New Hanover County North Carolina: Something for Everyone

Thriving Cities, Cultural Activities, Pristine Beaches, and Miles of Shoreline

Located in the Southeastern tip of North Carolina, New Hanover County is bordered by 31 miles of Atlantic shoreline on one side and the tranquil waters of the Cape Fear River on the other. Home to nearly 200,000 residents, this fast-growing county offers something for everyone:

Nearly 275 years old, Wilmington, the county seat, offers both the charms of the historic South and the appeal of a thriving, contemporary small city. Just minutes from the beautiful surrounding beaches, Wilmington boasts one of the state’s largest historic districts with 230 blocks of homes with unique character and fascinating history.

The downtown business district has a thriving arts community, independently owned restaurants and shops, and a number of museums and tourist attractions including horse-drawn trolley and carriage tours, riverboat cruises, and walking tours. The picturesque River Walk faces World War II memorial Battleship North Carolina, and continues to grow with the recent expansion of the business district as well as a new convention center and marina.

Island communities like Pleasure Island, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Fort Fisher and Wrightsville Beach surround the City of Wilmington, offering pristine sandy beaches and a wide variety of leisure activities for nature lovers, anglers, mariners, and water sports enthusiasts. With boardwalks, piers, and marinas these communities embody the spirit of coastal Americana.

Work and Travel in New Hanover County

When it comes to work, New Hanover County is an ideal location for industry giants (G.E., Corning, DuPont, PPD, Inc., to name a few) and small businesses alike. It is also the site of Screen Gems Studios, which is one of the largest motion picture and television studios outside of Hollywood. Over 200 movies and TV shows such as Dawson's Creek and One Tree Hill have been filmed in Wilmington.

Wilmington is a port city. Dozens of private industries and marine-related services share the Cape Fear River with the North Carolina Ports Authority. A designated foreign trade zone, shippers using the North Carolina ports can find service to all parts of the world, realize significant savings on in-land transportation costs, and benefit from the cost efficient operations at the state ports.

Midway between New York City and Miami, Wilmington International Airport is the region’s busiest airport with 42 daily scheduled flights via three major US airlines.

Education and Higher Learning in New Hanover County

New Hanover County is also a great place to study and teach: its public schools are recognized as among the best in North Carolina. Of particular note is the system’s participation in a voluntary year-round school pilot project. The county has 25 elementary schools, 7 middle schools and 5 high schools.

In addition to a strong public school system, there are also excellent private and parochial schools including Cape Fear Academy, Wilmington Christian Academy, Wilmington Montessori School, St. Mary's Catholic School and St. Marks Catholic School.

For higher education, The University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNC-W) is ranked in the top ten universities in the South according to U.S. News and World Report (2002). The school offers a challenging curriculum, a nationally accredited business school, and one of the best marine biology schools in the country. UNC-W also offers a lifelong learning curriculum for area residents and assists with the improvement of public school education by enhancing the personal, cultural, and economic health of the region.

Cape Fear Community College, one of the largest community colleges in the state, offers two year vocational and technical programs with the opportunity for college transfer. Miller-Motte Business College also provides business, allied health, and technical training.

Medical Facilities in New Hanover County

Wilmington has two major health care facilities. New Hanover Regional Medical Center (NHRMC) is a 628-bed, not-for-profit, publicly-owned referral hospital. As the eighth largest hospital in the state, it specializes in many areas of health care including cardiology, neurology, community wellness and rehabilitation. As a teaching and regional referral center, NHRMC offers specialty medical and surgical care, including freestanding rehabilitation and psychiatric hospitals. New Hanover Regional has one of 10 trauma centers in the State, certified at Level II or above operating as Southeastern North Carolina’s Regional Trauma Center. VitaLink, a mobile, intensive care unit, is available to transport patients to the hospital 24 hours a day.

Cape Fear Hospital is a 141-bed, not-for-profit, hospital that is part of the New Hanover Health Network and serves as the network's home of orthopedic services. Cape Fear Hospital also offers a 24-hour Emergency Department, respiratory therapy, rehabilitation medicine, radiology and laboratory services.

The New Hanover Health Network includes 450 practicing physicians and some of the most technologically progressive facilities and equipment in the state.

Lifestyle and Leisure in New Hanover County

Although New Hanover County is a popular destination with tourists, it is even more favorable for year-round living. Quiet and friendly neighborhoods create a small town atmosphere and emphasize the pleasures of residential living. Quality schools and an inviting business climate make the Port City a popular place to live, work, and play.

New Hanover County boasts an exciting array of leisure activities: from shopping, to dining, the arts and sports, there truly is something for everyone! Deep-sea fishing, kayaking, and exploring the nature trails of a state park are just a few opportunities for those enjoy spending time outdoors. You can spend the morning sunbathing on one of the sandy beaches and the afternoon exploring a Civil War battlefield or state-of-the-art ocean habitats at the aquarium. Art galleries, historic sites, plantation homes and gardens all invite residents to explore and enjoy their beauty. There are also other museums for children, fine art lovers, and railroad and history buffs, including North Carolina's oldest history museum.

A lively arts scene, annual festivals such as the Azalea Festival and Riverfest, and a regular roster of community and sporting events add to the limitless opportunities that await area residents. And, if you work up an appetite enjoying all of those great leisure activities, look no further than the hundreds of restaurants that dot the New Hanover County coast.

Retirement in New Hanover County

When the time comes to retire, many people dream of retreating to the quiet life of a small town--preferably one conveniently located near the amenities of a larger city. That’s why New Hanover County real estate is an ideal location for many retirees. The mild climate, sprawling golf courses, top-notch medical care, and thriving cultural scene create a perfect setting for a number of vibrant communities that are a haven for retirees.

In recent years, North Carolina has consistently been named one of the best places to retire because of its reasonable cost of living, low taxes, quality health care, temperate climate, and opportunities for culture and recreation.

The area has earned a great reputation as interesting place to live, so in New Hanover County, you’ll find dozens of new and existing retirement communities. Half-way between New York and Florida, North Carolina also has the advantage of being not too far away or too different from the northeast where many of the retirees move from. Whether seeking peaceful respite or a more active pace, those who relocate to the area can find what they are looking for in New Hanover County.

Real Estate and Housing in New Hanover County

One outstanding feature of New Hanover County is its abundance of affordable quality homes in charming, friendly neighborhoods. Real estate in New Hanover County combines the feel of a small town community with all the conveniences of contemporary city living.

New Hanover North Carolina has many established golfing neighborhoods such as Porter’s Neck Plantation, Echo Farms, Cape Fear Country Club, and Landfall. There are also multiple new home communities such as Marsh Oaks, Mayfaire, Seagrove, Tanbridge Park, Anchor's Bend, Clarendon Park, Sycamore Grove, and Covil Crossing. Established, traditional, and historic neighborhoods include: Castle Hayne, Pine Valley Estates, Downtown Wilmington, Forrest Hills, Sunset Park, Myrtle Grove, Masonboro, Monkey Junction, Ogden, and Wrightsboro, to name a few. Figure Eight Island is one of New Hanover County’s most exclusive private oceanfront communities.

Intracoastal Realty is here to help you determine which neighborhood in New Hanover County will best suit your lifestyle. Whether you’re seeking a home suitable for rearing children; a property in a vibrant community of retirees; real estate that sits on the beach; or a stately historic mansion that overlooks the Cape Fear River, please contact us today. We’ll work with you find a place you can call home.


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