Learn more about Southeast North Carolina’s coastal area.
Nestled between North Carolina’s mighty Cape Fear River on the west, and the Atlantic Ocean on the east, Wilmington has long been known as the “Port City of Progress and Pleasure.” Founded in 1739, Wilmington prospered during its early years as a major port and ship-building center. Today the city continues to flourish.
Boasting one of the largest districts in the National Register of Historic Places, Wilmington takes pride in its reputation as a leader in preservation efforts. Along the river a number of Victorian, Georgian, Italianate and antebellum-style homes, buildings and churches have been carefully restored to their original grandeur. Many of these beautiful structures are now used as museums, shopping venues and bed-and-breakfasts.
Downtown Wilmington offers eclectic shopping, vibrant nightlife, theatrical productions, coffeehouses and outstanding restaurants that feature fresh local seafood and regional specialties. A few miles inland you’ll find excellent golf courses, parks, entertainment complexes, department stores, plantations, a state university and restaurants galore.
Local attractions and annual events are as diverse as the city itself. Visitors can enjoy more than 45 attractions, including day or evening riverboat cruises, museums showcasing North Carolina artists and history, and a variety of tours of the historic district, nature preserves, or movie studios. Traditional festivals such as the N.C. Azalea Festival and Riverfest, among others, celebrate the area’s arts and culture. Overnight options range from oceanfront homes and condos to riverfront inns, quaint B&Bs and larger chain hotels. Discover historic Wilmington and experience Southern hospitality at its finest.
The sights and sounds of downtown Wilmington characterize hundreds of years of commerce, great architecture, and exuberant social atmosphere. As a historic district dweller, I am an active participant in these sights and sounds. I’ve come to know well the soft horn of the Henrietta, rhythmic clip clops of the horse drawn carriages, and the enchanting sounds of nearby church bells.
Unlike most North Carolina cities, our downtown sits on a major river, providing a touch of beauty and wildlife to a small but aesthetically pleasing urban sprawl. Developers and business owners have done an impeccable job building world-class restaurants, shops, and nightclubs. It’s difficult to imagine an area the size of downtown Wilmington with as many spectacular dining and entertainment experiences.
Whether you seek fine dining or pizza, rollicking guitar licks or smooth jazz, downtown Wilmington has something for everyone. Come on down and see what’s happening.
Early recreation on the Island included fishing, hunting and the most passionate sport of the day, sailing. The popularity of sailing led to the construction of the first major structure on the Island. The Carolina Yacht Club was completed in 1853 and has hosted hundreds of regattas through the years. The Yacht Club is still thriving today as the Town’s largest and most successful private beach club. It is recognized as one of the oldest yacht clubs in the United States.
Today the city limits of Wrightsville Beach include the small barrier island, the adjacent Harbour Island, and a small part of the mainland. There are delectable restaurants, a handful of rousing nightclubs, and the most beautiful white sand beaches in the Carolinas. Unlike highly developed coastal communities, Wrightsville has maintained a steadfast dedication to preserving the natural beauty and simple elegance that made it special 100 years ago. They enforce strict building codes allowing very few high-rises. The zoning ordinances also prohibit commercial enterprises from running wild. The Island stretches nearly 4 miles in length, and has approximately 3,000 full time residents.
Luxurious homes, championship golf courses, world class amenities… When Giovanni Da Verrazano landed on the bluffs of Landfall in 1524 he probably never envisioned such a paradise. What he did see were deer, osprey, egrets, and heron, all of which are still easy to spot in the comfortable setting of Landfall.
Today there are more than 1,000 families in the 2,200 acres of this premier waterfront community. Landfall residents enjoy a fully equipped sports center with 14 grass, clay and all weather tennis courts, and an Olympic sized swimming pool. There are attractive neighborhood parks and pristine conservation areas. Not to mention the comfort and convenience of a gated, 24-hour security enforced, community.
In an area known for great golf, Landfall really shines as the most challenging and beautiful waterfront course in Wilmington. There are 27 Holes Designed by Jack Nicklaus and 18 by Pete Dye. The incredible layout winds its way through “interior wetlands and conservancy areas to the Intracoastal Waterway with views of the Atlantic Ocean.”
While the barrier islands have many second home and seasonal residents, Landfall is not a resort community. Most of the residents make Landfall their permanent home. The location offers resort style amenities while set in the heart of Wilmington and only a bicycle ride from Wrightsville Beach.
Incredible Intracoastal and Ocean views, the areas most sought after location, phenomenal golf and sports facilities, Landfall offers the very best of coastal living.
Figure Eight Island
Just North of Wilmington is a private island accessible only by boat or private bridge. Figure Eight is one of only a handful of privately owned Islands along the Eastern Seaboard.
Prominent Wilmington architect Ligon Flynn believes “the privacy and exclusiveness are what appeals to people the most.” They are why the island is best known for its uncrowded white sand beaches, and unspoiled coastal lifestyle.
Originally developed by Bruce and Dan Cameron, construction began at Figure Eight around 1960. There are a mere 440 existing homes on Figure Eight and only about 100 lots available for building. There are no commercial businesses. Here you will find winding inlets, and rare maritime forests in place of the typical strip malls of many coastal towns.
A favorite vacation destination for entertainers and politicians, Figure Eight is simultaneously very exclusive, and very laid back. The carefree atmosphere is contagious. Driving along one of the Island’s few roads its common for everyone you see to greet you with a smile and a wave. The Island also serves as a Sea Turtle sanctuary with multiple hatchings each year.
Only 50 to 60 residents call Figure Eight their permanent home. The Island is ideal for second homes because of its proximity to the Raleigh, Charlotte and Washington D.C. markets. There is an active rental market allowing homeowners to enjoy nice returns on their investments.
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