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 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 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 opened in historic downtown Wilmington. ARRIVE Wilmington features all-new guest rooms renovated with a clean, modern design. Anchoring the hotel, Dram Yard restaurant  features a cozy neighborhood dining experience. The restaurant showcases family-style dishes created from locally sourced produce, meats and seafood.

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.

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 in 2021.

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.

After a two-year renovation on the 19th-century Riverwalk building, Michael's on the Waterfront is planning for an opening in early 2020. The gastropub will feature 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.