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 Convention District is further strengthened with the addition of new hotels, several restaurants, a marina and an event pier, and the announcement of a riverfront park that will 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

Located adjacent to Port City Marina, plans for the North Waterfront Park are 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 2020.

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.

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.

The Hotel Ballast, Tapestry Collection by Hilton recently completed an $11.5 million renovation. 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 & 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.

Located adjacent to the Wilmington Convention Center, the Embassy Suites Wilmington Riverfront Hotel opened 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 Cloud 9 offering scenic views of the Cape Fear River and downtown Wilmington, along with STEAM Restaurant & Bar on the terrace featuring farm-to-fork comfort food and seafood.

The Hampton Inn Downtown opened to offer another room block option of 92 guest rooms and suites, along with a 1,222 square-foot meeting room for up to 75 people.

A newly renovated 36-room boutique hotel is set to open soon in historic downtown Wilmington. ARRIVE Wilmington, formerly Wilmingtonian Inn, will feature all-new guest rooms renovated with a clean, modern design. Anchoring the hotel, Dram Yard restaurant is now open featuring a cozy neighborhood dining experience. The restaurant showcases family-style dishes created from locally sourced produce, meats and seafood.

Under construction now, the Aloft Coastline Hotel 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 under construction now and set to open mid-2020.

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, including the now open Marina Grill.

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