• Photo: Amy Dover / Shutterstock


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. On 3rd Street are blocks of stately mansions, while historic Front Street now boasts one of North Carolina's liveliest nightlife scenes, with clubs and restaurants packed with revelers on most weekends. The city also fills up for 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 has turned out more than 400 film, television, and commercial productions, including Iron Man 3 for Marvel; Under the Dome for CBS; TNT's Good Behavior; A&E's Six, about a Navy SEAL team; and the popular CW network shows Dawson's Creek and One Tree Hill. Wilmington's sprawling suburban areas are of less interest to visitors, but many of the chain motels and restaurants are located outside the downtown historic sections.


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