Wilmington, North Carolina Takes Top Spot As America's Best Riverfront


Wilmington NC Riverfront

Woohoo! We're doing a happy dance over here in celebration of the big news. Have you heard that Wilmington, North Carolina was recently voted Best American Riverfront by USA Today readers? Yes, yes, yes it was. The competition was fierce and it was neck-and-neck between the top two contenders: Wilmington, North Carolina and Spokane, Washington. It was a tight margin but Wilmington prevailed in the end with 33% of the total vote and Spokane with 28%. (Thank you, fans!)

The city of Wilmington is often known for its proximity to many of North Carolina's most beautiful barrier island beaches including nearby Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach and Kure Beach. Topsail Island is included in that list and is only about 40 miles north of the city.

In addition to Wilmington's proximity to so many beautiful beaches, it's nice to see its riverfront charm also being recognized. Wilmington is located on Eastern North Carolina's coastline and serves as a gateway to the previously mentioned beaches and is also situated on the eastern shores of the Cape Fear River. It is a historic, scenic and cultural hub bustling with plenty to see and do including abundant shopping opportunities and fantastic local restaurants.

Other attractionsBattleship USS North Carolina in Wilmington include Riverfront Park which offers 2.4 acres of recreation and leisure, as well as hosting some of Wilmington's biggest events including the Bob Marley Festival, Riverfront Blues Festival and Riverfest. Check out the full listing of Wilmington's Riverfront events. There's always something going on!

The north end of the riverfront is home to the Riverfront Market, which is located in a historic warehouse and overflowing with local fresh produce, meats, seafood, baked goods and more. This European-style market ranges the spectrum from local flavors to the exotic. The market has a lovely selection of specialty goods and gourmet products, as well as casual café-style seating on the second story balcony. It's a wonderful spot for lunch or to meet up with friends and enjoy the views.

These are some of our favorite things about our local riverfront district.


Here's what USA Today had to say about the Wilmington Riverfront and why it was chosen as America's best:

Located along the Cape Fear River, Wilmington's riverfront is home to a colorful Riverwalk lined with more than 200 cafes, bars and shops. Just across the river, history buffs can tour the moored battleship USS North Carolina. The annual Riverfest each October brings hundreds of craft and food vendors to the riverfront for three days of live music, fireworks, a mock pirate invasion and a standup paddle race.

USA Today & 10Best Reader's Choice, Best American Riverfront

If you're planning a Topsail Island vacation, be sure to put Wilmington on your day trip list. It's under an hour's drive south on Highway 17 and is most definitely worth the trip.

Now that we have some bragging rights, we'd love to know what some of your favorite things are about Wilmington's riverfront. Comment with your favorites, so we can spread the news far and wide.

Thanks again to all those who voted Wilmington into the #1 spot for America's Best Riverfront. We appreciate it and certainly agree with you. See you on the river!


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