Monday, September 28, 2015

A Weekend on the Coast: Wilmington and Carolina Beach NC

Wilmington, NC is a small, port city on the East Coast in North Carolina.  We had no idea just how cute it was, until we decided to spend a day there on our way to the beach for the weekend!  I am so glad we stopped, because we had a great day!!!
You know those days where you put 2 hrs in the parking meter, then go back again and again to re-fill because you have more and more to explore, and you don't want to leave?  That was how this day was!  Sooooo many amazing shops graced the sidewalks, restaurants were yours for the choosing and the Cape River views were beautiful!
We started off the day in the New Castle Arts and Antiques District!  How sweet it was, filled with several antique stores, each with it's own unique style and character!  Some shops were filled with vintage clothing, others were filled with incredible selections of priceless china and some were a mixture of a little bit of everything!

After the antiques district we visited the beautiful Bellamy Mansion House Museum and it's manicured gardens!  A very striking, wooded, beauty, sitting along a busy intersection in the city, this place embodied serenity as soon as you walked through it's iron gates.  The hustle and bustle of the traffic just a few feet away seemed to melt through the screening of topiaries and roses and all that was left here was yourself and your thoughts:) 

We traveled further into the heart of Downtown and decided to grab a late breakfast at The Dixie Grill.  A Wilmington Staple, the Dixie Grill was the perfect place for a no frills, Southern Diner experience.  We enjoyed Eggs, Bacon, Potatoes, Coffee, Tea and Juice right in a window booth and enjoyed the early lunch rush of the rest of the working city on this particular Friday.

After all that food, we were pumped about walking the city and doing some local shopping!  This place has the most amazing shops, you're bound to find something for every taste and style imaginable!  Edge of Urge was our first stop!  A mixture of clothing, local art, cards, and home decor filled this place to the brim!  My buys included art from the amazing Jahna Vashti, beautifully illustrated forest animals dressed by the seasons, playing music and making magic!

As we walked the streets on this lovely afternoon, one can't escape a flashback or two, to the movie Cape Fear...Eeeekkk!!!!

Island Passage was another shop I completely fell in love with, the women's clothing, shoes and accessories here were flawless, unique and I definitely couldn't have left without making a purchase!  My buy was a deep brown leather shift dress with low pockets!  It'll be making it's first fall appearance soon!!!!  This place had lots of American Indian design's and motifs, faux fur vests, and lots of suede fringe, very on point!

You'll also spot many shops and markets selling spices and teas as well as Italian Foods and pottery!

Crepes and Cupcake shops will grace the streets too!  This city is peppered with cuties!!!

Tusc had my heart from the street as well!  Fabricated by threads from the Pacific Coast, concentrating on L.A., Tusc boutique offers up a wide range of modern, west coast design and style!  The clothing here is light, airy and beautiful!  Meticulously crafted, the tops and bottoms here are like works of wearable art!  The outfit I wore to visit the plantations in my last post from South Carolina came from this trip! 

Planet was an insane mixture of crafty and eccentric goodies!  Every corner of this place made you look twice!  Men and Women's clothing and accessories paired with funky and fun home decor and gifts made up this crazy place!  My favorite buys here included Pet Portraits by Dawn Sabino, they're pretty fantastic for the animal fanatic in your life;)  

After our glorious day, we continued onto the beach, where we enjoyed a stay at The Carolina Beach Inn in Carolina Beach, NC.  After check in, we changed and made our way out to see the ocean and on to grab dinner and drinks!

The Carolina Beach Inn offered a very cozy room with an even cozier bathroom.  If you don't mind a small space with no frills than this is the place for you!  It was clean, near the ocean and inexpensive, we enjoyed our stay!  There is no lobby, but coffee and snacks in the upstairs hallway and the Inn Keeper's are extremely friendly and knowledgeable!

The beach here was lovely!  The city just built a very small, brand new boardwalk to enjoy people and water watching from a swing or bench.  It's a very romantic spot to sit with your loved one and watch the sun go down:)

We dined at Havana's on our first night and The Deck House on our second night.  Havana's was very good!  We sat right on the front porch with views of the carnival nearby.  We enjoyed Salmon over Spinach with cool glasses of white wine.  This place not only had a great ambiance, it had great food and even greater service!

The Deck House was nice too but it was a little darker inside and we sat in a large dining room in a tall booth.  We did enjoy the Lobster Ravioli, but it was a quieter, more private dining experience.

So if you need a mini getaway, Wilmington NC and the nearby Beaches are a great choice!

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