By Anna Marie Jehorek
Wilmington, North Carolina(Perfect Travel Today)2/14/14/–Wilmington is a historic port city along the Cape Fear River in North Carolina. Steeped in history ranging from pirate visitors, the American Revolution, the Civil War, World War II up to today’s hip culture – the charming coastal city with colonial beginnings is packed with plenty to see and do. 24 hours is enough time to enjoy the vibrant city and leave one wanting more of Wilmington.
We arrive at our bed & breakfast at 2:30 on Saturday afternoon. The Front Street Inn is a pleasing guest house in the heart of the historic district. Housed in what was once the Salvation Army building this guest house is conveniently located within walking distance of a plethora of attractions including galleries, pubs, historic homes and the Riverwalk.
The spacious rooms are beautifully decorated with works by local artists and provide ample privacy should you be seeking a romantic get-away. Our trip is a birthday surprise from my husband and the owners couldn’t have been more helpful in assisting him with reservations which included a bottle of wine and chocolate covered strawberries awaiting my arrival. He was also able to procure tickets in advance for a horse drawn tour.
A Horse Drawn Tour
Once we’re situated at the Front Street Inn we head out to see the city. Taking a horse drawn tour of the historic district is a perfect way of immersing ourselves in this charming community.
Our guide Ron is wonderful regaling us with tales of local lore and legend. The tour travels around the waterfront and historic downtown area starting at Front and Market Streets. Tickets are $12 per adult and the trip is an outstanding way to learn Wilmington’s history.
Our horse guides, Mike and Harry, are friendly beasts originally bread to work on Amish farms. They’re calm gentle creatures who don’t seem to mind the hustle and bustle of the town. However, Ron warns us not to pet their heads. We take his warning to heart.
The result of a downtown revitalization effort initiated in the mid-1970s the Riverwalk is an economic and business success story. Riverwalk is the perfect combination of business and pleasure. Strolling the boardwalk visitors enjoy the abundant choices for dining, specialty shops, galleries and the like.
We take note of the numerous weddings being held this beautiful fall day and it’s our good fortune to be here during Riverfest.
Yes, the streets are crowded but the energy is kinetic and uplifting. Rows and rows of vendors combine with culinary aromas and the sound of music punctuating the excitement of this annual event.
It’s easy to spend an entire afternoon on the Riverwalk and if you have the time – it’s worth taking it all in at a leisurely pace.
The Reel Cafe
After strolling the water front and meandering in and out of shops we stop in The Reel Cafe and enjoy a cool North Carolina craft brew and a plate of nachos. It doesn’t hurt that the cafe has ample televisions for fall football viewing.
This spot is popular and appropriately named as an homage to the many television shows and movies made in Wilmington. Its impressive list of credits includes favorites like Weekend At Bernie’s, One Tree Hill, Iron Man 3 and Dawson’s Creek. (yes, I think of Joey and Pacey while I’m here)
Currently Sleepy Hollow is filming. Our waitress enthusiastically tells us of her recent evening encounter on the foggy set. The film industry is booming here and it’s easy to see why Wilmington’s nickname is “Hollywood East.”
The restaurant is also one of many downtown establishments catering to sports fans and craft beer lovers. I enjoy a North Carolina favorite Highland Gaelic Ale and my husband imbibes with a Sweet Josie. North Carolina is quickly becoming a beer destination and Wilmington has tapped into this trend.
My travel blog: www.PullOverandLetMeOut.
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