For many, when summer is over it’s hard to think there’s another season that allows you to enjoy the outdoors at full blast.
Spend a weekend in Wilmington, N.C.
, and you’ll discover fall can be a prime time to be outside.
Weather is comfortable and pleasant, making it perfect to enjoy the many festivals and events going on, as well as ample activities.
“It’s an exciting time to visit,” comments Connie Nelson, communications/pr director, Wilmington/Cape Fear Coast CVB. “There no way to be bored here in the fall. We are ready and open for visitors.”
And that might be an understatement.
Surrounded by water, Nelson says it opens up a lot of opportunities for boating, kayaking, canoeing and other water-related sports, including the popular SUP
(stand-up paddle boarding.)
The barrier island beaches (Carolina Beach
, Kure Beach
and Wrightsville Beach
) have their outdoor recreational outlets as well.
“People are still surfing on the beaches this time of the year, too,” she adds.
For more outdoor adventures, make plans to take a fall cruise. Consider Wilmington Water Tours
’ "Autumn Escapes,” a two and a half hour nature cruise that introduces you to local history and river ecology. You can also spot fall foliage along the way. Take a guided tour of Masonboro Island, a undeveloped eight and a half mile bar off Wrightsville Beach through Wrightsville Beach Scenic Tours & Cruises
And then there’s the events. With a quick glance at the area's calendar, you’ll discover a line up of outdoor activities for every interest extending up until December. For instance, enjoy anything to do with fishing? October 21-23 is the Cape Fear Trout Celebrity Classic
at Wrightsville Beach or there’s the “Flat Bottom Girls” Flounder Tournament
on November 5 in Wilmington. Run (or walk) any? The area is hosting numerous 5Ks that include Trick-or-Treat Trot 5K or 10K
in downtown Wilmington on October 15, Battleship NC 1/2 Marathon & Port Land Grille Battleship 5K
on November 6, and Seaside Shuffle 5K
in Wrightsville Beach on November 20.
Of course, no fall getaway to Wilmington is complete without visiting what Nelson refers to as the area’s two key attractions: the Historic Riverfront District
and Battleship North Carolina
Filled with something for everyone, like attractions such as the Cape Fear Serpentarium
, Bellamy Mansion Museum
and Burgwin-Wright House & Gardens
to restaurants and shops, the district is great to explore.
Celebrating its 50th anniversary as an attraction,you can take a self-guided tour of Battleship USS North Carolina. Meander your way through its nine levels. Be sure to check out their calendar when planning your getaway, because you don’t want to miss out on events such as the Ghost Ship
(October 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 and 29) and Hidden Battleship
photo credits: downloaded at Wilmington/Cape Fear CVB; Boating, credit NC Div. of Tourism / Bill Russ; Stand up paddling, credit Chip Henderson