Wilmington, NC's Convention District
Adds Hotels and More

Located riverfront and within the city's walkable River District, the Wilmington's Convention District is further strengthened with the addition of new hotels and the groundbreaking of a riverfront park that will include an outdoor performance space for events and concerts and more.

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

Located adjacent to Port City Marina, construction for the North Waterfront Park is well underway. 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 children's play area, splash plaza, beer gardens, extensive open lawn space and an inland boardwalk, allowing plenty of open space for meeting attendees to socialize and network outdoors. Shade trees and lush gardens will provide respite among the active downtown urban landscape. The largest feature is an open-air music venue and performance space that will host outdoor events and concerts managed by Live Nation. The projected opening will take place in 2021.

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, scheduled for completion in late 2022 or early 2023, will see four additional gates, a restaurant, concessions and more added to the terminal.

The Hive Boutique Hotel recently opened in downtown Wilmington. The project includes the complete renovation of an existing building and features 14 apartment-style suites. The property can accommodate leisure and business travelers, and group rentals for weddings and extended stays. Wilmington's newest boutique hotel will soon be home to a café and bar, Cross Street Waffles + Whiskey, and is expected to open this summer.

Currently under construction, the Aloft Wilmington at Coastline Center will be 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. The hotel is set to open in 2021.

The upscale-casual restaurant, born in Winston-Salem has brought its housemade pasta dishes, Italian entrees and a sizable wine list to downtown Wilmington. Quanto Basta Italian Eatery and Wine Bar is known for artisanal Italian dishes passed down from Chef Timothy Grandinetti’s family. The full bar complements a carefully created menu to allow patrons to experience the true Italian meaning of quanto basta – “as much as you like; as much as you need.” Diners enjoy an indoor/outdoor feel with the renovated dining room extending out to an open-air courtyard. The Grotto, a private event space that seats over 30 guests, is available for group dining.

A beloved restaurant with original roots in Washington, DC's Dupont Circle neighborhood, Floriana, opened their second restaurant in the iconic riverfront restaurant location at the foot of Market Street offering scenic views and balcony dining in April. Diners can enjoy Italian-style handmade pasta dishes, steaks and chops in the dining room or stop in for a drink and small plates in the lounge.

After a two-year renovation on the 19th-century Riverwalk building, Michael's on the Waterfront recently celebrated its grand opening. The gastropub features locally-caught seafood, steaks, flatbread pizzas and sandwiches, alongside 30 craft beers on draft including selections from Wilmington breweries. 

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