North Carolina


Brunswick County Real Estate Downtown Wilmington NC
Published on March 10, 2013

If you've walked the city streets of London England, Wilmington's charming waterfront may remind you of areas on the River Thames. Baby Boomer's are drawn to North Carolina beach cities for retirement because quick beach access not found in the northern parts of the state. Wilmington's beaches include Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach. Holden Beach, Oak Island, Ocean Isle Beach and Sunset Beach are located on the southern end of town.

Wilmington NC has been named one of the 100 Best Art Towns in America. Whether art is painted on exterior building walls or displayed in window storefronts, art is all around you in Wilmington North Carolina. People seeking rich cultural venues are drawn to the area to enjoy the symphony orchestras, theatre performances and festivals which take place year round. Students are drawn to the UNCW campus and the University of North Carolina online courses. Movie studios have planted their roots in Wilmington too, making the city a scenic backdrop for film making and television shows. 

The historical downtown feels like a step back in time and is refreshing to Baby Boomer’s who value history at retirement. But head in any direction and new urbanism touches every edge of the city, from new town centers to affordable resort-style coastal real estate developments and custom home builders Wilmington NC. Money Magazine named Wilmington NC as a Best City to Live in North Carolina. Highway connections between the north, south and west make access to Wilmington North Carolina relatively fast and easy. 

If you’re searching for North Carolina beach cities, here are reasons to consider Wilmington:


In addition to the 39 art galleries in downtown Wilmington NC, the Cameron Art Museum (CAM) exhibits work from emerging artists along with offering integrated art classes for students of all ages at The Museum School. CAM’s event schedule includes musical performances. The Cape Fear Jazz Society has over 200 members who coordinate jazz performances throughout the city of Wilmington. The Bellamy Mansion of History and Design Art displays rotating art exhibits and hosts community events. The Thalian Center for the Performing Arts is one of the most significant theaters in the United States and has been hosting live performances since 1858. Over 400 events each year take place at the center ranging from music to ballet and theatre, from pop, jazz, folk and country music to the finest in domestic, independent and foreign films. The Thalian Hall complex is the site of recitals, awards ceremonies, film festivals, lectures and charity events, and is home to a large number of theatre and performing companies, including By Chance Productions, Opera House Theatre, Thalian Association, Willis Richardson Players, Theatre Exchange, and Stageworks Youth Theatre. This best art town has a plethora of arts and culture.


At an elevation of 30 feet, the city of Wilmington’s average winter temperature is in the 40’s and the water temperature is in the 50’s December through February. Wilmington NC boasts more than 100 clear sunny days. May through September, the average temperature ranges in the high 70’s to low 80’s and the water temperature rises to 79 degrees. Wilmington rarely sees snowfall or hurricanes. Winters are mild and the summers are hot and humid.


The University of North Carolina Wilmington is home to one of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes (OLLI). The OLLI program is designed specifically for adults over age 50. Courses include academic studies, recreational sports, international travel and lecture series. There is so much happening at this college campus for Baby Boomer’s to enjoy. Cape Fear Community College offers non-credited courses such as nautical navigation, art classes, quilting and airplane flight instruction. The Cameron Art Museum and Bellamy Mansion offers more lifelong learning courses in the arts.


The New Hanover Regional Medical Center and Cape Fear Hospital are the two largest hospitals in Wilmington NC. New Hanover Regional Medical Center is a 636 bed hospital and has been ranked as one of North Carolina’s best hospitals winning the GTWG Gold Performance Awards for Heart Care. Only 167 hospitals in the United States have won this prestigious award. In addition to heart care, specialities include cancer care, orthopedics, surgery and diagnostic imaging. The Cape Fear Hospital is 133 bed facility and is the home to New Hanover Regional Medical Center’s orthopedic services. Compare the city where you live against Wilmington through online insurance quotes and you'll find the cost of living in Wilmington is low.


Whether your lifestyle includes golf, tennis, boating or collecting shells on the beach, Wilmington offers a large variety of water oriented and inland activities. There are seven golf courses on the north side of the Cape Fear River and seven on the south, all near custom home builders Wilmington NC. Some are private, semi-private and public courses. You can easily find an affordable Wilmington NC golf community. Beau Rivage Resort & Golf Club is the best rated public golf course in the area. The Althea Gibson Tennis Complex has 18 public tennis courts, a community clubhouse and is the location of USTA tournaments. The Cape Fear River leads directly to the Atlantic Ocean where boaters can enjoy salt water fishing. Wrightsville Beach is 5 minutes from downtown Wilmington and is known for surfing. The beach is also pet friendly. The Cameron Art Museum offers Healthy Living Classes which include Tai Chi, Yoga and Couch to a 5K classes. Brunswick Community College is home to the 55,000 square foot Dinah E. Gore Fitness and Aquatic Center. The center is open to the public via membership and has two large swimming pools, a running track and aerobics studio. Or take the natural path and enjoy beachcombing one of the best North Carolina beach cities.


Mayfaire Town Center is the talk of the town in Wilmington surrounded by more shopping centers. The Mayfaire Town Center has won the award for Best Shopping Center six years in a row. The Independence Mall is where you’ll find big box stores such as Sears, JC Penney, Belk and brand name stores. As a big coastal city, Wilmington NC has plenty of shopping options. In downtown, there are more than 300 restaurants according to Yelp and many are waterfront restaurants along the Cape Fear River. Chop’s Deli, Indochine and Circa 1922 are some of the best rated restaurants in Wilmington NC. The Riverfront Farmer’s Market is open April through December along the Cape Fear River. Farmers and artists sell their locally grown produce, herbs and art creations in this best art town.


Wilmington NC homes average $166,000 and are located in Brunswick County. The estimated property tax milage rate is .4425 per $100. Folks who live within the city limits will find there is an additional estimated city property tax of .45 per $100. Visit our library to find help and to learn how to calculate property taxes in Wilmington North Carolina. We suggest utilizing online insurance quotes to determine which subdivisions have the lowest insurance rates. 

If you're searching for the best city to live in North Carolina, there are a number master planned communities and new custom home builders Wilmington NC we find of interest. Some are waterfront neighborhoods with deep water ocean access marinas, others are golf communities close to Wrightsville Beach or the quieter seaside neighborhoods in Southport NC. 

Population: 112,000
Median State Property Tax: .78%
State Sales Tax: 4.75%
State Income Tax: 4.99%
  • Wilmington International Airport (ILM)
Arts & Culture
  • Brown Coat Pub & Theatre
  • Cameron Art Museum
  • Cape Fear Jazz Society
  • Cape Fear Playhouse
  • Kenan Memorial Auditorium
  • St. John's Museum of Art
  • Thalian Hall Center for Performing Arts
  • The Red Barn Studio Theatre
  • Wilmington Concert Association
  • Wilmington Symphony Orchestra
  • Wilmington Youth Orchestra
  • UNCW Cultural Arts Council
Events & Festivals
  • Civil War Reenactments at Cameron Art Museum - FEB
  • Intercultural Week at UNC Wilmington - FEB
  • North Carolina Azalea Festival - APR
  • North Carolina Jazz Festival - FEB
  • Wilmington Garden Show - MAR
  • Wilmington Exchange Festival - MAY
  • Orange Street Arts Fest - MAY
  • Carolina Beach Film & Fireworks Series - MAY-SEP
  • Arlie Gardens Concert Series - MAY-OCT
  • Carolina Beach Music Festival - JUN
  • Cape Fear Blues Festival - JUL
  • Annual Shrimp Festival - AUG
  • Annual Beach Soccer Classic - AUG
  • Annual East Coast Wahine Surfing Tournament - AUG
  • Annual Wilmington Epicurean Evening - SEP
  • Pooch Plunge - SEP
  • Pleasure Island Seafood, Blues & Jazz Festival - OCT
  • Riverfest Reflections on the River - OCT
  • Cucalorus International Film Festival - NOV
  • North Carolina Holiday Flotilla at Wrightsville Beach - NOV
  • Old Wilmington by Candlelight - DEC
Hospitals & Healthcare
  • Cape Fear Hospital
  • New Hanover Regional Medical Center
Colleges & Universities
  • Cape Fear Community College
  • University of North Carolina Wilmington
  • Shaw University
  • Miller-Motte Technical College
  • Mount Olive College of Wilmington -
Shopping & Retail
  • City Market on the Riverfront
  • Lumina Station Shops
  • Independence Mall
  • Mayfaire Towncenter
  • Riverfront Farmer's Market
  • The Cotton Exchange
  • The Forum
  • Cape Fear Rugby Team
  • Wilmington Sharks - Minor League Baseball
  • Wilmington Sea Dawgs - Premier Basketball League
  • Wilmington Hammerheads - Professional Soccer
  • Wilmington Tigers - Football
  • Wilmington Seahawks - UNC Collegiate Sports
State & National Parks
  • Fort Fisher State Historic Civil War Site
  • Greenfield Park & Gardens
  • Halyburton Memorial Park
  • Hugh McRae Park
Top Employers
  • New Hanover Regional Medical Center
  • New Hanover County Schools
  • Walmart
  • General Electric
  • University of North Carolina Wilmington
  • Brunswick County Schools
  • New Hanover County