Chasing Southern Charm in Wilmington, North Carolina

For a long time, Wilmington, a small southern port town in North Carolina has been on my list of must places to explore. Why, you ask?

Wilmington was first introduced to me on the American TV show One Tree Hill, which I started following rigorously while studying English at the Human International Academy in San Diego in the summer of 2006. Still in high school myself at that time, I quickly related to the storyline of One Tree Hill and the fact that I was dreaming of attending an American high school only added to my obsession with this TV show. Later on, as I grew a bit older, the heart wrenching Nicolas Sparks books and films, which are all set in mesmerizing North Carolina, sparked an even bigger desire to one day explore this state and its featured cities.

And finally, this summer, I went on a weekend trip to famous Wilmington, a city full of hidden beautiful victorian houses often featurd in films. Moreover, I got to finally explore the town native to the characters I have loved on films and shows back when I was just a young girl.

Upon arrival and after check-in at our beautiful hotel, located downtown, the blistering heat made it almost unbearable to walk the historic streets and enjoy searching for familiar views and places. However, with the first sights in sight, the feeling of being worn down by the heat and sun faded and my sense for exploring emerged.

The Cotton Exchange is one of the sights I was looking forward to the most. In the late 19th century, the stunning brick complex comprised of eight buildings housed the biggest exporter of cotton in the world. Today, you can find tiny shops and cafes in The Cotton Exchange and it is rather cute to walk around in.


Wilmington’s famous River Walk is another must do when in town. Had it not been for the extreme heat, I bet I would have taken more photos of the stunning views and river front restaurants and cafes.

And just because the river walk was so beautiful, we went back there every evening of our stay.

My conclusion? Wilmington truly is a southern belle. Together with its historic buildings, delicious southern food, as well as the southern friendliness of the local people, this weekend getaway is a treat for the soul aching for some old-fashioned romance and the opportunity to walk the streets once crossed by actresses and actors portraying their skills.

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  • Reply
    Mary Lynn Blake
    September 16, 2015 at 17:19

    Melanie, Thanks for this great travel blog and these beautiful photos of my home town of Wilmington NC. I love living here! And it thrills me no end to hear that visitors have enjoyed it, too.
    Sorry you were here when it was so very hot, though. Come back again in the spring or fall, when the weather is stunning and there are fewer tourists.

    • Reply
      The Voyagette
      September 22, 2015 at 17:13

      Thanks for your kind words. I will have to come back to enjoy more of southern living. Maybe in the cooler months, as you suggested. Thanks Mary Lynn! Yours, Melanie PS: Have a look at my newest blog post on gorgeous Wrightsville Beach.

  • Reply
    September 17, 2015 at 15:25

    thank you for the blog about our home. here are a few things that are musts the next time you come here, chops deli, copper penny restaurant, masonboro island, the OC, catch a musical act at greenfield lake amphitheater, K38 restaurant, caseys buffet (real southern food), PTs (best burgers in town), dockside for drinks on the water, blue post (hidden bar downtown), KGB (another bar downtown) los olas restaurant, wrightsville beach, mprth end carolina beach, seawitch at carolina beach, and britts donuts at carolina beach

    • Reply
      The Voyagette
      September 22, 2015 at 17:12

      Wow! Thank you so so much for all the recommendations! We will have to come back – lots of other things I really want to see. Have a look at my latest blog post on Wrightsville Beach. It was sublime.

  • Reply
    Nicole Lewis-Keeber
    September 17, 2015 at 21:08

    Thank you for your lovely review of my home town

    • Reply
      The Voyagette
      September 22, 2015 at 17:11

      It was easy. Such a stunning place to call home town! <3 Have a look, I just posted a new blog entry on Wrightsville Beach 🙂

  • Reply
    Joanne Baker Cox
    September 18, 2015 at 17:32

    I am new to the area, and live about a hour from Wilmington. Cant believe there is so much more to see, I Love Wilmington, thanks for sharing all the other possibilities Cant wait for another visit

    • Reply
      The Voyagette
      September 22, 2015 at 17:11

      You are so very welcome. We only had a long weekend there but there is even more. Have a look, I just posted a new blog entry on Wrightsville Beach. Later this week, I will send out a post on where we ate in Wilmington – you might be interested in that too. Have fund in this beautiful area, Joanne. Best, Melanie

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