Posted by: Moni | August 25, 2011

Wilmington, NC – Get Your Southern Charm Here!

Pre – Hurricane Irene Series – I’ve actually been hanging around the Carolina Coast this summer, and figured now was a good time to blog about them!  This is part 1 of 3.

Back in June, the hubs and I took a trip out to Wilmington, NC to scope out the race route for the Beach2Battleship half Ironman distance triathlon.  He signed up for it a couple of months back, and we had planned on going out there to ride the course and get a little beach time in as well.  Wilmington is on the southern side of NC, and not a part of the Outer Banks.

Now, from all of the business travel I did way back when, I’ve still got quite a few hotel points saved up just for occasions like this. We loaded up the bikes, got the dogs taken care of, and went off!  The hotel we elected to stay in was pretty much inbetween the beach area and the town area.  Neither of us had been to Wilmington before, so it was kind of a crapshoot on where we’d be staying.  Well, I chose wrong, and chose on the side closer to Wrightsville beach.  If anyone out there is looking for what location is best to stay at in Wilmington – DEFINITELY go for the cute houses in town. I’ll tell ya why in a few.

When we got there, we immediately checked in, and went down to Wrightsville Beach to take a look around and look for a bite to eat.  We walked around what we thought would be the transition area, and then walked down to the beach itself to check out what it was like in this part of NC.

Surprisingly… it was very much like a Texas beach more than an NC beach.  The strip of sand was pretty narrow, and there were a lot of beach houses packed in tightly close together. It did seem like a fun place to go if you’re a college student or a lover of Nascar, though.  We found one oceanside restaurant (the one and only in the area), and had a drink while we watched the sun set. It was definitely a beautiful night!  After that, we went out in search of a place that didn’t smell like a Long John Silver’s.

A Pier at Wrightsville Beach. Credit:

I do have to interject – despite the lacking location of our hotel, we did manage to find some good seafood!  We stopped in at the Bonefish Grill, which is a chain (which I tend to avoid like the plague), but a damned good one. Its got higher end clientele and food, and when you read reviews saying you should try their Firecracker Shrimp.. they’re absolutely right.

It wasn’t a total loss – we were glad to be close to Wrightsville beach, as that’s where the triathlon is.  The next morning, we rode our bikes on a route from our hotel down to the beach, and explored the entire little island that is out there on two wheels.  The area was very bike friendly, and we did a decent loop with a great headwind on the way back and got a good 25 miles in to preview about half of the course.  Can I just say, that the course is blissfully flat?  I mean, really, the “hill” that is out there is really tiny.

Post Ride Bliss

After our ride, we went out in search of brunch, and came across this lovely little restaurant in town called Press 102. Can I just say – whoever thought up of a chicken and waffle press sandwich was GENIUS?!?  I mean, for reals. I eat mostly paleo these days, but that was absolutely worth the calories. Especially after that preemptive burn on the bike.

While we were driving in and around town, we got to see Wilmington for the charming town it is. Its got this magical southern charm about it, with Spanish Moss hanging on the trees, columns on every doorstep, boardwalks, markets, and a BATTLESHIP!  They’ve got lots of memorials around dating back to the Confederacy, and was very culture rich with history. I love shit like that. I was almost sad that we were on our way out of there and on the way to Myrtle Beach. We started checking out lodging for the B2B race in town THAT SECOND.

Seriously, I jumped on the iPad and started checking out vacation rentals. I recommend you do the same.


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