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Old 02-11-2013, 06:59 PM
61 posts, read 96,121 times
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We will be visiting our new home in Hampstead next week, its a long story...short version is that hubby is living in Hampstead, while my daughter and I remain here in Maine for the rest of this school year, and possibly (if we can't talk here into the move) will be in Maine for her Senior year next year. While we are visiting, my daughter will be celebrating her 17th birthday. Any suggestions on something special we could do? I know its an odd time of year to visit, and probably we will be limited to certain outdoor activities. Also would love some suggestions for a good place to take her for dinner, maybe with a fun atmosphere. Thanks for any suggestions!
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Old 02-12-2013, 05:21 AM
Location: Asheville, NC
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Next week has some days forecast to be sunny and around 60 degrees. That can combine to feel a lot warmer on the beach. Coming from Maine in February might make that a real treat for your daughter. Heck, I sat on the beach on Friday on a sunny day in the 50s! Had it all to myself.

I'm only getting to know the restaurants on Topsail and they are just starting to come out of their winter hibernation! If it is warm enough to sit outside you might try Daddy Macs in Surf City as they have an outdoor dining area right on the beach.

Spending a day in Wilmington along the river might be fun. There is a German restaurant that, while we haven't been in it yet, looks like it might be fun The German Cafe - Weiner Schnitzel, Homemade Strudels, Rueben, Bratwurst and more await you at the only German restuarant in southeastern NC!***The German Cafe is now on TWITTERFOLLOW us for the latest news:*https://twitter.com/thegermancafeor LIKE u

Otherwise there are a number of restaurants along the boardwalk area.
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:48 AM
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Is your teen one who likes to browse and shop or more of a hiker/outside type gal...

If she likes to shop and be around a nice retail scene, you might want to take a look at this website:
shopping, dining in wilmington, nc

Mayfaire Town Center is a nice shopping area, movie theaters are there - some fun shops for teens...nice big Barnes and Noble book store...she might see more young folks out and about there...there are a bunch of restaurants around there also.

Seems like a lot of places on the island are closed for the winter and she won't see many kids her age there...unless they are surfing and hanging out at the pier, which is a fun place to go and watch the surfers.

Will she be able to go visit the high school while it is in session...kids who go to school there seem pretty happy and the school enjoys a good reputation. We toured the building when it was brand new and it was very nice.

Hope the weather will be pretty and you will have a great visit! I'll send you a direct message with some more thoughts..
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Old 02-12-2013, 07:14 AM
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A 17 year old out with her parents....that can be a tough order.

I have a few suggestions. First of all, there is nothing wrong with Hampstead, but you have to understand it is basically a suburb of Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach...so in my opinion, you need to head into town to show her a good time.

If she likes the beach and is the outdoorsy type, you may take her to some surf shops to get equipped (prices are good on clearance items in the winter). Head to Wrightsville Beach and you have 4 good options (to hop around) in Sweetwater, Surf City, Redix (which is kind of like a Beach General Store) and Southend, most are open until 8. Right across the street from Southend is the Oceanic Restaurant, which is a good local option. You can get seats on the 2nd floor that overlook the pier and ocean and the food is very good (although a little pricey). Its not "fun" fun, but if the weather is nice enough, you can walk out on the beach before or after dinner. Another Wrightsville Beach option where there is usually something going on is Bluewater. Its near the Redix store and overlooks the boats on the waterway. Usually a fairly younger crowd hangs out there...Sunday afternoons are the locals, but of course its February so it wont be as crowded. They have indoor and outdoor seating, both of which are good.

You could always take her shopping at Mayfaire, which also has restaurants and a movie theater. Safe Haven is just opening, A Nicholas Sparks film that was filmed in Southport and Wilmington...Sparks lives up the road in New Bern. I recommend buying a ticket in advance and going to the Fox and the Hound next door or Brixx across the street. One note, NC restaurants are smoke free for the last few years, after Wilmington and Charlotte pushed for it. There is a lot of pride for the locals (especially the younger crowd) when watching local shows and movies that are made in Wilmington, to say you live "there".

I think one of the absolute best restaurants to go to for a birthday is Indochine on Market Street. It's a Wilmington institution. If the weather is nice enough you can go early and sit in a "hut" outside, which really feels like you may be in Thailand for the next hour or two. Its on the way downtown (just after Covil Ave on the left), but can get crowded the later you go because the locals love it. It may be a good place to stop before or after you go to Thalian Hall, which has two different performances going on...

Upcoming Events

A cool little affordable restaurant downtown is the Dock St Oyster bar....its not very expensive and is usually fun.

Dock Street Oyster Bar -

A Horse & Carriage ride through the Historic District is cool to learn about the houses and town...the horse can be found near Market and Water St and they have blankets if its cold. Kilwin's ice cream & fudge is right next to where the horse is stationed and is also a local institution. It makes the whole block smell great. Dinner, Carriage Ride and Ice Cream is a good evening downtown. There is also the option of taking a walking tour...the haunted tours are pretty interesting.

Wilmington Walking Tours

They meet at the river at Market and Water St as well.

Hope that helps.
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Old 02-12-2013, 04:14 PM
61 posts, read 96,121 times
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Wow....thanks for all the GREAT suggestions! I appreciate it very much! I know we will hit the beach for some walking, and sightseeing. I also know....she will want to go shopping, and possibly some of the walking tours. We made a trip down at Thanksgiving, but because we were very busy house hunting, we had very little time to enjoy all that the area has to offer. This trip.....we can concentrate on fun, and getting to spend some quaility time together as a family.
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:22 AM
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I forgot to mention that oysters are in season right now which is one reason I mentioned Dock Street. There is another Oyster bar that just opened downtown (near Market and Front), but I haven't been there so I can't comment one way or another on it.
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:54 PM
61 posts, read 96,121 times
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Okay....we made it! I think we may have brought a little bit of the Maine weather with us! We have done some exploring, and managed to eat some great Callabash seafood! A little disappointed that we got a call today from Topsail High, and the tour we were going to take tomorrow has been cancelled, and they were unable to reschedule it for this week. Apparently there was a student death in the area, and the guidance department would be unavailable for the rest of the week.
You all have been so great at suggestions....I have another favor to ask. We are looking for some new living room and dinning room furniture, any suggestions? We did go to Hampstead Furniture and saw a few things we liked, just thought we might want to look at some other places....suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 02-19-2013, 06:38 AM
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Wilmington has a number of the chains in furniture stores...Rooms to Go, Ashley, Haverty's, etc...one of the longstanding local stores is Custom Home Furnishings which is located on South College Rd south of the Long Leaf Center on the right before 17th Street.

There is also a place called G Stein furniture on Market Street as you go downtown just past New Hanover High School. You may be able to check a few places out as you explore the town.

As well, since your daughter is 17, you may decide to take the lost opportunity of the tour of the high school to instead schedule a tour of UNCW....it never hurts to tour and since school is in session, it may give you a feel of how UNCW functions within the City...lots of youth around, etc...UNCW admissions also may be able to give you more information about what classes she should be taking and the chances of getting into an in state University. NC schools have a 18% cap on out of state enrollment, so some Universities are harder to get into because they get a lot of out of state applications.
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Old 02-19-2013, 03:39 PM
1,958 posts, read 2,633,638 times
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yeah, thanks for bringing the blustery weather!
hope you are having a nice time together,
Indochine was already mentioned as a fun restaurant ,
if you go to wrightsville beach a very fun place for a young girl is
Tower7 , all the local surf crowd hangs there.

I believe that one must be a resident of NC for one year to get
in state tuition so keep that in mind should your
daugther want to attend UNCW.

furniture, is Tango still open? There is also a fab resale/consignment store called The Ivy Cottage
don't know how you feel about second hand furniture but thought I would
throw it out there. google is your friend.
good luck
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