WILMINGTON — Spice up your next visit to Wilmington, and its island beaches with a culinary event, beer/wine tasting or a tour of restaurants and breweries. From tastings, wine walks and craft beer tours to oyster roasts, food tours and festivals, there are more than a dozen flavorful happenings during the Fall that feature local cuisine and regional spirits.
Three signature food events will lake place the weekend of October 10-11: the 22nd Annual Pleasure Island Seafood, Blues & Jazz Festival near Kure Beach, the Annual Taste of Wrightsville Beach Festival, and the 10th Annual Back Door Kitchen Tour in Wilmington.
Fall ResLaurant Week (Oct. 21-28) features great menus at great prices from 40+ restaurants. From Southern soul food to fresh seafood creations and world flavors, there are restaurants to suit every budget and palate. Mild fall temperatures are perfect for outdoor dining from the river to the sea. In fact, Historic Wilmington was recently voted the #1 “Best Al Fresco Dining by USATODAY 10 Best Readers’ Choice awards.
The beaches also claim many fine restaurants that delight with fresh seafood and vista views of the ocean and waterways. Farmer’s markets, dinner theatre, theme cruises, and food tours are other ways to savor local flavors.
Taste Carolina’s weekend gourmet food tours include tastings at downtown Wilmington restaurants. In Carolina Beach, Tasting History Tours showcase island eateries with a dash of history for groups with advance reservations. Beer aficionados can board the Port City Brew Bus to visit the Wilmington Ale Trail craft breweries and bottle shops. Recently dubbed one of “America’s Beeriest Beach Towns” by craftbeer.com. Wilmington and its beaches welcomed six new craft breweries in 2015 (and counting), just as Front Street Brewery celebrated 20 years. Go with the flow and see where the water— and your appetite—take you when you visit Wilmington and the island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach.
Here’s an appetizing roundup of fall food, brew and wine happenings:
— Sept- 25-26: NCBS BRO Boot Camp, Castle Hayne.
— Sept. 26: Wilmington Wine and Beer downtown Wilmington, http://wineandbeerwalk.com/
— Oct. 10-11: 22nd Annual Pleasure Island Seafood, Blues & Jazz Festival, Ft. Fisher Air Force Rec Area, Kure Beach. Seafood & blues/jazz. Dr. John and the Nite Trippers and Shamekia Copeland headline. Go to http://wwww.p1easureislandnc.org/events-details.php?id—201 or call 910-458-4434.
— Oct. 10: Taste of Wrightsville Beach. 5 p.m. – 8 p.m., Showcase of 30+ Wrightsville Beach eateries and beer/wine vendors. For questions, contact Marine Max, 130 Short St Wrightsville Beach or call 910-262-5998
— Oct. 10: Back Door Kitchen Tour, nine kitchens and a garden in downtown Wilmington. For more information go to www.rowilmington.org/info.php?pnum=5
— Oct. 12: A Parisian Afternoon Tea. Bellamy Mansion, Downtown Wilmington. Call 910-251-3700 for more information.
— Oct. 16: Airlie Oyster Roast. Airlie Gardens, Wilmington. for more information call 910-798-7700 or visit www.airliegardens.org
— Oct. 17-18: Wilmington Seafood Festival. 11 a.m. -6 p.m. Great seafood and entertainment. Free admission.
For more information call 910-794-5259.
— Oct. 17: Oktoberfest. Ogden Tap Room, Wilmington. www.oktoberftstwilmington.com
— Oct. 21-28: ENCORE Restaurant Week. 40 plus restaurants in Wilmington, Carolina Beach, and Wrightsville Beach will serve delicious meals at fixed prices. Participating restaurants/ menus are available online at www.encorerestaurantweek.com.
— Oct. 23: Voracious Craft Beer Tasting. 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. on the deck of the Battleship North Carolina. for more information visit www.lighthousebeerfestival.com
— Oct. 24: Lighthouse Beer Festival. 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. North Waterfront Park located at 10 Harnett Street, Wilmington. For more information visit www.lighthousebeerfestival.com
— Oct. 24: The Vintage Event. Fine wines and cocktails, restaurants, caterers will display their skills at St. Thomas Preservation Hall, Wilmington. for more information visit www.historicwilmington.org/vintage-event
— Nov. 7: St. Stan’s Polish Festival. St. Stanislaus Church, Castle Hayne. For more information visit the website at www.ststanspolishfestival.org.
— Nov. 7-8: Festival Latino. Ogden Park, Wilmington. For more information call 910-341-0007.
— Nov. 15: Food Truck Frolic in the Park from noon to 5 p.m. Food trucks and beer/wine vendors will join forces to raise money for the New Hanover County Parks Conservancy at Hugh MacRae Park, Wilmington,
Ongoing: (Various weekend dates) Port City Brew Bus Tours. Tours include multiple breweries and bottle shops in the Wilmington area. There is an admission charge. For more information call 910-679-6586 or visit www.portcitybrewbus.com.
— Ongoing – Culinary Tours: Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours (www.tastecarolina.net/wilmington) and Tasting History Tours (www.tastinghistou!ours.com).
Ongoing – Dinner Theatre & Cruises: TheatreNOW Dinner Theatre (weekends), 19 S. 10th St., Wilmington; and Henrietta III Dinner Cruises: Murder Mystery/Ribs on the River/TGlF & Captain’s Saturday dinner cruises, Wilmington. Reservations required: www.cfrboats.cnm.
— Ongoing – Farmer’s Markets: Carolina Beach Farmer’s Market, Carolina Beach Lake (Saturdays thru Oct. 3; http://carolinabeachfarmersmarket.com); Riverfront Farmer’s Market Downtown Wilmington (Saturdays thru Nov. 21); Poplar Grove Farmer’s Market, (Wednesdays thru Nov. 18; www.poplargrove.org).
— Ongoing — Brewery Tour/Tasting: Front Street Brewery offers daily tours and tastings. Free, daily 3 p.m.- 4:30 p.m., Must be 21+ years. 9 N. Front Sr., Wilmington. www.frontstreelbrewery.com.
City and Beaches: Outstanding restaurants and chefs from the historic city’s award-winning riverfront to the nearby island beaches welcome guests year-round with fresh seafood and other regional specialties. Wilmington’s dynamic dining scene presents a full spectrum of restaurant choices. Visitors can satisfy their palate and feed the soul in one destination with four unique settings. For free official Visitors Guide, call 1-866-266-9690. For seasonal events and special offers, visit