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Travel Talk: NC Road Trip – Wilmington

Welcome back for the next part of last summer’s road trip through parts of North Carolina! In the previous post, we were traveling from Hendersonville and heading towards Wilmington.  My husband and our daughter had both visited there a few times on summer mission trips, but I had never been to Wilmington before.  (They kept tellimg me that I was going to love it. 🙂 )

We stayed the night in the Best Western Coastline hotel.  I chose it because of its location…overlooking the river with easy access to the walkable Riverfront.


This was the view from our hotel room window. 🙂
(See what I mean about location?)

The hotel is located right next to the Wilmington Railroad Museum.
(Our daughter was still in “Disney mode” on this trip!)

The Riverwalk entrance wasn’t far from our hotel’s entrance, so the next day we spent a good portion of that day enjoying that area of Wilmington. Built in the 1980’s, the wooden boardwalk is about a mile long and runs alongside the Cape Fear River.

You can see the Battleship North Carolina across the river from there as well.  We did not squeeze in a tour of it on this trip, but I am sure my husband would have especially loved it.  We will have to make time for it on a return visit.

The USS Diligence was also docked there.

The Riverwalk is lit at night by those nostalgically designed lights there.  This allows many people to get out and enjoy the area in the evening as well.

You stroll past homes, apartments, restaurants, and shops all along the river – some housed in historic warehouses.

There were sooo many cute shops in the Riverwalk district!

I loved the landscaping outside The George, one of the restaurants there.

Here’s a little peek inside:


But we did not dine at The George. Instead we made reservations at Elijah’s, the dark building you see in the next photo.

It was very “old nautical” in its decor
(which I loved. 🙂 )

It reminded me of some of the nautical decor at Disney World.
(Only this was the real-deal! 🙂 )

You can see a couple of our lunches.
(That’s my Black and Bleu Salad.)

After our meal we continued exploring the Riverwalk – especially the residential end.

At some point, we wandered up a block away from the Cape Fear River and started walking back on that street towards our hotel.  The old homes there were simply beautiful!

The entire street seemed to have one gorgeous old home after another!

This historic area was really charming.  We then came to a section of shops and restaurants housed in old brick buildings.

Ice cream anyone?
(Yes, of course! 🙂 )

The brickwork in this area of Wilmington was really beautiful!

And that brings us to the end of our time in Wilmington. We had spent that August day walking the Riverfront, so we grabbed a cold drink from back at our hotel and then hit the road again.  We were leaving North Carolina for our next stop…

Charleston, South Carolina.

Hope you to see you back here for all the details on it soon!

Until next time…

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Louvina - March 10, 2017 - 4:44 pm

Enjoyed your view of Wilmington! Our experience there was long ago when our children were very young and we were staying on the beach! It was hurricane season and the rain came down in buckets!! I was so scared because I didn’t know how slowly hurricanes travel and I just insisted we pack up and get back to the hills of Ky!! The couple of days on the beach was nice but breezy and the traveling inland with all the rain was terrible. So needless to say — I enjoyed your photo visit much more than mine! Thank you as always for letting your readers follow along. 😊
That does NOT sound like a very fun trip to the beach! I hate driving in the rain, so it would have been very stressful to me too. Glad you enjoyed the post. Perhaps you should fit in another trip to Wilmington to give it another chance – on days with sunny weather! 🙂
Kelly - March 9, 2017 - 11:33 am

I agree with Gwen! I haven’t been to North Carolina in years. I would love to put on my bucket list!
Definitely worth a trip from anywhere!!
Thanks for stopping by the blog Cindy. Hope you have a great weekend!

Rosemary - March 9, 2017 - 3:52 am

Thanks for sharing this Kelly …. sounds like you all had a wonderful trip. I really hope that I get to visit North Carlolina (and South!) one day. I just love mountains! Having just returned from one of our regular trips to Switzerland I’m really missing them! There’s nothing like a sunny day on a snowy mountain!
Take care and have a good week! I’m really enjoying yours and Gabbies Instagram Accounts … she’s growing so quickly 🙂
Thanks for reading the post Rosemary! I too hope you get to visit the South one day. (But nothing will compare to the Swiss Alps I’m afraid. 🙁 )
And thank you for following us along on Instagram. Gabbie is growing unbelievably fast! She is all legs right now. 🙂

Colleen M - March 8, 2017 - 9:55 pm

Looks amazing. I’ve honestly never thought of going there. Might have to re think that!!! I’m actually traveling to Charleston next week!! My youngest son is attending the PGA management program at Coastal Carolina University. We are leaving the grey skies and freezing temps here in Boston to explore and hopefully find some sun with him. Not to rush you but if you could post your Charleston post before St. Patrick’s Day it would be appreciated!! 😉 Would love a sneak peek before I check it out in person!!
There is a cold front moving into the South and it is supposed to be chilly next week, but it will still be warmer than Boston. 🙂 The hotel we stayed in while we were in Charleston is up on the blog today. Our sightseeing and part of our dining will be up either Sunday or Tuesday…just depends on if I want to get a decorating post in on one of those days. Hope the posts will help you. There will also be another post on the huge garden we toured but I don’t think it will be out before the 17th. Sorry.
Hope you have a great time in South Carolina!

DiAnne - March 8, 2017 - 9:20 pm

All of your travel posts are fantastic. I think it is fun to read about places I know because you make me want to go back. Charleston is one of my favorite places so can’t wait to see what you found there.
Thank you DiAnne. I’m so glad you enjoy the travel posts. Charleston is a great city…such beauty, history, and soooo many good places to eat!

Tricia - March 8, 2017 - 8:47 pm

Hi Kelly, what a lovely city Willmington is! The shops and homes look so inviting. Your salad looks so delicious! Look forward to your tour of Charleston. See you soon, T

Gina - March 8, 2017 - 3:52 pm

What a beautiful place to visit! I always love your photos and descriptions. Makes me want to go back. Ha, all your travel posts make me want to visit the locations. 😉 There’s nothing like the old historical areas of cities. They are my favorite. How fabulous would it be to tour some of those homes? 😀 Looking forward to our…um, your next stop since we’ll be visiting in the fall for our niece’s wedding. Not sure how much sightseeing I’ll get in considering our daughter will be busy with matron of honor duties and we’ll be helping with 3 month old twins! 😀

Jill - March 8, 2017 - 2:14 pm

Kelly, thanks for the great post and the walk down memory lane! Years ago, my husband and I toured the Battleship North Carolina (he was in the navy, so…battleship, frigate, destroyer, sub…I’ve been on them all 😉). In fact, our two puppies were to be spayed while they boarded at the vet’s, and I called to check on them from that pier. Ha ha! Look forward to the next part of your trip…my favorite vacation ever was in Charleston. Have a blessed day!

kathy - March 8, 2017 - 10:36 am

Another fun place! It is about an hour from Oak Island where my parents, siblings, and their/our children vacation every summer. (And, I think Katrina’s brother owns one of those fabulous old homes in Wilmington.) Kelly, you would also like Southport which is not far from Wilmington. I love seeing these old towns through your eyes. Don’t you just LOVE historic towns brought back to life! You do such an awesome job photographing them! I am so excited about seeing your trip to Charleston. It is another one of my happy places!
I wish we had had time for Southport. It sounds like a place I would have loved, so it is now on my list of places-we-have-to-go! (Along with nearby Bald Head Island.) Historic towns are so fun to tour because we love architecture. The houses are always so beautiful!

anita - March 8, 2017 - 10:19 am

Kelly, these character homes are so stunning! It makes me crave for a much warmer climate than I am experiencing currently! Have you seen the movie “Walt before Mickey”?
Maybe your daughter has, it’s quite good.
You just can’t beat the architectural details in historical homes, can you? I hope the warm weather comes your way soon Anita. Time for spring! No, I have not seen that movie, but I just looked it up based on your recommendation. Looks like a good one we will have to check out! Thanks for letting us know about it!

Nancy - March 8, 2017 - 9:56 am

I have a photo on my hutch of my dad and I on the Battleship NC! I was three years old! I have been looking for a little spring excursion for my husband and I and I think you may have just planned it for us. Was your hotel quiet at night? Bed comfortable?
How neat is that Nancy? Love it! Yes to both of your question. It was exceptionally quiet, and the mattresses are Tempurpedic …so they were quite comfortable.

Brenda - March 8, 2017 - 9:56 am

I love love love these travel posts! I am from Alberta, Canada. My husband and I would like to travel through North Carolina some day and these posts will be a big help in our planning. Sometimes it can be overwhelming to plan a holiday but posts like this help to narrow things down! Thank you so much!!
Thank you Brenda! So glad the posts are of help to you!
Have a lovely weekend. 🙂

Garden, Home and Party - March 8, 2017 - 9:55 am

It’s fun to see the other coast’s ‘must see’ travel spots. The food, shops and sites are always so inviting. Thanks, Kelly.

Jo Anne Hayon - March 8, 2017 - 9:24 am

I love all your posts!!!! Hope you and your family are doing well. Very windy today in the upper Midwest-western Lake Michigan area. We are headed out, later today, for Phoenix-too bad it’s not a tailwind, would get there faster!!!! Enjoy the day!

Lisa - March 8, 2017 - 9:18 am

Good morning Kelly,
Really enjoyed seeing your NC posts. I’ve been to Asheville & Biltmore but we headed to I-40 & home after that. I’d really love to visit where you’ve been. Just lovely.
Asheville was the last leg of our trip through Georgia that year. We drove through LA, MS,AL to Georgia. We started our Georgia tour (my dream trip)in LaGrange,Callaway Gardens,Macon & The Antebellum Trail.
The street in Wilmington with brick buildings & all the beautiful homes really reminded me of Madison GA. One of my all time favorite towns.
We’re experiencing a very early Spring here in S.E. OK. I bet it’s beautiful down in Georgia now. It was mid-priced when we were there & it was absolutely gorgeous. All the dogwoods & azaleas were in their glory.
I’m praying we don’t get a late freeze!
You made a wonderful trip through Georgia! I love Madison too! Hope to do one of their candlelight Christmas tours one year. Everything is blooming right now! Our azaleas are the snow variety, and they are a little later in blooming than all the pink ones, but everywhere we look the pink ones are fully budded out! And our dogwoods have tons of flowers on them as well. Next week is predicted to be cold again, but I don’t believe we will quite hit the frost temperature. I knew winter wasn’t totally gone yet! 🙂
Have a great weekend Lisa!

Gwen - March 8, 2017 - 8:48 am

Kelly this was an absolutely great post! You should be working for the Wilmington chamber of commerce 🙂 I am putting NC on the top of my travel list. Looks wonderful! Thanks Kelly.
Thank you Gwen! Too funny about working for the chamber of commerce! LOL 🙂

Travel Talk: NC Road Trip – From the Pisgah Inn to Hendersonville to Lake Lure

Time to travel again today friends! Waaay back last summer, we took a long road trip through parts of the beautiful state of North Carolina.  Our visits to Asheville and the Biltmore Estate were on the first leg of that journey, and in today’s post we are leaving Asheville and taking a little side trip first to Mount Pisgah.

I’ve written about this area before here.  The drive there on the Blue Ridge Parkway with those mountains covered in forests is so scenic, and we always like to take a break at the Pisgah Inn.


We have still not stayed overnight there, but I hope we will some time in the near future.  This area is part of the National Park service so you are not going to find a Ritz Carlton there, but I think a suite like the one below would be just fine. 🙂  And at a 5,000 ft. elevation you simply cannot beat the view!


The restaurant is always our reason to stop. 🙂


Here are our dishes for the dinner on this trip.  Our daughter had the tasty fish; my husband had the delicious grilled salmon, and I had that wonderful pastry covered chicken pot pie.  Of course, we never miss an opportunity to indulge in their dark chocolate French Silk Pie. 🙂

We drove back to Asheville that evening to stay at our hotel on the Biltmore Estate, and the next morning we headed on to Hendersonville, NC.

Even though there was a misty rain falling, we enjoyed looking around the downtown area.

There were a lot of cute little shops to explore.

And one HUGE one…the Mast General Store.  We visited the original Mast General in Valle Crucis a number of years ago.  (You can read about it in the post here.)  So I knew it was going to be…um…overwhelming when we went inside.


It is unbelievable how many items they can pack in that place!

Puzzles and games….

Cookware and books…

Candy, clothing, and anything else you can pretty much think of. 🙂 (And this is only one of the several rooms it occupies!)

We bought a few snacks, said goodbye to our quick stop in Hendersonville, and then traveled on down the road a bit more. Hendersonville is definitely worth a longer visit and even an overnight stay, but unfortunately our schedule was too tight to fit it in.  (My sister and her husband want to retire there. 🙂 )

So on we drove….

Don’t you love it when the journey is just as beautiful as the destination?

Our next stop was lovely Lake Lure. Some of the movie, Dirty Dancing was filmed there, and they even hold an annual Dirty Dancing Festival each summer to raise money to help fight pancreatic cancer. (More info about the festival can be found here.)

But the movie locations were not our reason for visiting the lake.  I had read a lot about The Lodge on Lake Lure and wanted to see it in person.

It is not real easy to get to.  The location is off the main road, and you have to drive awhile to find it, but it is certainly gorgeous when you do arrive.


I love their green boathouse down at the lake.


And it has a wonderful deck on top!
What a view!


They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the busy seasons.
(Currently they are not serving lunch.)


Here is one of the premium rooms in the lodge.  It even has a claw foot bathtub!


After taking a look around, it was time to travel further on towards our destination.  We stopped for lunch at the charming, Ni Fen bistro in the town of Shelby, North Carolina.

It is located in a beautiful old building.

Here is part of their menu.

And here are our lunch plates…..a hamburger and fries, their Asian chicken salad, and their quiche of the day with mixed fruit and a green salad.  Ni Fen was a great place for lunch, so if you are in the area we highly recommend it!

Our road trip takes us next to another charming town in North Carolina…Wilmington.  We stayed there overnight and spent some time exploring the historic area by the Cape Fear River.

That will be the subject of our next post.  Hope to see you back for that soon!

Until next time!

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Elaine - March 7, 2017 - 10:53 pm

Hi Kelly, I really enjoyed your NC roadtrip as I am an NC transplant now living in N Myrtle Beach. Wilmington & Southport (a must see!) are just up the road from us and we love to visit both. Now, I am wondering if you are on your way to Charleston, my favorite city? Happy travels!
Such a good guess Elaine! New post up on the blog today with details of the hotel where we stayed in Charleston, That will be followed by details of our sightseeing and dining in the city.
Have a good weekend!

Amy O'Quinn - March 7, 2017 - 11:39 am

I am such an NC fan girl! You have covered some of my very favorite spots, and I always love hearing about your travels–and yummy eats. I loved the Mast General Store in Valle Crucis, so I will have to make time to visit the one in Hendersonville if we get back to the area. I haven’t visited Lake Lure, but it’s on my travel bucket list. 🙂 I’m looking forward to your post about Wilmington. One of our twins still lives there, while the other one is now in Raleigh working on her doctorate. We love to visit Wilmington…and also take the ferry across to Southport. It’s a wonderful area with some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Great post!
Thanks Amy! Lucky you to have a child in Wilmington and get to visit there! We have added Southport to our list of places to visit. Thanks for the recommendation!

kathy - March 7, 2017 - 9:18 am

I always enjoy your travels and it is fun to see how you show places in our “back door” that we almost take for granted. We went to a beautiful and fun weekend wedding at Lake Lure a few years ago. Kelly, you might be a mountain girl at heart! I am looking forward to what you found in Wilmington.

Cindy - March 7, 2017 - 6:55 am

Kelly, I am so glad you got to visit my home state of North Carolina. I know how you love the mountain area glad you made it to the coast. If you had let me known I would’ve given you a tour of Historical Salisbury.
Since you went to Wilmington did you make it to Bald Head Island? As always enjoyed your post, Cindy
Your home state is wonderful! I’m afraid we did not make it out to Bald Head Island (but I sure would have loved to!) That is going to have to be a trip totally devoted just to it..not a road trip any place else. I have wanted to go there for years!!

Pat @ Life At Lydias House - March 6, 2017 - 11:25 pm

I always enjoy your great travel posts! ( Actually I enjoy all of your posts!) The next time you visit Hendersonville put Seasons restaurant at Highland Lake Inn in Flat Rock on your list of places to eat. It is wonderful and many of the vegeatables are grown on site in the garden. We especially love the Sunday brunch!
This sounds like a wonderful place to visit. We will certainly check it out the next time we are up in the Hendersonville area. Thanks for recommending it to us Pat!

At Rivercrest Cottage - March 6, 2017 - 7:28 pm

Your trips are always so much fun and informative too. Love following along with you.

Cheri - March 6, 2017 - 5:17 pm

Our oldest daughter lives south of Wilmington in Southport, did you get there? These quaint towns make me think of Mayberry. Love it.
No, I sure wish we had gone by there, but there was not enough time to fit in everything. I will make sure we do though when we go back!

Stacey - March 6, 2017 - 5:00 pm

This all looks so pretty, Kelly! The mountains, the trees, and all the natural elements make me want to go there. That store looks pretty fun too. 😉
It was a very fun trip Stacey! I would love to return….especially to the lake! 🙂

Lynne - March 6, 2017 - 4:54 pm

I sure did enjoy this post. I love Asheville and we went to Lake Lure two summers ago and fell in love with it. We hope to go back this summer. I have read so many good things about Hendersonville and want to plan a trip there in the future too.
So many places to see and so little time to see them!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it Lynne! Isn’t Lake Lure just wonderful?! I know what you mean about so many places to visit. NC is a wonderful state to see.

Louvina - March 6, 2017 - 4:07 pm

Kelly, what a nice armchair visit today to the mts. I love this area of our country. Maybe one day I will get to go for my long anticipated trip! I loved all the pictures and the food shots were so yummy looking!! Thanks for sharing the menu! I think I could spend a whole day in the Mast General Store. A great post and makes me want to travel. We are planning a 5 day trip to the Lexington Ky area the last of April with a stop at Keeneland for a day of horse racing ( which this Ky girl has never done!) Meeting up with several of my Campfire Girls for a reunion!! I am so excited!! Haven’t seen them since middle school and they are now in their early 50’s! Spring time in my home state!! 8 years since I’ve been home! 🤗
I’m glad you liked it Louvina. It is a beautiful area. I hope you get to explore NC one day soon. Can’t believe you haven’t been back to Kentucky in 8 years! Wow! I know you are going to have a great time when you go in April!!

Anita - March 6, 2017 - 3:35 pm

I love seeing all your travel adventures and look forward to escaping to the town of Wilmington! Seriously could see myself living there by the glimpse of these homes!
Thank you Anita! Yes, the homes in Wilmington’s historic area were beautiful! 🙂

Gina - March 6, 2017 - 2:43 pm

The Mast General Store looks like it could be an entire weekend itself! I love browsing in places like this and it is on my list of places to visit. 😉 My husband has been to lake Lure a couple of times on golf trips and we keep talking about visiting it too. Ha, there seems to be a theme here…just talking about going. I know we’ll have more time in the future to go. 🙂 North Carolina is such a great state to visit. From the western mountains to the ocean. 🙂 Because it borders Virginia we have vacationed here many times. I love Wilmington too! That area down by the river is so pretty. Looking forward to reading about this part of your trip too. 🙂
Gina, the Mast General Store did take us a while to go through. I hope you get to go there and to Lake Lure. No fair your husband gets to see it and not you! Loved the riverwalk in Wilmington! It’s coming up next (on Wed. morning. 🙂 )

Leslie Anne Tarabella - March 6, 2017 - 2:04 pm

Oh Kelly, I love this part of our country, but rarely get up there. When we lived in Georgia, it was so convenient for a short trip, but now I’m more inclined to hop over to New Orleans or Destin. I need to make a note to take the extra time and get back up in this area, especially during the summer months when it will be so much cooler in the mountains!
It is a long way from Fairhope to the mountains of NC for sure. We like to head there in the summer for the very reason you named – the temperature! And if you make it up to Highlands, it is even cooler. Now just go on and plan you a vacation for mid July or August when you know that Alabama heat is torture!

kay woods - March 6, 2017 - 12:56 pm

I am so glad you shared. It has brought back memories for me. My family has been there many times. And my husband had an aunt that lived in Hendersonville. And if you continue out pass the town of Hendersonville, there is beautiful farmland and yummy apples in the fall. Beautiful area and so relaxing.
Oh how sweet! I’m so happy the post brought back good memories for you Kay! We will have to make a return trip in the fall to pick apples. 🙂

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