Wilmington, NC shopping isn’t defined by shopping malls or big box retailers. The highest concentration of unique boutique shops can be found at one place. The Cotton Exchange. While you are shopping visit our restaurants. The Wilmington Walk of Fame is located on site honoring locals such as David Brinkley, Charlie Daniels, Althea Gibson, and Roman Gabriel among ten other celebrities to date who have attained national acclaim. History is abundantly displayed throughout the gracious courtyards and within the four distinct restaurants. The Cotton Exchange shopping center in historic downtown offers its patrons Free Parking on site.
At the turn of the century, majestic sailing ships delivered treasures from around the world to the Port of Wilmington. Paddle-wheel boats plied the broad Cape Fear River from Southport to Fayetteville. Cotton was king, and one of the largest and busiest cotton export companies in the world was located in Wilmington. Today, The Cotton Exchange is still an adventure in trade. Eight graciously restored buildings connected by brick walkways, open-air courtyards, and gigantic heart pine beams house 30 unique specialty shops and restaurants, each a charming reflection of the style and feel of Wilmington’s 19th century working port days. In 1975-76, The Cotton Exchange was the first downtown complex in North Carolina to adapt and utilize existing buildings, serving as an excellent example of local preservation efforts.