather in Wilmington, NC switch to Celsius/mm

Average Temperature (°F)

Average Precipitation (in)

Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center


Average highs creep from the mid-60s in March to the lower 80s in May, making it an ideal time to roam Wilmington's expansive Historic District or the flower-lined footpaths at the Airlie Gardens. And although hotel rates are higher in spring than they are in winter, lodging prices have not yet reached their peak summertime prices.

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During the summer months, travelers – many with families in tow – flock to Wilmington and flood popular attractions like Wrightsville Beach. But it's no surprise why: The Atlantic waters are warm, the downtown ice cream shops beckon, and there are a handful of kid-friendly alternatives for the occasional rainy days, including the Cape Fear Serpentarium and Battleship North Carolina. Still, hotel rates and vacation rentals are at their highest, as are temperatures, with highs averaging in the upper 80s. 


Autumn sees high average temperatures descend from the 80s to the upper 60s by November, and it's truly a lovely time to stroll the Historic District, stopping in at the various properties that strike your fancy. Plus, the Atlantic waters at Wrightsville Beach are typically warm enough to swim in through October. 

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Although you'll see surfers (sporting wetsuits) riding the waves at Wrightsville Beach during the winter, the Atlantic's waters are usually too chilly for most tourists. Still, with average highs in the upper 50s and lower 60s, it's not too cold for walks on the beach or through the Historic District. Plus, wintertime is low season, so both room rates and fellow tourists will be at their most manageable this time of year.

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