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How can I take a tour of historic spots in Wilmington?

Cece Nunn
StarNews

The following is information about several of the historic tours offered, through various modes of land transportation, of the Wilmington area:

AMERICAN HERITAGE TOURS: Hear about the stories, experiences and contributions of African Americans during a tour of historic Wilmington. The tour is conducted from an air-conditioned bus that leaves at noon and 2 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays, May through October. Departs in front of the Hilton, between Grace and Princess streets. For more information, or to arrange a group tour at another time besides the ones listed, call (910) 371-2848 or e-mail amhtic@earthlink.net. Website: www.amhtours.com

CAPE FEAR SEGWAY TOURS: Segways are two-wheeled, motorized vehicles users stand on to operate. The cost is $55 for a two-hour guided historic tour or $50 if you pay with cash and $35 for a one-hour waterfront tour. All tours include 20 to 25 minutes of instructions on using the Segways. For more information, call (910) 251-2572. Web site: www.capefearsegway.com

CULINARY ADVENTURES WITH LIZ BIRO: Learn about the Cape Fear region’s food history and sample some of its current flavors at downtown restaurants with food writer Liz Biro. The cost is $38, and while reservations are preferred, people can join the group as it gathers near the visitor’s kiosk on Water Street at 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. Thursdays and Saturdays. To make a reservation or for more information, call (910) 545-8055. Website: www.LizBiro.com

DRAM TREE HISTORICAL TOURS: Jack E. Fryar Jr., author and editor of more than 18 books about the history of the Cape Fear and coastal North Carolina, guides people on a six- to seven-hour tour on a 14-passenger air-conditioned bus for $35 for adults and $25 for children under 15. Tours are 70 miles round trip and leave from Thalian Hall at the corner of Third and Chestnut streets in downtown Wilmington. Sites visited include Wilmington landmarks, Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson, the N.C. Maritime Museum at Southport and many more. For step-on or charter tour rates, or for more information, call (910) 538-4076. E-mail Fryar at dramtreebooks@ec.rr.com.

GHOST WALK OF OLD WILMINGTON: Held 6:30 to 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Sunday, the Ghost Walk departs from Water and Market streets. The cost is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, students and those in the military and free for children 6 and younger. Tickets can be purchased online at www.hauntedwilmington.com or at The Black Cat Shoppe at 11 Market St. in downtown Wilmington. For more information, call (910) 794-1866. Website; www.hauntedwilmington.com

HAUNTED PUB CRAWL: Held 7:30 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, the Pub Crawl’s starting point varies nightly. This tour is for adults 21 years old and older. The cost is $15, drinks not included. Tickets can be purchased online at www.hauntedwilmington.com or at The Black Cat Shoppe, 11 Market St., downtown Wilmington. For more information, call (910) 794-1866.  Space is limited. For more information, call (910) 794-1866. Website; www.hauntedwilmington.com

HOLLYWOOD LOCATION WALK: This tour, tailored to involve specific sites guests want to see, varies daily and can include locations for various movies, including The Crow and Sleeping with the Enemy, and TV shows, including One Tree Hill and Dawson’s Creek. The tour begins at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays starting at Market and Water streets. The cost is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, students and those in the military and free for children 6 and younger. Tickets can be purchased online at www.hauntedwilmington.com or at The Black Cat Shoppe at 11 Market St. in downtown Wilmington. Reservations are required and can be made by calling (910) 794-1866. Website: www.HollywoodNC.com

HORSEDRAWN TROLLEY OR CARRIAGE TOURS OF HISTORIC WILMINGTON: A costumed driver narrates as passengers travel along the riverfront and past stately mansions of old Wilmington in a trolley or carriage pulled by rescued horses.Tours are held daily, weather permitting, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. April through October, with different times November through March. The cost is $12 for adults and $5 for children under 12. Reservations are not necessary. For more information, call Springbrook Farms Inc. at (910) 251-8889. Website: www.HorseDrawnTours.com

LOCAL HISTORY TOUR GUIDE, ESPECIALLY CIVIL WAR SITES: Chris Fonvielle, an associate professor in the department of history at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, is available on request to provide local history tours to groups or organizations. He can guide people to local Civil War and Revolutionary War sites or other Cape Fear historical sites. Call Fonvielle at (910) 617-2638 or e-mail him at fonvielle@uncw.ed.

LOWER CAPE FEAR HISTORICAL SOCIETY WALKING TOURS: These tours start at the Latimer House Museum, a Victorian family home and the headquarters of the Lower Cape Fear Hisotorical Society, at 126 S. Third St. They begin at 10 a.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays. The cost is $10 per person. Admission to the museum is an additional $10. For more information, call (910) 762-0492. Website: www.latimerhouse.org

TOUR OLD WILMINGTON: A costumed guide leads participants on an exploration of Wilmington during the Victorian Era (1837-1901). Walking tours start at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday at the foot of Market and Water streets. Tours are also offered on Sunday by appointment. The cost is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and students and free for children 12 and under. For more information, call (910) 409-4300 or e-mail Lori.TourOldWilmington@gmail.com. Website: www.TourOldWilmington.blogspot.com

TOURS BY DEGREES: Janet Seapker and her husband, Ed Turberg, architectural historians, offer a variety of themed tours, including nature, local history, carnivorous plants, art and antiques, African American history and more. For more information, call (910) 762-6301 or e-mail toursbydegrees@ec.rr.com. Website: www.toursbydegrees.com

TRIPS WITH TRIPLETT: Retired New Hanover High School history and social studies teacher Robin Triplett tells stories about historical downtown Wilmington on a walking tour for groups that covers 16 city blocks. Tours last one and a half to two hours. The cost is $3 for students and $8 for adults. Triplett said she prefers to schedule tours for times before 11 a.m. or after 6 p.m. because of the summer heat. To schedule a tour or for more information, call (910) 392-6753 or e-mail RLTRiver@yahoo.com.

TROLLEY TOURS: The nearly eight-mile, 45-minute tour on a Wilmington Trolley Co. trolley includes mansions, museums, birthplaces of famous Wilmington natives, TV and movie locations, African-American history and Civil War shipyards. June through August, tours depart on the hour, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., from Dock and Water streets. The cost is $11 for adults, $5 for children under 12 and free for children 3 years old and younger. For more information, call (910) 763-4483. Website: www.wilmingtontrolley.com

WILMINGTON ADVENTURE WALKING TOUR CO.: Explore Wilmington’s historic district with longtime Wilmington resident Bob Jenkins, the first to conduct historical walking tours downtown. Tours are $10 and begin April 1 and continue through Nov. 1, by prearrangement only. For more information, call (910) 763-1785.

Related links:

Where are good walking tours of the downtown Wilmington area?

What are the best sources for local history?

Who are some local ghosts?

What are some famous local hurricanes?

Were any famous duels fought in Southeastern North Carolina?

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