What’s New?

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! To see what is new in our island beaches, check out our Carolina BeachKure Beach and Wrightsville Beach What's New pages.

 

2019 Locals and Visitors Guide

Live like a Local with our Locals Guide

Get the 4-1-1 on how locals like to experience our home. Hear recommendations from notable local chefs, musicians, artists, surfers, brewers and more through a series of videos, blogs and trip ideas. Find off-the-beaten-path places and live like a local for a vacation that extends beyond just sand and surf. Explore the Guide.

Request Your 2019 Visitors Guide

The 2019 Wilmington and Beaches Visitors Guide makes planning your next vacation a breeze. Read the latest trip ideas, find unique excursions and dining options, search for accommodations and prepare for a perfect coastal getaway. Request a copy, or view the Digital Flip Book now.

Attractions

Henrietta Cruise

Cruise along the Cape Fear River on the new Henrietta Riverboat. Soak in the scenery on a 1-hour narrated sightseeing cruise, hear local legends and stories and see historic downtown from a new perspective. Or start your evening on an hour-and-a-half sunset cruise that includes an on-board bar and light snacks. Relax on the open-air upper deck or in the climate-controlled dining room while taking in the sites of historic downtown Wilmington at sunset.

Children's Museum of Wilmington

Children can experience firsthand what life is like with a pet in the new Pet Exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Wilmington. The specifically designed area teaches children the responsibility of pet ownership and instructs them on how to take care of pets with opportunities to play groomer, trainer and more.

Tour one of America’s most Beautiful Theatres

Take a one-hour guided tour of Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts, recently chosen by Architectural Digest as one of America’s Most Beautifully Designed Theatres in the Country. Be guided through the historic 1858 lobby and main stage, the historic gallery level, the ballroom and City Council Chambers, Studio Theatre and backstage areas.

Battleship NORTH CAROLINA

A new memorial walkway takes visitors on a half-mile tour of the hull of the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA along a timber boardwalk below the main deck. Areas around the walkway honor the five branches of the military.

North Waterfront Park

Plans for the North Waterfront Park have been finalized. This urban green space will take advantage of views of the Cape Fear River and will be connected by the Downtown Riverwalk and two marinas. A playground with splash pad, shade trees and lush gardens will allow visitors to enjoy respite among the active downtown urban landscape. The park will also include a large open-air music venue managed by Live Nation.

Restaurants and Breweries

New Anthem Beer Project

New Anthem Beer Project opened its second location in the South Front District including production brewery, barrel aging facility, and taproom. Visit food trucks on-site during the weekends and enjoy live music on the same block as Satellite Bar and Lounge, Benny’s Big Time Pizzeria and The Second Glass.

STALK + VINE

Located on the Riverwalk in Historic Downtown Wilmington, Stalk + Vine offers beautiful views of the Cape Fear River alongside a wide selection of local craft beer, wines on tap and menu items ranging from table snacks to large plates. Inspired by New Orleans, the menu features items like cajun red bean hummus, seasonal charcuterie options and a hazy cajun boil with andouille sausage, shrimp, crab legs and potatoes. Settle in for an evening on the patio and take in river views and majestic sunsets while sipping on local craft ales, high-end wine or craft cocktails. 

TASTE THE OLIVE & VINE

A new shopping and dining experience has opened in downtown Wilmington. Located in the historic Wallace Building, Taste the Olive & Vine showcases an extensive wine list alongside specialty olive oils and vinegar available for purchase in "The Olive" store. To further enhance your shopping experience, stop in for an assortment of sandwiches and salads for lunch or accompany your evening vino with tapas, cheese and charcuterie at the attached "The Vine" wine bar. Offerings include 50 wines by the glass, up to 300 selections by the bottle along with select craft beers. Stop by to shop and stay for a glass of wine while enjoying the unique atmosphere that's retained its original 1920's character. 

Dram Yard

Enjoy southern-coastal and global flavors at the Dram Yard, located in the new ARRIVE Wilmington boutique hotel. Dine at the cozy new neighborhood restaurant, tucked into Wilmington’s Historic District, for family-style shared plates prepared with locally sourced produce, meats and seafood. Innovative menu items include chickpea panisse "fries," Peruvian lamp chop, gin soaked olives and more. Décor and accompanying cocktails, like Topsy’s Revenge, dedicated to Topsy the elephant who stormed through the building in 1922, pay homage to the building’s storied past. Enjoy a pre-or post-meal experience in the Gazebo Bar where visitors relax by cozy fire pit nooks in a garden setting. Dram Yard restaurant is now open and located within ARRIVE Wilmington boutique hotel set to open soon.

Shopping & Entertainment

CenterPoint

A new entertainment destination is in the works in Wilmington's Midtown. The pedestrian and bike-friendly property will include retail shops and restaurants along with a seven-story, full-service hotel. The new development is set to break ground in 2020.

Awards and Recognitions

The South's Best Cities

Wilmington was voted one of the "South's Best Cities" during Southern Living magazine's 2019 South's Best readers' choice awards. Visitor favorites include the two-mile Wilmington Riverwalk and the 230-block National Register Historic District, both lined with boutiques, galleries, restaurants and historic architecture. Access to three island beaches adds to the attraction, making Wilmington a true southern gem.

Wilmington Restaurants Selected for Award of Excellence

Grand Cru Food & WineRuth's Chris Steakhouse and Sweet n Savory Cafe have each been awarded Wine Spectator magazine's prestigious Award of Excellence. Out of only 2,453 global restaurants awarded the prestigious designation, Wine Spectator's Restaurant Awards recognizes restaurants whose wine lists offer interesting selections, are appropriate to their cuisine and appeal to a wide range of wine lovers.

Three Wilmington Businesses Receive AAA Four Diamond Recognition

Three Wilmington hospitality businesses have once again received the coveted AAA Four Diamond recognition from AAA Carolinas. The Graystone Inn is being honored for the 19th time, The Verandas Bed and Breakfast Inn for the 16th, and manna, a Wilmington restaurant, is being honored for the fourth consecutive year.

These are just a few of our newest accolades, read more Wilmington Accolades here.

Lodging

Aloft Coastline Hotel

Another hotel is coming to the award-winning Wilmington Riverfront. The seven-story, 125-room Aloft Coastline Hotel is under construction. Amenities will include a full-service restaurant, ground-level bar, rooftop bar, meeting rooms, banquet rooms, guest services, outdoor terraces, a fitness center, service kitchen and an outdoor pool, as well as a 7,000-square-foot ballroom. Guests can host weddings and private events on the rooftop looking out across the scenic Cape Fear River. The hotel will be adjacent to the 100-year-old historic Coastline Conference & Event Center, which will be renovated as part of the project. The existing building will house an additional 3,000 square feet of meeting space, all within walking distance of the Wilmington Convention Center.

ARRIVE Wilmington

Formerly the Wilmingtonian Inn, the new 36-room boutique hotel, ARRIVE Wilmington showcases all-new guest rooms renovated with a clean, modern design and subtle luxury in mind. The neighborhood hotel located in historic downtown Wilmington is anchored by Dram Yard, a restaurant and bar featuring southern-coastal and global flavors. Guests and visitors can enjoy The Gazebo Bar with cozy fire pit nooks and a courtyard garden with two large brick fireplaces. 

Transportation

New Routes/Connections coming to ILM

Wilmington International Airport (ILM) is proud to welcome United Airlines to Wilmington. United began service with two new non-stop routes from Wilmington (ILM) to Chicago O’Hare (ORD) and Dulles/Washington DC area (IAD). These non-stop routes to and from two of United’s hub cities benefit a broad segment of our traveling public, including vacationers and visiting family and friends.

American Airlines also expanded its service at ILM beginning with a daily non-stop flight to Reagan National (DCA). American Airlines is now offering daily non-stop flights to DFW.

Wilmington International Airport (ILM) offers non-stop flights to Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia, New York and Washington, D.C.; a $60 million airport expansion underway 2020 – 2022 will see five additional gates, a restaurant, concessions and more added to the terminal.