Repeatedly reviewed as “One of Downtown’s best assets,” and ranked #6 of the “Top Things to do in Wilmington” on Trip Advisor, Wilmington’s Riverwalk has a lot to live up to. It was even named “America’s #1 Riverfront” in 2014 by USA Today.
Now, the City of Wilmington, claiming the Riverwalk to be Wilmington’s #1 tourist attraction, has resolved that November 18, 2017 be named Riverwalk Day. A celebration is being held at 10:00 a.m. at Riverfront Park (at the foot of Market Street) to mark the occasion and formally recognize one of the treasures of our city. You only need to take a stroll down the recently renovated 1.75-mile Riverwalk to understand what makes it is so special.
The southernmost point of the Riverwalk begins at Nun Street, which is the perfect spot to admire the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge, and ends to the north at the Isabel Holmes Bridge. Completed in 1969, the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge serves as an impressive gateway to Wilmington and beyond and somewhat overshadows the more modern Isabel Holmes Bridge. Along the riverwalk, you can’t miss another landmark across the river, the majestic Battleship North Carolina.
Everyone in Downtown Wilmington and the surrounding counties will benefit from the culmination of this $10 million dollar Riverwalk restoration. The underground repairs and streetscape improvements have made the Riverwalk both structurally sound and visually pleasing. New benches, lighting, and landscaping are the icing on the cake and get top marks for aesthetics. Lined with an eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, and bars, it is a great place for residents and visitors to shop, dine and play. When you’re done with shopping and socializing, it is the perfect place for an energetic jog or a leisurely stroll.
Leisure is one of the main reasons people want to visit or live in this area. The lure of a coastal city that has an authentic riverfront and a lively, historic downtown district, coupled with the ever-present southern charm, make this a popular destination. The newly expanded Riverwalk has driven private economic development along the riverfront and has contributed to major economic expansion throughout the downtown area. These positive impacts are felt far beyond the city and draw people in like bees to a honeypot.
Many people who have already discovered the mesmerizing charm of Downtown Wilmington and the Riverwalk may prefer to keep this treasure under wraps, but the secret is out and we need to embrace it with pride.
Let’s face it, the Riverwalk in Downtown Wilmington is the place to go. There is plenty of parking close by in any of the three easy-to-find multi-story parking decks within two blocks of the riverfront where the first hour of parking in the decks is FREE! Thereafter, it is only $1.00 per hour up to an $8.00 maximum. Walking through the historic downtown, you’ll find more than 130 unique shops; around 80 superb dining establishments; approximately 40 friendly bars; more than 40 attractions and over 200 other services.
Check out Wilmington’s newly refurbished Riverwalk this Saturday; celebrate with pride; browse the shops and businesses knowing that you are supporting our local economy in Downtown Wilmington. And above all, enjoy!