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.

 

2020 Visitors Guide

Request Your 2020 Visitors Guide

The 2020 Official 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 Guide now.

Attractions

SNOOPY SOARS WITH NASA

The Cape Fear Museum of History and Science, which earned the designation as a Smithsonian-affiliate museum, recently unveiled the Snoopy Soars with NASA: To the Moon exhibit running through April 12. Blast off with Snoopy and the Peanuts Gang and explore the history of when Charlie Brown and Snoopy traveled through space with NASA's Apollo 10 mission in May 1969. Help Snoopy traverse the moon, create a comic strip about launching from earth to the moon and climb Snoopy's doghouse to navigate through space. 

Battleship NORTH CAROLINA

Explore the new Legacy Gallery at the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA. Dedicated to the recognition and interpretation of all of the ships named in North Carolina, it includes some of the Battleship museum's most prized artifacts and the Window on Wilmington, a new view of historic downtown Wilmington not found elsewhere. 

NEW 3 BRIDGES' CRUISE

Hop aboard Wilmington Water Tours’ 3 Bridges Cruise and gain a new perspective on the area’s history and ecology as they share fun facts and historical anecdotes while cruising along the Cape Fear River. Due to the growing popularity of their Sunset Cruise, sailing days are now Tuesday through Sunday. The Bizzy Bee Water Taxi has partnered with the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA to offer round trip water taxi service to four landings along the Cape Fear River in downtown Wilmington.

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.

Wilmington Tours

Use the Wilmington.tours app to explore Wilmington at your own pace. With four tours available, experience historic sites alongside an audio recording telling a 3-5 minute history about each landmark. The free app is available for iPhone/iPad and Android and includes a free mini-tour. The full tours - Pub Crawl Wilmington, Civil War Wilmington, Old Wilmington I and Old Wilmington II - are available for purchase within the app at $4.99 per tour. 

NEW SCULPTURE AT CAMERON ART MUSEUM

Cameron Art Museum was the site of the Battle of Forks Road, a Civil War battle in which the Wilmington U.S. Colored Troops (USCT) were victorious. As one of 10 recipients in the state of the Z. Smith Reynolds Inclusive Public Art Grant, a new Public Sculpture Project dedicated to the Wilmington USCT by Durham-born artist Stephen Hayes will be unveiled to the public on November 14. The unveiling will be followed by a weekend celebration featuring artist talks, living history and performances for all ages. 

North Waterfront Park

The North Waterfront Park broke ground and this urban green space will take advantage of views of the Cape Fear River and will be connected by the downtown Riverwalk. A playground with a splash pad, shade trees and lush gardens will allow visitors to enjoy respite among the active downtown urban landscape. The park's largest feature will include a large open-air music venue managed by Live Nation. It is scheduled to open Spring 2021. 

Restaurants and Breweries

WILMINGTON ALE TRAIL MOBILE PASSPORT

The Wilmington Ale Trail Mobile Passport is the perfect Wilmington Ale Trail accessory for the craft beer aficionado. The new mobile app unlocks perks, experiences and vouchers at area breweries, bottleshops and beer hot spots. 

MICHAEL'S ON THE WATERFRONT

After a two-year renovation on the 19th-century Riverwalk building, Michael's on the Waterfront is planning for an opening in late February. The gastropub will feature locally-caught seafood, steaks, flatbread pizzas and sandwiches, alongside 30 craft beers on draft including selections from Wilmington breweries. 

END OF DAYS DISTILLERY

Located off Castle Street, Wilmington's first grain to glass craft distillery plans to open in February offering tours, tastings and a space for private events.

FLORIANA RESTAURANT

A beloved restaurant with original roots in Washington, DC's Dupont Circle neighborhood, Florianna, plans to open their second restaurant in the iconic riverfront restaurant location at the foot of Market Street offering scenic views and balcony dining in early 2020. Diners can enjoy Italian-style handmade pasta dishes, steaks and chops. 

DEAN NEFF ANNOUNCES NEW RESTAURANT

James Beard Best Chef nominee and former head chef of the award-winning PinPoint Restaurant, Dean Neff, plans to open his own restaurant in historic downtown Wilmington in June on the corner of Front & Market. The restaurant will serve high-quality coffee, tea, breakfast and lunch options with the dinner menu highlighting Neff's expertise in farm-to-table cuisine with a focus on seasonal ingredients. 

Inaugural Special Events

WILMINGTON COFFEE FEST

Celebrate all things coffee on February 1, at the Wilmington Coffee Fest. Browse local purveyors, roasters, distributors and more set up at both Hannah Block Historic USO/Community Arts Center and Waterline Brewing Co. 

The First-Ever Marchtoberfest

Prost on the Coast at the inaugural Marchtoberfest Wilmington NC'S Beer Festival, March 7. Wilmington's spring beer festival features over 40+ North Carolina breweries, German-style beer, cuisine and music. Each ticket holder will also be entered to win a trip for two to Oktoberfest 2020 in Munich, Germany. 

Shopping & Entertainment

RIVERPLACE

The 13-story mixed-use building is slated to complete construction in 2020. When finished, RiverPlace will include condos, apartments, shopping and restaurants overlooking the Cape Fear River.

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.

News & Accolades

RE-ENERGIZED FILM INDUSTRY

Known as "Hollywood East," Wilmington's film industry is experiencing a renaissance with big-name productions including sequels to the horror movie franchise "Halloween", "Halloween Kills" and "Halloween Ends" being shot in Wilmington. "Halloween Kills" will be released in theaters October 16, 2020. Upcoming productions include the horror film "The Georgetown Project," starring Oscar-winning actor Russell Crowe. 

CULINARY NOTABLES

Sweet n Savory Cafe and Grand Cru Food and Wine Bar both recently won a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. For the fifth year in a row, manna ave. 123 received the prestigious AAA-Four-diamond rating. Flaming Amy's Burrito Barn was featured on The Travel Channel's "Man v. Food," the Buffalo Baby grilled cheese from local Cheesesmith Food Truck was included on an episode of "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" on the Cooking Channel, and the chef at Cast Iron Kitchen appeared on the Food Network's "Guy's Grocery Games." 

Tee Time

Recently ranked as one of the "Top 100 Golf Courses of the World" by Top100golfcourses.com, golf lovers can enjoy a day on the links at Wilmington Municipal Golf Course, designed by famed golf course designer Donald Ross. 

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

Lodging

THE VERANDAS BED AND BREAKFAST

Experience southern elegance in the newly renovated and restored Verandas Bed and Breakfast, an 8,500 square foot Victorian Italianate mansion located in the heart of the historic district. Consistently awarded the AAA/CAA Four Diamond Hotel Award, guests can enjoy the large formal living room, piano room, bedrooms with private terraces and elegant bathrooms with garden size soaking tubs.

HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS & SUITES

Holiday Inn Express & Suites recently opened its Midtown/Medical Center location. Currently under construction, the new Porters Neck location will open in August.

BETWEEN THE COVERS

Between the Covers: A North Carolina Literary B&B will add a new room in late summer. The Rhiannon Giddens Room, dedicated to the North Carolinian poet, songwriter and artist, will feature a newly remodeled en-suite bathroom, custom stained glass and musical instruments. 

Transportation

Wilmington International Airport Expansion

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.

Island Beaches

What's New

Exciting changes are always happening at our three island beaches. From tasting history tours to new restaurants and expanded sailing schools, and even a new Asian small-clawed otters' exhibit at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, find out what's new in Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach