Wilmington, located on the southeastern tip of North Carolina along the banks of the Cape Fear River, is home to approximately 114,000 residents. This history-rich area offers a unique mix of an important southern port city with beautiful natural wonders to explore and enjoy. Nearby barrier island beaches and Hollywood-worthy scenic locations embrace its diverse population and reflect the warmth and welcome that awaits new residents.
Wilmington, an important port city, figures into earliest American history. Explorers noted this area on maps as early as the 16th century and was colonized when an English settlement was established in the 1720s. During the Revolutionary War, Wilmington became a crucial commercial port for patriots defying British rule. Unscathed, Wilmington thrived and expanded by railway all the way to Raleigh, the state capitol. When the Civil War erupted, Wilmington was held by the Confederacy, and eventually fell to Union troops after the defeat of Fort Fisher, signaling the end of the Civil War a few months later. Racial tensions led to the Wilmington Race Riots and the Wilmington Massacre of 1898, one of the darkest points in area history. During WWI and WWII, Wilmington’s proximity to the coast boosted the shipbuilding industry, and State Port Authority was approved in 1945. There are many historic remnants of this earlier time to explore.
Lifestyle & Area Attractions
History is at the heart of Wilmington, and with several area museums and historic sites to explore, residents can always find local points of interest to fill leisure hours. The historic district comprises 230 city blocks, and tours are available year-round. The oldest museum, the Cape Fear Museum, chronicles Wilmington’s earliest history. Stroll through Airlie Gardens, home to the over 500-year old Airlie Oak, also known as the Angel Oak. Spend a pleasant day along the mile-long Wilmington Riverwalk and climb aboard Wilmington’s floating museum, USS North Carolina, a battleship awarded 15 battle stars during her service in the Pacific theater. Shop in the collection of modern stores located in the historic Cotton Exchange or discover the many specialty shops where you can find artisan crafts. Explore Fort Fisher or one the several historic houses located throughout the county. The local library system offers weekly programing for children and adults.
For outdoor enthusiasts, bike or hike through the miles of parks or nearby Kure, Carolina, or Wrightsville beaches, play rounds of golf at Wilmington Municipal, Pine Valley or Cape Fear Golf clubs, or try your skills at the Castle Bay Country Club, a challenging Scottish-styled championship course. Go boating, swimming, or fishing on the Cape Fear River or along the coast, with endless opportunities to enjoy water activities along the hundreds of miles of shoreline.
Area restaurants pride themselves on sourcing local fresh ingredients to make dining unique and unforgettable. Try top-rated Savorez for Latin and Central-American cuisine, or Fish Bites Seafood for fresh sea fare. Take the tour and then enjoy the offerings at Front Street Brewery with an award-winning craft beer and pub classics with a southern twist. Perhaps a cup of fresh coffee or a warm pastry from Bitty and Beau’s Coffee is what you crave. With so many choices, you can’t go wrong!
With the median age of 35.4, Wilmington has a relatively young demographic. In Wilmington, there are 37 public schools, 121 private schools and 5 charter schools, offering educational options for every need. The New Hanover County School District boasts top-rated public schools.
Higher education opportunities abound close by. UNC-Wilmington, one of the campuses of the North Carolina university system, boasts 56 majors, 36 Master’s, and 4 Doctoral degree programs. Cape Fear Community College and Miller-Motte College serve the Wilmington area with degree and certification programs.
Health services in the Wilmington area are abundant with several hospitals and facilities scattered across the county.
Be warned! Pirates invade the harbor every year during Riverfest. The city is home to the largest television and movie production studio outside California. Famed explorer Giovanni de Verrazano described the area “as pleasant and delectable to behold, as it is possible to imagine.” The Wilmington climate is pleasant year-round, with an average of 26.4 inches of rain annually.
|A H Snipes Academy of Arts/Des||(910)251-6175||392|
|Bradley Creek Elementary||(910)350-2051||420|
|Career Readiness Academy at Mosley PLC||(910)251-6161||115|
|Carolina Beach Elementary||(910)458-4340||450|
|Castle Hayne Elementary||(910)602-4970||540|
|Charles P Murray Middle||(910)790-2363||1025|
|College Park Elementary||(910)350-2058||513|
|College Road Early Childhood Center||(910)350-7860||138|
|Dr Hubert Eaton Sr Elem||(910)397-1544||511|
|Dr John Codington Elem||(910)790-2236||501|
|Edwin A Alderman Elementary||(910)350-2031||286|
|Edwin A Anderson Elementary||(910)798-3311||686|
|Emma B Trask Middle||(910)350-2142||750|
|Emsley A Laney High||(910)350-2089||2084|
|Eugene Ashley High||(910)790-2360||1823|
|Forest Hills Global Elementary||(910)251-6190||343|
|Heyward C Bellamy Elem||(910)350-2039||621|
|Holly Shelter Middle||(910)602-4046||691|
|Holly Tree Elementary||(910)790-2250||508|
|Isaac M Bear Early College High School||(910)350-1387||237|
|J. C. Roe Center||(910)395-4472||27|
|John J Blair Elementary||(910)350-2045||581|
|John T Hoggard High||(910)350-2072||2095|
|Lake Forest Academy||(910)772-2515||40|
|M C S Noble Middle||(910)350-2112||866|
|Mary C Williams Elementary||(910)350-2150||461|
|Myrtle Grove Middle||(910)350-2100||744|
|New Hanover High||(910)251-6100||1529|
|Pine Valley Elementary||(910)350-2121||591|
|Porters Neck Elementary||(910)251-2975||†|
|R Freeman Sch of Engineering||(910)251-6011||285|
|Sunset Park Elementary||(910)815-6948||340|
|The International School at Gregory||(910)251-6185||507|
|Walter L Parsley Elementary||(910)790-2355||649|
|Wilmington Early College High||(910)362-7789||263|
|Winter Park Model Elementary||(910)350-2159||294|
|Wrightsville Beach Elem||(910)256-3171||311|