Spring time on the Intracoastal is one of my favorites. That summer weather is finally starting to make an appearance, people are beginning to get outside and the tourists begin to flood in. With the start of the season comes the start of many expenses. We get in a frenzy of wanting to go summer shopping and if you’re like me, we spend money on vacations to these warm weather locations. So, vacationers, if you’re heading to the beach and want to get the best experience possible, but don’t want to break the bank, here are a few suggestions.

  • New Hanover County has over 25 parks and athletic fields. There is no reason not to spend the day outside, hiking, exploring and playing games with the family. These parks also include areas for fishing and boating. From dog parks, to disc golf and even exercise classes there’s fun for the whole family. This is such an awesome way to get to know people in town and have a little adventure. Learn More


  • If you’re looking for a variety of stunning sites Aerlie Gardens has a multitude of different exhibits, hikes and tours. Take a walk through to many combinations of gardens, see wildlife, look at historic structures and sculptures. Take a tour today. Learn More


  • I have three words for you. Cape. Fear. Cyclists. This amazing organization is home to 350 members with a passion for safety and community. This is a great group to learn about the importance of bicycle safety and a way to get involved in the community. You will have the opportunity to cycle their pre-planned bike routes. This is a great way to exercise without having to worry about where to go or lack of experience. Learn More


  • Wilmington and Wrightsville beach hosts all different kinds of festivals. One of the most popular, the Azalea Festival, is right around the corner happening on April 5-9. Beer and wine tastings are also a popular activity and an inexpensive way to indulge in the culture. Learn More


  • Plan to come down to Carolina Beach where the boardwalk kicks off the summer with their thrilling amusement park and entertainment. Enjoy live music, $1 famous Britt’s Donuts, farmer’s market and heart-dropping rides. Check out their calendar and enjoy the non-stop fun. Learn More


  • Enjoy the sunshine with this relaxing self-guided tour of historic downtown Wilmington. Get your free map at the Convention and Visitor’s center kiosk just off the Riverwalk at the foot of Market street and from their office located at 505 North Nutt St.


  • For only $12 take a tour of the antebellum peanut plantation at the Popular Grove Plantation. Take tours of the country estate and enjoy the plantation’s farm animals and play-ground. The plantation also holds several outdoor concerts as well as a farmer’s market. Learn More