Feast and gather with family and friends for a coastal fall escape. With mild temperatures, smaller crowds and many of your favorite fall festivals and activities happening, it’s the perfect time to explore the best of the Carolina Coast. Shop local vendors, enjoy a spectacular fireworks show and more when Riverfest returns Oct. 8-9 in historic downtown. Set sail on a sunset river cruise with Wilmington Water Tours or paddle out to an uninhabited island on an eco-tour with Soundside Adventures in Wrightsville Beach. Connect with nature on a guided hike led by park rangers through Carolina Beach State Park each Saturday at 10 a.m. Enjoy a kite-flying extravaganza In Kure Beach Nov. 4-6 at the 15th Annual Cape Fear Kite Festival. New this year, the festival will kick off Friday night when illuminated kites fly seaside. No matter how you choose to embrace fall, you’re sure to find activities to awaken the senses.
New & Notable Chefs
Bringing innovative cuisine, award-winning chefs are choosing Wilmington to open their next concept. Indulge in traditional Greek Dishes at Kipos, the newest restaurant from prolific restaurateur and James Beard nominee, Giorgios Bakatisas. Savor fresh coastal flavors at Seabird or Catch, from the creative minds of Chefs and James Beard finalists, Dean Neff and Keith Rhodes, respectively. With more on the way, Wilmington’s culinary scene is on the rise.
Halloween Haunts
Prepare for a gourd time in Wilmington this Halloween. As one of the South’s most actively haunted cities, there is no shortage of spooky fun this season. Embark on a Haunted Pub Crawl and sip local libations while hearing tales of demise, mischief, mayhem and more. Find family-friendly haunted fun on a Ghost Trolley Ride Oct. 28-31. Step into the Museum of the Bizarre to see horror film memorabilia like a Michael Myers mannequin or the Annabelle doll from “The Conjuring.”
Find impromptu fun from scenic parks to rooftop happy hours
With so many activities that don’t require advance tickets or reservations, Wilmington is the perfect destination to embrace the carpe diem spirit this fall. Tour unique neighborhoods like the Cargo District to indulge in artisanal grilled cheeses, shop local boutiques and more. Explore the scenic beauty of Greenfield Park with a run or bike ride around the easy, five-mile lakeside trail or stroll through New Hanover County Arboretum to relax under the gazebo and check out the water garden filled with hundreds of Koi and surrounded by Japanese Maples. Elevate your happy hour with spectacular views of the Cape Fear River alongside craft cocktails at Cloud 9 or aView.
Last-Minute Trip Ideas

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