Historic Wilmington

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Wilmington North Carolina is an enchanting historic port city located between the Cape Fear River and Atlantic Ocean. The city was settled by English colonist in the 1720’s and was founded as Wilmington in 1739, named after Spencer Compton, Earl of Wilmington.

The historic district is one of the largest national registers of historic places in the country spanning 300 blocks and has become one of the premier tourist destinations in the Southeast.  There is a mile long River Walk with gorgeous views of the Cape Fear River.  The Mitchell-Anderson House built in 1738 is the oldest restored museum house in southeastern North Carolina.

Wilmington and Fort Fisher were key battleground sites during the Civil War as General Grant considered it a high priority in his strategy to win the war by capturing the port.  Grant succeeded in taking Fort Fisher but he was never able to capture the city of Wilmington.

Wilmington also has a rich history in film dating back to the early 1980’s when legendary producer Dino DeLaurentiis built the sound stages of what would later become EUE Screengems, the largest production facilities outside of Hollywood. Hundreds of movies and TV shows have been filmed in the area over the past 30 plus years from David Lynch’s masterpiece Blue Velvet to Iron Man III, the largest production in North Carolina’s history.  Wilmington is also home to the Cucalorus Film Festival, one of the top film festivals in the world.

In addition to being a port city, Wilmington is also home to Wilmington International Airport, which is a designated airport for clearing customs from a foreign location making it one of the few hubs for private planes returning from oversees to the East Coast. ILM also has nonstop flights to New York City, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Atlanta and Charlotte.

Today, Wilmington is the heart of the Wilmington Metropolitan Statistical area with a population of 365,000 people.  Due to temperate climates, Wilmington is lush with vegetation and features endless waterways for those that love the water from the Cape Fear River to the Atlantic Ocean with the Intracoastal Waterway and variety of navigable channels and creeks in between. Wilmington is also the cultural hub of Southeastern North Carolina drawing visitors to Thalian Hall, Cameron Art Museum, Fort Fisher Aquarium, Airlie Gardens, The Childrens’ Museum and the Azalea Festival to name of few.