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The Cotton Exchange Wilmington Shops
321 N. Front St.
Wilmington, NC 28401

(910) 343-9896

An early adaptive reuse project, the Cotton Exchange summarizes the character and charm exuding from this Port City's mercantile history. The collection of eight buildings, overlooking the Cape Fear River, are direct linkages to the prosperous role cotton exporting played in the development of the lower Cape Fear region. It is the exact site of the largest nineteenth-century cotton-exporting company in the world! The 1970's renovation marked the beginning of the restoration of other areas in downtown Wilmington. Shoppers can enjoy a bit of history as they stroll the mall's tri-level space where displays of cotton bales, weighing equipment and photographs tell the story of the center's evolution. Parking is free for visitors to the complex.

The sampling of specialty shops listed here suggests the scope of shopping possibilities at The Cotton Exchange (all stores are within the complex bound by Water and Front streets). T. S. Brown Jewelry, (910) 762-3467, specializes in loose gems, custom settings and handcrafted pieces. Occasions ... just write!, (910) 343-9033, features social stationery and invitations, fine writing instruments, sealing wax, journals and desk accessories plus a large selection of cards. The Fidler's Gallery/Wrigley's Clocks, (910) 762-2001, offers art, custom framing and clocks and a new line of gifts for home and garden. Two Sisters Bookery, (910) 762-4444, carries a surprisingly wide range of books, including ones of local interest, as well as cards and gifts. Carolina Beads and Gemstones, (910) 399-3594 is a bead-lovers paradise offering classes. Port City Pottery and Fine Crafts, (910) 763-7111, features the work of 21 local artists showcasing woodworking, pottery, baskets, metal and weaving. Pure Life Health Food and Vitamins, (910) 343-1374, carries a large selection of herbal and loose teas, as well as creations from their new juice bar. Vitamins, salves, and holistic therapies are only a few items in their inventory. Get the best supplies for your four-legged best friend, including homemade cupcakes, at Coastal Paws, 910-612-9895. Elizabeth's Ladies Boutique, (910) 763-7876, has a great selection of hats, jewelry, socks and everyday clothing. Ping's Tibet, (910) 772-1540, has cultural items from Tibet such as jewelry, clothing and art. 

Once you have worked up an appetite, try one of The Cotton Exchange's restaurants, such as The German Cafe, (910) 763-5523, which is known for its fresh soups, schnitzels and strudels. If you're more in the mood for a pub atmosphere, stop by Paddy's Hollow Restaurant & Pub, (910) 762-4354, which carries a diverse menu of pub favorites. Try The Basics, (910) 343-1050, which has wowed patrons with its gourmet southern cuisine. Or for just a mid-afternoon treat, get a double dip or a Nathan's hotdog at The Scoop, (910) 763-3566.


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