A stroll along the Riverwalk, located in the historic district of downtown, is a great way to experience Wilmington’s charm. This 1.8 mile boardwalk lines the Cape Fear River and, when complete, will run directly in front of the new Port City Marina.
The views along the Riverwalk are ever-changing. Take in sites of the bustling city or watch as boat traffic moves up and down the river. Keep your eyes open for wildlife as locals have been known to spot gators and dolphins in the water regularly.
If you happen to be around in late afternoon, take a seat at one of the many benches or picnic tables looking out onto the river and prepare to experience a sunset like no other. The scenery as the sun goes down over the Cape Fear River and the U.S.S. North Carolina Battleship is impressive.
Shops and Dining
Several restaurants and shops border the Riverwalk.
- Casual Elijah’s has a popular oyster bar and a primarily seafood based menu. A little more upscale, The George has everything from soups and salads to shrimp & grits. It also boasts a pretty impressive martini menu. The George is also the only restaurant in downtown to feature “dock and dine.” Boaters can pull up and dock free of charge while dining. Both establishments have outdoor patio seating overlooking the Riverwalk and Cape Fear River as well. For a quick snack, Bella’s Sweets and Spirits is a causal coffeehouse and bakery that offers delicious bagels (made fresh every day), pastries, paninis, and numerous coffee beverages.
- Chandler’s Wharf is a gorgeous warehouse building overlooking the Cape Fear River. Unique, locally owned shops, businesses, and galleries are nestled inside. Artichoke is a women’s designer clothing store offering choices from places such as France and Germany. River to Sea is an art gallery showcasing the work of Wilmington’s talented artists. In the gallery you will find photography, pottery, original paintings, jewelry, and more.
Events and Concerts
Special events and festivals occur along the Riverwalk during summertime.
- The Downtown Sundown concert series is particularly enjoyable. This popular Friday night live music entertainment is free admission and there is beer and wine available for purchase.
- The Riverfront Farmer’s Market takes place on Saturdays from 8am-1pm, in April through December. This riverside market is extremely popular with Wilmington residents and features local farmers, producers, artists and crafters. The market’s website states that products include “fresh fruits and berries, vegetables, plants, herbs, flowers, eggs, cheeses, pickled items, legumes, meats, seafood, honey, baked goods, jams and jellies, wine, art, crafts and more.”
The Riverwalk is the perfect place to get outside and experience historical Wilmington’s ambiance. It can be found along Water St. and it is wheelchair accessible.