First, I looked on Google Maps to find out what roads might get me to the best spots. I decided to explore Point Harbor Road. (It's noteworthy to mention that I had not yet visited the Battleship or USS North Carolina Road and the perfect downtown views to be found there.) In addition to a view of downtown, I was also hoping to find something old and historic to explore. I found a dirt driveway that went around what looked like an old workshop or storage building. I took some photos from there, but wanted to go further.
I'd seen on satellite imagery that there was a driveway that stretched out to the riverbank a little further down the road. When I got there, I didn't see a 'No Trespassing' sign. However, the driveway was blocked by debris that had been dumped there, behind which I saw the driveway had somehow collapsed into a ditch. Not to be deterred, I parked my truck to the side of the road and determined to check it out on foot.
After making it to the edge of the river, I decided to walk southward along the edge. I wanted to find something, even though I had no idea what. I did see the ruins of an old wharf, which I found somewhat picturesque. But the view of downtown was not what I was hoping for. I knew there were better views. I'd seen it evidenced in many photos online and I was determined to make my own.
So I moved on. This time, across to Battleship Road on Eagle's Island. But I didn't even have to go that far to find exactly what I'd been looking for. I felt a little ridiculous for not having started here. Of course the best view of downtown is near the Battleship. Over the next hour or so, I took photos of downtown that were even better than I'd hoped, as well as some of the landscape near the Battleship. I even added one of them to the Wilmington article on Wikipedia. If you live in Wilmington -- especially if you're new to the area -- get out and explore! Have an adventure. It's not likely you'll ever be disappointed.