Weekend in Wilmington

Are you seeing a theme with our posts lately? ๐Ÿ™ƒ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿค— We have been on the search for some quality R&R for sure, and we have been finding it by the ocean! It was our first time visiting Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach but it certainly won’t be our last. There’s something about this idyllic coastal town that we immediately fell in love with. Maybe it’s the years of watching Dawson’s Creek and One Tree Hill–especially DC that I’ve watched probably at least 5 times over from start to finish. Maybe it was just that our AirBNB was ridiculously beautiful and was so intentionally curated that it made me want to rewatch the Minimalist and straight up go Marie-Kondo on my stuff all over again. [Spoiler alert: now that we have been back weeks later, I’ve only managed to go through t-shirts and write up a to-do list. LOL!] Maybe it’s just that we were on vacation and not being bothered by work and real life responsbilities… just kidding, just kidding!

But really, Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach….we had such a beautiful 2.5 days. Having mostly frequented Myrtle Beach and Charleston on the East Coast, we’ve never seen such clear coastal water until we took a stroll through WB. We couldn’t believe how crystal clear and blue it was that we could see through the waves as they swelled up close to shore. I even saw a dolphin! [The boys think I’m crazy–but I swear I saw it!] We enjoyed as much walks on the beach as we could pack in 2 short days and savored every sunset across the Banks Channel on our AirBNB rooftop.

So, what did we do on vacation while the pandemic is going on–well, as per ush… after a quick little search, we found a couple of restaurants we felt comfortable to check out. We did a lot of roof-top lounging–because when you can enjoy a cocktail on a rooftop with a view, why wouldn’t you?

Here are our top picks from our weekend in Cape Fear! Can’t wait to go back for more…

The Gazebo Bar was our first stop for Sunday Brunch as we waited for our check-in time. It’s a little courtyard bar tucked away a few blocks from Downtown Wilmington River Walk. We literally could have just lounged all afternoon in this cozy garden and drink through their entire cocktail menu. Grayson ordered a pineapple juice, which he boomied with our drinks and enjoyed–then proceeded to say, “Oooo, it’s like, we’re in Hawaii.” LOL. He HAS been to HI–when he was a wee little dude. No way he could have remembered, but sure, little guy! Sure, sure. Just live your best life away.

Our friend recommended the fried beets. Yes, FRIED. BEETS. We got it. We loved it. Who are we?!?

We had a few minutes to spare after our brunch so we took a quick stroll through the River Walk…when I say quick, it was rather quick. Never you mind that it was October, it still felt like a hot summer day in the South. It was perfect in the shade but any spot out of it was sweltering heat. Also, while we only strolled through a short portion of the River Walk, there was still a bit more foot traffic than we felt comfortable being in. We headed away to grab some doughnuts and coffee to check off two spots off my foodie list: Wake N Bake Donuts and Bespoke Coffee & Dry Goods.

The guys didn’t want any donuts–so I was on a mission to find the little dude a sprinkles donut (his fave) and something for myself. Immediately, the strawberry cheesecake called out my name, but then I saw the gigantic apple fritter. Shawn LOOOVES apple fritters, and while he said he didn’t want anything–I had no choice! I had to get it. Spoiler alert: he was glad I did. LOL!

On to BESPOKE…the BEST iced matcha I’ve ever had. They had a LAVENDER matcha latte and it sure hit the spot. It was the perfect drink to enjoy on our walk back to our car. Pre-COVID, we could have spent a couple hours at this spot to just sip slowly and enjoy our lattes. They are open for dine-in with socially distant tables, but we opted to just take ours to-go.

First night’s dinner was take-out from Tower 7 Baja Mexican Grill. It was literally across the street from our AirBNB, and it smelled soooooo good from our rooftop. As you can see, we may have ordered enough for more than 3 adults and a kid but we couldn’t help ourselves! Everything was so good. Paired with Manny’s cocktail concoctions on the rooftop, it was a great take-out night in for sure.

Manny and I actually set our alarms to get up early to watch the sunrise the next day. Being literally only a block and a half from the beach helped! Afterwards, we headed to the Workshop to grab breakfast. It seems to be a local spot, too, with the barista knowing almost everyone who had come in while we were there. Bonus, it was right under our AirBNB.

We drove to the Cargo District to check it out and the Plant Outpost. But it was Sunday and the Outpost wasn’t open, unfortunately. All was not lost though, it was definitely a great spot to visit and hang out in. We also ran into a plant fairy! Next time we are back, we will have to plan better and also maybe schedule a personal afternoon at Branden’s studio to treat this messy hair and enjoy all of his beautiful rare plants! What an oasis. After a quick stroll to see the cargo buildings, we worked up an appetite for lunch.

Wrightsville Beach Brewery was on the way back to our AirBnB and their outdoor patio was the perfect spot to enjoy some good brews and good food! We ordered at the bar and took all of our food out on one of the many socially distant tables under many old, towering oak trees.

Everything we had was great, and they had plenty of options. We got the following: a sausage-mushroom pizza, fish tacos, a crab cake sandwich, chicken fingers, and fried cauliflower! YUM!

After a nap from our lunch coma from WBB and watching another sunset over the Banks Channel, we made our way to Ceviche’s for dinner. Y’ALL!!! It’s such a great spot. Like–it literally reminded us of one of out trips to Turks. The fresh seafood was amazing and the overall ambiance made us feel like we got away for a moment.

Of course, you have to get the ceviche–and you won’t regret ordering the sampler to get a little bit of everything. Loved that their Caribbean fried oysters had a curry aioli for a slightly unexpected surprise! The fried calamari had some fried banana peppers too and topped with cotiija and a sriracha aioli—it’s definitely one of the best calamari dishes we’ve ever had. The guys’ favorite was the carne empanada. The guac and cotija was the perfect refreshing compliment to the jalapeno aioli sauce that came with it. So, long story short–we had an amazing dinner. We had intended to eat out on the patio but honestly they were very well socially distanced tables indoors and there were less diners inside that we felt as safe as one could feel during these times! 10 out of 10 would highly recommend Ceviche’s.

On our last day and our way out, we stopped by Indochine Restaurant for lunch. We thought we would just have a casual and quick lunch but what we didn’t realize was that we were going to be taken on a “mini-trip” to Asia! He he he! They have this secret garden outdoor area complete with a tuk-tuk, little personal huts for seating, and a waterfall/pond feature with koi fish that Grayson enjoyed checking out.

They had Vietnamese and Thai dishes on their menu and there wasn’t a single dish that we didn’t like–and y’all know we love our Asian food! Definitely get a Thai tea to enjoy with your meal. Our eyes were definitely bigger than our stomachs, and we may have ordered quite the spread, but we sure enjoyed/devoured ’em all. Poor Shawn who had to drive home with a car filled with passengers in a food coma.

Soooooo yeah…with a little bit of research ahead, safe traveling isn’t off the tables completely. Of course, things are changing as we post this blog with some states and cities actually deciding to go back into shelter-in-place options. We definitely can’t emphasize: SAFETY FIRST, ALWAYS. Mask up. Wash your hands frequently. Carry a hand sanitizer with you for convenience. Stay home if you’re not feeling well. And pay attention to those around you to stay socially distant. We all have to do our part so that we can keep things open and going SAFELY for each one of us and our neighbors. Let’s do this and kick 2020’s butt. Who’s in?

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