small christmas tree figure in the sand

Coastal Holiday Activities

It’s a magical time of year here in coastal Carolina. As the holiday season approaches, the greater Wilmington area transforms into a wonderland of festive events and activities for residents and visitors alike. From illuminated boat parades to enchanting garden displays, there are countless ways to celebrate the season and create lasting memories. So, if you’re looking for a magical and memorable holiday experience, Wilmington’s coastal celebrations are sure to delight and inspire.

Cape Fear Festival of Trees 

When: November 17 – January 1 

Where: North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher 

Festival of Trees is a magical experience where visitors can take in the holiday wonder amongst breathtaking aquatic life. When you visit the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher this time of year, expect to see dozens of elaborately decorated trees and the aquarium’s transformation to an enchanted wonderland. 

What makes the Cape Fear Festival of Trees even more special is the mission to support the  Lower Cape Fear LifeCare Foundation. Proceeds from this event provide care and supportive service to those that need it most. 

NC Holiday Flotilla

When: November 25th

Where: Wrightsville Beach, NC

Set against the picturesque backdrop of Wrightsville Beach, the Holiday Flotilla is a spectacular display of holiday lights on the water. This year marks the Flotilla’s 40th anniversary! This beloved event features a dazzling parade of decorated boats, each competing for the title of “Best in Show.” Families gather along the shoreline to watch the procession of vessels, illuminated with vibrant colors, creating a mesmerizing spectacle. The celebration also features  fireworks, live music, and more fun throughout the day.

It’s a magical experience that captures the essence of coastal holiday celebrations, blending the nautical charm of the area with the festive spirit of the season.

Wrightsville Beach Turkey Trot

When: November 23rd 

Where: Wrightsville Beach

Before indulging in a Thanksgiving feast, many Wilmington locals participate in the annual Wrightsville Beach Turkey Trot. This family-friendly event combines fitness and holiday cheer while raising money for Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity. Runners of all ages come together to compete in a 1 mile or 5K race through the scenic streets of Wrightsville Beach. The race offers a fantastic way to start the holiday season by getting active and enjoying the coastal scenery.

Participants often embrace the spirit of the day by donning festive costumes, creating a fun and lighthearted atmosphere. Prizes can be won for best costume including funniest and most creative! Whether you run, walk, or simply cheer on the participants, the WB Turkey Trot is a wonderful community tradition that promotes health and togetherness! 

Southport Winterfest

When: December 1st – 9th 

Where: Southport NC 

Join the charming seaside town of Southport as they celebrate the holidays. Running from December 1st to the 9th, the Southport Winterfest includes many events that can be enjoyed by everyone. Kick the season off during the Mayor’s downtown tree lighting ceremony December 1st. Then, throughout the winterfest, enjoy events such as “Annual Cookies Contest” to “Light Up the Night Christmas Parade”. 

It all comes to a majestic end December 9th during their holiday flotilla where families can enjoy the beauty of holiday lights floating on the water. 

These activities truly capture the essence of the holidays with a unique coastal twist. Living in coastal Carolina, it’s always a dream any time of the year! Give our team a call and learn more about opportunities in the greater Cape Fear region: 833-767-1745