Looking for ideas on the latest things to see and do in Wilmington and our island beaches on your next visit? Find the most recent news, updates, openings and additions here!
Restaurants and Breweries
Now open, Origins Food + Drink features a carefully curated menu featuring fresh, light fare seasoned with Asian, French, Mediterranean and Southern flavors. Sample signature dishes like charred octopus with chickpeas, pickled chiles, preserved orange and more. Or, indulge in seared scallops over spaetzle with parsnip puree and pickled apple. Dine indoors with views of the chefs at work, or opt outdoors on their expansive, partially covered outdoor patio.
Wilmington's first whiskey and wine bar, The Starling, is now open in the Cargo District. Featuring an extensive whiskey, bourbon and wine menu, The Starling also offers local beer, mocktails and craft cocktails including their signature concoction The Starling, a bourbon-based cocktail with vermouth, grilled pineapple, honey and red wine. Sit in the cozy interior or opt for their outdoor courtyard to enjoy live music on select nights. The Starling is a private club, and membership is $1 per year. Visitors can fill out the membership form online.
The Ivey is now open in downtown Wilmington. Featuring unique cocktails and mocktails, The Ivey also serves local craft beer and wine. Cocktail ingredients will be sourced locally to create signature concoctions like the Poison Ivey, a gin-based drink with basil and citrus juices.
True Blue Butcher & Barrel
Now open in the South Front District, True Blue Butcher & Barrel features an on-site butcher shop along with a menu centering on burgers and steaks. With more than 200 spirits, the bar offers a curated selection of high-end bourbon, whiskey, cognac, Scotch and more. The restaurant is chef Bobby Zimmerman's third establishment in Wilmington and second in South Front District, along with his Spanish small plates concept, Mariposa Tapas Bar.
The Kitchen Sink
Newly opened eatery, The Kitchen Sink, is located in the Brooklyn Arts District. Enjoy hearty soup options like the savory shrimp gazpacho or the tomato basil bisque paired with the house-made breads like their pretzel soup bowl. Or, savor freshly made salads and sandwiches featuring seasonal ingredients.
Brooklyn Arts District is now home to Three10 Restaurant. This family-owned and -operated business focuses on using sustainable, seasonal and local ingredients. Its menu features modern seafood dishes highlighting coastal and low country Carolina flavors paired with cocktails and rotating drafts. Three10 Restaurant is located inside the restored Allen-Oliver Historic home.
Ruth's Chris Steak House
Ruth's Chris Steak House is now open in their new location on the third floor of the River Place building in downtown Wilmington. Featuring views of the Cape Fear River, the new space includes a pergola, temperature-controlled wine racks and outdoor firepits. The restaurant offers valet parking and can seat up to 175 indoors, including private dining areas for 30-50 guests inside and 80 outside.
Located in The Cargo District, Bottles features curated lists of organic, natural wines, eight rotating draft beers and a host of other unique selections. Enjoy weekly events including live music on Wednesdays & Saturdays and Sangria & Spritzer specials on Sundays.
Hi-Wire Brewing Company
Hi- Wire Brewing features a large bar with twenty-one taps of Hi-Wire beers, including seasonal, sours, year-rounds and three wine taps. The 7920-square-foot taproom includes two outdoor beer gardens, ample parking and family-friendly activities.
Catawba Brewing Co.
Featuring 24 craft beers and hard seltzers on tap, Catawba Brewing Co. recently opened a taproom in Wilmington. Pair your brew with food from the on-site restaurant, Zombie Fresh Kitchen, which offers traditional bar fare like nachos and pretzels, as well as seasonal specialties featuring local vegetables. Enjoy your brews and food indoors or on the dog-friendly outdoor patio.
Find fun, fanciful cocktails paired with beautiful riverfront views at Sauce'd, located on the Riverwalk. In addition to craft cocktails like Smokey the Pear and Mojito on a Stormy Night, the menu also features a curated collection of fries, from air-fried sweet potato and yucca fries to waffle fries and traditional crispy potato fries, all of which are served with gourmet dipping sauces.
Chef Sunny Gerhart, a James Beard Foundation semifinalist for “Best Chef Southeast,” is opening a new restaurant concept in downtown Wilmington. Olivero will be Gerhart’s first in Wilmington and will debut late 2022. Featuring Spanish and Italian influences on Gerhart’s traditional New Orleans cuisine, the menu will feature house made pastas, wood-fired eats, locally sourced seafood, meat and vegetables and more.
Ponysaurus Brewing Co.
Opening their second taproom in North Carolina, Ponysaurus Brewing Co. is bringing more craft brews and pizza to historic downtown Wilmington. The new space, scheduled to debut in summer 2022, will feature an outdoor garden area for guests to enjoy outdoor seating, drinks and food. Ponysaurus Brewing Co.’s extensive repertoire of craft beers, featuring core, seasonal, specialty and barrel-aged beers, will be available in the taproom and restaurant. Until the opening, visitors can find Ponysaurus Brewing Co. brews in local restaurants and businesses like manna ave. 123, Cape Fear Wine & Beer, Brewer’s Kettle and more.
Kipos, an elevated Greek-inspired restaurant focusing on flavors from Greece, is coming to Lumina Station this summer. Featuring coastal cuisine, the menu will highlight fresh catches from local fisherman and produce from regional farmers. Bar services feature Greek wines and freshly crafted cocktails. The new eatery will be open for dinner with seating available both inside and outside in their garden patio.
Panacea Brewing Company
In addition to their ever-growing list of craft beer and hard and non-alcoholic kombucha options, Panacea Brewing Company is expanding in 2022 to create a new 1,600-square-foot multipurpose space available for booking events, private parties and more.
Cameron Art Museum's USCT Sculpture Park
Cameron Art Museum will open the first USCT State Park in North Carolina Nov. 13. With Boundless, a new bronze sculpture unveiled in November 2021, as its centerpiece, the park honors the U.S. Colored Troops who fought for their freedom during the Civil War. The USCT fought against the Confederate Army in the Battle of Forks Road, which took place on park grounds. Celebrate opening day with a free, family-friendly event featuring activities for all ages, storytelling, live music and USCT reenactors.
Opening July 8, Airlie Gardens' newest art exhibition, Hoppy Time Rabbits will feature larger-than-life rabbit sculptures displayed throughout the gardens. This exhibition marks the 10th anniversary of Airlie Gardens’ annual Art in the Garden program. Discover the ten fiberglass sculptures, as well as 67 acres of formal gardens and lakes and the nearly 500-year-old Airlie Oak during your visit.
Aloft Coastline Hotel
Located in the recently opened Aloft Coastline Hotel, aView is the 125-room property's rooftop bar and bistro. Grab a cocktail and take in the spectacular river views while sampling their ever-changing eclectic menu featuring charcuterie plates, oysters, sharable small places and delicious housemade desserts. More dining is headed to the Aloft's ground floor with the soon-to-open The Atlantic Restaurant & Loft, a fine dining restaurant.
Tru by Hilton Wilmington
Featuring a pool, a 24-hour fitness center, bar, business center, restaurant and more, Tru by Hilton Wilmington is scheduled to open August 2022. Conveniently located 10 minutes from historic downtown Wilmington and 10 minutes from Wilmington International Airport, the hotel will offer 107 rooms.
Wilmington International Airport Expansion
Wilmington International Airport (ILM) offers non-stop flights to Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Newark, Philadelphia, New York, Washington, D.C. and Boston (seasonal); a $60 million airport expansion, scheduled for completion in late 2022 or early 2023, is in its final phase. A new concourse with three additional gates opened recently, with a restaurant, coffee shop and retail space coming soon. As part of a partnership with the Arts Council of Wilmington, three new public art commissions are included in the expansion project.
Los Angeles-based carrier, Avelo Airlines is expanding its network to Wilmington International Airport with three new non-stop, low-cost routes: New Haven, Conn. (HVN), Orlando, Fla. (MCO) and Baltimore/D.C. (BWI). Beginning June 30, one-way trips will be available three days a week. Flights to BWI will be seasonal and will operate until Labor Day.