Wilmington is a beautiful port city in North Carolina. Wilmington serves as a gateway to Cape Fear Coast’s stunning beaches, such as Wrightsville (known for its strong surf), and Carolina, with its iconic long boardwalk.
The Riverwalk, part of the historic downtown Wilmington district, is a popular spot lined with restaurants, galleries, and shops. It stretches along the Cape Fear River, where you can also find the Battleship North Carolina moored.
With beautiful beaches, great shopping, a unique riverwalk, and plenty of excellent restaurants and fun bars, Wilmington is the perfect destination for a girl’s getaway.
Here’s our ultimate girls’ getaway guide to Wilmington, North Carolina, with all the tips you need to plan an unforgettable girls’ getaway!
Things To Do In Wilmington On A Girls’ Getaway
Wilmington’s location makes it a unique place to visit, with lots of things to do and see within close proximity of the city. Being just an hour north of the South Carolina border, this coastal city has plenty to explore and places to visit.
With a population of almost 125,000, the city is well known for its beaches, film and television production and extensive gardens.
Here are ten fun things to do in Wilmington on a girls’ getaway!
1) Relax On A Beach
This coastal city is not short of incredible beaches to enjoy. The area has three main beaches: Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach and Kure Beach. Other great beaches include Masonboro Island, Figure Eight Island and Topsail Beach.
All of these beaches are perfect for spending the morning or afternoon relaxing or taking an evening stroll while watching the sunset. Many of the beaches are also surrounded by bars and restaurants with outdoor dining options and incredible views.
2) Learn How To Surf
Wilmington’s surrounding beaches are a great place to learn how to surf with your girls. The beaches are shallow and have a gently sloping ocean floor. The waves are also great for first-time learners with small waves and calm seas, especially during summer.
3) Enjoy Live Music With Your Girls
Almost every weekend in the city, there is no shortage of live music. In the city’s downtown area, there are always events and festivals happening at different times during the year, with film festivals, beer weeks and concerts at the Greenfield Lake Amphitheatre.
4) Spend Some Time In Downtown Wilmington
Downtown Wilmington is filled with historic buildings and homes, along with the waterfront. Downtown also has many dining options for a nice meal out with your girls. Exploring the area is a great way to spend a morning or afternoon in between shopping or going out for brunch. You can also experience the sights and sounds of Downtown Wilmington on a 2-hour e-bike tour, seeing and learning all about the city’s streets and historic landmarks.
5) Head To The Bars For A Cocktail Or Two
There are three main areas with bars in Wilmington: Wrightsville Beach, Downtown Wilmington and Carolina Beach. The beaches are great places to enjoy a cold beer or cocktail after a day at the beach.
Downtown, there are multiple bars on Front Street and 3rd Street. These bars are a mixture of rooftop bars, clubs, dive bars, breweries, beer halls, sports bars and just lovely places to chill. Downtown is also a great place to have a bar craw or spend the evening dining at a nice restaurant and then stop off at some bars during the evening after dinner.
6) Shop Until You Drop At The Cotton Exchange
Located in Downtown, this historic shopping center offers boutique stores with handmade products, antiques and unique one-of-a-kind finds.
7) Take To The Water On A Cape Fear River Boat Tour
A great way to see Downtown Wilmington and explore the Cape Fear River is on a riverboat tour. You can enjoy a sunset cruise or an educational tour while relaxing and enjoying the onboard bars and light snacks.
8) Take A Tour Of The USS North Carolina
A tremendous and unique tour to do with your girls is of the USS North Carolina Battleship. Open every day, the ship is a great place to learn more about the ship and its naval offensive in the Pacific area during World War II. On the tour, participants are divided into small groups and taken to different areas of the ship, such as the bow, third deck, and below, as well as the superstructure, all the way up to the top.
9) Head To A Brewery
The city has recently made a name for itself on the craft beer and brewery scene, with new breweries always opening. These breweries are a great place to enjoy a tour or sample some unique beers with your girls.
10) Take A Day Trip To Southport
It is located in Southeastern North Carolina, where the Cape Fear River meets the Atlantic Ocean. The small town has a picturesque beach, cute restaurants, and boutique shops. Southport also has a maritime museum and a winery tasting room, making it an ideal place to get your girl’s wine fix.
Best Tours To Take In Wilmington For A Girls’ Getaway
Wilmington offers a variety of enjoyable tours for exploring the area, taking to the water and visiting historic landmarks. For a girl’s getaway, here are four great options:
- Sail in style on the historic Wilmington Riverwalk. Few sailboats are available for public charters, making this your chance to experience the thrill of sailing.
- Experience the sights and sounds of Wilmington on a 2-hour e-bike tour while exploring the city’s streets and historic landmarks.
- Take a guided walking tour of Wilmington’s central historic district and explore its rich history and culture from the 1700s to the present day.
- Hop on an e-bike and explore Wilmington’s quiet streets at night on a 1.5-hour tour with your friends!
Best Hotels In Wilmington For A Girls’ Getaway
Wilmington has many hotel options, from branded chain hotels to unique and individual hotels with less than 20 rooms. There is a hotel option for every type and size of girls’ getaway.
Here are 10 of the best hotels to stay at during your Wilmington girls’ getaway:
- Blockade Runner Beach Resort is a beach resort located just an 18-minute drive from Wilmington. The hotel has various room options, including a three-bedroom apartment idea for a group of six girls and standard rooms, club rooms and deluxe rooms.
- Wingate by Wyndham – Wilmington is located in Wilmington city center and is within walking distance of numerous restaurants and local attractions.
- Courtyard by Marriott Wilmington Downtown is an art deco hotel located in the historic district of Wilmington. The hotel has a swimming pool and 124 rooms, including suites and rooms sleeping comfortably between two and four people.
- Aloft Wilmingon at Coastline Centre is a 3-star hotel with two onsite restaurants and two onsite bars. The hotel has 125 rooms with multiple room options, including king bedrooms, two queen bedrooms, and rooms with river views and city views.
- Arrive in Wilmington is a riverfront hotel close to the downtown riverwalk. The hotel is within walking distance of breweries, restaurants, bars, and local attractions. The hotel offers 34 individually decorated rooms, which include thoughtful touches and Frette Italian sheets.
- Golden Sands Oceanfront Hotel is located on the Carolina Beach Boardwalk, close to numerous beaches and piers. The hotel also has a beach bar, a terrace, a shop, an onsite restaurant, and an outdoor swimming pool.
- Residence Inn by Marriott Wilmington Landfall has 90 rooms, including studios, suites, and two-bedroom and one-bedroom suites, sleeping between two people and six people, making it a great place to stay for a small girls’ getaway.
- The Starlite Inn is in Carolina Beach, close to The Clubs at St James and Southport Marina. The hotel is just a short walk from the Carolina Beach Boardwalk and multiple bars and restaurants.
- Best Western Plus Westgate Inn and Suites are connected to a shopping center and a short drive from golf courses, the Battleship North Carolina, and the Riverwalk. The hotel’s 100 rooms offer all the amenities and more for an ideal stay for you and your girls.
- The Hampton Inn and Suites Carolina Beach Oceanfront is located right on the beach near the Carolina Beach Boardwalk. The hotel offers guests a choice of room types, which include ocean-view rooms, suites sleeping up to six people, city-view rooms, and balconies.
Best Villas In Wilmington For A Girls’ Getaway
If you are looking for a more affordable high-end rental or somewhere where all your girls can relax together on your Wilmington girls’ getaway, here are ten top-rated luxury villas that are less pricey but still have all the required amenities for an incredible stay:
- Ada’s Midtown Garden – 2 bedroom / 1 bath / Sleeps 4
- Casa de la Palma – 2 bedroom / 2 bath / Sleeps 6
- Wilmington Getaway – 3 bedroom / 2 bath / Sleeps 6
- Luxe at The Cove – 2 bedroom / 2 bath / Sleeps 4
- Magnolia House – 3 bedroom / 3 bath / Sleeps 6
- Wilmington House – 4 bedroom / 3 bath / Sleeps 8
- 3-bedroom House – 3 bedroom / 3 bath / Sleeps 9
- Charming House – 4 bedroom / 3 bath / Sleeps 8
- Hampstead Home – 3 bedroom / 2 bath / Sleeps 7
- Ocean View Condo – 5 bedroom / 5 bath / Sleeps 12
Best Dinner Spots In Wilmington
Being a coastal oasis, abundant fresh seafood is a given. Here, you can pick the catch of the day, knowing that it has just been taken out of the sea. Along with that, you will find a variety of Southern classics. It’s an ideal location to satisfy your cravings for down-home Southern comfort food, combined with an international influence.
Here are ten of the best dinner restaurants in Wilmington:
- Indochine – Savor authentic Thai and Vietnamese foods while dining in Oriental-style huts by a serene koi pond with water lilies at Indochine.
- Casey’s Buffet – This restaurant offers an all-you-can-eat BBQ buffet that is ideal for a satisfying meal. You can indulge in the best Carolina cooking at this family-owned restaurant, which offers soul food and Southern comfort.
- Tarantelli’s – This restaurant serves authentic Tuscan cuisine in a cozy, family-owned eatery. Each dish is served family-style with recipes originating from Italy.
- Pinpoint – A Southern favorite, Pinpoint sources fresh, local ingredients for a daily-changing menu infused with creative inspiration. Their diverse farm-to-table fare is rooted in American tradition.
- Ceviche’s – This is a Panamanian-inspired Latin American restaurant with a bar made of reclaimed wood from the same country. The charming courtyard provides a perfect spot to enjoy their outstanding cuisine.
- Flaming Amy’s Burrito Barn – Flaming Amy’s offers authentic and outstanding Mexican cuisine. Their Churkeychanga is a standout dish in the world of wild foods.
- Platypus & Gnome – Located on Front Street, it is not your average American diner. The eclectic menu and quirky ambiance create a truly unique dining experience.
- The Basics – A cozy brick restaurant is known for serving the best brunch in town. It’s located near the Riverwalk, perfect for strolling after a hearty meal with a scenic view.
- Caprice Bistro – The ambiance is elegant and complements the gourmet French cuisine. Caprice Bistro is one of Wilmington’s finest restaurants for decadent French dishes.
- Slice of Life – For the best pizza in Wilmington, visit Slice of Life, with multiple locations across the city, you and your girls won’t be disappointed.
Best Nightlife Spots in Wilmington
Despite its size, Wilmington has plenty of bars and nightlife options for your girls. Wilmington has something for every girl’s getaway if your girls are into lively nightlife options of just a relaxing evening drinking a cocktail on a rooftop bar.
Here are ten of the best nightlife spots in Wilmington:
- Whiskey Tango Foxtrot – An upscale bar a couple of blocks from the Riverwalk in the Historic District. Known for its exceptionally crafted cocktails, it’s one of the best bars in Wilmington, North Carolina.
- Rebellion NC – Located in the Historic Downtown area, it offers a remarkable selection of handcrafted cocktails for bourbon and whiskey enthusiasts.
- Pour Taproom – The self-pour model offers over 60 craft beers and ciders. This beer garden offers an unforgettable experience for a night out with a group of friends.
- The Blind Elephant – The Blind Elephant on N Front Street and Smith Alley has a retro speakeasy feel, making it one of Wilmington’s most unique places to go out.
- Rooftop Bar – Located in Historic Downtown, the Rooftop Bar at North Front Theatre offers a stunning view of Cape Fear River. The rooftop bar in Wilmington provides the best ideas to enjoy a cold drink.
- Smoke on the Water – This is a popular spot for locals and visitors who enjoy the stunning cotton candy sunsets and scenic views of the Cape Fear River. The outdoor patio at the restaurant has spacious tables and cozy fire pits, making it an ideal spot for drinks with friends.
- Cloud 9 Rooftop Bar – Experience breathtaking views of Wilmington’s historic harbor, ship channel, and downtown while sipping on a craft cocktail and enjoying appetizers at this rooftop bar inside the Embassy Suites in downtown Wilmington.
- Anne Bonny’s Bar and Grill – They offer local draft beer, a great wine selection, and a variety of frozen and signature cocktails.
- Manna – Manna has developed an impressive beverage program featuring the finest wines, spirits, and craft cocktails made with fresh juices, herbs and bitters.
- The Husk – A casual, modern-day drinking hole, The Husk is a perfect spot to enjoy drinks with friends or a delicious cocktail.
How To Get To Wilmington, North Carolina
One of the things that makes Wilmington an ideal destination for a girls’ getaway is that it is easily accessible by direct flight from several cities around the United States.
The closest airport is Wilmington International Airport (ILM), which has daily domestic flights nationwide.
The airport is located just outside of the city. You can pick up an Uber at the airport, taxi, or rent a car.
Best Time To Visit Wilmington
Wilmington is a great city to visit for a girl’s getaway year-round. There isn’t a wrong time to visit Wilmington, but if you don’t like cold weather, avoid visiting between November and April.
The best time to visit Wilmington for cooler temperatures is outside the high season between March and May and September to November.
Wilmington Girls Getaway Guide Wrap Up
I hope you’ve found this Wilmington girls’ getaway guide helpful and you are now excited to visit this city with your girls!
If you have questions about Wilmington or tips for our readers, please leave these in the comments below! And suppose you’re interested in visiting other cities in the United States. In that case, you can check out all our Bachelorette party articles for inspiration or all our girls getaway guides for other trip ideas.
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