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Old 10-17-2015, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Duluth, MN
385 posts, read 532,261 times
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I left the cold of MN, hoping to find a southerly less harsh place to live; been in Asheville NC since end of September and am heading to scout out Wilmington area in a week. Asheville is nice, downtown rocks, wilderness rocks, but the city and neighborhoods are quite hilly/mountainous and thus not conducive to bicycling which I really like to do for morning commutes to a Starbucks for writing; and the homes are often built onto steep hillsides, sigh. So anyhow, I want to scout out coastal NC particularly the Wilmington region because of the fact Wilm has an airport, is large enough for culture (state theatre, symphony, etc). A job is not an issue for me, I am financially independent and will be doing writing, filmmaking.

Q: What areas of Wilmington should I be looking at for neighborhoods/houses that have some old growth trees lining the streets, where the population density is not so high (city-data lists the pop density of Wilmington as twice that of Duluth MN from where I come from so I am concerned, I would prefer a quieter less dense neighborhood. I could afford a house around $200,000-$300,000. Close enough to bicycle a few miles into the city would be cool but not mandatory as long as I could bicycle relatively flat ground to a Starbucks/other mornings.

Q: What parks or other areas of Wilmington should I be certain to see to get a feel for the cooler side of Wilmington beyond the bustling city aspect? I do want to see the boardwalk of course, and the beach. Anything else that stands out as cool and unique for Wilmington?

Q: Any nearby smaller cities I should take a look at that would be nice, nice neighborhoods, less hectic, but that are close enough to Wilmington for driving in at times for culture and shopping?

Q: How many months out of the year are mosquitoes much of any issue? Are there areas of Wilmington where the skeeters are more of a nuisance than other areas of the city? And do I need to worry about alligators along the cape fear river or other nearby lakes and rivers? Alligators are so foreign to me, never seen one in person, don't know how far north they are found.
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Old 10-17-2015, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Southport
4,639 posts, read 4,808,414 times
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To answer you're third and fourth questions, I'd recommend you check out Carolina Beach and Southport. CB is very close to Wilmington, but is a nice, middle class type beach community. May be too densely developed for you however. Southport is an old fishing village, now a charming tourist town, with a beautiful historic area. Its not on the beach, but is on the Cape Fear River, with the beach a short drive away.

Mosquitoes are an issue from the time it warms up until it cools off...May through October. Some years (like this one) are worse than others. The only alligator I've seen in the wild is the one that hangs out at the USS North Carolina, and its more of a pet than a wild animal. They certainly exist, but aren't generally a problem.

One last thought on Asheville. I know its surrounded by mountains, but it sits in a valley, and I never thought of the city itself as being all that hilly. Did you check out west Asheville? Its very pedestrian and bike friendly.
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Old 10-17-2015, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,251 posts, read 19,777,911 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_obody999 View Post
Q: What parks or other areas of Wilmington should I be certain to see to get a feel for the cooler side of Wilmington beyond the bustling city aspect? I do want to see the boardwalk of course, and the beach. Anything else that stands out as cool and unique for Wilmington?
Drive down Market Street from about 23rd St to Front Street. You will see huge live-oak trees draped with Spanish moss, and beautiful historic houses. Also visit the Cotton Exchange and plan to go somewhere nice for lunch or dinner. (I can't recommend restaurants, but other regulars can.)
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Old 10-17-2015, 12:28 PM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,251 posts, read 19,777,911 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_obody999 View Post
I would prefer a quieter less dense neighborhood. I could afford a house around $200,000-$300,000. Close enough to bicycle a few miles into the city would be cool but not mandatory as long as I could bicycle relatively flat ground to a Starbucks/other mornings.
Look up the River-to-the-Sea Bikeway on Google maps. Then look at the streets between Wrightsville Avenue and Oleander Drive, and east of Independence Blvd. There is a Starbucks at the mall. I also like Jimbos Breakfast and Lunch on College Ave.

I think that area is the best be for you but I can't guarantee availablity of houses in your price range. Pick up one of the real estate magazine while you are there.
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Old 10-17-2015, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Duluth, MN
385 posts, read 532,261 times
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Thank you all! Great insight and I am excited to see the Wilmington area and the ocean! Ugh i so want to find a city to call home that is not up north with snow and ice!
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Old 10-18-2015, 05:29 PM
 
1,958 posts, read 2,633,103 times
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welcome to our city and hope you have a great time.
I suggest you look for homes in the Wrightsville ave. area that is close in to 16'th street
not always the best crime stats but such a lovely area with old bungalows and easy bike ride to downtown.
Do want to mention that Wilmington does not have a boardwalk area per se, we have a river front boardwalk since the city
is on the river, Wrightsville beach is on the ocean.
You should also look behind Whole foods/Oleander mall area for brick ranches in your price range but overall
I think you should focus your area anywhere off Wrightsville ave. area.
Go eat at Sealevel gourmet and seafood , any downtown restaurant , RX on Castle street. Have a beer at
either Satelite bar , Palate or Flytrap brewery and all will be good.
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Old 10-20-2015, 04:25 PM
 
353 posts, read 471,536 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_obody999 View Post
i left the cold of mn, hoping to find a southerly less harsh place to live; been in asheville nc since end of september and am heading to scout out wilmington area in a week. Asheville is nice, downtown rocks, wilderness rocks, but the city and neighborhoods are quite hilly/mountainous and thus not conducive to bicycling which i really like to do for morning commutes to a starbucks for writing; and the homes are often built onto steep hillsides, sigh. So anyhow, i want to scout out coastal nc particularly the wilmington region because of the fact wilm has an airport, is large enough for culture (state theatre, symphony, etc). A job is not an issue for me, i am financially independent and will be doing writing, filmmaking.

Q: What areas of wilmington should i be looking at for neighborhoods/houses that have some old growth trees lining the streets, where the population density is not so high (city-data lists the pop density of wilmington as twice that of duluth mn from where i come from so i am concerned, i would prefer a quieter less dense neighborhood. I could afford a house around $200,000-$300,000. Close enough to bicycle a few miles into the city would be cool but not mandatory as long as i could bicycle relatively flat ground to a starbucks/other mornings.

it's hard to adequately explain this, but there really isn't such a thing as bicycling (or walking or driving) "into the city". "the city" is spread out all over the place. Spend a lot of time driving around when you get here and maybe you'll better understand this. Definitely check out the myrtle grove, greenville loop road, and masonboro/masonboro loop road areas.

q: What parks or other areas of wilmington should i be certain to see to get a feel for the cooler side of wilmington beyond the bustling city aspect? I do want to see the boardwalk of course, and the beach. Anything else that stands out as cool and unique for wilmington?

our parks in my opinion aren't much to look at, they're just nice places for the kids to run around and to walk the dog.
You'll want to check out downtown for sure, take a stroll along the riverwalk. While you're in the vicinity, the uss north carolina battleship is just over the river and is a big draw, if you're interested in that kind of thing.
If you aren't opposed to paying an entrance fee, head down to airlie rd and visit airlie gardens. From there you can drive on down to wrightsville beach, maybe stop in the dockside for some lunch.
You should also take a drive down to pleasure island - that's carolina beach, kure beach, and fort fisher. You can visit the nc aquarium at fort fisher, and also the ft. Fisher civil war museum. Weather permitting, there's a wonderful park/picnic area just across from the museum adjacent to the beach. If you want to really make a full day of it, you can take the ferry from ft fisher across the river to southport.


q: Any nearby smaller cities i should take a look at that would be nice, nice neighborhoods, less hectic, but that are close enough to wilmington for driving in at times for culture and shopping?

depends on how far you want to drive. Wilmington is an urban island in the middle of a bunch of farmland, swamps, and timberland. When you visit wilmington, you'll realize that it's not really "hectic" here unless you're in a car on one of the three or four main thoroughfares.

q: How many months out of the year are mosquitoes much of any issue? Are there areas of wilmington where the skeeters are more of a nuisance than other areas of the city? And do i need to worry about alligators along the cape fear river or other nearby lakes and rivers? Alligators are so foreign to me, never seen one in person, don't know how far north they are found.

Alligators are a nonissue. Worry more about rabid raccoons instead. And rabid foxes. Months of the year with mosquitoes? Well, never more than 12 it's not unusual to have them in march, and i just had a cloud of them following me in my backyard.

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Old 10-21-2015, 04:27 AM
 
Location: Southport
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Hugh McRae Park is one of the larger parks in Wilmington. Also, there's Carolina Beach State Park and Ft. Fisher State Park.
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Old 10-21-2015, 07:47 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,251 posts, read 19,777,911 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_obody999 View Post
Q: How many months out of the year are mosquitoes much of any issue? Are there areas of Wilmington where the skeeters are more of a nuisance than other areas of the city? And do I need to worry about alligators along the cape fear river or other nearby lakes and rivers?
By now in October, you have passed the main mosquito season. I think that they might be worse along the Cape Fear River side of Wilmington.

If mosquitoes are a big issue for you, you might consider some of the communities in Leland. For example, I know the community sprays for mosquitoes in Magnolia Greens. Otherwise, invest in some clothing with insect repellant in the fabric for when you are outside. The "Bugs-Away" brand seems to work for me.

Alligators do live in ponds and creeks in the more rural areas. If you have a dog, I would not let it play near water, but they generally don't bother humans. The State Wildlife people should handle them if they become a nuisance to people.
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Old 10-22-2015, 08:26 AM
 
2,304 posts, read 1,791,731 times
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You should properly comprehend the NC humidity as it's completely different experience from off the mountain.

Wilmington you will experience more of a conservative patina maybe a similar mix to what exists in charlotte opposed to the triangle / asheville

Bike infrastructure is very poor. I wouldn't trust long road commutes.

Wilmington has a downtown core taking shape I would look most to transition into that.

clear cut downtown or buzzed neighborhoods wont have a huge wildlife issue per se

south port is an old people destination


Wilmington doesn't have a history of hosting urban professional jobs and most people outside of 20s are raising families / living in the suburbs
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