Wilmington, NC is a charming city located on the North Carolina coast. Because of this, our beautiful beaches tend to be our main draw. We receive a huge influx of tourists each summer, and locals spend many days on the shore, soaking up the sun, surf, and sand.

While Wilmington shines in the summer, that doesn't mean the winter months are any less exciting. There are many fun things to do and interesting ways to entertain yourself in the Port City, even when it's cold outside. Below are some of our favorite activities to try the next time the temperature drops.

The Battleship North Carolina 

The iconic Battleship North Carolina is an important historical site and a memorial to the 10,000 North Carolinians who died while fighting in World War II.  Tours of the Battleship are self-guided, and most of the tour takes place within the ship itself. Walk through the crew's quarters, galley, sick bay, gun turrets, engine room, plotting rooms, radio central, the Admiral's Cabin, and the bridge and combat central, and don't worry what the weather is like above ground.

The Cotton Exchange

Experience a unique Wilmington tradition by shopping at the Cotton Exchange. It's a mostly-indoor shopping complex that consists of eight historical buildings which date back to the late 19th and 20th century. The shops in the Cotton Exchange range from local art to a dog-friendly coffee shop to restaurants and bars where you can grab a bite to eat, making it a great place to spend a cold, gray afternoon.

The Cape Fear Museum

Founded in 1898, the Cape Fear Museum is the oldest history museum in North Carolina. Their mission is to collect, preserve and interpret objects relating to the history, science, and cultures of the Lower Cape Fear. Visiting this museum is a great way to learn more about the history of our beautiful region. Plus the first Sunday of every month is free for New Hanover County residents!

The Cape Fear Serpentarium

This one of a kind facility features dozens of exhibits that give patrons and up-close and personal look at some of the rarest and most dangerous reptiles in the world. The Seprentarium includes venomous species, exotic lizard and dragons, giant constrictors, and crocodiles. If you really want to see something special, schedule your visit during feeding time - if you dare!

Thalian Hall

Thalian Hall is one of the oldest theatres in the United States and has been in almost continuous use since its opening in 1858.Last year there were over 250 shows, events, and films for a total of 495 performances. They also host a weekly film series, called Cinematique, bringing harder-to-find films to the Port City. Cold winter weather is a great reason to bundle up and settle in for a great night at Thalian Hall, where you will be transported to any number of fantastic places.

We hope this list has given you some fun ideas for entertainment during our brief but brutal Wilmington winters. For more ways to celebrate life on the coast, visit our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. Stay warm out there!