There’s so much to do in Wilmington, NC! If you’re planning a day trip to Wilmington, it can be hard to decide just how you’ll spend your time.

We know Wilmington, NC well, so we p a day trip itinerary for you that includes a little bit of everything: Sightseeing, shopping, dining, and even a boat ride on the Cape Fear River.

Sightseeing on Your Wilmington, NC Day Trip

Wilmington’s history makes for some great sightseeing around town.

  • Take a horse-drawn carriage tour through downtown Wilmington on your day trip, and learn about the history of the first settlers, the river, and Civil War days.
  • Don’t miss seeing some of Wilmington’s amazing museums on your day trip. Try the Bellamy Mansion, a stately antebellum home; the Cape Fear Museum, which chronicles the area’s history; the Cameron Art Museum, with a collection of international and local art exhibits; or the Battleship North Carolina, a floating museum on a World War II gunship. And that’s to name just a few!
  • Take a walk in the park. May we suggest Greenfield Lake Park or Airlie Gardens?
  • Of course, you can always take a walk on Wrightsville Beach or Carolina Beach.


Put Shopping on Your Day Trip Itinerary

While you’re in Wilmington, you’ll want to do a little shopping, too.

  • Wander the Cotton Exchange downtown to find a special something off the beaten path. You’ll want to walk down Front Street too, and don’t miss the little shops on Market Street.
  • Mayfaire Towncenter has it all: Clothing, crafts, housewares, books, and even food specialty shops.
  • If you’re looking for something in particular, check out the Wilmington Downtown App. It has a thorough listing of shops to help you find your item, and it even has maps and a GPS to get you there.

Sit Down and Savor the Day Trip

You’ll get hungry on your Wilmington day trip, so plan to have a bite. There are so many great restaurants, it will be hard to choose.

  • If you’re looking for something upscale right downtown, try Manna or Pinpoint.
  • If you’re looking for something Hell’s Kitchen or Slice of Life may fit the bill.
  • Try that Wilmington Downtown App for a plethora of dining suggestions.

Take a Special Boat Ride on Your Wilmington Day Trip


We know you won’t mind sitting down for a while during your Wilmington, NC day trip, so come take a 1-hour sightseeing cruise on a Cape Fear Riverboat. Choose the Captain J.N. Maffitt, the John Knox, or our newest boat, Jacob’s Run. There’s nothing quite like the fresh breeze and fun when you’re out on the river, looking at Wilmington across the water and the deck of a riverboat!

You can grab meal, snack, or drink from our expanded River Grille. Expect a larger menu and live music floating right on the Cape Fear River at the foot of Dock Street. Starting soon, we’ll be doing our renowned ‘murder mystery’ show at The River Grill on our dock on Tuesday nights. What a great way to end your Wilmington, NC day trip!

Book Now! Book your cruise!