30 Things to Do at Night in Wilmington, NC: Sunset Cruises, Bars, Nightclubs, Tours & More

Wilmington, North Carolina, USA downtown city skyline on the Cape Fear River at night

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As a beach destination and a college town, you can rest assured that there are so many fun things to do at night in Wilmington, NC!

Whether you’re a couple heading out for a night on the town, a parent looking for family-friendly evening activities, or a 20-something looking to dance all night, Wilmington’s nightlife promises an array of delights to suit every taste.

Our guide offers a curated collection of after-dark activities that will ensure your night in Wilmington is nothing short of spectacular.

Perfect for first-time visitors eager to experience Wilmington’s nocturnal charm or locals looking to rediscover the city in a whole new light, get out and explore more once the sun goes down!

You might also like our guide to all the best things to do in Wilmington or check out our date ideas if you’re looking to impress a special someone.

What to Do in Wilmington at Night

Our guide starts in the heart of it all at the Riverwalk and goes out from there, so you can plan to walk around the historic area or hop in the car to explore farther afield.

Wilmington Riverwalk

One of the best things to do in Wilmington at night is to start it off by enjoying a spectacular sunset while walking the nearly 2-mile stretch at the Wilmington Riverwalk (301 N. Water St).

After your stroll, choose one of the many great restaurants, such as Cloud 9 Rooftop Bar, for a great view of the river and stars as the sun goes down, or, if heights aren’t your thing, try The George on the Riverwalk as you dine and watch the sunset. 

Wilmington Ghost Tour

Do you fancy something spooky?

Discover some of the spooky origins of the Port City (and maybe see a ghost or two) on a Wilmington ghost tour.

Check availability on Viator or GetYourGuide.

Trolley Pub

There are several unique ways to explore Wilmington, and the Trolley Pub (16 Princess St) is no exception.

Explore and tour Wilmington in the open air of a trolly while you indulge in your favorite beverage.

You power the trolly while you pedal as the conductor moves to locations on the tour and answers your questions about the area!


For one of the most popular downtown Wilmington nightclubs, head to Pravda (23 N Front St).

Epic nights out always seem to end here, so get ready for late-night fun fueled by drinks and dancing to live DJs.

Green Light Escape Room

This is perfect for the person who is looking for the right nighttime escape.

Get kidnapped, perform a brewery heist, or escape an attic. 

These are just 3 of 5 different escape rooms you can choose from at Green Light Escape Room (130 N. Front St).

Wilmington, North Carolina with the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge

Bourgie Nights

Bourgie Nights (123 Princess St) is not your average bar.

This lounge hosts both local and travel bands and is great for hangouts or events such as weddings, cocktail parties, special events, and office functions.

The menu is exquisite.

Meals are upscale, with the freshest local ingredients and a full culinary team.

The drink menu is no different. 

Their beverage program was developed and refined over the years and uses the best spirits and wine available.

Tavern Law 1832

After you’ve experienced a sunset on the Riverwalk, walk to Tavern Law 1832 (106 N. 2nd St) in the historical district for a cozy hometown sports bar.

Tavern Law 1832 is a small, locally owned sports bar with an old-timey feel with a wood-paneled interior and a tin roof. 

This is an excellent place for an intimate setting or to catch a game on one of the 8 big screen TVs!

Ibiza Nightclub Wilmington

Go to Ibiza Nightclub Wilmington (118 Market St) for epic-themed parties, drag karaoke nights, college nights, and more.

Like the island it’s named after, you can expect the party to last all night.

If you want to dance, don’t skip one of the most fun Wilmington nightclubs!

Dive Bars

Lose an hour or two playing pool at one of the city’s oldest pubs, Barbary Coast (116 S Front St).

This dive bar has bar and table seating, and well-behaved dogs are welcome.

E-Bike Night Tour

If you have a heart for adventure while wanting to tour the area, experience a Wilmington e-bike night tour.

This is a 2-hour tour where you will bike the 5-mile trail around beautiful Greenfield Lake, as well as have a small 30-minute stop at Satellite Bar and Lounge!

A one-of-a-kind tour of Wilmington you don’t want to miss; check availability on GetYourGuide or Viator.

Wilmington, North Carolina, USA downtown city skyline on the Cape Fear River at night


Coglin’s (206 Market St) is an awesome 80s and 90s bar that partiers of all ages love!

Whether you want to relive your youth or you’re a Gen Z looking for a retro vibe, Coglin’s is the place to go for fun nights out in Wilmington.

Night Tour at the Burgwin-Wright House and Gardens

You’ve toured historic houses during the day, but have you ever done it at night?

The Night Tour at the Burgwin-Wright House and Gardens (224 Market St) is a chance to tour the home at night for a totally different perspective.

Maybe you’ll even catch a glimpse of the spinning wheel ghost!

Historic Thalian Hall

Since its erection in 1858, Thalian Hall (310 Chestnut St) has been the epicenter of performing arts in Wilmington.

Catch either the main attraction series, the cinematique film series, the live theater, or one of the local events. 

Any of these jaw-dropping performances are sure to please!

Historic Thalian House in Wilmington North Carolina

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

A premier music venue with talented bands and adult beverages, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (111 Grave Street) is a great place to visit at night in Wilmington.

Dead Crow Comedy Room

Enjoy a good laugh at Wilmington’s only full-time comedy club Dead Crow Comedy Room (265 N. Front St).

Dead Crow has shows from local and famous comedians, an open mic night for aspiring comedians, and an improv night. 

Come and try your hand at comedy or watch someone make their debut!

Wilmington Indoor Night Market

One of the newest events to start in Wilmington, N.C., is the Wilmington Indoor Night Market (921 Princess St).

Located inside the old Coca-Cola Bottling Works building, shoppers get to discover unique shops, eclectic vendors, music, and food trucks, to name a few. 

To truly understand the experience, you have to be there!

Live At Teds

To look at the front of this venue, Live at Ted’s (2 Castle St) looks like a normal house. 

Live at Ted’s is actually the area’s first intimate listening room and bar, where music is done differently. 

Everyone there is not there for just drinks but to experience the music. 

The venue is a 62-seat intimate listening room where sitting and listening to music is the primary focus of the show. 

Tickets are sold at the door but it is best to order your tickets ahead of time to make sure you get a seat, children are also welcome!

Battleship Park

While the Battleship North Carolina (1 Battleship Rd. NE) is not open after 5 pm, you can enjoy the park beside the battleship. 

Sit under the gazebo, and enjoy a small intimate picnic with your loved one as you gaze upon the battleship and watch the sunset or the water.

This is a perfect spot for those who do not wish to be bothered by the hustle and bustle of downtown but still want to enjoy the riverfront.

Wilmington, North Carolina aerial cityscape at dusk

The Brewer’s Kettle

Another adult venue with a laid-back atmosphere is The Brewer’s Kettle (4718 Oleander Dr).

Located in an old gas station, this venue has a great outdoor area with games and TVs and serves a great collection of fine beers, coffee, food, and a vast selection of cigars.

The venue also has a wide selection of local art and has live bands playing.

Jungle Rapids Family Fun Park

Known as Eastern North Carolina’s best water park, Jungle Rapids (5320 Oleander Dr.) is the premier hangout area for adults and children alike.

Jungle Rapids Family Fun Park is a water park with jungle golf, an arcade, a rock climbing wall, go-karts, a kid’s jungle, mini bowling, and laser tag. 

Staying open late, this is a fantastic spot to spend a fun-filled evening and night out together!

This also features as one of the best things to do with kids in Wilmington.

Bats and Brews

Great for date nights, guy nights, or just some evening fun, Bats and Brews (5570 Oleander Dr.) is the only batting cage hangout location in Wilmington, NC.

Enjoy a few brews while you hit (or try to hit!) softballs and baseballs of different speeds and sizes for fun, or use this as good practice to improve your swing!

The Boathouse Restaurant

As a port city, seafood is one of the greatest highlights for anyone joining the Wilmington area. 

The Boathouse Restaurant (6328 Oleander Dr.) is an all-day restaurant serving seafood at every time of day.

Enjoy mouth-watering crab legs with delicious drawn butter, shrimp, oysters, flounder, scallops, whatever your heart desires!

For those who do not enjoy seafood, The Boathouse has amazing choices such as steak, baby back ribs, and pork chops with a great southern taste!

You will not be disappointed!

Flip and Fly

Enjoy more than 40 trampolines, a ninja warrior course that will surely challenge you, a toddler play area, a dodgeball area, or the freestyle pit. 

Flip and Fly (830 Inspiration Dr.) is a high-flying trampoline amusement park for all ages!

This venue is for all ages! 

Airlie Gardens

Airlie Gardens is an amazing 67-acre garden with a rich history.

The whole garden is magical but one of the biggest highlights is the Butterfly House. 

The Butterfly House is a 2,700-square-foot structure home to butterflies native to North Carolina.

If possible, visit Airlie during their Enchanted Airlie or Oyster Roast events.

Enchanted Airlie is a holiday tradition where you experience the gardens at night covered in sparkling Christmas lights while playing Christmas music. 

The Airlie Oyster Roast is a historical event that started in 1905; the tradition was revived in 2000 and has been a popular event ever since!

Each of these events is great to experience in the evening!

Wrightsville Beach

Located just 10 minutes outside of Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach is a beautiful place to be at night.

Walk along the beach and enjoy the sunset or catch some end-of-the-day waves.

Or head over to the sound and enjoy some evening stand-up paddleboarding on the calmer waters.

Sunset over moored boats at Wrightsville Beach in North Carolina

The Palm Room

After you enjoy the relaxing water, head to The Palm Room (11 E Salisbury St, Wrightsville Beach). 

The Palm Room has been entertaining beachgoers with live music since the 1950s.

Red Dogs

If you’re looking for more of a party, head to Red Dogs ( ).

One of the most popular nightclubs near Wilmington, Red Dogs, has been around since 1975.

Live DJs, strong drinks, and good vibes are what Red Dogs is all about.

Sunset Cruise

When in the Port City, take advantage of being surrounded by so many waterways and head out on a sunset cruise.

This sunset sail is perfect for a romantic start to your evening, while this sunset harbor cruise is ideal for families.

Dog on Boat Riverwalk Wilmington North Carolina

Fort Fisher

Fort Fisher (1610 Ft, Fisher Blvd) is a site full of history and wonder. 

Hike the 5 miles of beachline and the Basin Trail, sit on the beach, or enjoy the sunset on top of Battery Buchannon at the tip of the end of Fort Fisher. 

Whichever you choose is a relaxing way to spend the end of your day. 

Stay in a Bed and Breakfast

Unwind at the end end of the day in a clawfoot tub and wake up to a hearty Southern breakfast by booking at night at one of Wilmington’s B&Bs.

The Verandas Bed and Breakfast Four Poster Bed in Wilmington North Carolina

Final Words

Are you ready to explore Wilmington at night now? We hope so!

Share your favorite things to do in the evening in the comments below.

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