Nightlife

Location
Wilmington, NC
Undergrads
10,457
Tuition (in-state)
$17,472 ($5,672)
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews

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5 College Student

Nightlife: The nightlife is CRAZY here. It's the ECU of the coast, and all of my friends are extremely jealous.

4 College Freshman

Nightlife: Sharkys provides students the opportunity to purchase taxi tickets in bulk. It's much cheaper and encourages students to be safe with their partying and transportation!

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Nightlife: The night life in Wilmington is always great. There are a lot of bars and clubs downtown that are available. Wilmington also has many great places to eat.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Nightlife: I am not one to go out, but my friends say that the beach bars, and the bars downtown are awesome.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Nightlife: It's really fun and everyone loves going out.

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 215th
    Biggest Party Schools
  • 407th
    Best Drink Prices
  • 1160th
    Tamest Party Scenes

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Chloe Miller
Hometown
Cary, NC
Major
English Literature
Grad Year
2013
View all previous student authors

Freshmen, sophomores, and not-yet-21 students are going to find more luck with the nightlife scene at house parties and some clubs in downtown Wilmington. A few of the clubs downtown have closed recently, so there aren't too many options for underage students. Sand Bar, which is a dance bar only open to college students, is right by campus and is usually a fun time for all. It's not very difficult to find parties on the weekends (e.g., Thursday through Saturday nights), if that's what a student wants to participate in.

Once students hit the 21-year-old mark, there's a lot to do. The two main areas of Downtown Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach provide a variety of bars. Bars and clubs for students are affordable and accessible; cab rides with a group of friends to the beach or downtown make for only $2 or $3 per person, and it's not expensive to have a night out. A lot of the bars are pretty chill, so it's definitely possible to not drink and still have a good time! It's an exciting time when students finally come of age and are able to go to the popular "beach bars." Students always see people they know from school along with a good mix of new individuals.

Facts & Statistics

Primary Areas with Nightlife
  • Downtown Wilmington
  • Off-campus houses/apartments (Rainbow Road, Azalea Trace, beach houses)
  • Wrightsville Beach beach bars
Other Places to Check Out
  • Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar
  • Carolina Ale House
  • Copper Penny
  • Fox & Hound Pub & Grille
  • Hell's Kitchen
  • Katy's Grill & Bar
  • Kickback Jack's Restaurant
  • Lighthouse Beer & Wine
  • The Loft
  • North End Bistro
  • Olive or Twist
  • Palm Room
  • The River Rat Hole in the Wall
  • Satellite Bar and Lounge
  • Trebenzio's Restaurant & Lounge
  • Two Guys Grille
  • Wild Wing CafĂ©
Local Specialties
Fishbowl: For $12, you get a half gallon-sized fishbowl full of tequila flavored with blue punch. It's a good thing to share with a few friends.
Favorite Drinking Games
  • Beer pong
  • Circle of Death
Useful Resources for Nightlife
  • Facebook pages
  • Posters/fliers on bulletin boards
  • Word of mouth/friends
Closing Time
2 a.m.
Cheapest Place to Get a Drink
All of the beach bars (22 North, Jerry Allen's, Lagerheads, etc.) have cheap drinks and drink specials, depending on the day of the week. They always have $2 domestic beers. Sand Bar also has cheap drinks.
Organization Parties
Greek life organizations throw parties at on-campus houses, and some of the athletes host parties off campus, as well.

Club ListingsWhat's This?

Pravda Nightclub

Light shows and live DJs Tuesday through Saturday make for an electric environment. With the largest vodka selection in Wilmington and two high-volume bars plus the availability of its sister bar Sputnik, Pravda is a hot spot, voted the "Best Nightclub" in 2011 and 2012.

23 N. Front St.

Downtown Wilmington

www.wilmingtonnightclubs.com/pravda.html

Red Dogs

Wednesday through Saturday nights, Red Dogs is one of the most popular beach bars. The lights can be seen flashing from the street. Though quite a small space inside, it can definitely hold a fun night. The bar is on the first floor, dance floor on the second. It's the only beach bar with a focus on dancing.

5 N. Lumina Ave.

Wrightsville Beach

(910) 256-2776

Sand Bar

Sand Bar is a popular place for under-21 students and is close to campus. There's a large dance area with club music and sometimes bands. Sand Bar is a place that a lot of students include in their nights out.

417 S. College Road

Wilmington

(910) 392-6800

Liquid Room

"A club and a pub," The Liquid Room is popular among all students. The pub part is downstairs, and upstairs is the club/dance area with a second bar. There's a lot of energy Thursday through Saturday nights.

23 Market St.

Downtown Wilmington

(910) 343-3341

Charley Brownz Lounge

A nightclub with DJs that play Top 40, and from time to time, offers live music inside. There's also a patio with a bar that caters to those who want to step outside for a bit.

21 S. Front St.

Downtown Wilmington

(910) 772-8025

City Limits Saloon

At this country-style bar and club, there's a mechanical bull, pool tables, and outdoor seating. Line dancing takes place on Fridays along with free bull rides that night only! Ladies 21 and up get in free on Thursdays; those 18 and up are welcome, too.

28 S. Front St.

Downtown Wilmington

(910) 763-2336

www.hellyeahwilmington.com

Ibiza Nightclub

Ibiza is the Wilmington gay bar and nightclub, and is a lot of fun, with various themed nights depending on the night of the week. Karaoke is on Wednesdays, with Throwback Thursdays the following day, must-see drag queen shows on Fridays, and dance parties on Saturdays. Ibiza is a modern club that not only plays house music, but hip-hop and Top 40, too. People 18 and up can enter.

118 Market St.

Downtown Wilmington

(910) 251-1301

ibizawilmington.com

Bar ListingsWhat's This?

Lagerheads

More of a hipster, casual, chill bar, this joint along the beach bar strip has a nice, long outdoor patio that gets crowded quickly.

35 N. Lumina Ave.

Wrightsville Beach

(910) 256-0171

Jerry Allen's Sports Bar

A small, laid-back sports bar, Jerry Allen's is a chill spot to include in the weekend beach bar crawl.

38 N. Lumina Ave.

Wrightsville Beach

(910) 256-8286

Sidebar

Fun atmosphere where ladies get in free every night and the drink specials are always great.

18 S. Front St.

Wilmington

(910) 763-1401

Level 5

A popular and trendy bar, Level 5 is roomy, and the dance floor overlooks picturesque downtown Wilmington for spectacular sunsets, cold drinks, great conversation, and live music. With the installation of the awning, heaters, and removable plastic walls, patrons can enjoy the view and rooftop nightlife year-round.

21 N. Front St.

Wilmington

(910) 342-0272

The Husk

A cool half hot dog joint, half bar. Good beer selections and good prices.

31 S. Front St.

Wilmington

Blue Post Billiards

This is such a cool hangout bar. There are pool tables, games to play, and such a neat, eclectic atmosphere. Random couches and a hidden "cave" area with mood lighting fill the space. Definitely a great place to go grab a drink.

15 S. Water St.

Wilmington

(910) 343-1141

22 North

22 North is definitely the most popular beach bar, where students can see a lot of familiar faces. An upper and a lower bar make for a lot of space and a lot of fun to be had. It's a restaurant during the day, then the chairs are pushed to the side for spirits continuing on into the night.

22 N. Lumina Ave.

Wrightsville Beach

(910) 509-0177

www.22north.net

Firebelly Lounge

One of downtown's favorite local and tourist attractions, Firebelly is loved because of its unique location, friendly staff, casual atmosphere, and relaxing outdoor patio and lounge.

265 N. Front St.

Wilmington

(910) 763-0141

www.thefirebellylounge.com

The Dirty Martini

A classier, higher-scale location, the Dirty Martini is kind of small inside and a bit more expensive for a night out, but it can be a nice change of pace.

2130 Bay Colony Lane

Wilmington

(910) 509-2860

What to Do if You're Not 21What's This?

Sand Bar

Sand Bar is an under-21 club.

417 S. College Road

Wilmington

(910) 392-6800

The Soapbox Laundro Lounge

The Soapbox is part laundromat, part live-music venue.

255 N. Front St.

Wilmington

(910) 251-5054

www.soapboxlaundrolounge.com

Fibber McGee's Irish Restaurant & Pub

Fibber's features a sports bar with 20 flat-screen TVs, pool tables, and a jukebox. The lounge features a DJ for dancing with more of an upscale, swanky feel. Popular nights are Thursday through Saturday.

1610 Pavilion Place

Wilmington

(910) 509-1551

The Liquid Room

The Liquid Room is popular with students of all ages.

23 Market St.

Wilmington

(910) 343-3341

Student Polls

What's the best way to get to the popular nightlife spots?    Based on 44 responses

  • 0% There are no good options.
  • 61% Use a designated driver.
  • 0% School-provided shuttles/buses.
  • 2% Public transportation.
  • 34% Taxis.
  • 2% Walk.

Rate the off-campus bar and club scene on the following topics    Based on 41 responses

Very poor
Excellent
  • Convenience to get to
  • Cover charges
  • Distance from campus
  • Drink prices
  • Fun
  • Variety/number of options

What is the party scene like on campus?    Based on 42 responses

  • 5% Parties? What parties?
  • 12% Good parties are few and far between.
  • 29% Some decent frat/house parties, weekends only.
  • 50% Lots of options Wednesday-Saturday.
  • 5% Tons of raging parties almost any night of the week.

Where can you find the best parties?    Based on 6 responses

  • 83% Friends
  • 17% Soicial media sites

What is the biggest party event of the year?    Based on 10 responses

  • 90% Beach Blast
  • 10% Mud bowl

Photos

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