10 Must-Dos

Local top picks to do before the end of summer

Still trying to cram sun and fun in before fall sets in? Try some of these picks in the Wilmington area and keep your vacation (or staycation) going. 


Order a classic glazed

Before Britts Donut Shop shuts its doors for the season, brave the line on the Carolina Beach Boardwalk because the wait is worth the payoff for the Britts’ renowned glazed doughnut. The secret family recipe is nearly eighty years old and still draws crowds.

11 Carolina Beach Avenue North | facebook.com/BrittsDonutShop

Search for shark teeth

You can take a dive charter to hunt for millions-of-years-old, palm-sized Megalodon shark teeth off the coast. But, if you’re up for just a short kayak trip and paddle out to Shark’s Tooth Island, a spoil island from dredging in the Cape Fear River where shark teeth as big as fingernails and fossils are easy to spy with some sifting and a sharp eye. They might not be as big as Megalodons, but they’ll still impress the kids. Launch from River Road Park and head to the island on the right.

6500 River Road Park | parks.nhcgov.com/park-information/ locations/

Hear some tunes

Whether it’s the lakeside stage at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater or the new outdoor concert venue The Shell, overlooking the Cape Fear River in downtown Wilmington, check out some music under the stars. This month, Greenfield Lake Amphitheater features Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Donovan Frankenreiter, and The Revivalists, as well as comic Brian Regan. The Shell features Alive After Five!, free concerts every Thursday starting at 5 p.m. Ticketed shows for Aaron Lewis, Nelly, and Willie Nelson are in the lineup.

Greenfield Lake Amphitheater

1941 Amphitheatre Drive | greenfieldlakeamphitheater.com

The Shell

14 Harnett Street | theshellwilmington.com

Catch a fly ball

August is playoff month for the Wilmington Sharks, a summer collegiate Coastal Plain League team. Home games are August 2, 5, and 7, and the Petite Cup Playoffs start August 8. Games are played at Legion Stadium’s Buck Hardee Field.

2149 Carolina Beach Road | wilmingtonsharks.com

Treat your taste buds

Though it’s only been open a couple of months, this small eatery in a nondescript strip center on Market Street is always bustling. Former Saigon Bistro owners Hahn and Kiet Nguyen opened Pho Café in May. The straightforward menu features a mix of choices for pho noodle soups – from beef to chicken to vegetable base – with the traditional toppings. Banh mi and Boba tea options round out the menu. There are a few tables inside, but most of the traffic comes from pick-up orders.

3826 Market Street | facebook.com/phocafewilmington

Howl at the moon

Should you find yourself a ferry ride away on Bald Head Island on the right evening, you can take this one literally – don’t worry, others will be doing it too – or just sit back enjoy the sunset with a drink in hand. The “Howl” party, Bald Head Island’s largest beach party each month, coincides with the full moon rising – August 7 this month. Maritime Market hosts it, bringing along soup and appetizers for the crowd. Everyone else brings their own drinks and food to share.

East Beach, Access 39 | maritimemarketbhi.com/Howl.aspx

Soak in some culture

Cameron Art Museum recently added weekly exhibition tours on Wednesday afternoons, 1:30-2 p.m. Take a break to learn more about the museum’s artwork and how curators select and install the exhibitions. Grab a dish at CAM Café while surrounded by creative energy.

3201 South 17th Street | cameronartmuseum.org

See a flick al fresco

Enjoy the remainder of the outdoor summer movies at Carolina Beach Lake Park. On Sundays through September 3, the town shows flicks on an oversized screen starting at dusk. Bring snacks, buy popcorn there, and revel in the nostalgia. Plus, there’s no admission charge.

400 South Lake Park Boulevard | pleasureislandnc.org/events

Get spooked

With a city as old as Wilmington and the amount of pirate lore hanging around, there’s no shortage of ghost tour fodder. You can pick your ghost walk with or without the pubs through downtown Wilmington. Halloween might be several months off, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find some scary evenings.


Strike a pose

Take your poses to the water with SUP (stand-up paddleboard) yoga. Wilmington Yoga Center offers one of the classes, during which an instructor leads a ninety-minute class out in the Wrightsville Beach waterway Thursday mornings and Sunday afternoons.