A wonderful way to spend a balmy summer evening is to attend an event at Airlie Gardens, New Hanover County’s breathtakingly beautiful 67-acre site. The Airlie Gardens Summer Concert Series offers wonderful music, including beach music, dance bands and jazz, at the events that are scheduled on Friday evenings from May through September. Details on the dates and artists are available at our Upcoming Events link.
Visitors are invited to bring chairs or blankets to sit on and picnic baskets are welcome too. Airlie Gardens is located near Wrightsville Beach and features 10-acres of freshwater lakes, walking trails, sculptures, vies of Bradley Creek and the majestic 465-year-old Airlie Oak.
Free Concerts At Cotton Exchange
Several concerts are offered throughout the year at the Cotton Exchange, Wilmington’s downtown historic shopping site. During the summer season, bands play in the courtyard while groups move indoors in the coldest months.
Numerous outdoor musical performances take place on Pleasure Island each year. The Beach Music Festival, celebrating its 30th year in 2015, takes place in June and free summer concerts are offered twice a month in June, July and August. In October 2015, the 21st annual Seafood, Blues and Jazz Festival, drawing visitors from near and far, takes place.
You’ll also find music on Topsail Island throughout the summer and into the fall. The Autumn with Topsail festival in October is one of the popular events for locals, since it provides an excuse to visit Topsail after the summer crowds are gone.
Leland’s nightlife spot
A relatively new establishment in Leland, Willoughbys is becoming the place to be for entertainment in Leland. Willoughbys, named after an episode of the Twilight Zone, opened in February 2013. Billed as “not your ordinary tavern,” it is located on Ocean Highway just south of Magnolia Greens. The owner is dedicated to keeping prices very affordable and has created a comfortable, cozy atmosphere. Live entertainment is offered frequently and there are popular weekly trivia and karaoke nights. The restaurant has an outdoor area and a place for a fireside chat. Look for a beautiful state of the art, fire engine red Willoughbys food truck that is in front of the tavern.