• Clarissa Laws


I'm no travel blogger, but my husband Dan and I had a wonderful time on our recent long weekend spent in Wilmington, NC to celebrate our first wedding anniversary. I thought I would share my thoughts on it for anyone local who may not have been down there before, because it was a really, really neat little town.

We stayed in a gorgeous, one bedroom, renovated barn and we absolutely loved it and wouldn't have changed a thing. However, we were about 15 minutes from the real downtown area, so it you are looking for something a little more lively, I would recommend staying as close to the river walk as possible.

Our first venture after getting settled was a trip to the beach. We were so fortunate that even though it was only mid-March, it was mid 70s that day so we could sit on Wrightsville Beach and watch the sunset. There were only a few other people out there enjoying the sights with us so it was easy to move to a private piece of the beach and it felt very secluded and romantic. This was one of my favorite moments from our trip.

After it started to cool off down at the beach, we walked back up to the parking area and wandered into Shark Bar and Kitchen, which ended up being exactly what we were looking for. It had a relaxed vibe (in spite of the tense ACC games going on that night), and we were able to order fancy mixed drinks and shrimp cocktail without an excessive amount of sports fan rowdiness. Our dinner was delicious and the atmosphere was perfect. It was around 9:00 by the time we left Shark Bar and we had been driving for most of the day in addition to working, so we were ready to head back to the ol' barn and get some sleep.

When we got up on Saturday, we were so excited to grab breakfast/brunch at the well recommended Sweet N' Savory, and let me tell you, it may look like a bit of a dive on the outside but that restaurant was fantastic. Our waitress could not have been more attentive and they had 10 different mimosa flavors to choose from! It was awesome. We went to a pretty generic shopping center afterwards because we needed to talk to a jeweler, but after that, we hit up the river walk and downtown. We stopped at Tugboat Tony's for veggie bagels and cappuccinos and walked from Riverfront Park to the marina. The walk along the Cape Fear river was beautiful and the weather was perfect, but I found true joy when we wandered up Market St. and found all of the fabulous local boutiques. It was a boutique shopper's paradise. I could have stayed all day, but my husband eventually dragged me kicking and screaming away, shopping bags in hand. Now, my husband is a total dork so we stopped by Cape Fear Games on our way back to the barn so he could browse. He thought the shop was great but was hoping for a larger sale/used section if any of you have board gamers in your lives!

We spoiled ourselves at Catch Modern Seafood in honor of our anniversary, and our dinner did not disappoint! You should definitely put Catch on your list. After dinner, we headed back to the barn to hang and binge watch reality television because they had different cable channels than we do at home so it was fun to see new programs. On Sunday morning, we packed up to leave and headed back to the beach to say goodbye. It was chillier that morning but it was still fun to walk a bit and take some pictures because who knows when we will next be near a beach!!

Finally, we ended up at Spoonfed Kitchen (do NOT go here and skip out on the grits, they were phenomenal) for a late breakfast and I was very much tempted by the shopping at Lumina Commons (DEFINITELY budget time for those shops), but we needed to get home so I missed out on some great little boutiques! We didn't do a ton of stuff and we didn't have a ton of time, but it was definitely a town worth visiting and I hope we can go back to stay a bit longer because it was utterly charming and delicious.

Have you been to Wilmington? Are there any must-see spots that I missed?!

XX, Clarissa


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