Settled in 1732 and incorporated as a city in 1866, the Port City has been a home to countless families and continues to grow every year. Historic Wilmington, North Carolina spans approximately 230 blocks and graces the majestic Cape Fear River. The city is home to grandiose, old mansions and other stunning landmark buildings of a past era. Horse-drawn carriages still run up and down the streets giving tours and continuing to shed light on Wilmington’s diverse past.
Historic communities of the Coastal Carolina live at a slower pace than most big cities yet continue to grow as the area swells with industry and business. Amongst the elegant streets lined with hundred-year-old live oaks, most buildings have the common comforts of 21st Century living like high speed internet and digital television. The picturesque riverfront of the Cape Fear also has museums for children, fine art lovers, railroad and history buffs and even a Serpentarium all in the heart of the Historic District.
The riverfront offers exquisite restaurants of varying cuisines, hundreds of shops and boutiques, galleries for painting and sculpture, and many venues for music and theater performances. The cultural epicenter of the Cape Fear region is located in the Historic District of Wilmington. The area is often described as “living history” because of our diverse population and continuing presence as a notable Southern Port City.
Just down the road the river from Wilmington’s historic district is Southport, North Carolina. This lower Cape Fear community was first visited by Spanish explorers as early as 1521, but was not established until 1792 under the original name Smithville. Much like Wilmington, this coastal city lives at a slow pace and caters to relaxed lifestyle. Many visitors never leave after being bewitched by this sweet, seaside town.
The city has long served as the protective watch point for the Cape Fear region and at one time was the first place pirates could be seen coming up along the Atlantic coastline. Southport is more notable today for its fishing and recreational boating community. This historic district is lined with huge, sprawling oak trees, antique shops, quaint restaurants, marinas and a Maritime Museum. This city is the perfect place for anyone appreciating quiet beauty, Southern hospitality and an absolute laid back lifestyle.