How to Mini-Vacation in Wilmington, NC (featuring my sister’s awesome iPhone photography).

boat entrance

My parents are an inspiration. After being married for almost thirty years they still cannot stand to be gone from each other for more than a couple of days. The best part is that when daddy leaves for a business trip, mommy plans getaways to get her mind off her missing honey. Hence us kids get to go on impromptu mini vacations!

So while daddy was at some kind of important tech event this weekend, we got to spend a day in Wilmington, North Carolina. Wilmington is full of history, great beaches, and food glorious food. What more could I possibly ask for?

Spending one day in Wilmington may or may not have made me a comprehensive guide book on the place, but I did learn a lot (thank you TripAdvisor). Now I shall impart my fountain of Wilmington wisdom.

If you were going to Wilmington tomorrow, here are three things you must do:

(from an absolute authority on the subject)

1. Go to the beach (why else would you drive all the way to the gorgeous North Carolina coast?).

2. Explore historic Wilmington (particularly the Riverwalk along the Cape Fear river voted “best American riverfront” by USA Today in 2014).

3. Check out the top Wilmington attraction, Battleship North Carolina, a retired WWII battleship that has been fully restored and opened for visitors to trapse all over.

Gift shop by the pier

boat near river walk

boat on dock

girl walking on boardwalk

waterfront boardwalk

Note for fellow history geeks: Wilmington’s economy has boomed since the early 1700s when they provided loads of navy store (tar, pitch, and turpentine) to Mother England. After the American Revolution, Wilmington continued to export huge amounts of navy store to other parts of the world. By the Civil War, Wilmington boasted that it was the largest exporter of navy stores in the world. Since then, a dwindling supply of long leaf pine forests and the demise of wooden ships has forced Wilmington to base their economy on other things, like tourism and… tourism. (just kidding, Wilmington’s economy is booming in many ways. But tourism is definitely a thing.)

riverwalk wilmington NC

flowers in Wilmington

historic Wilmington

Battleship North Carolina was a special experience. I couldn’t help but think of my dear Grandpa Knoch who served in the navy during the Korean War. I think we got a good feeling of what it must have been like to live on a battleship.

Zachary in battleship

inside battleship

My favorite part was definitely the kitchen. Check out that giant kitchen aid mixer!

I was amazed that despite the fact that most of our vacation time was spent driving to and from our destination, we were able to enjoy so much fun and relaxation. I think the key was not trying to pack in too much and being flexible enough to try new things and work without a super strict schedule.

How do you mini-vacation? What makes a one-nighter or day trip awesome?

Photo credits to my lil sister. 

Author: Susanna

I'm Susanna, a 20-year-old Christian girl incorrigibly addicted spontaneous adventures. My first dream was to become a pioneer. Unfortunately, I was born a couple centuries late, so I've decided to read, cook, run, and travel the world until my time machine is finished. You'll mostly likely find me getting into trouble and/or eating licorice. I am currently blogging the misadventures of a middle-school teacher in training. Come join me on my quest to become the next Ms. Frizzle!

5 thoughts on “How to Mini-Vacation in Wilmington, NC (featuring my sister’s awesome iPhone photography).”

    1. Aw, thanks Heather. I appreciate your sweet comment. And lemme just say, even if you don’t travel much, sometimes the best mini-vacations are spending the day having adventures in your home town!


  1. Day trips are the best! This summer I’ve been trying to be a tourist in my own city (and the surrounding area), so it still feels like an adventure, but without the cost and time required of going somewhere far.

    This looked like a really fun trip! I would love to explore a ship like that. So cool!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great idea! I’ve been attempting to do the same thing. I use Yelp in my own city like I would if I was touring, and have been discovering some great new things to do and eat!


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