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Why Fly to Wilmington?
Located a short drive from the Atlantic Coast, Wilmington, North Carolina is a gateway to the geographic region known as Cape Fear, a jutting land mass that is populated with beautiful beaches and coastal resorts. The city's historic downtown rests along the Cape Fear river. Adjacent to the river is a mile-long promenade, which is one of the region's most popular tourist destinations. Wilmington also boasts important monument and memorials, including the World War II battleship USS North Carolina. Located across from the downtown port area, the hulking ship is open for public tours. Meanwhile, the Cape Fear Museum preserves the history of the region and is the oldest history museum in the state. Wilmington is also a national hub for the film industry. In fact, the city claims the largest domestic television and movie production facility outside of California. Visitors can book tours of the facility, which houses memorabilia from North Carolina's expansive film history. The city is also home to a sizeable art scene, which includes a symphony orchestra, an art museum and several theatre companies. The University of North Carolina at Wilmington frequently hosts major performances in its state-of-the-art Cultural Arts Building. Active travelers can explore the many breathtaking natural areas that surround Wilmington. One of the most popular destinations is Wrightsville Beach. Just 20 minutes away from downtown, the four-mile long beach features a long, concrete pier that is considered an excellent fishing location. You can compare Wilmington hotel rates and flights using Travelzoo's SuperSearch.
Which Airlines Fly to Wilmington?
Wilmington International Airport (ILM) serves the Wilmington area. The small facility receives flights from a handful of domestic carriers. You can search for cheap airfare from Charlotte on US Airways, which also flies from Philadelphia and New York. Or find low-priced plane tickets from Orlando on Allegiant Air. You can also buy discount flights from Atlanta on Delta.
Popular Wilmington Flight Routes
Wilmington Flight Tips
Alternatively, you can search for flights to Myrtle Beach, one of the Carolinas' most popular tourist destinations. Myrtle Beach is only a 90-minute drive up the Carolina coast to Wilmington. The Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR) receives flights from a number of carriers, including Allegiant Air, American Eagle, Continental, Delta, Spirit Airlines, United and US Airways.
Quick Travel Guide to Wilmington
Begin your trip to Wilmington by exploring the city's historic downtown district. Located along the east bank of the Cape Fear River, downtown Wilmington is home to a number of culturally and historically significant landmarks and monuments. The George Davis Monument memorializes the man who is best known for serving as the final Attorney General for the Confederacy. Another Civil War-related landmark is the Confederate Memorial. Made of bronze and granite, the memorial serves to honor the Confederate soldiers who fought in the war. Along the downtown thoroughfare of Market Street, you will the Bellamy Mansion Museum. Built in the mid 1800s, this old southern mansion is considered to be one of North Carolina's finest examples of historic architecture. The mansion's museum highlights exhibits that focus on history, design and historical preservation. Down the street from the mansion is the Temple of Israel. Built in 1876, it is the oldest synagogue in the state. The building itself is unique to Wilmington thanks to its Moorish-inspired architecture.
If you would like to learn more about the history of the Cape Fear region, pay a visit to Wilmington's Cape Fear Museum. Located along Market Street, the museum houses both rotating and permanent exhibits, including more than 50,000 objects relating to the history, science and cultures of the Lower Cape Fear region. Families traveling with children will want to check out the institution's Michael Jordan Discovery Gallery, which features a number of interactive, kid-friendly displays. Another family-oriented outing is the Children's Museum of Wilmington. The 17,000-square foot facility caters to children ages 1 through 10 and aims to educate and entertain via its large collection of hands-on exhibits.
Or get out of Wilmington and hit the beach. Just a short drive east of the city is the community of Wrightsville Beach. This oceanside town is home to restaurants, several large hotels, marinas and, of course, a beautiful stretch of beach. Popular activities include fishing, surfing, sunbathing and swimming. Or travel south to nearby Kure Beach. Popular during the summer months, Kure Beach is home to the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher. The aquarium strives to educate visitors about the diverse sea life that inhabits the Cape Fear region. Its collection of animals includes a poisonous snake exhibit, an alligator exhibit and several large saltwater and freshwater aquariums.