Coastal NC

VOL12ISS2 2016

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20 THE ORIGINAL RELOCATION GUIDE — CAPE FEAR NC | VOLUME 12—ISSUE 2 Maid in Brazil RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL CLEANING Servicing the Wilmington area for 11 years | Bonded and Insured phone 910-508-3896 | cleaning the world one job at a time WILMINGTON The beauty and deep history of Wilmington has transformed into the perfect backdrop for modern- day entertainment. Sometimes referred to as the "Hollywood of the South," this beach city has provided the scenery for a handful of well-known movies and television shows including author Nicholas Sparks' "The Notebook," "The Prince of Tides," and two Warner Brothers fan favorites from the late 1990s and early 2000s, "Dawson's Creek" and "One Tree Hill." In 2009, EUE/Screen Gems Studios completed one of the world's largest sound stages in Wilmington, with a 37,500-square-foot movie studio and 3,600-square-foot special effects water tank. The 50-acre complex has a total of 150,000 square feet of production space made up of 10 stages. Entertainment in Wilmington extends well beyond the stage. Year-round festivals constantly celebrate this seaside city and its people. Each February, event season kicks off with the NC Jazz Festival — one of the largest in the Southeast. Shortly after, April blooms to life with a five-day-long North Carolina Azalea Festival, a celebration of the city's artwork, gardens, history and culture. Summer brings an onslaught of musical sounds to the coast through the Carolina Beach Music Festival and Cape Fear Blues Festival. But one of the most beautiful times of the year, by far, in Wilmington is autumn — a season when the city's color extends well beyond the foliage. In October, Encore Restaurant Week takes over the city for eight days, when more than 50 of the area's finest restaurants offer diners culinary works of art in the form of pre-fixe meals. Foodies flock to Wilmington to taste-test these fares, from seafood and Southern classics, to European specialties, to American pub food. Beer, wine and spirits connoisseurs get their fill, too, in October with the annual Lighthouse Beer & Wine Festival, featuring more than 100 craft breweries and wineries in one location. Halloween fanatics are also drawn to this "actively haunted city." Guided walking tours highlight the city's ghostly past. The Paranormal Ghost Tour Masquerade at Poplar Grove Plantation, for example, explores one of North Carolina's oldest surviving peanut plantations. An eerie walkthrough of the Haunted Cotton Exchange shares the story of this pre-Civil War cotton export company, once one of the largest and busiest in the world. Other haunts include the Museum of Nightmares, a murder mystery cruise, costume parties, spooky theatre performances, and the Cape Fear Escape Room, where attendees work as a team to uncover clues, find hidden keys, and solve puzzles to escape a room. In November, bigger-than-life kites like a 100-foot blue whale paint the sky at Wilmington's Cape Fear Kite Festival. The Cucalorus Film Festival — one of the "Coolest Film Festivals in the World," according to Movie Maker Magazine — screens more than 200 international and local films. Riverfest, a Wilmington tradition, draws more than 250,000 people each year and showcases the work of more than 200 arts and crafts vendors. Whether you come from near or far, crave old-fashioned family fun or high-tech experiences, enjoy small-town life or big city charm — you'll find a home in Wilmington, North Carolina's most charming coastal town. []

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