Wilmington, NC's New Convention District
Adds Hotels and Restaurants with
More Developments in the Works

Located riverfront and within the city's walkable River District, the formation of Wilmington's new Convention District is further strengthened with the addition of two hotels, several restaurants, a marina and an event pier, and the announcement of a riverfront park that would include an outdoor performance space for events and concerts.

The River District combines the city’s historic roots and charm with modern design and new attractions. Wilmington’s walkable downtown, easy access to more than 200 restaurants, shops and attractions, plus three nearby beaches, all come together to create a meeting location that feels like a vacation.

Openings and developments in the Convention District

Plans for the North Waterfront Park have been finalized. This urban green space just blocks from the Wilmington Convention Center will take advantage of views of the Cape Fear River and will be connected by the Downtown Riverwalk and two marinas. The 6.6-acre park will include a network of walking trails with public art installations and common areas, allowing plenty of open space for meeting attendees to socialize and network outdoors. A playground with a splash pad, shade trees and lush gardens will provide respite among the active downtown urban landscape. The park will also include a large open-air music venue, which will be managed by Live Nation.

Wilmington International Airport (ILM) is proud to welcome United Airlines to Wilmington. United added 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 will benefit a broad segment of our traveling public, including business, convention attendees and higher education leaders.

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.

The Hotel Ballast, Tapestry Collection by Hilton completed an $11.5 million renovation in the spring of 2018. The property provides guests with a local experience, focused on Wilmington's unique maritime history and culture. Every corner of the property has been rejuvenated, including all 272 guestrooms, meeting rooms, lobby, corridors and pool. Board and Barrel Coastal Kitchen joins Ruth's Chris Steak House on the property. This new indoor/outdoor riverfront restaurant and bar incorporates locally sourced ingredients in their Southern, coastal menu

The Embassy Suites Wilmington Riverfront Hotel is now open with 186 two-room guest suites, 162,866 square feet total, 6,600 square feet of meeting space, a 4,003 square-foot rooftop bar called No. 9 offering scenic views of the Cape Fear River, along with STEAM Restaurant on the Terrace featuring Farm-to-Fork comfort food.

The Hampton Inn Downtown officially opened its doors in 2017. The property offers 92 guest rooms and suites, along with a 1,222 square-foot meeting room for up to 75 people.

Additional new properties will include the Aloft Coastline Hotel – a seven-story, 125-room property featuring 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 – and another yet-to-be-named downtown hotel.

These properties will join the nearly 8,000 hotel rooms and suites currently available in the Wilmington area.

Several new riverfront restaurants are coming to the heart of the Convention District. Marina Grill has opened and another restaurant adjacent to the Wilmington Convention Center is scheduled to open in the future.

Meeting planners can check out Wilmington and view the city and its island beaches through SkyNavTM 3D Tours online.