/ / The Solo Travelers Guide to Wilmington, NC

The Solo Travelers Guide to Wilmington, NC

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Wilmington, North Carolina, is a charming coastal city known for its beautiful beaches, rich history, and vibrant culture. It’s the perfect destination for solo travelers looking for adventure, relaxation, and new experiences.

Traveling independently can be intimidating, but it has become many people’s favorite way to explore a new destination. With its friendly locals, diverse food scene, and endless attractions, Wilmington is the ideal place for solo travelers to discover on their own terms.


Why Choose Wilmington, NC for Solo Travel

Wilmington, North Carolina is a great destination for solo travelers. This charming coastal city offers a unique blend of history, culture, and outdoor adventure. With its lively Riverwalk, local markets, art galleries, and boutiques, Wilmington is a great place for solo travelers to explore.

For the solo adventurer seeking a thrill, Wilmington and its island beaches are the perfect location. Wrightsville Beach, in particular, is known for its active lifestyle and welcoming culture, with plenty of watersports and outdoor adventures.

From surfing and paddleboarding to kayaking and fishing, there’s no shortage of exciting activities to try. And for those who prefer to keep their feet on land, there are plenty of hiking trails, bike paths, and scenic walks to explore.

Unique Attractions

Wilmington has many unique attractions that make it a great destination for solo travelers. The city is home to the Battleship North Carolina, which is a historic World War II battleship that has been turned into a museum. Visitors can explore the ship and learn about its history and the role it played in the war.

Another unique attraction in Wilmington is the Museum of the Bizarre. This museum is dedicated to the strange and unusual, and features exhibits on everything from Bigfoot to haunted dolls. It’s a great place for solo travelers who are looking for something a little out of the ordinary.

Safety for Solo Travelers

Wilmington is a safe destination for solo travelers. The city has a low crime rate, and the locals are friendly and welcoming. The Wilmington Police Department also offers a Safe Exchange Zone, which is a designated area where people can safely exchange goods purchased online.

When exploring the city, solo travelers should take the same precautions they would in any other destination. It’s always a good idea to stay aware of your surroundings, keep your valuables out of sight, and avoid walking alone at night in unfamiliar areas.

Overall, Wilmington, NC is a great destination for solo travelers. With its unique attractions, friendly locals, and safe environment, it’s no wonder why so many people choose to visit this charming coastal city.

Getting to Wilmington

Wilmington is a popular destination for solo travelers seeking adventure, relaxation, and new experiences. Getting to Wilmington is easy, whether you prefer to drive, fly, or take public transportation.

By Car

Wilmington is easily accessible by car via Interstate 40 or US Highway 17. The city is located about 130 miles southeast of Raleigh, NC, and about 200 miles southwest of Richmond, VA. If you’re driving from the south, you can take US Highway 17 from Myrtle Beach, SC, or US Highway 74 from Charlotte, NC. Once you arrive in Wilmington, you’ll find plenty of parking options, including street parking, parking garages, and private lots.

By Air

If you’re flying to Wilmington, you’ll likely arrive at Wilmington International Airport (ILM), which is located about 4 miles north of downtown Wilmington. ILM is served by several major airlines, including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines, with nonstop flights to several major cities, including Atlanta, Charlotte, and New York City. Once you arrive at the airport, you can rent a car, take a taxi, or use a ride-sharing service to get to your destination.

By Bus

If you prefer to travel by bus, you can take Greyhound or Megabus to Wilmington. Greyhound offers daily service to Wilmington from several cities, including Raleigh, Charlotte, and Atlanta. Megabus offers service to Wilmington from Raleigh and Fayetteville, NC.

Once you arrive at the bus station, you can take a taxi or use a ride-sharing service to get to your destination.

No matter how you choose to get to Wilmington, you’re sure to have a great time exploring all that this vibrant city has to offer.

Accommodation Options

When traveling solo to Wilmington, NC, finding the right accommodation is essential. Luckily, the city has a variety of options to fit any budget or preference. Here are some of the best accommodation options for solo travelers in Wilmington, NC.


Wilmington has plenty of hotels, ranging from budget-friendly to luxurious. The city’s downtown area has several options, including the historic Hotel Ballast, which provides easy access to the Riverwalk and other attractions. The Hilton Wilmington Riverside is another great option, with its stunning views of the Cape Fear River and proximity to downtown.

For those looking for a more budget-friendly option, the Red Roof Inn Wilmington offers comfortable rooms at an affordable price. The hotel is located just a short drive from downtown and is near several restaurants and shops.

Vacation Rentals

Vacation rentals are a great option for solo travelers who prefer more space and privacy. Wilmington has a variety of vacation rentals available, including apartments, condos, and houses. Websites like Airbnb and VRBO offer a wide selection of options to fit any budget or preference.

When choosing a vacation rental, it’s important to consider the location and amenities. Rentals near the beach or downtown area provide easy access to attractions and activities. Additionally, amenities like a full kitchen and laundry facilities can make a solo traveler’s stay more comfortable and convenient.

Must-Visit Attractions For Solo Travelers

Wilmington, NC, is an excellent destination for solo travelers looking for an adventure. The city offers a wide range of attractions, including historical sites, natural wonders, and cultural experiences. Here are some must-visit attractions that should be on every solo traveler’s itinerary.

Historical Sites

Wilmington is steeped in history, and there are several historical sites that solo travelers should visit. The Battleship North Carolina is a must-visit attraction, and it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city. The battleship served in World War II and is now a museum that offers visitors a glimpse into the life of sailors during wartime. Another historical site that solo travelers should visit is the Bellamy Mansion Museum. The mansion was built in 1859 and is a prime example of antebellum architecture. Visitors can take a guided tour of the mansion and learn about the history of the area.

Natural Wonders

Wilmington is home to several natural wonders that solo travelers should explore. Wrightsville Beach is a popular destination for water sports enthusiasts, and there are several companies that offer surf lessons. Solo travelers can also take a stroll along the Carolina Beach Boardwalk and enjoy the ocean breeze. A visit to the Airlie Gardens is also a must for solo travelers. The gardens cover 67 acres and are home to several walking trails, lakes, and gardens.

Cultural Experiences

Wilmington is a vibrant city that is home to several cultural experiences that solo travelers should explore. The Cameron Art Museum is a must-visit attraction for art lovers, and it features works by local and regional artists. The Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts is another cultural experience that solo travelers should not miss. The theater dates back to 1858 and is one of the oldest theaters in the country. Visitors can take a guided tour of the theater and learn about its history.

Tips for Solo Travelers in Wilmington

Wilmington is a great destination for solo travelers who want to explore the city and its surroundings on their own. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your solo trip to Wilmington:

1. Stay in a Safe and Convenient Location

Choose a hotel or Airbnb that is located in a safe and convenient area of Wilmington. Downtown Wilmington is a popular area for solo travelers because it is walkable and has many restaurants, shops, and attractions. Wrightsville Beach is another great option for solo travelers who want to be close to the beach and outdoor activities.

2. Take Advantage of Public Transportation

Wilmington has a public transportation system called Wave Transit that operates buses throughout the city. Solo travelers can use the bus system to get around the city and explore different neighborhoods. The bus system is affordable and easy to use, and it’s a great way to meet locals and other travelers.

3. Join a Guided Tour

Joining a guided tour is a great way for solo travelers to explore Wilmington and its surroundings. There are many tour companies that offer walking tours, food tours, and outdoor adventures. A guided tour is a great way to learn about the history and culture of Wilmington, and it’s also a great way to meet other travelers.

4. Be Aware of Your Surroundings

As with any destination, it’s important for solo travelers to be aware of their surroundings and take precautions to stay safe. Solo travelers should avoid walking alone late at night in unfamiliar areas, and they should always keep their belongings close to them. It’s also a good idea to let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return.

5. Embrace Solo Travel

Finally, solo travelers should embrace the experience of traveling alone. Solo travel can be a great way to challenge yourself, meet new people, and explore a new destination on your own terms. Don’t be afraid to try new things and step out of your comfort zone. With the right mindset and a sense of adventure, solo travel can be an unforgettable experience.


Overall, Wilmington, NC is a wonderful destination for solo travelers looking to explore a new place and make memories. The city’s friendly locals, beautiful scenery, and diverse activities make it a great choice for anyone traveling alone.

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