February 25, 2009

Be a Tourist in your Hometown: Residents' Appreciation Day-Mar 1, 2009

It's that time of year again where residents in the greater Wilmington area can visit local tourist attractions for free. The event takes place on March 01 and is open to all New Hanover county residents.

This event is a great way for residents to find out more about our local travel destination so they can become tourism ambassadors for our area. It's also a way for the attractions to show their appreciation and thank residents for their continued support.

Airlie Gardens
, 9am-5pm, 300 Airlie Rd, Wilmington, 798-7700. Guided tours available at 1pm and 3pm. Stroll through the winding paths of this century-old garden by the sea.

Arboretum at New Hanover County Co-op Ext., 8am-6pm, 6206 Oleander Dr., Wilmington, 798-7660. Explore 6+ acres of demonstration and trial gardens to discover the newest and best plants for area landscapes & gardens.

Battleship NORTH CAROLINA, 8am-5pm, Hwys.17/74/76/421, on the Cape Fear River across from Downtown Wilmington, 251-5797. Come on Board the NORTH CAROLINA and imagine yourself at sea during WWII searching the sky for enemy aircraft, anticipating what may happen next. History comes alive. Last boarding 4pm; closes 5pm.

Bellamy Mansion Museum, 1-4pm, 503 Market St, Wilmington, 251-3700. Visit the formal areas and kitchen in the basement of the mansion, hear historical information about the original slave quarters and its restoration in the rear garden & peruse the gift shop.

Blue Moon Gift Shops, 12-5pm. 203 Racine Dr., Wilmington, 799-5793. Over 100 eclectic shops feature works by artists and craftspeople. Tastings and craft/vendor demonstrations.

Burchetta Glassblowing Studio & Gallery, 10am-5pm, 201 Red Cross St., Wilmington, 399-7614. See live glassblowing demonstrations and tour the gallery.

Burgwin-Wright Museum House, 12-5pm, 224 Market St., Wilmington, 762-0570. The house will not be open; however, visitors may tour the historic gardens and visit the Colonial kitchen and the former jail. A self-guided garden tour is available, with layout, historic facts, plant identification, etc.

Cameron Art Museum, 11am-5pm, 3201 S. 17th St., Wilmington (corner of Independence Blvd and 17th St.), 395-5999. View four exhibitions: Quiet Spirit, Skillful Hand: The Graphic Work of Clare Leighton; Bob DeYoung: Installation {phantasm}; Bearden to Ruscha: Contemporary Art from the North Carolina Museum of Art; and Toy Crazy. At 2pm, experience our exhibitions through the eyes of metal sculptor Breta Carnes.

Cape Fear Museum of History & Science, 1-5pm, 814 Market St., Wilmington, 798-4350. Discover the history, science and cultures of the Lower Cape Fear. Visit the Museum's newest exhibit - Cape Fear Volunteers: highlighting the century of service the Cape Fear Chapter of the American Red Cross has offered our region.

Capt'n Bill's Backyard Grill, Noon-9pm, 4240 Market St. (behind "17" North Shopping Ctr.), Wilmington, 762-0173. Free volleyball. Grill will be open with food & drink specials.

Carolina Beach Lake Park, 10am-2pm, Atlanta & Lake Park Blvd, Carolina Beach. 617-9793. Wheel Fun Rentals will offer free paddle boat rentals. Free to NHC RESIDENTS ONLY.

Carolina Beach State Park, 8am-8pm, State Park Rd, Carolina Beach, 458-8206. Bring picnic, fishing supplies. Explore nature trails, pier, visitor ctr. and more. (Boat ramp access/campsite rentals not included.)

Federal Point History Center, 1-4pm, 1121-A North Lake Park Blvd, Carolina Beach, 458-0502. Enjoy exhibits & audio-visual presentations portraying periods in the Federal Point community, including pre-historic, colonial, Civil War and development of Carolina-Kure Beaches and Seabreeze as tourist attractions. Refreshments.

Fort Fisher State Historic Site-Civil War Fort, 1-5pm, Hwy. 421 Kure Beach, NC, 458-5538. Hear the cannons boom for County residents. Special firings of the fort's 12lb bronze Napoleon cannon throughout the afternoon. Enjoy scenic views as you visit our tour trails, historic earthen fortifications and visitor center.

Ft. Fisher State Recreation Area, 8am-5pm, 1000 Loggerhead Road-off US 421, Kure Beach near Aquarium, 458-5798. Visitor center, free access to the 4WD beach and 4-mile stretch of undeveloped beach for shell seekers, bird watchers. Must display valid NHC drivers license. 4WD access free to NHC RESIDENTS ONLY.

Ghost Walk of Old Wilmington, Meets at Cape Fear Riverwalk at Market & Water sts., Wilmington, 794-1866. Guided tours start at 6:30pm only. RESERVATIONS REQUIRED and on a 1st come, 1st served basis. Guide will take larger than normal groups and tour will be somewhat abbreviated. Space is limited. NHC RESIDENTS ONLY

Greenfield Grind Skate Park, 1-8pm, Burnett Blvd, behind Parks & Rec offices, Wilmington, 362-8222. Participants get free admission between 1-8pm. NOTE: All participants REQUIRED to wear helmet & pads.

Halyburton Park, 8am-5pm, 4099 17th St., Wilmington. 341-0075. Take a hike or ride your bike through the 58-acre tract of land comprised of gently rolling sandhills, wet pine flatwoods and limesink depressions ponds and discover the many plants and animal species living here.

Haunted Pub Crawl at Fat Tony's Italian Pub, Noon-6pm, 131 N. Front St, Wilmington, 343-8881. Get a "taste" of the Haunted Pub Crawl and hear eerie tales that will both shiver ye timbers and make ye laugh out loud; starting at noon and occurring on the hour every hour with the last one at 6pm. All ages welcome; stories censored to suit audience. Prizes for kids.

Hollywood Location Walk of Old Wilmington, Meets at Cape Fear Riverwalk at Market & Water sts., Wilmington, 794-7177. Guided tours start at 1:00pm only. RESERVATIONS REQUIRED on a 1st come, 1st served basis. Guide will take larger than normal groups and tour will be somewhat abbreviated. Space is limited. NHC RESIDENTS ONLY.

Hugh MacRae Park & Nature Trail, 8am-11pm, Oleander & S. College Rd., Wilmington, 798-7181. Playgrounds (5-12 year old playground is lighted), lighted tennis courts, athletic fields, picnic areas, nature trails, etc. Free everyday (except for shelter, horse ring, baseball fields and garden rentals). Baseball fields must be reserved in advance. Walk the 1.55 mile trail right in the park or visit the Hugh MacRae Nature Trail located across the street behind the NHC Senior Ctr.

Jungle Rapids Family Fun Park, 1-4pm, 5320 Oleander Dr., Wilmington, 791-0666. Offering a choice of one (1) of the following activities to each participant: 1-free round of Jungle Golf -OR- 1-free go-kart ride -OR- 1-free wall climb.

Moores Creek National Battlefield, (NEARBY) 9am-5pm, Hwy 210, Currie - 20 miles from Wilmington, 283-5591. Park rangers will offer guided tours at 1, 2, 3, & 4pm. Musket demonstrations all day. Park features a newly renovated museum, film and bookstore. Experience the pivotal 1776 battle that ended British hopes for an early victory in the South and was a major step towards declaring independence in July.

N.C. Military History Museum, Noon-4pm, 116 Air Force Way, Kure Beach, 477-0499. Exhibits include artifacts, memorabilia and displays from WWI through Desert Storm, with photos, documents, letters, uniforms, fieldgear, hats, helmets and more. Gift shop open.

Old Books on Front Street Storytelling, 1-4pm. 22 N. Front St., Wilmington, 763-4754. Author David Norris, will be signing his book "Potter's Raid: The Union Cavalry's Boldest Expedition in Eastern NC" and will read excerpts at 2pm.

Wilmington Visitor Information Center - Open House. 1-3pm, Historic County Courthouse, 24 N. Third St (corner of 3rd & Princess sts),Wilmington. 341-4030. Special guests will greet residents, provide photo opportunities, and sign autographs from 1-3pm. Confirmed special guests include: "Salty Dawg" (Wilmington Sea Dawgs professional basketball team); Azalea Belles (courtesy of the Cape Fear Garden Club); "Sledge" (Wilmington Hammerheads professional soccer team); "Sharky" (Wilmington Sharks baseball team). You can also tour the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher's new outreach vehicle/mobile classroom in the adjacent parking lot at the corner of 3rd and Princess streets. Stop by to meet the special guests and to learn more about the aquarium's outreach programs, tour the vehicle, and see and touch a variety of marine invertebrates commonly found along the NC coast. Then, come inside the Visitor Center to receive a complimentary balloon, enjoy some refreshments, and get a list of attractions participating in the hometown tourist event. The County Commissioners meeting room (upstairs) will be open.

UNCW Arboretum Campus, daylight hours, 601 S. College Rd., Wilmington, 962-3107. Explore this institutional arboretum campus with plant identification signs. Three areas are of particular interest: "The Heritage Garden" at the front quadrangle; "The Campus Commons" in the center of campus; and "The Bluethenthal Nature Preserve," located off Price Drive behind the University Union.

Wheel Fun Rentals, 10am-2pm, 107 Carolina Beach Ave. N, Carolina Beach, 617-9792. Free bicycle & specialty product rentals. NHC RESIDENTS ONLY

Victorian Gardens at Latimer House Museum, 1-4pm, 126 South 3rd St., Wilmington, 762-0492. Self-guided tour of garden (brochure available at site, weather permitting); house will be closed.

Wilmington Sharks Baseball Ballpark Tours.1-5pm, Legion Stadium, 2149 Carolina Beach Rd, Wilmington. 343-5621 or 398-4248. Bring the kids for a full tour of the ballpark as well as a bounce house, speed pitch, and prize wheel.

Wilmington Trolley, 1-4pm. Downtown Wilmington. 763-4483. The trolley will offer free shuttle service between the participating attractions in the downtown area. This is shuttle service only, not tours.

Wrightsville Beach Museum of History, 1-5pm, 303 W. Salisbury St, Wrightsville Beach, 256-2569. Explore permanent exhibitions and revolving exhibitions on history and nature.

Wrightsville Beach Scenic Tours & Taxi, 9am, 10am & 11am, Banks Channel across from Blockade Runner Resort, Wrightsville Beach, 200-4002. 1-hour free ecological tours - topics include salt marsh function, native birds and barrier island ecology. Advanced reservations are required. Space is limited.

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