What to Do and Eat in and around Wilmington, NC

Last year I traveled with some colleagues to Wilmington, NC for a conference. Fortunately for me, my husband and son were able to come along. We made it into a work/family trip. After handling my work obligations at the conference, I was able to relax and enjoy the rest of the weekend. This was our first trip as a family, and we really enjoyed ourselves. We spent our time eating and exploring.


Island Burger and Bites (Carolina Beach): My husband suggested we go to this burger place after hearing about it on Instagram. The building looked like a “hole in the wall” spot, but the food was pretty good. We ordered cheeseburgers, fries, chicken tenders and drinks. 6/10

Mellow Mushroom (Wilmington): We enjoyed pizza, chicken tenders and fries on our second day. We always enjoy Mellow Mushroom at home, so we knew this would be a safe bet. 8/10

Mike’s Seafood Restaurant (Carolina Beach): This place was a recommendation from my hairstylist. Hubby and I enjoyed the shrimp and chicken alfredo pasta. It was delicious. 9/10

South Beach Grill (Wrightsville Beach): I ordered the shrimp and fries. It was okay, but nothing special. 4/10

Britt’s Donut Shop (Carolina Beach): We ordered a half dozen of the BEST glazed donuts. 10/10

Beach Bunny Ice Cream and Coffee (Carolina Beach): The strawberry/mango smoothies were the perfect treat on a hot beach day. 10/10

Beach/Boardwalk (Carolina Beach)

For someone who has been to Myrtle Beach several times, I feel Carolina Beach is ideal for families. I honestly like the vibe better at this stage in my life. We are definitely thinking about making this our annual family beach vacation. It was Eli’s first time at the beach. He was a little skeptical at first, but ended up loving it after a while.


We stayed at the Embassy Suites Riverfront. We had a great experience there, and of course the free breakfast is always a plus. The first two nights we had the king suite, while the last two nights we enjoyed the Queen Suite. It was great having a living room space so that Eli could have room to run around and play.

Transportation Museum and Battleship

Growing up when we would take family vacations, my parents always made sure to include some type of educational activity. My husband and I decided that we would keep that tradition going with our family. The transportation museum is right across the street from the Embassy Suites. This was ideal because we wanted an activity that would be age appropriate for a two year old. We learned the history of the railroads, including the impact that women and African Americans had on the industry. Eli enjoyed watching the different train/transportation simulation models, as well as playing in the kids’ toy area. We were able to tour an old caboose/train from the early 1900’s.

Fun fact: It’s important to expose my son to the transportation industry because that’s what I went to school for. My bachelor’s degree is in transportation/business logistics. My sisters also have degrees in logistics/ supply chain management. I want him to learn about all types of things, so going to the transportation museum and learning about the different modes of transportation was special.

We finished off our trip by going to the Battleship. As a kid, my parents took us to the Battleship, so I wanted Eli to experience it too. Now I don’t feel the Battleship is ideal for young children, so we didn’t take the tour. We simply looked at it and took a picture for our memories. There are also alligators in the area, so we made sure to stay away.

All in all, we enjoyed our time exploring Wilmington, Carolina Beach and the surrounding areas. We will definitely be back again.

Have you traveled to Wilmington, NC? How was your experience?


Looking for Something?