One of our favorite things to do in historic downtown Wilmington is explore the charming local shops. You’re sure to find something delightfully unusual in these quaint, out-of-the-way shops, something unique that the big chains just don’t have.
If you’re looking for a great gift or just want to spend time exploring, wander through charming downtown Wilmington shops, including The Cotton Exchange.
Here are just a few of our favorites:
Looking for something new to wear—something different? Beloved gives shoppers a boutique that pushes limits. The fashion-forward pieces create a small, unique collection in a charming boutique. Owner Kelsey Light grew up in N.C. and strives to foster a boutique that customers can call home.
Find a pretty summer top or a comfy, cute dress with pockets! Small quantities and meaningful pieces make this shop shine.
High-quality candles with delightful fragrances are the specialty at Candles Etc. The earth-friendly 100% hand poured soy candles are handcrafted locally and are unique to this Market Street shop. You’ll also find candle accessories, gift items, art glass, local photography, and rock candles here.
With candlelight ambience, charming fragrances and music to relax you, Candles Etc. provides an experience you won’t find in other stores.
This shop smells great! Cape Fear Spice Merchants is your source for hand-mixed spice blends, a huge variety of loose teas, oils, vinegars, and gifts. Here’s where you can choose from a dozen chili peppers; flavored salts and sugars; unusual spices such as sumac, nigella, and mace; and creative, delicious spice blends ready to flavor your baking and cooking.
Whatever culinary secret you’re searching for, this is the place to find it. And you can pick up some fun popcorn seasoning and dip mixes!
Here’s the downtown source for all types of greeting cards and the perfect gift for that hard-to-buy-for friend. Stationery, pens, journals, and calendars join gift items like magnets, coasters, and picture frames for a fun collection of writing-related merchandise. You’ll also find items from Lily Pulitzer and Kate Spade.
Occasions offers custom wedding and party invitations too—stop by and take a peek at the options.
Olive lovers rejoice! Here’s a place to browse through hand-stuffed olives, olive spreads, infused olive oils, and aged balsamic vinegars. The tasting room is open every day so you can pick a flavor or two. It’s hard to beat the Meyer Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil, but the Black Truffle Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil has a strong fan base.
Good olive oil loves vinegar to offset it. Don’t overlook the rich Black Cherry Aged Balsamic. And be sure to take home some tapenade or muffaletta spread for a treat.
Support North Carolina artisans at the Heart of Carolina! Here you’ll find an eclectic mix of handcrafted food and crafts. You might stumble on the perfect sea glass jewelry, quilts, men’s shave set, soap or lotion, oyster shuckers, pottery, or iron horseshoe pit.
Everyone loves a food treat, and Heart of Carolina offers jams, jellies, pickles, grits, hot sauce, peanuts, and lots more. And check out the selections from local vintners and brewers!