As one of NC’s oldest cities, Wilmington has long been known as the Port City. Wilmington prospered during the 18th and 19th century as a major port and shipbuilding center. Today it thrives as a premier tourist and filmmaking destination. Since sea faring attitudes of a Port city were conducive to freedom and diversity, Wilmington was one of the early cities in NC to have a gay bar. It is the first city to send an openly LGBT woman to the NC Senate.
Downtown Wilmington has much to offer from eclectic shopping, vibrant nightlife with two gay bars, to theatrical productions, gay friendly coffeehouses and outstanding restaurants. It is home to a burgeoning gay district along Castle Street and has the first established LGBT center in NC.
Visitors can enjoy more than many tourist attractions, including day or evening riverboat cruises, museums showcasing North Carolina artists and history, and a variety of tours of the historic district, nature preserves, the NC Aquarium, or movie studios. And of course, Wilmington is the major city nearest Wrightsville and Carolina Beaches. There is a vibrant women’s community and a feeling of small town camaraderie in the gay clubs.