Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Vacation Rentals by Owner in Wilmington, NC

There are so many reasons to plan a vacation in Wilmington, North Carolina.  My family first came here on an extended family vacation in Topsail Island.  We rented a big house and celebrated Christmas vacation together.  From there, we drove into downtown Wilmington and really fell in love with the city and the area.  With easy proximity to the beach and a downtown culture, southeastern coastal NC is an ideal place to plan a vacation.

I know many families visit here while their kids are attending UNCW.  Or they live in the NC and need a trip to the beach.  Many people vacation here from out of state because it's easy to get here (RT 40 is an easy drive, ILM airport is super to fly in and out of) and there's a lot to see and do while on vacation  Plus, there are a ton of great restaurants, awesome shopping, and, of course, trips to the beach any time of year.  

A great way to spend your time here is to find a vacation rental in town.  Look for a home that's walking distance to restaurants and shopping or a beach house where the whole family can convene.  MasterpieceRentals.com is a website that our company just took over and it offers a place for visitors to find vacation rentals by owner all over the world - including Wilmington and coastal NC.  Property owners can list their rental on the site get found by people searching online for vacation rentals in the area.  Anyone interested can contact property owners directly.  It's a really cool way to travel and experience an area.

If you're still looking for reasons to plan a vacation in Wilmington, here are some other things to do during your stay:
  • Live Music, Theater, and Comedy - We have a vibrant music and theater scene here in town and shows are going on all the time.  Check out encorepub.com or whatsonwilmington.com to find what's happening when you plan to visit.
  • Wilmington Boat Tours - Explore our area by boat either on the Cape Fear River, the Intracoastal Waterway, or book a deep sea fishing excursion.  We love boating here and suggest you get out on the water during your vacation.  Visit wilmingtonwatertours.com or wrightsvillebeachscenictours.com to book a trip.
  • Public Parks, Gardens, and Plantations - Wilmington, New Hanover, Pender, and Brunswick Counties have beautiful parks you can explore.  Some are free while others, like Airlie Gardens, charge admission to help with the upkeep.  See our Wilmington Parks page to learn more.
  • Historic Wilmington Tours - Explore historic Wilmington NC by taking advantage of a number of tours - narrated horsedrawn carriage rides, trolley tours, walking tours, and even ghost tours of Wilmington.  These are really fun and you even learn a couple things!
As you can tell, there are plenty of things to do on a Wilmington vacation.  And booking a vacation rental by owner is a great way to take in the city.  Be sure to leave a comment to let me know your favorite thing to do during a Wilmington vacation and I can get it added to the list.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Labor Day Weekend in Wilmington NC, 2012

Event though school has already started in New Hanover County, Labor Day Weekend is here and Wilmington is ready to celebrate!  Here are a few fun things to do in Wilmington for Labor Day Weekend in 2012:

Friday, August 31, 2012:
  • Live Music and Fireworks by the Sea - at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk, NC (Free).  Last fireworks show of the season :(  Eastbound plays from 6:30-9:30 with a spectacular fireworks show at 9pm.  What a great way to start the Labor Day Weekend!  More info here: Fireworks by the Sea in Carolina Beach.
  • Downtown Sundown Concert - at Riverfront Park in downtown Wilmington (Free).  If you want to stick closer to town and you like 80's hair rock, then head down to Riverfront Park for Slippery When Wet, a Bon Jovi Tribute band from 6:00 - 10:00 pm with Liz Uhlman opening.
  • The Brooklyn Bar at Brooklyn Arts Center - Live music with Open Wire, Interrobang, Dirty Dakotas, and Clarity for Ransom, starting at 8:00pm ($5-$8 per person).  If you haven't been to an event at the Brooklyn Arts Center, then this could be a great time to check it out in a low-key atmosphere.
Saturday, September 1, 2012:
  • Farmer's Markets - Downtown and at Carolina Beach. Take your pick!  Both start at 8:00am.
  •  Castle Street Peddlers Market -A block party on the 500 block of Castle Street.  Ideal for antique lovers! 
  • Caribbean Festival - at Brooklyn Arts Center. Featuring Rafi de Leon & Son Caribe with special guest Crucial Fiya. Reggae, salsa, meringue, guajira, and Cuban music. Doors open at 7pm, tickets are $15-$20.
  • Stand Up Comedy with 
Sunday, September 2, 2012
  •  Historic Downtown Marketplace - local arts and crafts vendors in Riverfront Park at 4pm. Learn more about this weekly event here: Historic Downtown Marketplace.
  • Movie at the Lake - Journey 2 - at Carolina Beach Lake Park.  This is the end of another super fun summer series at Pleasure Island.  The movie begins at sundown.  Bring your chairs, blankets, and picnic baskets.  More info at Free Outdoor Movies at the Lake, Carolina Beach.
If I missed your Labor Day event for 2012, please leave a comment to let me know and I'll add it in.  Have a great long weekend everyone!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

4th of July Events in Wilmington NC

The 4th of July is right around the corner and the Wilmington area definitely knows how to celebrate.  Here's a rundown of July 4th, 2012 holiday events in and around Wilmington:
  • Tuesday, July 3:
  • Wednesday, July 4:
    • Battleship North Carolina / Downtown Wilmington:
      • 4th of July Riverfront Celebration & Street Fair - 5 pm - 9 pm
      • 16th Annual Battleship Blast - 9:05 pm
      • 1st Annual 4th of July Deck Party - 6:30 pm to 10:00 pm
      • More info: BattleshipNC.com/Events
    • Wilmington Chilren's Museum
    • Southport:
      • North Carolina Fourth of July Festival - June 30th - July 4th
      • Fireworks on the 4th - 9pm
      • More info: NC4thofJuly.com (lots of other events throughout the long weekend!)
    • Bald Head Island:
      • 4th of July Golf Cart Parade, Picnic, and Pool Party - 11 am
      • Bald Head Island Fireworks Cruise - 8 pm
      • More info: BaldHeadIsland.com/Events
OK - I think this covers the big events for the 2012 4th of July Wilmington fireworks and celebrations.  If I'm missing anything, please leave a comment to let me know and I'll add it in. Thanks and have a happy and safe 4th of July!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Historic Downtown Marketplace, Wilmington NC

I've heard of the Historic Downtown Marketplace in Wilmington but I haven't been to visit yet and I couldn't find a lot of information about it.  So I contacted Kim Adams, the Downtown Services Specialist with the City of Wilmington and she sent along the 2012 press release about the Marketplace.  Here is the latest info.  Try to make it down one of these Sundays. Maybe we'll see you there!

Historic Downtown Marketplace: the 2012 Season

Join some of Wilmington's finest arts and crafts vendors in Riverfront Park (Water Street between Market and Princess) for the Historic Downtown Marketplace (Marketplace) on Sunday, May 27th from 4 to 8 pm. The Marketplace takes place each Sunday until Labor Day weekend (Sunday September 2nd).  Artists and crafters join together each week to showcase original handcrafted art while musicians play old and new favorites.

The weekly Marketplace will boast music, original art, a beautiful sunset, and a great meeting place!  Bring along family, friends and furry pals. The musical line-up for the Sunday Marketplace is as follows:

Sunday,  May 27 --  Eljay Johnson (Jazz, blues, rhythm & blues)
Sunday,  June 3 -- Epik (Jazz)
Sunday,  June 10 --  Hawaiian Shirts (Jazz, blues, rock&roll)
Sunday,  June 17 -- Epik (Jazz)
Sunday,  June 24 -- TBD Sunday, Jul. 1 --  Wrightsboro Church Concert/ Becky  Modlin(Gospel/patriotic)
Sunday,  Jul.8  -- Epik (jazz)
Sunday,  Jul. 15 -- Elijah's Best (rhythm & blues)
Sunday,  Jul. 22 -- Epik(jazz)/
Sunday,  Jul. 29 -- Hawaiian Shirts
Sunday, Aug. 5 -- Epik(jazz)
Sunday, Aug. 12 Hawaiian Shirts / KGM - folk/jazz
Sunday,  Aug. 19 --  Epik (jazz)
Sunday,  Aug. 26 -- Elijah's Best
Sunday, Sept. 2  --Epik (jazz)

The Historic Downtown Marketplace is a City-supported event in conjunction with the Riverfront Park Sales Vendors program. For a fee of $50.00, and jury approval, sales permits are granted to artists and crafters who create their art and sell it in downtown throughout the year. Riverfront Park Performance permits are also available for a $50.00 fee. To learn if you qualify for an annual Riverfront Park permit or if you wish to participate in the Historic Downtown Marketplace, please call Kim Adams, City of Wilmington Downtown Services, (910) 254-0907

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

IMAX Theater in Wilmington NC

Some exciting news for the entertainment world in Wilmington is that an IMAX theatre is coming to Regal Mayfaire Stadium 16 movie theatre in Mayfaire shopping center and it's scheduled to be ready for this summer (2012).

The IMAX theatre at Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach is closed permanently and the Mayfaire IMAX screen will be the closest one to that area.

Mayfaire is a popular shopping center for Wilmington and the surrounding area featuring top retail stores and great restaurants.  The Regal Mayfaire movie theatre is big and clean and really nice.  It's also an ideal location for dinner and a movie and it's a safe area for parents to drop off their teenagers for shopping and a movie.

The new IMAX theatre will be a special draw for movie goers all around southeastern NC and northeastern SC.  IMAX is a technique of wide-screen cinematography that seems to envelope and engage the viewer.  The screens are high and wide and the sound is wrap-around digital surround sound.  Because of the way the IMAX screen fills your vision, you experience a sense of motion so it really engages every sense.  There are IMAX 2D and 3D movies.

Popular IMAX releases this summer include "The Dark Knight Rises," the third in the Christopher Nolan Batman Trilogy starring Christian Bale, and "Skyfall," the latest James Bond 007 feature starring Daniel Craig.

Although I personally suffer from a bit of claustrophobic induced anxiety (will that be a problem??), I'm still excited for IMAX to come to Wilmington.  I will definitely give it a try.  In addition to action adventure movies, IMAX often features amazing documentaries such as "Under the Sea 3D," "Hubble 3D," "Rescue 3D," and "To the Arctic."  This is going to be a great opportunity not only for residents and visitors, but also for schools, camps, and more.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Pleasure Island and Carolina Beach Summer Events

Pleasure Island (the island to the south of Wilmington that comprises Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Fort Fisher) is abuzz with activities this time of year.  They've already held their Chowder CookOff, their 1st Annual Bluegrass by the River Festival, and their Beach Music Festival and it's not slowing down any time soon.  In addition to these big events, there are weekly events throughout the summer that are fun, free, and family friendly.  Here's an idea of what you can expect to find this summer on Pleasure Island:

From a recent Facebook Post:
So, you get the idea!  Each week during the summer season, you can find:

  • Tuesdays: Free Family Night at the Boardwalk, 6:30-8:30.  Bounce houses and face painting.
  • Wednesdays: Cash Bingo at the Gazebo, 7-9pm. Ages 12 and up.
  • Thursdays: Boardwalk Blast Free Music at the Gazebo, 6:30-9:30pm. Fireworks by the Sea  at 9pm.
  • Fridays: Free Summer Concert Series at Fort Fisher Military Rec. Area, 6:30-8:30pm (every other Friday).
  • Saturdays: Farmer's Market at Carolina Beach Lake Park, 8am-1pm.
  • Sundays: Free Outdoor Movies at Carolina Beach Lake Park, 8:45pm 
You can find details and info on all these events and more at PleasureIslandNC.org/events.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Mayfaire Music on the Town Schedule, 2012

Wilmington loves outdoor concert season!  In addition to Downtown Sundown and Concerts at Airlie Park, you can also mix it up with Mayfaire Music on the Town, a free summer concert series every Friday evening from 6pm until dark.

The Mayfaire concerts are really fun because they allow you to bring blankets, chairs, food, coolers, and even pets so it's like a big family picnic atmosphere.  Of course, if you don't get it together to pack a cooler, there are plenty of nearby restaurants where you can eat or grab take-out.

The concert series started up in May but there are still plenty of weeks left to enjoy the music.  Here's the full schedule for Mayfaire Music on the Town 2012:

  • May 4 - Cosmic Groove Lizards (Classic Rock) - featuring Mr. Mark
  • May 11 - The Other Guys ( Acoustic Rock)
  • May 18 - The School Boys (Classic Rock)
  • May 25 - Dutch Treat (Dance/80's)
  • June 1 - The Steady Eddies (Classic Rock)
  • June 8 - Dangers of Stereo (Rock/Blues)
  • June 15 - 40 East ( Today's Country)
  • June 22 - Selah Dub (Reggae)
  • June 29 - Beach Billie Brothers (Variety Rock)
  • July 6 - BLP (Dance Rock/Blues)
  • July 13 - Blivet (Eclectic Rock)
  • July 20 - Bald Fury (Party Rock)
  • July 27 - Uncle Hairy (70's, 80's, 90's Classics)
This is the 8th annual Mayfaire on the Town music series and they've been giving away goodie bags to the first 100 people on the first Friday of the month.  They also have bouncy houses & slides, cotton candy and snow cones for a small fee.

Hope you can make it out - enjoy!!