Weekend Getaway: Orton Plantation

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This is WRAL Meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner's first Mother's Day. So I deferred totally to her for our Tar Heel Traveler Weekend Getaway. However, Elizabeth wants to celebrate Mother's Day on Saturday instead of Sunday at Orton Plantation 18 miles south of Wilmington off NC 133. The weather will be much better on Saturday. Orton is a biological bonanza blooming over 20 acres along the west bank of the Cape Fear River. The live oaks are immense and rugged. The fragrance from flowers will greet you as soon as you step on the grounds. Orton is also a premier bird watching location. You may also see an alligator. I did the last time I visited a few years ago. The biggest gator is called "Whopper." No explanation needed. Orton was once a leading rice plantation started by the Moore family in 1725 Governor Benjamin Smith once lived here. The gardens are open to the public but the residence is private. You can get married here. There's a nice chapel. A beautiful setting for wedded bliss!