We arose in good time on the Monday, and headed up to Wilmington. I had done a bit of research in advance, and we had our day planned. Wilmington is only about 30 minutes from Kure Beach.
First stop: U.S.S. North Carolina.
Any one who knows us, knows that we like touring old battleships. This battleship has been in Wilmington since 1961, after being saved from the scrapyard with the help of a statewide campaign. She was dedicated in 1962 as a memorial to its veterans and the 10,000 North Carolinians who lost their lives in World War Two (Source)
Admission is reasonable, so we did a brief look round the inside area, before taking to the gangway.
It certainly is an impressive ship. You are able to go into the gun turrets and check out the working conditions (squished)
You can do a self guided tour of the whole ship. It is epic. Really good. The tour takes you up and down the whole ship, through all the rooms. It is one of the better ones we have been on. Really informative. I think we enjoyed it more because there were very few people there. Being off season, we only passed people on the outer decks. The only people we saw below decks were those doing maintenance work and painting.
Everyone really enjoyed the ship. Paul took many, many photos.
I had researched breweries and wineries, as I wanted there to be something moderately adult for lunch. I settled on the Front Street Brewery for lunch. By then, we were starving. We were seated quickly, upstairs. Paul went with the dark beer, I think it was a Hoppelganger and I had the Riptide raspberry wheat. Soft drinks for the boys. They had their usual, the same as the previous day. I went with the chefs special, a turkey burger with salad and avocado.
The kids loved the activity sheets for them. Our food arrived, so we ordered more beer. I went with the same, Paul had the Coastal kolsch. Here is Isaac practicing his duck pout (quack)
The food was absolutely delicious, clear plates all round. We ordered the Costal kolsch in a growler to go for our evenings drinking pleasure. I had been eyeing up the serving staffs zip up hoodies, so I got one of them for myself also! We found the Front Street Brewery or have tasty food, good beer an ok service. A place we would return to without the children.....
After lunch we took a little walk along the Cape Fear river which runs through Wilmington. The Customs House is an awesome looking building.
There is a paddle boat which runs in high season up and down the river. This would have been a good adult activity.
From this side of the river, we were able to get some awesome pictures of the battle ship.
Wilmington has some awesome Art Deco type buildings.
We walked along the river towards the Serpentarium. Unfortunately it was close on a Monday, should have checked that one a little bit more closely.....
Wilmington seems like a town in transition. There are plenty of old buildings, with some redevelopment going on. They have carriage rides. I can imagine in the summer the place is jumping, and probably a lot of fun. I hope while doing redevelopement that they manage to hold on to the olde worldy charm. There are a lot of old buildings, and I hope they are well protected. It is a very pretty small city.