Wilmington - Getting In -

By car

Note: Common abbreviations are used for all highway routes, as well as for local streets, roads, freeways, etc., e.g., I-95 S for Interstate Highway 95 South, US 421 N for United States Highway 421 North, NC 24 W for North Carolina State Highway 24 West, Rd. for road, St. for street, etc., etc., etc. Also, all cities and towns referenced can be assumed to be located within the state of North Carolina unless otherwise noted.

If you are traveling to Wilmington from the south via I-95 N, or from the direction of Charlotte, you should take US 74 E (exit 14 in North Carolina from I-95). It will take you about an 1.5 to 2 hours to get to Wilmington from the junction of I-95 and US 74. If taking this route, you should be sure to stock up on snacks and drinks, use the restroom, and fill up your gasoline tank before merging onto US 74 E, because stops are few and far between until arriving in Wilmington. US 74 (running concurrent with US 17 and US 76 at this point) crosses the Cape Fear River Bridge into Wilmington just south of the Historic District. An alternate route to Wilmington from the south - if you are traveling north on I-95, or east on I-20 - is to catch US 76 E in Florence, SC. US 76 merges with US 74 in Brunswick County, approximately 35 miles (56 km) to the east of Wilmington, and they run together into Wilmington as US 74/76.

If you are traveling to Wilmington from the north via I-95 S, or from the direction of Raleigh, take I-40 E. Again, it will take approximately 1.5 to 2 hours to get to Wilmington from the junction of I-95 and I-40. You should be aware that stops between I-95 and Wilmington are also infrequent, although there is a rest area near Warsaw, at the exit for NC 24. If taking this route, once you arrive in Wilmington, you should also know that I-40 ends soon after you are within the city limits. If you stay on I-40 heading into Wilmington, it will dump you onto US 132 S, College Rd., which, after about 2 miles (3km), intersects with US 17 and then continues on into the city, where it becomes relatively busy and congested. A possible alternate route is the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Pkwy., which intersects with College Rd. approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) after the end of I-40. This parkway will ultimately connect Eastwood Rd. on the east side of town -- leading to Wrightsville Beach and Landfall -- with the Castle Hayne Road, US 117, on the west, which, in turn, if taken south, will lead to downtown Wilmington and the Historic District. Currently, the parkway is complete on the eastern side of College Rd. to Eastwood Rd., but is incomplete on the western side; the only major thoroughfare with which it connects on the western side is North Kerr Ave.

US 17 runs approximately from north to south through Wilmington. Within the city limits, US 17 is primarily named Market St., although it does depart from this when it makes a jog around downtown Wilmington on the southeast side. Heading north, you can travel on US 17 to Camp Lejeune, Jacksonville, New Bern, and points further north. Heading south, you can travel on US 17 to Myrtle Beach, SC, Georgetown, SC, Charleston, SC, and points further south. Traveling to the northwest on US 421 -- the main route out of Wilmington to the northwest before I-40 opened in 1990 -- will take you to Clinton, Dunn, and, ultimately, Greensboro, and points further to the northwest. Unless you specifically want to avoid traveling on I-40, or unless you are going to Clinton or Dunn, or someplace else along the way, there's not much reason to choose this route over I-40, which also goes through Greensboro.

By plane

Wilmington is served by Wilmington International Airport (ILM), located at 1740 Airport Blvd, to the northwest of downtown. Two airlines fly into ILM: US Airways, and ASA . While there are some direct flights into Wilmington, most passengers will catch a connecting flight through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta, GA (ATL), or through Charlotte Douglas International Airport in Charlotte (CLT).

By bus

Bus service to and from Wilmington is via Greyhound . The station is located at 201 Harnett St. in downtown Wilmington. Service is infrequent, and the station is open for limited hours: 9:00 AM (900) - 1:00 PM (1300), and from 4:00 PM (1600)- 6:00 PM (1800). 

Adapted from WikiTravel under the Wiki License

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