Although it's the major city along North Carolina's Cape Fear Coast, Wilmington has maintained a small-town beach feel. Its marriage of industry, tourism, a historic downtown and proximity to Atlantic Ocean beaches draws thousands of visitors annually. For those who want to bypass the city's hotels, four full-hookup RV parks are within a 30-mile radius of downtown.
Wandering Around Wilmington
It's about an 8-mile drive to Wilmington KOA, the closest campground to downtown, where narrated riverboat cruises covering Wilmington's harbor start at the foot of Dock Street, and history buffs can visit Bellamy Mansion, a pre-Civil War era mansion. Set among southern pines, the year-round KOA has 50 full-hookup RV sites. Forty-five are pull-through sites with typical widths of 30 feet, allowing enough space for big rigs up to 65-feet long. Cable television, Wi-Fi and propane are available, and you can clean off your rig at the on-site RV/car wash. For RVs that are not self-contained, the campground has centrally located restrooms, hot showers, a laundry and dump station. A swimming pool, computer and game room, playground and planned activities keep campers busy.
Hanging With the Family at Carolina Beach
Less than 14 miles from Wilmington, year-round Carolina Beach Family Campground has full-hookup, pull-through RV sites in a wooded setting steps from Cape Fear River and the Intracoastal Waterway. A camp store is stocked with RV parts and supplies, and on-site mechanics are available for emergency repair service. Wi-Fi, laundry facilities, restrooms and hot showers are at your disposal as well as a seasonal swimming pool. For more water-based entertainment, Pleasure Island beaches are a short 1-mile drive across the bridge. Licensed surf fishing and charter-boat fishing are nearby, and you can cast lines at Kure Beach Fishing Pier for kingfish, Spanish mackerel and flounder.
Picking a Winner's
Winner's RV Park is the only campground within 15 miles of Wilmington dedicated exclusively to RVs. Situated near Carolina Beach and in walking distance to Kure Beach, the year-round park has 21 sunny sites with full hookups. Campers may choose from daily, weekly and seasonal rates. Wi-Fi, 50-amp electric service and RV/boat storage is available. While the small campground lacks the amenities and amusements of larger parks, access to boating, picnicking and 6 miles of nature trails at Carolina Beach State Park is less than 3 miles from the campground. Licensed anglers also flock to the park to fish for flounder, spot and striped bass along the Cape Fear River.
Year-round Woodside RV Park is another RV-dedicated campground, but it lies 28 miles outside of Wilmington. The small, quiet park has full-hookups and paved roads, but because it does not have a bathhouse, the park only accommodates self-contained RVs. Most of the sunny sites have 16-feet concrete parking pads, and an on-site storage yard for RVs and boats is available. Southport is less than 2 miles away, where you may enjoy art galleries, seafood restaurants and the North Carolina Maritime Museum.
- Cape Fear Riverboats: Narrated Sightseeing
- Bellamy Mansion
- Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce: Fishing on Pleasure Island
- Kure Beach Fishing Pier
- North Carolina State Parks: Carolina Beach State Park: Activities
- North Carolina Maritime Museums: North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport
- Southport, NC: Southport
- IMNATURE/iStock/Getty Images