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Ultimate Weekend Itinerary in Wilmington for the Arts Lover

The best art galleries, theaters, shops, and museums in Wilmington, as told by Khalisa Rae Williams

The Ultimate Weekend Itinerary in Wilmington for the Arts Lover

About Our Tour Guide, Khalisa Rae Williams

Khalisa Rae Williams

Wilmington is known for its art galleries, vintage shops, renowned theaters, and art museums, where art lovers will find tons of spaces to explore local crafts. Here, Wilmington's nationally-recognized, award-winning slam poet Khalisa Rae Williams shares her weekend itinerary for the arts lover, filled with insider tips for those seeking art and culture in downtown Wilmington.

Day One

Breakfast at Blue Surf Cafe

Source: Instagram

"I would start my weekend by meeting up with friends at Luna Caffe. We'd grab coffee, then head to brunch at Blue Surf Cafe, which is really poignant because they have a ton of local artists displayed on the walls. Blue Surf Cafe really promotes local crafters and sells their items inside, which is so cool! They feature a different local artist each month, primarily a lot of female artists. Of course, their food is also really good!"

Shop the Castle Street Arts & Antique District

Castle Arts

"After brunch, we'd hop over towards Wilmington's Castle Street Arts & Antiques District and do some shopping, at places like Gravity Records or Second Hand Vintage for some retro and vintage clothing. You can wander and peruse all the art amazing galleries on Castle Street."

Drinks at Bottega

Source: Instagram

"After shopping, we'd go to my favorite place, Bottega Art & Wine, to check out all their handmade jewelry and clothing. There might be a slam poetry or open mic night going on, and if so, we'd stick around for that!"

Day Two

Coffee at Folks Cafe

Folks Cafe

"We'd start our next day by getting up and grabbing coffee at Folks Cafe, which is one of the oldest coffee shops in all of Wilmington. It's owned by a Latino family named Juan and Tammy Pacini and they've had it forever. Folks Cafe is just a really great coffee spot, and going there is a must!" 

Brunch at Red Eye

Source: Instagram

"After coffee at Folks Cafe, we'd get brunch at Red Eye Bakery in the Brooklyn Arts District, which is a really good spot. If you're going there, you've got to get their Rosemary Bread."

Shop Wilmington's Historic Downtown / River District

Old Books on Front Street

"After breakfast in the Brooklyn Arts District, we'd wander town a bit, hopefully stopping at a place like Old Books on Front Street in downtown, which is a neat, eclectic bookstore.

Then we’d look to see if there's a comedy show playing at a spot like Dead Crow Comedy Room, which is one of the oldest comedy cellars in Wilmington. Dead Crow has national headliner acts come through, so it's a good spot!"

Catch a Show at Thalian Hall Center for Performing Arts

"If you're not going to hit up Dead Crow, you've got to check out Thalian Hall Center for Performing Arts to see if there's a matinee show. If not Thalian Hall Center for Performing Arts in downtown, head to the Cape Fear Museum or the Cameron Art Museum, both of which are awesome spots."

Take a Break in Love Grove Park

"After taking in a show or some art, one of my favorite little secret spots to go out and hang out is Love Grove Park, which is on the north side of town in a predominantly black area. Love Grove Park is a tiny little park and if you go all the way down to the end of the parking lot, you can get to the Cape Fear River, so people are there just hanging out and fishing down there. It's a small, tranquil and beautiful hidden-gem type spot in Wilmington!"

End the Weekend with Live Music at the Calico Room

Source: Facebook

"After all of that, you can end your night with some live music at The Calico Room!"