Guest post by kpreyss
Map tips: each color represents a different day. Click a marker to learn more about the spot, and click the star in the map header to save the entire map under Your Places in Google Maps.
Day 1: Carolina Beach
I was in Greensboro for work and decided to extend into the weekend and head to the coast. I rented a car Friday morning, swung by the Raleigh-Durham airport to pick a friend, then headed the 3 hours or so to Carolina Beach. We stayed at the beautiful Courtyard Marriott Carolina Beach Oceanfront with breathtaking views of the shore. (The way the hotel is set up every room has a view which is awesome!) I love east coast beaches with the sand dunes and tall grass so I was in heaven. It also helped that it was the off-season so the beach wasn’t cluttered with people, just surfers. (We caught a surf competition on Saturday which was pretty cool.) After we checked in, we ran for the beach to enjoy a walk and gorgeous sunset. It was a little chilly for a beach vacation, but I was quite content with the 70-75 degree weather.
Day 2: Wilmington
On Saturday, we woke up, had brunch on the balcony of our room and watched the waves crash. We headed back down to the boardwalk and beach to hang out and take a nap in the sand, which was perfect. In late afternoon, we headed the 20-30 minutes to Downtown Wilmington. The town is so fun! There were young people everywhere. Bars and restaurants were overflowing onto the sidewalks. But even though it was crowded, it didn’t feel overwhelming. We walked around, did some shopping on the main streets, then had dinner at this great Mexican place one of the shopkeepers recommended. I love people-watching so we grabbed a table outside and enjoyed the night. We met a few people, drank some margaritas, and had a blast! After dinner, we signed up to take an Old Wilmington Ghost Walk Tour. (We wanted to do the Haunted Pub Crawl, but being the week before Halloween, it sold out quick.) The tour was family-friendly so wasn’t as creepy as I would have liked, but I enjoyed seeing more of the town and night and learning some stories. After the 90 minute tour, we were wiped so we grabbed some ice cream and headed back to Carolina Beach.
Day 3: Bellamy Mansion Museum
Our hotel has these lovely porch swings all along the boardwalk right by the sand dunes. Sunday morning we woke up, grabbed and coffee and rocked in a chilly breeze for awhile. We, then, took one last walk along the beach and packed up our suitcases. We headed back to Wilmington for brunch. We, then, decided to visit a historical house we saw on the Ghost Walk the night before. The Bellamy Mansion Museum was built in the 1800s and has some exquisite architecture. We decided to take the self-guided tour rather than wait for a route. Personally, I don’t know if it was worth the $10, but my friend really enjoyed it. The gardens were beautiful. After the museum, we headed the 3 hours back toward Raleigh-Durham to fly home to Cleveland.
I definitely recommend visiting Wilmington and Carolina Beach if you have the opportunity. I hope to stay closer to Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach my next trip down.
Traveled in October 2015