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Old 07-17-2013, 08:52 PM
 
20 posts, read 112,944 times
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Hello!

My family and I have just relocated to the Wilmington area...a small 3-bedroom house near Holly Tree (as it might apply to my questions!) We really love it down here...people we meet around town are so helpful when we have questions! If it's OK, I have a few I'd like to ask here that I haven't managed to find answers to so far. Here goes....

- Someone will be home here just about all the time, meaning some form of cooling will always be going. We have central AC, as well as ceiling fans in every room...and I'm wondering if anyone's experimented to find out whether or not it's more or less cost-effective to leave the AC turned low and supplement with fans versus just turning the AC up. I'd honestly be interested in hearing anyone's tried-and-true cooling strategies, since we have absolutely no idea what to expect from our utility bills yet.

- Who offers the best 4G service down here? My family is still on Sprint service from our previous location, and Sprint definitely does NOT cut it down here!

- Who has the best Pizza in the area? How 'bout the best Mexican food?

- Since we moved into the area during summer, I can't help but wonder if the town's makeup changes drastically one way or the other when school starts back up? I mean, I'm assuming thousands of college kids that are here 9 months of the year are NOT here right now??

- I've found my way to one spot on Carolina Beach (the boardwalk), 2 spots on Wrightsville Beach (right across the bridge and the most Southern tip) and one spot on Kure Beach (just a random pulloff at one of those little "Beach Access Parking" pulloffs). I'm certain there's much more to see since practically the entire coast is beach...can anyone give me some pointers?

- So I guess the FRESH seafood isn't really available in the grocery stores, you have to go to special seafood markets to find it? Can anyone recommend a few good ones?

- Are there any good walking/hiking/nature trails?

I think that's it for now. I'm looking forward to any help you may have for me
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Old 07-17-2013, 09:00 PM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,250 posts, read 19,773,666 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by finallygreen View Post
and I'm wondering if anyone's experimented to find out whether or not it's more or less cost-effective to leave the AC turned low and supplement with fans versus just turning the AC up.
I can only answer this one question. We leave the A/C on all the time since it remove humidity from the air. It is set at 75 at night and 73-74 during the day. You might experiment to see whether you can tolerate the humidity with the fans running and A/C minimized, but we can't tolerate it. Out highest bill is about $220/month for electricity, but yours should be less with a smaller house.
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Old 07-18-2013, 06:28 AM
 
22,769 posts, read 26,205,362 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by finallygreen View Post
- Someone will be home here just about all the time, meaning some form of cooling will always be going. We have central AC, as well as ceiling fans in every room...and I'm wondering if anyone's experimented to find out whether or not it's more or less cost-effective to leave the AC turned low and supplement with fans versus just turning the AC up. I'd honestly be interested in hearing anyone's tried-and-true cooling strategies, since we have absolutely no idea what to expect from our utility bills yet.
yeah, i would invest in some fans, and run them if the A/C is on or not.

Quote:
- Who offers the best 4G service down here? My family is still on Sprint service from our previous location, and Sprint definitely does NOT cut it down here!
although it pains me to say it, verizon, by far.

Quote:
- Who has the best Pizza in the area? How 'bout the best Mexican food?
Best pizza is Brooklyn Pizza, although there are plenty of other good ones. (Mellow Mushroom and Slice of Life are near you.)

Mexican, try K-38 or Las Olas. If you want some good old beans-and-cheese mexican, try el cerro grande.

Quote:
- Since we moved into the area during summer, I can't help but wonder if the town's makeup changes drastically one way or the other when school starts back up? I mean, I'm assuming thousands of college kids that are here 9 months of the year are NOT here right now??
it's most crowded during the summer, it actually calms down during school IMO.

Quote:
- I've found my way to one spot on Carolina Beach (the boardwalk), 2 spots on Wrightsville Beach (right across the bridge and the most Southern tip) and one spot on Kure Beach (just a random pulloff at one of those little "Beach Access Parking" pulloffs). I'm certain there's much more to see since practically the entire coast is beach...can anyone give me some pointers?
the best way to experience the water around here is to have a boat, and park it on one of the little islands between the icww and wrightsville beach.

Quote:
- So I guess the FRESH seafood isn't really available in the grocery stores, you have to go to special seafood markets to find it? Can anyone recommend a few good ones?
Ronnie's Crab Shack Too, Mott's Channel Seafood

there are probably others but this is what comes to mind.

Quote:
Are there any good walking/hiking/nature trails?
summer rest trail.. there's also halyburton park over near you, as well as greenfield lake.
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Old 07-18-2013, 07:28 AM
 
1,959 posts, read 2,632,373 times
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welcome!

slice of life pizza, incredible pizza are two good places although by far my favorite is found
at Osteria Ceccicheti in mayfaire.

The walking trail is more of a problem in Wilmington , I love to walk and there really is not that many
places here. The state park at Carolina beach is very nice but not during the summer heat. It has the largest area
for walking trails. Halyburton park has a few short trails and then the big asphalt circle
around it. I do this park mainly for excersize .Summer Rest trail is nice but very short.
Walking around Fort Fisher Museum is another nice trail but not very long.
I understand that over on the other side of the river in Brunswick park there are
a lot of trails but have not been there yet.
Parking at state park at end of Fort Fisher and then walking out onto
the marsh and beach area is another great walk during 3 seasons , summer is awfully hot
out there.
Get yourself a kayak and paddle over to masonboro island , great hikes there.

there is a seafood company on rite side of road heading to CB , it is a bright blue house[not the greenish one] , can't think
of company name, but that is where we get our seafood, always get good advice there and very fresh seafood.
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:19 AM
 
3,071 posts, read 7,818,592 times
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Though it's far from authentic Mexican, Flaming Amys is awesome: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Flami...s/449150635133

Casey's great for southern comfort food. It's featured in this month's "Our State" magazine: https://www.facebook.com/caseys.buffet

For AC I do the opposite of Goldenage. High 70's during the day, low seventy during the night, but I need it colder to sleep. Verizon is the best national service around here, because they bought out the best. US Cellular is great in the area, but may not be available other states/places you may travel to. Then AT&T is the #2 national, #3 overall, for the area and is LTE in Wilmington.
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Old 07-18-2013, 01:59 PM
 
2,400 posts, read 3,355,005 times
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First of all, you picked a good area in Holly Tree...convenient middle of town location.

I run ceiling fans all summer and turn the temp up to about 77. The fans make it feel cooler than that and I don't touch the thermostat...I keep the curtains drawn when the sun is coming right in and will shut off some rooms that don't have either the thermostat or filters. This lessens the amount of space you have to cool.

I use US Cellular because as soon as you get about 20 miles out of Wilmington, everything else is inferior...and in the really rural places it is the only thing you can get.

The SoL at Pine Valley is good (my wife thinks its great, to me its just good). I have an issue with overpriced pizza because I was in the industry once and know the margin on pizza. I haven't tried Brooklyn. Incredible is not bad, but is overpriced, IMO.

I second K-38 and Flaming Amy's...and you can't forget Tower 7 at Wrightsville, which is one of the cooler local spots in the entire area...(along with Indochine).

The town is busy all year round because as soon as the summer crowd leaves their beach houses or rentals, the students come in...and Wilmington is also a great weekend spot for the Raleigh crowd. You can barely notice the difference except that the traffic to the beach is more in the summer.

There is almost an unlimited number of beach accesses for those that live in Wilmington...what I usually say is to take advantage of ANY opportunity to go to the beach or on a boat. If someone asks you to go out on the boat, do it...so you can get every experience...Have had friends/family ask to come to houses from Ocean Isle Beach to Topsail and Emerald Isle...and every beach is just a little bit different. I recently heard that there are a few places that offer yearly boat rentals (for like $300 a year, you get like 5 half days on a boat)...which kind of sounds like a timeshare boat, which is actually more appealing to me than owning a boat, because I'm an admitted weather snob.

Many folks forget Eagle Island for seafood, who tout that all of their seafood is local. During oyster season, many folks have their local contacts (I get mine straight off the boat in Hyde County, which is better than any other I have tasted in ENC).

For hiking, Halyburton has a great path...and the cross city trail near the Cameron Art Museum is tied to Halyburton. Besides that consider looking for live venus flytraps at Carolina Beach State Park or Alderman Park. The Beaches at Fort Fisher and southend of Wrightsville as well as Masonboro (if you have a boat) are really good for walking. Hugh McRae Park has a trail as well...and someone mentioned Greenfield Lake, many folks forget that one...just be sure you have a couple of people, but I believe that is about 4 miles around and very beautiful in the spring.
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:08 AM
 
20 posts, read 112,944 times
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So much terrific feedback here so far....thanks, guys!
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Old 07-24-2013, 05:28 PM
 
Location: Wilmington, NC
50 posts, read 95,685 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by finallygreen View Post

- Someone will be home here just about all the time, meaning some form of cooling will always be going. We have central AC, as well as ceiling fans in every room...and I'm wondering if anyone's experimented to find out whether or not it's more or less cost-effective to leave the AC turned low and supplement with fans versus just turning the AC up. I'd honestly be interested in hearing anyone's tried-and-true cooling strategies, since we have absolutely no idea what to expect from our utility bills yet.
It gets hot here, brutally hot in the summer, but I'm sure you already knew that. Your utility bills generally run higher in summer. We mainly keep our AC low (low 70's-high 60's), using fans as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by finallygreen View Post

- Who offers the best 4G service down here? My family is still on Sprint service from our previous location, and Sprint definitely does NOT cut it down here!
I have an iPhone 5 on AT&T LTE and never have any problems, and it's extremely fast. Some people have Verizon but I'm not a big fan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by finallygreen View Post
- Who has the best Pizza in the area? How 'bout the best Mexican food?
For pizza, Incredible is good, along with Brooklyn, and Slice of Life. For Mexican, Flaming Amy's or El Cerro Grande probably. Also, I go to Plaza Mariachi sometimes because their Arroz con Pollo is pretty good. The K38 group of restaurants are good too, but that's considered more "Baja." Flaming Amy's isn't as "authentic" as other places, but you don't have to necessarily be authentic to be good. It's a great place, and pretty fast service usually even when it's crowded, just cross your fingers for a short line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by finallygreen View Post
- Since we moved into the area during summer, I can't help but wonder if the town's makeup changes drastically one way or the other when school starts back up? I mean, I'm assuming thousands of college kids that are here 9 months of the year are NOT here right now??
You see less tourists, but more students during Winter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by finallygreen View Post
- I've found my way to one spot on Carolina Beach (the boardwalk), 2 spots on Wrightsville Beach (right across the bridge and the most Southern tip) and one spot on Kure Beach (just a random pulloff at one of those little "Beach Access Parking" pulloffs). I'm certain there's much more to see since practically the entire coast is beach...can anyone give me some pointers?
Please don't swim in Masonboro Inlet (the very Southern tip of Wrightsville Beach). It's not very safe. But there is a mailbox at the Northern tip of Wrightsville Beach that people leave notes, etc. in. But don't swim in Mason's Inlet either which is at the very Northern tip of Wrightsville Beach. Not trying to sound rude there, it's just dangerous to do so. Otherwise swim anywhere in Wrightsville Beach, just not the inlets. There's Johnnie Mercer's Pier on Wrightsville Beach, and The Oceanic Pier.


Quote:
Originally Posted by finallygreen View Post
- So I guess the FRESH seafood isn't really available in the grocery stores, you have to go to special seafood markets to find it? Can anyone recommend a few good ones?
Mott's Channel Seafood on Wrightsville Beach is usually where we get seafood.

Quote:
Originally Posted by finallygreen View Post
- Are there any good walking/hiking/nature trails?
Wilmington has established many walking/biking trails, and is in the process of installing more. I think the Cross-City trail is pretty popular. There's not really anywhere you can really "hike," as Wilmington is pretty much flat.

Hope this helps! Wilmington is a great area!
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Old 07-25-2013, 03:59 PM
Status: "Elect a clown? Expect a circus!" (set 26 days ago)
 
Location: By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea
58,169 posts, read 40,966,092 times
Reputation: 29897
Quote:
Originally Posted by finallygreen View Post
- Who has the best Pizza in the area?
I gotta go with those who've mentioned Brooklyn Pizza, GOOD STUFF!

Quote:
Originally Posted by finallygreen View Post
- So I guess the FRESH seafood isn't really available in the grocery stores, you have to go to special seafood markets to find it? Can anyone recommend a few good ones?

Since you've found your way to Carolina Beach you've gone past Seaview Crab Company, aqua colored building just south of Halyburton Memorial Dr on Carolina Beach Rd and there's Blackburn Brothers behind the Domino's on Lake Park in Carolina beach for fresh Seafood.
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Old 08-10-2013, 03:03 PM
 
20 posts, read 112,944 times
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Thanks again for all the help, guys...and if anyone else has new suggestions, I'd love to hear them!

In the meantime, I have a new question about....BUGS!

Specifically, these palmetto/water bugs I guess they're called (call'em what you want, they're huge roaches any way you look at it!). We see one or two a week here INSIDE the house...and they're friggin' huge! The neighbors just laugh at us for being sensitive to it at all, seeing as how they've lived here their whole lives and just tell us to "get used to it"...but the beauty of this forum is that I can get a 2nd/3rd/100th opinion

So....is it normal to see these things inside with that kind of frequency? And, is there a way to keep them out??

I'd appreciate any help/advice you have!
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