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wilmington boardwalk in Brunswick county north carolina
Wilmington, North Carolina is a historic river town that is located to the north of Brunswick County and offers a large historic district as well as a beautiful downtown riverfront area. Wilmington has many attractions such as the battleship USS North Carolina from World War II, the Cape Fear Museum, Thalian Hall and Screen Gem Studios. Only a quick 45-minute drive from Brunswick County, this city is also home to the University of North Carolina Wilmington which hosts many sporting and cultural events throughout the year that are open to the general public.


Tours of the historic USS North Carolina are available every day of the year.
This battleship was the first of 10 fast battleships to be built for WWII and was part of every major naval operation in the Pacific during the war. When the ship was commissioned in 1941 it was considered to be the world’s greatest sea weapon. Choose from different educational programs and tours when you stop in and watch history come to life.

The Cape Fear Museum is the oldest history museum in all of North Carolina. This two-story venue is home to over 50,000 exhibits and items that are all related to Wilmington and Cape Fear region. The first floor focuses mainly on scientific topics that range from plants and animals to exhibits on hurricanes and their impact on the region. On the second floor, guests will see displays regarding the Civil War, early technology, segregation and much more. Additionally, the museum hosts many traveling exhibits and changes out items that are displayed to ensure that every visit provides something new and exciting to see.

Opened in 1858, the Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts is a popular place to go if you want to see live theater, documentaries, indie films, comedy shows, concerts, lectures and more. Take in classics like “The Wizard of OZ” or “Of Mice and Men,” get your laughs while watching a comedic routine, or enjoy an educational experience by viewing a documentary or listening to a prominent lecturer. Every year there are more than 250 shows and nearly 500 performances at this venue – so you are sure to find something that interests you.

The Green Gem movie studios in Wilmington are often referred to as “Wilmywood” or “Hollywood East” by locals. Over 400 film projects have been shot here and throughout the Wilmington area since 1983. Some more recent items filmed in the area include the new TV show “Sleepy Hollow,” the movie “Iron Man 3” and the “One Tree Hill” series. Indeed, it is not uncommon to come across a film in progress while walking the streets of Wilmington. With the city being so close to Brunswick County, it is a great place to visit for a day or an extended weekend.

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(all data current as of 8/13/2022)

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