Have fun and impress your friends by learning more about Wilmington, NC’s history. First established as a city in 1740, Wilmington has a past full of interesting stories and vivid characters. Find out more about them and make their stories your own with these fun ways to learn about Wilmington history:

Take a Tour of Downtown Wilmington

Tours of downtown Wilmington aren’t just for tourists—even townies enjoy learning Wilmington history with a cool tour. Walking tours include Ghost Tours and Pub Crawls; you can ride a horsedrawn carriage or walk through an old cemetery; and speedy Segway tours cover new territory, to name just a few.

Take a Cruise on the Historic Cape Fear River

As you ride on a narrated sightseeing tour aboard a Cape Fear Riverboat, you’ll learn the history of the river, navigated by merchants, shippers, and pirates for 300 years. The captain will tell you about the more recent history of the film industry, movies, and TV shows filmed here as well as a little bit about our native wildlife.

Before or after your cruise, get a bite and a beverage from Anne Bonny’s Bar and Grill, named after a historic pirate. This dockside barge restaurant offers refreshments to carry aboard your cruise, too.

Visit Wilmington Houses of History

Historic houses have been preserved as examples of life in the Wilmington of long ago. Latimer House is home to the Lower Cape Fear Historical Society; Bellamy Mansion serves as a museum of history and the design arts; and the Burgwin-Wright House is a step back in time to the 1700s. troll through these sites for a fun an informative afternoon.

The Cape Fear Museum is History Central

Don’t just zoom past! It’s worth stopping at this Market Street landmark museum to learn a little Wilmington history in a fun atmosphere. Exhibits cover Wilmington from prehistoric to modern days. Programs and events are constantly changing, so keep an eye out for what’s new.

Plot the Civil War at the Fort Fisher Historic Site

Fort Fisher has earthworks and cannon, beaches on both the ocean and river, and indoor exhibits that tell the story of this pivotal location during the Civil War. Learn about the blockade runners running arms to Robert E. Lee’s Army and how the defenses held—and fell.

Do you have a favorite fun way to learn about history in Wilmington? Let us know!

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