Stay home, avoid the parking issues downtown, and go to the New Hanover County Library web site for your armchair tour of Wilmington's past couple centuries.
Dr. Robert M. Fales Collection got its start as one doctor's efforts to collect photos of all local physicians, and from there it spread like a local epidemic. The collection contains approximately 1,300 slides of Wilmington people and places, many of which the doctor claims were brought to him by patients who dug them out of the bottom of a trunk in the attic.
Louis T. Moore Collection is courtesy of a zealot who was secretary of the chamber of commerce 1921-41. It consists of 976 black-and-white photos taken with a box camera. This same photography enthusiast is personally responsible for most of the historic markers that are liberally distributed through the downtown region, sometimes three or more to a block, in many cases commemorating notable people who were just passing through. Whistler's Mother, for example, stayed at a house near 4th and Orange when she was 11 years old, but lived in Bladen County.
Port City Architecture is the motherlode of houses past and present, public and private, large and small.
Star News Archive is an interesting contribution from the local newspaper, consisting mainly of aerial photography, numerous birdseye views of Wilmington and surrounding areas.
Wrightsville Beach postcard collection is total nostalgia for anybody who vacationed at the beach with the family, or danced at Lumina Station, or rode the old beach cars that used to run between Wilmington and Wrightsville.