A Basic Blonde's Guide To Mackinac Island was a huge hit and you guys asked for more so here it is (I promise I am slowly but surely working through my list of all the other places you guys want a Basic Blonde's Guide To).
Wilmington was honestly never a place on my radar until my best friend and old college roommate moved here. Ever since I have made it a mission to visit at least once if not twice a year! I wasn't quite sure what to expect on my first visit but fell in love with this coastal town. I love the nature, the historic buildings and of course the ocean. Check out my favorite spots to go to when I'm in town like shops, restaurants, cafes and bars. Plus our best photo opp spots and pro tips!
- TUSC: A super cute boho boutique carrying women's clothing brands like Faithful The Brand, MATE, Spell as well as home decor, and kids clothes.
- Modern Legend: A lifestyle store selling things like clothes designed by local artists, organic beauty products, and records. I love the unique feel and style of this store!
- Edge of Urge: Not only does this boutique have great items but they work hard to find up and coming brands - from their clothes to gifts to jewelry they have an amazing selection that supports their community.
- Style Bar Boutique: This boutique has chic, on-trend looks like you will see tons of influencers wearing, but you never want to spend the shipping fees online or they're all sold out right? Well this is the best place to shop in Wilmington for those styles you crave! Frayed sweaters and chunky cardigans with honeycomb sleeves? Yes, please!
- Candles Etc: These earth-friendly candles made in Wilmington smell so good! The ones in bowls, mugs and mason jars are my personal favorites. Stop by to get an artisan candle that will make your house smell amazing!
- Coastal Vibe: A home goods store with the best finds for your pad. Every time I come here I am ready to decorate and get so much inspiration. Even their Facebook feed makes me want to purchase all of the lanterns and pillows for my someday house!
- Down To Earth: Located in the Cotton Exchange in downtown Wilmington, Down To Earth has a huge collection of essential oils for you to shop. If you are an Indigo Child like me and are all about carrying crystals around while you sage your house and rub oils on your wrist, you will love Down To Earth Oils! Make an appointment ahead of time to create your own blend.
- Hallelu (Wrightsville Beach): Every salty babe's dream store! If you are looking for a chic new outfit definitely stop by Hallelu on your way back from the beach.
- Indochine: A Thai and Vietnamese restaurant with beautiful interior design and some seriously good dishes!
- The Copper Penny: Serving American meals like sandwiches and burgers you better go with an empty stomach because they have huge portions! They were also featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives so you know it's a place to stop.
- Beer Barrio: If you are in the mood for Mexican food, head to Beer Barrio! They have delicious tacos, quesadillas, nachos and more for you to chow down along with - you guessed it - beer, margaritas or sangria!
- Tarantelli's: Looking for something a little more high class? Have dinner at Tarantelli's for an authentic Italian dinner from this family-owned restaurant!
- Cheese Smith: Maybe high class isn't your style and you want something more lowkey.. like a food truck? Check out this GRILLED CHEESE food truck. Yes, grilled cheese, YUM! But make sure to check the calendar on their website because they can move around.
SNACKS & COFFEE
Warning - I went a little overboard on this section, but there is just so much good coffee I couldn't cut it down anymore! My absolute tops as far as coffee taste & aesthetic go are probably Drift Coffee & Kitchen, Sundays Surf Cafe & Social Coffee & Supply.
- Drift Coffee & Kitchen: Not only is Drift aesthetically pleasing but they make a really good latte. This is probably one of my top coffee shops in Wilmington as far as taste goes which is saying a lot! They also have some delicious food on their menu like avocado toast and market lunch bowls.
- Bespoke Coffee: Bespoke is the ultimate hipster cafe in downtown Wilmington perfect for a cup of coffee in the morning or a beer in the evening! They also sell items from local artisans and companies (personally I'm obsessed with the succulents you can buy here from Coastal Succulent).
- Wake N Bake Donuts: These donuts are insanely good. If you've ever wanted to try a donut you would only see on a top cooking show competition or in New York City now is your chance because these things also look insanely good!
- Grinders Caffe: Grinders recently opened their new location after being closed from Hurricane Florence so of course, I've been by to check it out! Their new location is definitely a step up and their coffee is always on point.
- Java Dog Coffee House: This downtown coffee house is a perfect place to take your pup and grab a cup on your way to stroll the boardwalk.
- Luna Caffe: Are you tired of me talking about coffee yet? Hopefully not because I still have a couple more good ones! Luna Caffe is in the antique and art district of Wilmington and is the perfect spot to sit on their slightly hidden back patio to catch up with friends.
- Clean Juice: This 100% organic juice bar serves delicious cold-press juices, acaí bowls, and smoothies! If you are looking for a fresh pick me up or boost start here!
- SUNdays Surf Cafe (Wrightsville Beach): This is one of my favorite places to work because aside from making a good cup of coffee (or pouring a cold beer) you have the perfect view to watch the surfers 😉
- The Workshop (Wrightsville Beach): Sip your coffee while shopping their collection of shark teeth jewelry found by local scuba divers including teeth from great whites, tiger sharks and even megalodons!
- Fractured Prune Donuts (Surf City): Grab a delicious donut (like a marshmallow covered one - drool on queue) before your walk on the beach or pier. These donuts from Fractured Prune are a perfect way to start your day!
- Social Coffee & Supply Co: A newbie to the list, this coffee shop is so cute, spacious and has great coffee! They know what they are doing and will definitely help you out if you can't make up your mind. I love that they also have rooms you can reserve for class projects, meetings or events.
- Satellite Bar & Lounge: Enjoy a beer and great atmosphere when you kick back at the Satellite Bar & Lounge. Plus outdoor seating makes this bar the perfect place to grab a cold one on a sunny afternoon. Make sure to check their Facebook to see what band is playing that night for live music!
- Pour Taproom: Here you pay by the ounce and not by the glass. If you are a beer connoisseur and interested in trying tons of selections, stop by the Pour Taproom for their HUGE variety of brews.
- Flytrap Brewing: Stop by this local brewery in the Arts District for good beer. Check their Facebook page to see what food trucks may be stopping by while you're there!
- SUNdays Surf Cafe (Wrightsville Beach): Stop by in the afternoon to grab a cold beer! Although I still love them for their coffee...
OTHER FUN THINGS TO DO
- Beach: There are plenty of fun things to do in Wilmington starting with the beach! From morning walks monitoring sea turtles and finding washed up shark teeth to tanning in the afternoon, the miles of sand are a great place to spend your day.
- Surf or SUP - The South End: While at the beach, why not take a surf lesson with some pros or rent a paddle board to go SUP? Depending on the time of year you will may want a wetsuit though!
- Hike at Carolina Beach State Park: Walk the trails at the state park for gorgeous views overlooking the water.
- Pottery at Pineapple Studios: If you live in Wilmington or are there long enough, there is a 6-week class taught at Pineapple Studios I've been wanting to take. If you aren't there for more than six weeks, stop by for a yoga class!
- Energy Healing: Wilmington has so many great things going for it and one of the things I personally love is all of the different types of energy work! Including Reiki, intuitive energy healing, chakra balancing and more I would definitely recommend setting up a session and going with an open mind!
- Cape Fearless Extreme: A tree park on 25 acres of woods! Zip-line, swing and more through the forest for something fun and different than your average walk in the woods.
FAVORITE PHOTO OPPS
- Wrightsville Beach: Because what's better than the beach right?
- Pier: While at the beach, get your basic photos under the pier or better yet bring your ENO and hammock.
- Red Door with Ivy Covered Wall: Near downtown, there is an ivy-covered wall with a red door which I apologize to whoever lives there for all of the times you caught people taking pictures in front of this but it's just so pretty! It is the perfect spot for a photo opp - if you can find it.
- The Arboretum: Take a walk around the Arboretum for gorgeous gardens, a coy pond and a cute gazebo for tons of wildlife photo opps.
- The Boardwalk: Try to catch the boardwalk at golden hour for a great shot on the wooden walkway with the river and bridge in the background!