We’ve been to the Azalea Festival since we were knee-high to a Junebug, and we know the ins and outs! You can find the Azalea Festival schedule on the website, but that won’t give you the insider tips you need to make the most of Wilmington’s prettiest festival. Read on for our insider’s guide to the Azalea Festival.
Shop Here for Your Azalea Festival Attire
Wilmington clothing retailers are pulling together the sweet spring outfits you’ll want to wear. Get ready to step out at the Azalea Festival by browsing these local retailers:
- Lumina Station: You’ll find a dozen fine shops here for Azalea Festival finery.
- The Forum: Find dresses, shoes, hats, and jewelry here.
- Jewelry: Browse the booths at Blue Moon Gift Shops for a one-of a kind piece.
Get to the Parade Early
The best seats at the Azalea Festival parade are up front, and you’ll need to arrive early to claim your territory. Plan your travel in advance and wear comfortable shoes—you may need to walk a little.
A car pool or pre-booked transportation is really handy to save parking troubles or having to call an Uber when their prices are 10 times the normal rate because of a “surge” in requests. Book a ride in advance Event Shuttle Service or another local transportation provider.
Make Restaurant Reservations
Everyone at the festival will be hungry, so if you plan to eat downtown or at Wrightsville Beach during the Azalea Festival, make reservations. Try one of these favorite eateries:
- Bento Box Restaurant
- Fork ‘n’ Cork
- Oceanic Restaurant
- Oceans Restaurant
- Pilot House Restaurant
- PinPoint Restaurant
- Port Land Grille
- Ruth’s Chris Steak House
- Slice of Life
- South Beach Grill
FYI, the Official Garden Party After Party is at the Bluewater Waterfront Grill
Rest Up for the Big Time
On Friday, April 8, the Azalea Festival Garden Party is in the morning and Snoop Dog plays in the evening. Pace yourself, and plan on a nap.
Get Pretty Early for the Azalea Festival
Make your hair, makeup, and nail appointments early—these services get busy before the festival.
Handy Hints for the Street Festival
It can be tiring having all that fun!
- Bring along some water to stay hydrated.
- Bring cash. Many small vendors don’t accept plastic.
- Charge your phone—you will want to take pictures. Bring a backup battery if you run out of juice easily.
- Try the Wilmington Downtown App to find your way around and locate dining, shopping, and attractions.
Happy Azalea Festival!