Wilmington : North carolina


What It Is Like to Retire in Wilmington

Wilmington is a fast growing city at the mouth of the Cape Fear River on the Carolina coast. The city has a historic center and a mile long walk along the river. Great Carolina beaches are just minutes away.  UNC - Wilmington is a big plus for the town. The population was 117,545 in 2016.

Wilmington is the commercial center of the area. Mayfaire Town Center is the ultimate shopping experience in Wilmington with over 50 stores. The Cotton Exchange is located in historic downtown Wilmington and is known for their 23 specialty shops.

There are more than 50 golf courses within an hours drive - public, private, semi-private. Many active adult communities in the area feature golf courses. Some of the more popular golf courses in the Cape Fear area include Magnolia Greens Golf Plantation and Bald Head Island Club. Photo of The Cape Fear Memorial Bridge courtesy of Wikipedia and the U.S. Coast Guard (public domain). Watch this short Youtube video produced by Right Point Media for the Wilmington & Beaches Convention and Visitor's Bureau:


Where to Retire in Wilmington and Home Prices

According to the NAR, the median home sale price was  $387,800 in the 1st quarter of 2022. Places near the water and in desirable neighborhoods will be more. There are many active communities in the area (see link at left).


What Is Special about Wilmington

Wilmington has the beautiful southern coast of North Carolina. It has a large university (UNC - Wilmington), access to the Carolina beaches, and many great communities for active adults to live in. Its one mile long Riverwalk on the Cape Fear River is a major tourist attraction. The downtown has an extensive historical area.


What Is Not Special about Wilmington

It is hot and humid in the summer. Parts of the downtown have urban type problems. Many who have visited or move here are unhappy about crime, racial tensions, traffic, and uncontrolled growth.

Who Will Like Retirement in Wilmington

People who want to live near the coast in the milder climate of southern North Carolina.  It is a city, but it is a manageable size. There is plenty of recreation, much of it centered on the water.

Local Economy Is Driven by

Retail, education (UNC-Wilmington), medical, construction, tourism

Climate and Physical Environment

Wilmington is in southern North Carolina, near the Atlantic Ocean and Cape Fear River. The average high in July is 90 and the average January low is 36.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Wilmington may be a small city but it doesn’t lack when it comes to the arts. As a center for both performing and visual arts, the community’s calendar is packed full of events. UNC - Wilmington generates many cultural and sporting events.


The crime rate is much higher than the U.S. average.

Medical Facilities

New Hanover Regional Medical Center is the local hospital.


Wilmington Regional International Airport provides service to Wilmington. There is local bus service.

Valuable Links

City of Wilmington NC

North Carolina retirement guide
Wikipedia for Wilmington


What people are saying about Wilmington

Interesting observations about Wilmington
One of our members, needapalmtree, has posted some interesting observations about his or her visits to Wilmington, including an active community that looked interesting. Worth reading in the Comments section following this article http://www.topretirements.com/blog/great-towns/what-one-couple-is-looking-for-in-a-retirement-community.html/
Posted by topretirementseditor on August 19, 2011

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