Area attractions voted "Best Rated" in two national surveys!

The city of Wilmington and Carolina Beach rightly gain popularity in recent polls with downtown Wilmington voted "Best American Riverfront" and local Carolina Beach watering hole The Fat Pelican voted 25th best “Diviest Dive Bar”.

By Sarah Molina

 
Wilmington voted "America's best riverfront city"
 

It's easy to see why Wilmington's downtown riverfront was voted in a recent national poll as the "Best American Riverfront". Wilmington North Carolina sits deep within the remnants of its past, preserving the historical landmarks such as The Cotton Exchange in Downtown Wilmington. With settlement dating back to the 17th century, Wilmington soon became one of the largest cotton export companies keeping its glimmering ports busy. Today the cotton exchange remains, with its 8 supremely preserved buildings linked together with antique brick walkways.  This fairy tale like building houses 30 shops and restaurants, each different from the last. Among these sits Paddy’s Hollow, a local favorite serving beer, sweet tea, and their famous, “Guinness Braised Corned Beef Brisket.” Paddy’s Hollow is so appealing for locals and travelers alike because of the atmosphere.
 
Overlooking the river front street below, the establishment also offers outdoor seating, tucked away under a covered arch on the outermost corner of The Cotton Exchange, a true hollow. Inside guests sit in the dimly lit Irish pub and restaurant along bar stools or tucked away in booths. The servers, dressed in all black, are like phantoms never over bearing or getting in the way of a quiet meal and drink. While dining or shopping, patrons can park for free in The Cotton Exchange lot having easy access to the back entrance to the building. To continue any trip in The Cotton Exchange, after experiencing a meal at Paddy’s, browsing a couple of the unique shops for handmade jewelry, gemstones and beads for the crafters, or the famously haunted Two Sisters Bookery, is a must. 

 
 Along with The Cotton Exchange, Downtown Wilmington offers exquisite river front dining,  boutiques and local art displays, pleasing for an afternoon walk. The USS North Carolina  Battleship can be viewed in its stationary position in the Cape Fear River, serving as a reminder  of the sacrifices made during World War II. Couples, families, friends, and dog owners with their  companions can all be seen walking the boardwalk of the river front taking pictures of the  beautiful scenery, or sitting along the benches just enjoying the view. In summer months  fountains flow and bubble while vendors sell hot dogs from carts to those passing by. Horse  drawn carriages ride by, bouncing on the old brick and cobbled roads giving tours and retelling  our history. These places and many more ensure that the feel of Wilmington’s working port  days continues to remain earning the city title of, “Best American Riverfront.” 
 Earning a top spot in the poll of, “Best American Riverfront” cities in the country does justice to the charm that can be found stretched throughout the city. Ranging from Wrightsville Beach, to Downtown Wilmington all the way to Carolina Beach, local hidden gems can be dug up for an unforgettable experience. 
 
The Fat Pelican - 25th "Divest" Dive Bar
 

One such gem sits tucked away on a sandy strip of Carolina Beach alongside locally owned coffee shops and eateries. The Fat Pelican in Carolina Beach, just minutes from the center of town, has demonstrated once again why Wilmington creates one of the most memorable and enjoyable vacation destinations. Earning a spot on the list of “Most Diviest Bars in America” The Fat P, as locals call it, was voted number 25. Ram shackled and sagging, the Fat P transports you to a place in which the locals consider home. Outside there is always an array of bicycles from locals making the daily ride on their tiny island to this favorite spot. Brick and wooden floors spread through the winding rooms that squish together to make the many nooks and crannies where patrons can relax with a beer on mismatched chairs, couches and stools. During the winter months you’ll often find a couple sitting in the back left by the open fire place warming up and playing a game of checkers. Feel free to write on the walls of The Fat Pelican as the establishment is covered in memories of patrons past. Old surfboards with dents and water spots decorate the walls and ceiling while beer signs and lights dapple the table tops and doorways.
Stepping outside into Fat P’s back yard is like being at a real beach party on the sand. With tables and tiki lights, patrons can kick their shoes off and enjoy a brew with friends while their toes are in the sand. A wooden boat sits with a shipwrecked look providing a nook and bar to hang out around, giving this experience a true beach vibe. The architecture is not the only unique part about The Fat Pelican though, its walk-in cooler provides an enormous beer selection so you can take your time in choosing just the right one. Walking through the plastic curtain you get a rush of excitement as you peruse over anything from a strong, hoppy IPA, to a light cider, or a good ol’ domestic bottle. 

So whether it’s a laid back beach atmosphere you desire, or the excitement that Downtown has to offer in any season, Wilmington, North Carolina is your destination for a truly unique and unforgettable vacation. To book your reservation a one of our premiere oceanfront homes or condos please visit us at: Carolina Beach Properties or Kure Beach Properties.