• Photo: Amy Dover / Shutterstock

Wilmington

The city's long history, including its part in the American Revolution, is revealed in sights downtown and in the surrounding area. The Cotton Exchange is a complex of old mills, warehouses and cotton export buildings now used as shopping and entertainment centers. Henrietta III, a boat resembling the paddle wheelers that once plied the Cape Fear River, has been put into service as a tourist vessel. Wilmington, also a college town, hosts annual events such as the Azalea Festival, North Carolina Jazz Festival, Christmas candlelight tours, fishing tournaments, and the Cucalorus Film Festival. EUE/Screen Gems Studios turn out more than 300 film, television, and commercial productions, including Iron Man 3 for Marvel, Under the Dome for CBS, and the popular CW network shows Dawson's Creek and One Tree Hill.

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