Day Tripping: Take a Break from your Myrtle Beach Vacation to Discover Wilmington, NC

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Make sure you take full advantage of your vacation and pick one of the several nearby cities to which guests can take a day trip to experience something different. One of them, Wilmington, NC, is located less than 70 miles up the coast from Long Bay Resort – close enough to explore in a day. Here are some of the highlights for you and your crew to hit:

* Battleship North Carolina: This World War II-era battleship was retired in the state that shares its name and is on permanent display in the Cape Fear River, just before you cross the bridge into downtown Wilmington. Patrons can hop aboard and tour virtually every corner of this vessel, from the large gun turrets to the tight quarters where hundreds of sailors bunked during their tours of duty. The adjoining museum offers a history lesson about the ship's proud past and the people who served in her crew.

* Cape Fear River: This legendary river flows alongside the heart of downtown Wilmington, a major port where trade dates back to Colonial America. There are several opportunities to board a boat and float past the scenic waterfront, which is lined with historic buildings and warehouses where tobacco, cotton, and timber were sent to market. A water trolley allows patrons to disembark and explore other parts of the city and Riverfront Park, while tour boats offer unique glimpses at the scenic Cape Fear River Basin and other sites.

* Dining/Shopping: Downtown Wilmington is a happening area with lots of bars, cafes, boutiques, and shops. The Cotton Exchange features a series of warehouses filled with small stores, and the entire district is bustling with seafood restaurants, concert venues Shopping and other entertainment options. Stroll the area along Front Street and Market Street for excellent waterside dining and upscale shopping.

* Gardens/Museums: Natural and manmade beauty peacefully coexist in Wilmington, which is famous for its historic buildings, churches, gardens and museums. The Airlie Gardens are filled with flowers and other flora around large lakes and marshes, while the Bellamy Mansion highlights the unique architecture of the city. The Cape Fear Museum details the storied past of Wilmington, which served as a popular outpost for pirates and New World explorers. In fact, the legendary pirate Blackbeard was known to patrol the area and used the backwaters of the Cape Fear River as his hideout.

* Pit Stops: A day trip allows for pit stops at various points along your trip to Wilmington. Southport, NC, is a scenic and historic seaside town with shops, cafes and nautical-themed venues, and a ferry carries visitors to Bald Head Island just off the coast. On the way home, stop off for dinner in Calabash, NC, the Seafood Capital of the World and the namesake for the style of fresh, crispy-fried fish and shrimp that made the town famous.

After a long day in Wilmington, it’s time to head back to Myrtle Beach for a little downtime at Long Bay Resort. Offering clean and comfortable accommodations, first-class amenities, on-site dining and more, Long Bay Resort, oceanfront in Myrtle Beach, is the perfect place to chill out after a hectic day of exploring.