Downtown Wilmington Things to Do: USS Battleship

Coming up from Market Street into downtown Wilmington is a vision of the Cape Fear River and with a closer look, you may see a ship lining the horizon. Those who are familiar with the nitty gritty details of US history (or even more localized--Wilmington history) may know that the USS Battleship is a major historic landmark in Wilmington, and in North Carolina in general. 

Constructed as the first to join the American fleet for World War II, this massive beauty participated in every major naval offensive in the Pacific area, earning 15 battle stars.

When the time had come to its end for the USS Battleship, citizens of North Carolina organized a campaign called the Save Our Ship campaign to bring back the naval vessel to its homeland. With the campaign being the success that it was, North Carolina was able to send the ship back to its current berth, which puts it right in the center of the magic of a downtown Wilmington, NC sunset.

Visitors Come to See the USS Battleship

Every year the USS Battleship sees countless amounts of visitors and hosts events like award ceremonies and even weddings. Even for the past few years, a local dance company has hosted a Latin dance event on the ship to start out the summer months with a bang.

Stepping on this ship is like stepping onto a piece of history; as you walk onto the ship, you are confronted with the massive cannons in the center of the ship.

Look out over the ship to a view of downtown Wilmington's award-winning River-Walk, lined with local shops and restaurants like Elijah's Restaurant and the Pilot House to name a few. You may even see the Courthouse where the once popular TV show Matlock was filmed. Either way, the view is spectacular, lending to an eventful day on one of Wilmington's top tourist destinations and historic landmarks.

Take a Peek Inside

Ever thinking about getting your hair cut on a moving ship? On this tour, I was able to get access of parts of the ship that the majority of the public eye doesn't see on regular tours. So here you have the hair salon, complete with the works.

Below is the set up of the operation room, complete with supplies, medicine, and even nostalgic photos of surgeries that took place on the ship during its time on the waters.

Take a look at this pharmacy--much different than what we see in front of us at the counter at Walgreens or CVS. 

After a hard day at work, navymen might have a float at the ice cream parlor. Look at this antique cash register!

Check out these tight living quarters. ;) Imagine having your bed above your desk and having to climb all the way up to get to your bed like this. 

Or how about that bunk in the far right corner over there? Suspended from the ceiling, barely any mattress padding, and spring coils that line the bottom of the frame. That sure sounds comfortable. 

Ever slept on a bunk bed? How about a quadruple one? What if you got stuck sleeping on the very top bunk? I would hate to fall off the bunk bed onto that floor. 


Tour the USS Battleship

Interested in seeing more of the ship or even just seeing all of its glory in person? You can do a guided tour or you can choose to take a peek at the grandeur of the ship on your own. Either way, this ship is open daily from 8a-5pm in the winter time, or enjoy extended hours from 8a-8pm in the summer. Guided tours have specific times, so check out pricing and details by clicking here for more information. 


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