Wilmington Directions & Parking

A trip to the coast is just a short drive or flight away. Getting to and around Wilmington and our Island Beaches is easy with an international airport, convenient access to highways and many parking options to choose from.


The major East/West Interstate artery I-40 leads to Wilmington, NC and our Island Beaches. The destination is centrally located midway between New York and Florida, just off I-95 and I-40. The area is also served by Highways 17, 74/76, 117, and 421 as well as Greyhound Bus Lines. Interstate I-95 is 73 miles away.

To and from Wilmington International Airport (ILM)

The Wilmington International Airport is located off US-74/Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway in Wilmington. Air travelers arrive just 3 miles from downtown Wilmington, 10 miles from Wrightsville Beach, 19 miles from Carolina Beach and 22 miles from Kure Beach. Rental cars and taxis are available at the airport terminal.

Map at a Glance


Cape Fear Memorial Bridge Open Ahead of Schedule

Good News for travelers! Construction on the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge is complete ahead of schedule. Both eastbound and westbound lanes are now open. Happy Travels!



Upon arrival in Wilmington by car, the city has 970+ metered parking spaces located downtown, four parking decks and two surface lots. City decks on 2nd Street and Market Street are free the first 30 minutes. You can park free of charge at on-street meters after 6:30 p.m. daily and all-day Sunday. Parking in metered spaces is $2.00 per hour and is enforced Monday - Saturday, 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. Metered on-street parking for those with properly displayed, valid handicapped placards is always free of charge.

For information on charging stations for electric vehicles, please visit our FAQ page and click Transportation and Accessibility. 

One-hour parking is available on some downtown residential streets. Be sure to observe all posted parking signs and time limits on residential streets in downtown Wilmington as some are permit-based only.

Downtown Wilmington Parking

Wilmington parking fees help support projects and services that enhance the visitor experience. Recent improvements and upgrades to parking facilities paid for by user fees include:

  • Installation of new security camera system at all parking decks for improved safety
  • Upgrades and installation of new parking and revenue control system at all parking decks that permits faster transactions at exit, improved pay stations, pay options and customer security
  • Construction of the new River Place parking deck to increase number of downtown parking options
  • Future Plans
    • Elevator modernization, painting and repairs
    • Pedestrian walkway development out of Market Street Parking Deck and quicker entry and exit

Find more information about parking locations, payment options, rates and more on the City of Wilmington website.