We found it. A place with charm. A place with history. A place with opportunity. A place we can live. Probably not, but there is definitely potential.
Legitimately the most charming town we’ve ever been to, Wilmington, NC is now cemented on our list of places to live one day.
Wilmington is a small big town, and that’s just what we like. It’s surprisingly small population (120,000 people) combined with very little tourism (a little here and there, obviously) and beautiful landscape creates a sight to see. I mean, where else can you just take a day and walk through the neighborhoods, and actually enjoy it? Very few places indeed. And if it wasn’t clear, this has been our favorite city so far (every day has just gotten slightly better than the last).
When we first arrived, we walked around downtown. Because the town is fairly elderly (est. 1866), it has a ton of history and old buildings, which translates to scenery and, best of all, charm. We were particularly fond of all the haunted buildings and ghost stories ( I mean, who doesn’t like a good ghost story? We love ’em). In addition to the slightly chilling demeanor, the town also sits right on the Atlantic Ocean and Cape Fear River, which gives it a slight breeze but stronger character (if a town can make it between the ocean and a river named Cape Fear, it’s cool in our book.) More important than a breeze, though, is the cute and unique riverwalk that we thoroughly enjoyed. With the boards under our feet, the buildings on our right, and the fearless river on our left, the walk was a beautiful reminder of the smaller things in life (even though the presentation was . ,This is a plus side for us, because the river led right into the ocean which is a short drive away.
For lunch, we chose a little place tucked away in a flourish of buildings called The Cotton Exchange. Our restaurant, appropriately named The Basics, was chosen for its Southern cuisine (why else?), including fried green tomatoes. Caleb chose an oyster po-boy, while a fried chicken BLT (take that in for a second, will you?) was served Brittany (universe is ending people, we didn’t share this time).
We were quite satisfied with our meal, and hastily agreed fried green tomatoes will be missed when we are back on the West Coast (or anything fried, or anything Southern really).
The next part of the day we spent walking around the near by neighborhoods. We love the style of the homes here, and that they all are unique in their own way. Many of the homes here also had names of the families they belonged too along with the year they were built, which just adds to the character.
Front street brewery was next on our list, and we sat down there to enjoy a drink. This was an awesome bar with tons of old style charm. They also had signature beers they brew themselves, so we ordered a sampler with all five of them. It was cool for us to try some new beers, and be able to compare them side by side. This is also the second time during our trip that none of us have been carded. With two 21 year olds and an almost 21 year old, you can understand why this is usually not the case anywhere we would go at home. But for Caleb, this was a pretty wonderful thing. Not that we took advantage of this, but he at least could enjoy the sampler with us without having to worry!
Overall, Wilmington had a lot of things that we would look for in a place to live. Close to the ocean, history, character, decent size, and lots of beautiful buildings and houses you wouldn’t see anywhere in Washington.
On to Charleston next!