In summer, people flock to Wilmington, NC to enjoy the beaches, the scenery, historic downtown, and fun events. But Wilmingtonian’s have a secret: In some ways, winter is the best season in Wilmington. Here are 5 reasons that winter is the best season here in the Port City:

Winter in Wilmington NC is Quiet

Wilmington NC Day Trip

We love the quiet, uncrowded feeling of Wilmington in winter. You can get a seat at your favorite restaurant, walk along the Riverwalk without bumping anyone, and actually get through the light at College and Oleander. If you love the beach, you can have it pretty much to yourself in winter. And lo and behold, it’s free to park at Wrightsville Beach in winter months only.

Enjoy Nature in a Wilmington Winter

A walk in the woods or a ride on the Cape Fear River allows us to see wildlife that hides in a busier, more overgrown season. Shorebirds like sanderlings, willets, and seagulls flock together and don’t mind a little human company. Great blue herons and egrets rise from their fishing spots along the river if we venture too close. If you’re in a secluded spot, you may see rabbits or foxes. And the snakes are all asleep during cold weather.

Visit Local Landmarks During Off Season


Wilmington has so many events during warm weather that we don’t always take the time to visit some of the great continuing activities and sites. For instance, we love to:

  • Visit Eagle Island Fruit Stand for oysters and collards
  • See an exhibit at Cameron Art Museum
  • Take a cruise on a Cape Fear Riverboat
  • Walk all the way around Greenfield Lake Park
  • Try a new brewery downtown

Get to Know Your Neighbors in Winter

The hustle and bustle of tourist season in Wilmington means we don’t always stop to talk to people nearby, especially at local businesses. In winter, merchants at our local shops start to recognize us and they really appreciate our business! At Cape Fear Riverboats, we also love to see our neighbors come back for repeat cruises on the Cape Fear River.

Winter Means We Appreciate the Warm Days


If we didn’t have winter, spring would not be so welcome. In a Wilmington winter, we have frequent days when a south breeze blows, the air warms up, and the sun does its best impression of summer. It’s a special treat to get outside and enjoy a warm day in January and February when much of the country is still shivering!

Stop by and see us at Cape Fear Riverboats on the Riverwalk at Water and Dock Streets, or call (910) 343-1611 to check on cruise times. Happy winter!

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