Pocket Parks Add Quality to Downtown Life

Posted Jun 7th, 2019 in Weekend Wish List


Some people may overlook the small parks in Downtown. While the 1.75-mile Riverwalk is the perfect place for you to jog, walk your dog, or enjoy a leisurely stroll, these pocket parks often preserve green space and give you a place to spend time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Riverfront Park, on Water Street spanning from the Visitors Center to past the historic, Federal Courthouse, has planted areas and benches so you can sit and read or enjoy your lunch while overlooking the Cape Fear River. To the south of this is the Claude Howell Park. This is a cozy area that has benches, bike racks and planting beds and is an entry point to the Riverwalk. Just south of there is the Orange Street Landing. This area also has benches and other features. Between the Diligence Dock and Hotel Ballast, is Veterans’ Park where you can appreciate the sacrifices made by local military veterans whose names feature on the war memorials.

The 1898 Memorial Park is at North 3rd and Davis Streets and is characterized by cast-bronze paddles. This monument memorializes the lives lost in the 1898 Race Riot so it is another place for reflection.

Two other parks are in the northern area of Downtown Wilmington. Bicentennial Park at 206 North 5th Street is an acre of open space that is great for all the family. It has picnic areas, water fountains, and a playground and basketball court. Closer to the center city is Davis Park, a half-acre area with planting beds located at Red Cross and 2nd Streets.

Another pocket park in front of the New Hanover County Library at 3rd and Chestnut Streets is Story Park. This is landscaped and includes plants, benches, a story walk and a life-sized checkers board. Events are often held on the staging area by the entrance to the library. Yet another small park is Innis Park, a half-acre place at 3rd and Princess Streets that includes a lawn, bike racks and a replica of the Statue of Liberty.

You can also park your bike in the rack at the entrance to Bijou Park in the 200-block of North Front Street. This pocket park is sandwiched between two buildings and has benches where you can sit in the shade provided by trees. This is a great place to relax or be mesmerized by the activity of the giant crane used in the construction of Downtown Wilmington’s first mixed-use development.

Whatever your pleasure, the parks are here for you to enjoy at your leisure.


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Bijou Park
225 N Front St
Wilmington, NC 28401

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Riverfront Park
5 N Water St
Wilmington, NC 28401

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