Destination Guide: Wilmington Area Points of Interest

Attractions and Sites of Interest featured on Fringe Benefits: Wilmington


Wilmington, NC is a city of beaches and waterways. Downtown Wilmington is historic and charming, with restaurants overlooking the river and a boardwalk promenade lining the riverfront. The picturesque setting suits the filming needs of many TV show and movies, giving the area the nickname “The Hollywood of the East”:

USS Battleship North Carolina served in the Pacific during WWII, and is now open for tours. Also, catch great view of downtown Wilmington from her deck:

Airlie Gardens is a beautiful and expansive setting, right on the sound. The gardens are home to an extensive azalea collection, and the largest oak tree in the state of North Carolina:

Poplar Grove Plantation is a historic home, once a thriving peanut plantation supported by slave labor in the early 1800s. Tours offer insight into the lives of the family and slaves who lived and worked here:

Fort Fisher Aquarium in Kure Beach, is home to amazing jellyfish, an albino alligator, and a sea turtle rescue program. The daily diver discussions series is worth a visit:

Tony Silvagni Surf School Operated by champion surfer Tony Silvagni, this is the the place for beginners to get out on a board and learn to surf! Located in Carolina Beach:

Motts Channel Seafood located in Wrightsville Beach, is staffed with knowledgeable fishmongers who’ll help you select your catch, practically from right off the boat:



Catch Award-winning chef Keith Rhodes and his wife, Angela Rhodes, deliver fresh, quality fish and seafood in creative preparations. Rhodes regularly visits Motts Channel, gathering up the catch of the day. Chef Rhodes was recently featured on Top Chef, and is a James Beard Award semifinalist: 

Bluewater Grill is waterfront in Wrightsville Beach. Fans of TV’s Dawson’s Creek might recognize it as the series’ Yacht Club:

Tidal Creek Co-op our crew gathered lunch here daily, with vegan options, too:

Lodging Options

Summer Sands Wrightsville Beach is a short walk to the expansive beach and waterfront. The suites have a full kitchen, and balconies. And, they are dog friendly:

Fairfield Inn & Suites Wilmington convenient base for exploring the area or for business travel:


To read more about our Wilmington episode, visit the Episode Guide