You’ll feel right at home in our hotels in Wilmington, North Carolina, a historic port city whose sleepy small-town streets and lavish antebellum architecture feed a vigorous film industry. In no time you’ll be strolling past sun-dappled mansions built on the cotton trade or dipping your toes in foamy Atlantic surf.
Start exploring the historic downtown port of Wilmington from the Cape Fear River promenade. The Riverwalk stretches past eight blocks of waterfront with views of the World War II battleship USS North Carolina docked to the north. Turn inland to wander leafy residential streets lined with historic homes. Our hotels in Wilmington are a short drive from Fort Fisher, scene of the last battle of the American Civil War in 1865. Stop at nearby white-sand Kure Beach for a dip in the Atlantic Ocean or head to popular Wrightsville Beach for an afternoon of windsurfing or parasailing.
Find handmade gifts in the shops at the Cotton Exchange, a downtown cluster of early-19th-century brick warehouses. Guests of our Wilmington hotels can dine in dozens of casual restaurants and cafes along Front Street. Local seafood is the specialty here, although you’ll have little trouble finding classic Southern fare: fried chicken, hush puppies, sweet iced tea. Cool down with an icy beer or rock out to a live band at a Front Street bar. If you’re craving big platters of local seafood, drive an hour south from our Wilmington hotels to Calabash, where some two dozen fishermen’s huts serve fresh-caught shrimp, flounder and scallops at budget-friendly prices.
Book our Holiday Inn Express® Wilmington hotels to revel in the springtime blossoming of azaleas during the North Carolina Azalea Festival—though sumptuous plantation gardens welcome visitors year-round. East of town, Airlie Gardens encircle a glassy lake where white swans complete a picture-perfect scene.