Do you find the sands of summer slipping through your fingers? Do your plans end up getting postponed—sometimes all summer long? Well, friends, it’s time to seize the day! Before summer ends, be sure you fit in visits to these Wilmington institutions. Here are a few things everyone in Wilmington must do before summer ends.

Take a Tour of Downtown and Beyond


  • Trolley Tours: Wind your way through downtown Wilmington and beyond with a narrated trolley tour this summer. Learn about local history and see all the sights the old-fashioned way!
  • Riverboat tours: Cruise the Cape Fear River aboard the J.N. Maffitt, John Knox, or Jacob’s Run. Narrated sightseeing cruises are a great way to see Wilmington: from the water, with warm breezes blowing. Don’t forget a stop at the newly renovated River Grill on our dock. Get a burger or snack for the ride or sip a beer or glass of wine. There’s plenty of dockside seating, too.
  • Horsedrawn carriage tours: Wilmington’s beloved rescued horses offer a charming ride through downtown, a glimpse into area history, and a little gossip about the denizens of those historic houses.
  • Riverwalk Bingo tour: With this self-guided tour, you won’t miss a thing along the Cape Fear Riverwalk! Mark off all the sights, landmarks, and hotspots while you stroll.

Bites from the River Grill

Visit These Wilmington Attractions Before Summer Ends

  • Farmers Market: Enjoy the best of summer’s bounty on your plate by stocking up at the Saturday morning farmers market at the foot of Princess Street. Fruits, veggies, and plants are joined by artisans selling handmade wares.
  • Historic Downtown Wilmington Marketplace: Sundays on Front Street feature rotating artists with locally made art, jewelry and handmade items. Join the fun and find something unique!
  • Battleship North Carolina: You see it whenever you’re downtown, but when was the last time you set foot on the Battleship? Remember World War II soldiers and the work they did with a visit to this preserved piece of history.
  • Museum of the Bizarre: Wilmington’s newest museum is worth a visit before summer ends! Where else will you see an authentic mermaid?

Welcome the End of Summer with Special Events


  • Downtown Sundown: Summer means Downtown Sundown concerts, so see as many as you can before summer ends! The show goes on every Friday night until Sept. 2.
  • Concerts at Cape Fear Stage: Wilmington’s new favorite concert venue welcomes Jefferson Starship Aug. 26, “Weird Al” Yankovic Sept. 8, and Aaron Neville Sept. 24.
  • Pooch Plunge: It’s THE annual event for dogs, a chance to swim in the pool at Legion Stadium Sept. 6-11 before summer ends and staff scrubs the whole thing out.
  • Wilmington Boat Show: Boats, a demo dock, exhibits, seminars, and activities for kids are set up in four downtown venues Sept. 9-11, along with food and music. You can even take a boat shuttle across the river.
Book Now! Book your cruise!