i agree with NC3athlete.
i went to college there, so my experience is from that perspective.
there is a movie studio there (they call it the Hollywood of the East Coast) - it's where Dawsons Creek was filmed, One Tree Hill is currently filmed there, and a lot of movies are filmed there too. the beaches are great - you have Wrightsville Beach and Carolina Beach to choose from, depending on which part of town you're in and closest to. there are some parts of Carolina Beach you can drive on to and actually have a bonfire as well - at least you used to be able to. summertime at the beach though turns into college fest, so be ready for that. most of the big money is on the beach (Wrightsville) or right outside of it in this big gated community. they also sponsor something called the Azalea Festival every year. not anything to write home about, but it's something they consistently do that people look forward to.
the not amazing things about it: traffic is pretty bad there. not sure why exactly. it's also true that the military guys swarm there every weekend. mainly downtown and starting fights with anyone in sight. while it's true there IS a college there, UNCW doesn't have a football team, so there isn't any big school spirit or sporting events that are fun to go to and watch. I mean, sometimes the basketball team is good, but that normally doesn't bring in big crowds. Wilmington is also in the middle of nowhere. you literally drive to the end of I-40 and you're in Wilmington. there is nothing else around it. make sure you gas before you leave Raleigh, or you'll be sitting on the side of the interstate - it's literally like that because there is about 1-1.5 hours where there is nothing in between.
Wilmington is a cool place. it has good things and bad things about it. i could say the same thing about SF. listing off great and terrible things all day. i guess it depends on what you're after. where do you live now? are you used to the heat and humidity of the south? because it gets pretty bad this time of year. there are bars on the beach and downtown, not too much in between - not sure if you plan on hitting bars either, but thats the story with that.