Area Overview


is a charming Southern city with a delightfully progressive bent.  It is one of the most desired locations in the nation, the nation’s fastest growing retail markets and still the state’s major port, where the distinguished battleship USS North Carolina proudly stands guard.  The port and some of the industrial complexes north of downtown host hundreds of ships and barges from many nations every year. The river recently has been dredged and deepened so that larger cargo ships and some cruise ships can now dock in Wilmington.

The city is diverse in neighborhoods, but its crown is the historic downtown. Pleasantly walkable, the lively streets present restaurants, specialty shops, markets, music stores, art galleries and much more. The Riverwalk is a great place to stroll, grab a hot dog from a street vendor, listen to free music, and watch the river traffic. Nearly a mile long, the Riverwalk stretches from the newly opened Wilmington Convention Center to south of Chandlers Wharf. Complete with wide, patio-style areas and pocket parks with benches, the Riverwalk offers spectacular views of the river, especially at night.

Wilmington has always been the educational hub of the southeastern North Carolina coast, with the University of North Carolina Wilmington and Cape Fear Community College within its boundaries. Miller-Motte College and a branch of Mount Olive College are also in Wilmington.

The film industry lends an exciting opportunity for spotting the occasional celebrity or just watching the process of making movies. The cornerstone of the local film industry, EUE/Screen Gems Studios, is complemented by a seasoned crew base, an active regional film commission and a large talent pool. Since the first movie filmed here in 1983 (Dino DeLaurentiis' Firestarter), Wilmington has been home to more than 300 movies and seven television series.

Wilmington Chamber of Commerce

Wilmington International Airport

EUC/Screen Gems Movie Studios

New Hanover Public Schools

     Hampstead  (North of Wilmington)

is the fastest growing community in Pender County.  There is a good school system, thanks to the supportive parents of the students who attend them, a library that is about to expand and is in close proximity to two fabulous beaches – Topsail Island, about 20 minutes north and Wrightsville Beach, about 20 minutes south – and easy access to the attractions in Wilmington are among the appeals. Taxes in Pender County are very modest and housing prices are relatively low. The types of homes available are diverse with everything from modest bungalows to huge multi-story mansions facing the Intracoastal Waterway.  There is a beautiful equestrian community in Hampstead called Whitebridge with estate size lots from 2+ acres You will find the communities in Hampstead are diverse, stretching as it does from the Intracoastal to more than five miles inland. 

Fresh vegetables are available in season and you can pick your own blueberries and blackberries from the farm where they are grown.  Fish and seafood can be purchased from those who caught it, and fish is packed, processed and shipped on a daily basis from Atlantic Seafood Company located in the heart of Hampstead to the major markets on the East Coast, including New York City. Hampstead, by the way, bills itself as the seafood capital of the Carolinas, and no one has disputed that.

Hampstead Chamber of Commerce

Topsail Elementary School

Topsail Middle School

Topsail High School

     Leland  (South of Wilmington)

is perfectly situated between all the “big city” amenities and attractions of Wilmington and its historic waterfront and the beaches of Brunswick County, Leland offers unlimited opportunities for adventure and “getaway” experiences. Launch a canoe and explore winding creeks draped in canopies of live oaks and Spanish moss. Take to the larger waters of the Brunswick and Cape Fear Rivers for exciting inland fishing and scenic boat trips. Play golf on some of the area’s top ranked courses or  an afternoon picnic at one of the many parks. Leland is home to Brunswick County’s newest and largest facility, the 900-plus-acre Brunswick Nature Park.  As one of the fastest-growing areas in Southeastern North Carolina, Leland offers a rare mix of modern expectations with a respect and appreciation of its natural surroundings and small town charm. 

Brunswick Chamber of Commerce

Brunswick County Public Schools: