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.

Awards and Recognitions

Wilmington Selected a Top Travelers' Choice Destination

Wilmington has been selected by TripAdvisor as a 2018 Travelers’ Choice Top Destinations on the Rise. Wilmington is ranked #3 among all U.S. destinations on the list. The Travelers’ Choice Awards, chosen by millions of travelers, represent the very best of travel.


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.


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) and summer non-stop flights, through September 4, 2018, to Chicago O'Hare (ORD), along with limited non-stop Saturday flights to Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) until August 2018. American Airlines will begin offering daily non-stop flights to DFW on December 19, 2018.

Shopping & Entertainment

The Pointe at Barclay

Wilmington's newest retail center located in midtown, The Pointe at Barclay, is under development offering retail, dining and entertainment options. Open now, watch the latest in film at The Pointe 14 theaters, dine at Tavern on 17th and Zócalo Street Food & Tequila, and visit Far From France for imported chocolates, daily baked bread, and many other sweets and savories. 


North Waterfront Park

Plans for the $20 million 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.

Play Time!

PlayTime!, Cape Fear Museum's newest in-house exhibition, is now open. The exhibit captures a spirit of playfulness in a lively, colorful and highly-interactive space. Visitors are encouraged to play games, build towers, make a work of art and imagine going on an adventure. The inviting space also features artifacts drawn from the Museum’s 19th and 20th century toys and games collection.

Wilmington Riverwalk

Voted “America’s Best Riverfront” in USA TODAY’s 10 Best Reader’s Choice Awards, the recently expanded 1.75-mile Wilmington Riverwalk was unveiled and celebrated by residents and visitors alike. Pedestrians can enjoy a stroll along the Cape Fear River, where brick-lined streets with cafes and boutiques in the historic district lead to new full-service hotels and restaurants, a performing arts center, a marina with an event pier and more.


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.

Jungle Rapids Family Fun Park

The ever-popular Jungle Rapids Family Fun Park added two new body slides to its waterpark and added bumper cars in 2018. 

Restaurants and Breweries

Tidewater Brewing Co.

Tidewater Brewing Co., a cooperative brewery, is set to open in July at their new location at 1002 Princess Street, near downtown Wilmington. Tidewater Brewing’s flagship beers are true-to-style English ales and German lagers, but will feature a variety of styles to choose from. Tidewater will have a 2,300 square foot taproom as well as 20,000 square feet of fenced-in outdoor space. 

Mad Mole Brewing

Wilmington's newest brewery, Mad Mole Brewing, joins the ever-growing Wilmington beer scene. Mad Mole Brewing is Wilmington's first brewery featuring an electric barrel system partly powered by solar panels. The brewery focuses on Belgians and IPA's but will feature a variety of beer styles in their Midtown tap room.

New Anthem Beer Project

New Anthem Beer Project is set to open a second location in the South Front Area. Renovations to the old CAPPS Industrial Supply warehouse will include a production brewery, barrel aging facility, and taproom. The brewery will be in good company, on the same block as Satellite Bar and Lounge and Benny’s Big Time Pizzeria.

Rebellion NC

The Washington D.C. based restaurant and bar, Rebellion, has traveled south to open a location here in Downtown Wilmington. Rebellion NC bar and restaurant opened in April 2018 on Front Street. Their specialties include beer, burger and bourbon.

Benny's Big Time Pizzeria

Chef Vivian Howard, star of PBS's A Chef's Life, has opened her newest creation, Benny's Big Time Pizzeria, in the charming South Front Area near Historic Downtown Wilmington. In addition to wood-fired Neopolitan pizza, this casual restaurant offers delicious farm- and sea-to-fork Italian fare.

Steam Restaurant & Bar

Take in lunch, dinner, and spectacular river views at Steam Restaurant & Bar on the second floor of the Embassy Suites by Hilton Wilmington Riverfront. With a focus on seafood, the menu features a low country boil, crab cakes, a daily butcher’s selection of hand-cut meats and more.

Nori Asian Fusion & Sushi

This new addition to the Pointe at Barclay in Midtown Wilmington offers a menu that is a blend of several Asian cuisines. The focus at Nori Asian Fusion & Sushi is a style of sushi known as Omakase. This “chef’s choice” sushi style allows the chef to select the freshest and finest ingredients for each guest. Imported, fresh Japanese seafood is shipped to Wilmington every night.

True Blue Butcher & Table

Enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner in a setting reminiscent of a Parisian bistro. In addition to a menu complete with artisan fare, True Blue Butcher and Table features a full-service butcher counter, raw bar, brunch service and Sunday supper.

Craft Beer Brewery Boom

Wilmington was recently voted one of North Carolina's “Best Beer Towns” by Carolina Brew Scene and several local breweries took home awards from the NC Brewer’s Cup in 2017. Recent additions to the beer scene include Edward Teach Brewing in the Brooklyn Arts District and Pour Taproom in Wilmington’s River District. There are even more breweries on tap to open in 2018, including Flying Machine Brewing Company, Mad Mole Brewing, Tidewater Brewing Company and Skytown.

Riverfront Eateries

Marina Grill is now open at Port City Marina in Wilmington and features a fantastic view of sunsets and the Cape Fear River. Another restaurant, located next door to Marina Grill, is scheduled to open in the spring.


Hotel Ballast Wilmington, Tapestry Collection by Hilton

Hilton Wilmington Riverside is now the Hotel Ballast Wilmington, Tapestry Collection by Hilton. The fully renovated hotel offers guests a truly local experience, with a focus on Wilmington's unique culture and maritime history. Renovations include upgraded guestrooms, meeting spaces, pool and lobby, which features a communal library and art gallery. A new indoor/outdoor restaurant, Board and Barrel Coastal Kitchen, joins Ruth's Chris Steak House. The new restaurant and bar sources local ingredients for its coastal Southern cuisine menu.

Embassy Suites by Hilton Wilmington Riverfront

Located by the scenic Riverwalk lining the Cape Fear River and adjacent to the Wilmington Convention Center, the Embassy Suites by Hilton Wilmington Riverfront features spacious suites, made-to-order breakfast, Steam Restaurant & Bar and Cloud 9 Rooftop Bar with expansive views of the Cape Fear River.

Aloft Hotel

Another hotel is coming to the award-winning Wilmington Riverfront. The 125-room Aloft Hotel is scheduled to break ground in 2018. Amenities will include a rooftop courtyard with bistro and 7,000 square feet of meeting space within walking distance to the Wilmington Convention Center.


The Top Shelf: A Literary Loft

A new literary-themed vacation rental is located on the second floor of a historic building in downtown Wilmington. The Top Shelf, “Wilmington’s hippest retreat for the literati set,” celebrates North Carolina authors in its décor and sleeps up to 5 adults or 4 adults and two children.