Spring is the best time in Wilmington, NC! We love to get out in the sunshine after the dark, cold winter. Downtown Wilmington is full of festivals, activities, and nature. Here are a few things to do in downtown Wilmington this spring—you won’t want to miss any of them!

1. Take a Cruise on the J.N. Maffitt


Beginning in April, take a spring stroll along the Riverwalk in downtown Wilmington, and finish with a fun cruise on the Captain J.N. Maffitt. Hourly narrated sightseeing cruises leave from the Cape Fear Riverboats dock at the foot of Dock Street.

A riverboat cruise is a rite of spring—get out and enjoy the view of downtown Wilmington from the water! Call (910) 343-1611 for more information.

2. Cape Fear Beer Festival

1 p.m. March 5, 2016

Sample more than 110 craft and international beers at Wilmington’s favorite brew fest. Sample a variety of beer styles from creative brew masters around the country. At the Wilmington Convention Center along the Cape Fear River, this event is for those 21 and older. VIP admission begins at noon.

3. St. Patrick’s Day Festival and Parade


March 12, 2016

Parade 11 a.m.

Festival Noon-6 p.m.

The St. Patrick’s Day parade kicks off the celebration at Red Cross and Front Streets. The festival includes Irish music and dancing in downtown Wilmington, with food and wine from area vendors.

4. North Carolina Azalea Festival

April 6-10, 2016

A parade, street fair, and concerts are some of the highlights of Wilmington’s rite of spring, the Azalea Festival. We love it all, especially the belles, the Garden Party, and the fireworks.

5. Riverfront Farmer’s Market


Saturdays 8 a.m.-1 p.m. beginning April 16, 2016

The Riverfront Farmers’ Market features local growers, producers and artisans. When area farmers bring their wares to market on Saturday mornings, we’re there to shop, taste, and admire. Spring has arrived!

6. Walking Tours of Historic Wilmington

Historic Downtown Wilmington Walking Tour

Saturdays at 10 a.m.

This interactive guided tour recounts Wilmington’s colorful history. A trained guide leads a 1 1/2 hour tour of historic sites in downtown Wilmington. Tours depart from the Latimer House front porch, 126 S. 3rd Street.

Tour Old Wilmington

Tour Old Wilmington’s History Walking Tour uncovers hidden history and a lost time. Step back in time to see Wilmington during the Victorian Era and Civil War days. Learn customs and traditions of the day, sea tales, folklore and more. Walking tours start at the foot of Market and Water Streets.

7. Dino Day at the Children’s Museum

9 a.m.-12 p.m. April 23

Downtown Wilmington’s Children’s Museum invites kids to a special Dino Day. Make your own dinosaur bone with magic clay, try your luck in a quicksand pit, and have fun with dino crafts in the art room.

8. LatimerHouse Book Talk Series: Little Rivers and Waterway Tales: A Carolinian’s Eastern Streams

11 a.m. April 28, 2016

UNC professor Bland Simpson and his wife, photographer Anne Cary Simpson, present their book “Little Rivers and Waterway Tales: A Carolinian’s Eastern Streams” at Latimer House. Learn how eastern North Carolina’s creeks, streams and rivers shape the region’s geography and culture. Meet people and communities along the watery web of our “little rivers.” You can stay for an optional lunch in the tea room at noon.


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