Wooden rocking chairs creak on the veranda, just as other rocking chairs have creaked on other southern verandas since time immemorial. This particular porch wraps around the Victorian exterior of a home once belonging to businessman Charles W. Worth, the scion of a prominent North Carolina family whose lineage included governors, senators, and Benjamin Franklin. Worths family lived here from 1893 to 1930. Nowadays, the C.W. Worth House is a bed-and-breakfast, but it retains its link to tradition, as evidenced right away by its period furnishings and antiques, including a gramophone in the entryway and a Weaver pump organ in the parlor.
The inn's seven guest rooms each evoke a uniquely Victorian combination of coziness and stateliness. The Azalea suite has an aura of quiet sumptuousness, with thick, rose-hued carpeting and floral-accented, floor-to-ceiling drapes. Coral-colored walls encircle a king-size bed, and a tucked-away bathroom boasts a claw-foot tub. The Azaleas private sitting area makes for a relaxing spot to sip and nibble complimentary beverages, and a TV and wireless Internet access help travelers maintain a connection to the outside world and to the message boards of their favorite Ernest Borgnine fan sites.
In the morning, vacationers head downstairs to tuck into the C.W. Worth House's celebrated breakfast. Steaming cups of organic coffee accompany home-baked muffins and hearty entrees, such as the artichoke-and-mushroom quiche and the banana-and-pecan upside-down pancake. Then its off to spend a leisurely day exploring Wilmington or dawdling around the inn, which has a comfy library, landscaped gardens, and a nap-ready two-person hammock.
The C.W. Worth House stands quietly in the heart of Historic Wilmington, a quaint area whose pedestrian-friendly streets are lined with shady trees, antiques stores, and upscale restaurants. Landscapes from the neighborhood may look especially familiar to fans of the television show One Tree Hill, which is shot right in town. Guides lead tours of the studios used for interior scenes, letting fans wander through the living rooms, kitchens, and hyperbaric chambers of their favorite characters.
The nearby coastline has its own star attractions, including sandy beaches, warm water, and a historical gem: the Battleship North Carolina, one of the world's largest battleships. Self-guided tours lead visitors around the decks of the ship and provide a glimpse of life on a military vessel. For a ride aboard a leisure-seeking vessel, riverboat cruises on the Cape Fear River offer passengers a day of fresh air and picturesque views.
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