Things to Do in Wilmington
Our lodging partners provide convenient and affordable stays at great rates. These spaces book fast, so plan ahead!
Embassy Suites by Hilton Wilmington Riverfront
Start the day right with free made-to-order breakfast, then join us later for our complimentary Evening Reception on our second-floor landing overlooking the Port City Marina. Head to our Rooftop Bar, Cloud 9, to enjoy panoramic river views and eclectic menus, or enjoy American Cuisine with locally sourced ingredients along the riverfront at Steam Restaurant & Bar. Walk to the expo and 1 mile from the finish, this hotel is close and convenient to the race!
Address: Embassy Suites by Hilton Wilmington Riverfront, 9 Estell Lee Place, Wilmington, NC 28401
You must book by 1/23/24 for the group rate. There is a 2-night minimum. Late check out is not guaranteed. Please contact the hotel directly to place your request.
Offers unmatched vacation rentals in the Wrightsville Beach area. Skip the hotel room this year and enjoy all the amenities of home before and after the big race! With homes to accommodate the whole family or just a few, we are sure our welcoming atmosphere, fully stocked kitchens, and fresh linens on every bed will make your vacation a relaxing one.
Lumina on Wrightsville Beach
A Holiday Inn Resort!
At Lumina on Wrightsville Beach, we are a short walk to the start line, and we are located directly on the ocean. The hotel is lit with camaraderie, beckoning visitors and locals alike with dazzling hospitality. Every guest room here has balconies, most with water view and some have bunk beds to better accommodate families. Recreation opportunities abound, with three pools and direct beach access, a hammock garden, even a beachfront fitness center, plus a full slate of onsite activities and entertainment.
Address: 1706 N. Lumina Ave., Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina
The Blockade Runner
Stay at the beach! Book your room at the Blockade Runner with a special rate for all Wilmington Marathon Participants. You can wake up in a beautiful waterfront guestroom and walk or run to the start of the race! Extend your stay and enjoy Wrightsville Beach!
Address: 275 Waynick Blvd., Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480
Wilmington is where Southern hospitality meets coastal beauty. While you’re in town for the marathon event, take some time to explore this enchanting city and experience its unique blend of attractions, mouthwatering cuisine, shopping delights, outdoor adventures, vibrant nightlife, and engaging tours.
Attractions and Sites
Wilmington boasts a treasure trove of attractions and sites that highlight its rich history and captivating culture. You won’t want to miss the following favorite…
- Historic Downtown: Stroll through the cobblestone streets of downtown Wilmington, lined with historic homes, charming boutiques, and cozy cafes. Immerse yourself in the city’s southern charm.
- Battleship North Carolina: Explore this World War II battleship, a floating museum that offers a glimpse into America’s naval history. If you enjoy the battleship, you won’t want to miss the Battleship Half Marathon that happens each November!
- Airlie Gardens: Wander through the stunning Airlie Gardens, where lush greenery, colorful blooms, and serene lakes create a tranquil oasis.
Places to Eat
Experience the delectable flavors of Wilmington’s culinary scene, known for its seafood and southern-inspired cuisine:
- Elijah’s Restaurant: Enjoy fresh seafood dishes with a waterfront view at Elijah’s. It’s a local favorite for its Southern-style hospitality.
- RX Restaurant and Bar: Savor farm-to-table Southern dishes crafted with locally sourced ingredients in a cozy, historic setting.
- Henry’s: Relaxed eatery & bar preparing eclectic American sandwiches & mains with local ingredients.
- True Blue Butcher and Table: Inspired cuisine driven by the best ingredients, curated liquors, beer and wines.
Places to Shop
Shop ’til you drop at these charming local boutiques and shops:
- The Cotton Exchange: Explore this historic shopping village filled with unique boutiques, artisan crafts, and southern-inspired gifts.
- Mayfaire Town Center: Discover upscale shops and boutiques offering everything from fashion to home decor.
- Old Wilmington City Market: A most unique downtown shopping experience.
- Art In Bloom Gallery: an eclectic mix of original paintings, ceramics, sculpture and more.
Embrace the natural beauty of the region with these outdoor activities:
- Wrightsville Beach: Hit the sandy shores of Wrightsville Beach for a day of sun, surf, and relaxation after the marathon – even in February!
- Riverwalk: Take a leisurely walk along the scenic Cape Fear Riverwalk, where you can soak in picturesque views of the water and historic downtown.
Experience the vibrant nightlife scene in Wilmington:
- Front Street Brewery: Sip on craft beers at this historic brewery while enjoying live music and the company of friendly locals.
- The Husk: Dance the night away at The Husk, a popular nightclub known for its lively atmosphere and great drinks.
- Dead Crow Comedy Room: Laid-back theater with shows by nationally touring & local comedians, plus finger foods & cocktails.
Explore Wilmington’s history and culture through local tours:
- Historic Trolley Tour: Hop on a trolley for a guided tour of the city’s historic sites, including antebellum homes and landmarks.
- Haunted Wilmington Tour: If you’re feeling adventurous, join a haunted tour to learn about the city’s spooky legends and ghostly encounters.
- Tour Famous Film & TV Sites: Wilmington is also known as “Hollywood East” or “Wilmywood” for being frequently featured in many productions through the years. Check out wilmingtonandbeaches.com for a thorough list of locations and to find out why Hollywood is attracted to the charm of our community.
Come for the marathon, stay for the charm
Wilmington offers a rich history, delectable cuisine, unique shopping, outdoor adventures, and lively nightlife, you’re sure to fall in love with the city’s Southern hospitality and coastal allure. Make the most of your visit and create unforgettable memories beyond the racecourse.