NC Study Finds Wilmington is Most Preferred City

A new study has found that Wilmington ranks as the most favorable city in North Carolina for the nearly 1,000 participants polled. 

WILMINGTON — Coming off an election that left deep divisions among North Carolinians, one debate managed to cross party lines: the state loves Wilmington.

In a new study released Tuesday, the Port City ranked first among favorability ranking for state cities according to 953 North Carolinians. Public Policy Polling, a national polling company based in Raleigh, conducted the study from Jan. 13-16 to gauge a statewide preference for topics ranging from doughnuts to barbecue to college basketball to the state song.

Wilmington held a clear lead among the North Carolina cities tested with voters, claiming a 69 percent favorability rating. The study is an update of one conducted five years ago, when Wilmington and Raleigh tied for the top spot with 67 percent favorability. Raleigh dropped to 62 percent favorability in the 2017 study, but still managed to hold onto the No. 2 spot.

Southport resident Linsey Abernathey, out for a stroll in downtown Wilmington Wednesday afternoon with her husband Quentin and young son, said the Port City is attractive to so many because it caters to all. “There is something for literally everyone to do,” she said, standing near the Riverwalk. “Anything from having a little kid to when we bring my grandmother, there is always something going on with the different festivals and activities we have.”

Falling in behind Wilmington and Raleigh were Asheville (61 percent), Winston-Salem (56), Greensboro (56), Chapel Hill (56), Charlotte (55), Cary (43), Greenville (39), Durham (38), Fayetteville (34) and Carrboro (28).

The biggest declines were Raleigh and Charlotte, the latter of which fell to a 55 percent favorability rating and saw its unfavourability rating spike eight points to 26 percent — a change polling analyst Jim Williams attributed specifically to politics.

“I think that’s because Charlotte has become a flashpoint nationally because of the HB2 issue, as has Raleigh,” he said. “People just have a lesser opinion of those cities.”

Local resident May Lawley was also downtown Wednesday with her father, Dave, who was visiting from Charlotte. She said the small-town feel with big-city amenities like a downtown area and shopping centers likely contributes to Wilmington’s statewide appeal. But for Dave, it’s a bit more deeply rooted.


Credit: Hunter Ingram, StarNews Staff

Discover Leland NC

Just minutes from Historic downtown Wilmington, NC and on the banks of the Cape Fear River is the emerging town of Leland, NC.  This town has the full time population at just under 15,000 residents.  Leland is the northern most town in Brunswick County and hosts several of the newest Master Planned Communities and Plantations in the Wilmington area.

Magnolia Greens Golf and Plantation and Cape Fear National at Brunswick Forest are just two of the area’s top ranked links and well respected in the Grand Strand area.  These courses not only host the golf, but also have been developed to encompass the golfing lifestyle.  Both host the area’s most active adult and Master Planned Communities and Plantations with endless amenities.  The Leland area is soon to host yet another great golf course at Compass Point.

With several of the most popular Master Planned Communities and Plantations, many retail centers have also been developed.  Shopping, medical, banking and most all of your commercial needs are found just minutes from your home in Leland.  Two major shopping centers have all the provisions needed, The Shopping Villages at Brunswick Forest and Waterford Shopping Center will provide the best options for your tastes.   Take your golf chart to these shopping destinations.

The county tax basis is also a major attraction for those looking to retire in southeastern NC.  Brunswick County is still one of the fastest growing counties in North Carolina and boasts a fair tax rate of only .44 per $100 and the city of Leland is at .15 per $100.  This is one of the major attractions for those who do relocate to Leland.  The other major attraction are the county beaches.  The Brunswick County Beaches are some of the best in the Carolina’s.  Each island has its own personality and attractions and range in travel time less than 20 to 30 minutes from the epicenter of Leland.

There are so many reasons why we invite you to discover Leland and the Wilmington area.  Contact us at Carolina Plantations, 910-755-7557 to discover the coasts most active town of Leland.

Flying at Wilmington NC International Airport

Flying in from the northeast corridor to escape the winters or to explore the variety of plantation communities or just coming to the coast for a golf vacation?  You will be pleased to fly into Wilmington International Airport (ILM).  ILM is just one more benefit to living in the states top destination for coastal living.

ILM hosts flight options with Delta Airlines and US Airways.  Many flights will be direct to New York City, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Atlanta and Charlotte NC.  All three of these airports serve international flights.  Travel to and from ILM is simple as one, two three!  No long lines, traffic getting in and out, or major headaches of most major airports.

ILM is simple, convenient and comfortable.   The regional airport hosts many amenities including, the Tailwinds Deli and Bar, Pet area, SkyCap, Free Wifi, a Baby Changing area, and most major car and van rentals are on-site.

Please visit to learn more about another one of Wilmington NC  treasures.

ILM is minutes away from historic Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach, and Brunswick county.  All these area’s have the resources needed to make your coastal escape simple, enjoyable, and part of the experience of a total coastal get-a-way.