7 Things to Do with Summer Visitors

Summer visitors are equal parts delight and stress. Luckily, the beach makes for some easy (and cheap!) entertainment. Here are some great ideas for entertaining guests when you have tired of the sand and waves.

1. Topsail Escape Room

🔎 You and your crew get locked* into a small room, where you must put your heads together to solve puzzles, find clues, and get to the bottom of the mystery. If you don't succeed, you will surely die.* If you haven't enjoyed the mystery of an Escape Room before, then run, don't walk! Actually, call ahead to schedule it.

*These dramatic statements are for effect only. The room isn't locked and nobody dies. ;)

2. Wilmington Water Tours, LLC

⛵️ Take your guests for a narrated cruise down the Cape Fear River. Knowledgeable guides point out areas of interest and share the history of the water front. It's fun, pretty, and they sell booze on the boat.

3. Shackleford Banks

🐴Admittedly, this more sand. But it comes with wild horses! Shackleford Banks, the southern-most barrier island in Cape Lookout National Seashore, is home to more than 100 wild horses. Venture out by boat or passenger ferry to enjoy the rare privilege of watching horses that live without the help of man. Also a wonderful place to find enormous, unbroken conch shells.

4. Stroll Over the Surf City Bridge

🐟 It's free, it's fun, and it's great exercise. The views are beautiful and it's neat to see the boats cruise by below you. I've seen dolphins at play and fish splashing around. When the tide is low, you see crabs and small fish as you walk past the marsh. Park your car at Sound Side Park for a delightful 2 mile stroll.

5. Horse Drawn Tours

🎠 A costumed driver narrates a tour along the riverfront and past stately mansions in historic, Downtown Wilmington. The horses are rescued and absolutely beautiful. It's located just across the street from Kilwins, which makes the perfect post tour snack.

6. Pender Pines

🌷 Go for a stroll through the beautiful flowers and trees for sale, then step up to the little gazebo on the pond and feed the koi and the ducks. On the back side of Pender Pines is a little petting zoo type set up. There's alpacas, goats, sheep, and a donkey named Jack (think about the other name for a donkey for second.... 😂). Kids and adults alike will find joy in this sweet little spot. Sometimes you even get to see a baby goat catch a ride on the back of a sheep!

7. Ft Fisher Aquarium

🦈 Entertaining, educational, and hands on. Ft. Fisher Aquarium takes the beach vacation from by-the-sea to under-the-sea. The enormous aquarium full of fish, sharks, and even a sea turtle is one of the neatest features. There are several hands on features as well, like petting the bat rays and even a shark! It's a bit of a trek. The distance is great from Topsail, but stoplights and traffic make it slow. It is worth the trip though!

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