Weekend Events - wilmingtonncmarathon.com

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

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 2/1/24 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.

Seascape Properties

SeaScape Properties

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

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

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

The Blockade Runner


The Cove is a one-of-a-kind Dockside community on the water in Wilmington, NC.  

Imagine a 1,200 foot detached home — all for you and your guests — sitting directly on the legendary waters of the Cape Fear River,  just steps from everything Wilmington has to offer. A stay at The Cove is an experience — it’s unlike any hotel stay you’ve had before. Did you know that a typical hotel room is just 325 square feet?” There’s no comparison with a home with nearly 4x the space. Which Cove home is right for you?

Address: Port City Marina, 10 Harnett Street, Wilmington, NC 28401 – 910-839-8487

The Blockade Runner

Stay Aloft Wilmington at Coastline Center

The Cove is a one-of-a-kind Dockside community on the water in Wilmington, NC.  

The Aloft is just .75 miles from the Finish Line.

Connected to the Wilmington Downtown Riverwalk, and nominated as one of America’s best, the Aloft Wilmington offers ideal accommodations for either the business or leisure traveler. Relax in a spacious loft-inspired room with plush bedding, a flat panel TV, rainfall showerhead, and more.

When you’re ready to venture out for the day for some sun and fun, visit Wrightsville Beach located just 15 minutes away or Carolina Beach just 30 minutes away. For an evening in, try one of Aloft’s on-site restaurants; The Atlantic Restaurant & Wine Loft for fine dining, or the rooftop bistro aView while enjoying a beautiful sunset on the Cape Fear River. Have a cocktail at WXYZ bar or listen to live music at Re:mix.

Explore some of the city’s most popular spots including many local craft breweries and well-known eateries. Take a horse drawn carriage ride, or a walking tour of the many homes located in the historic district. Aloft blends modern style with historic surroundings for a unique experience. 

Address: 501 Nutt Street Wilmington, NC 28401

The Blockade Runner

Mainstay Suites – Sleep Inn

Enjoy apartment-style living at the MainStay Suites® in Wilmington where you will find friendly service and plentiful amenities. (Pet Friendly) $79 plus tax (one-time pet fee when applicable) Free Parking and Deluxe Continental Breakfast included.
Sleep Inn: Enjoy a refreshing blend of modern hospitality and affordable accommodations at our 100% smoke-free Sleep Inn® hotel in Wilmington. A simply stylish sanctuary ideal for a happy night’s sleep. $69 plus tax. Free Parking and Deluxe Continental Breakfast included.

Address: 5229 Market Street Hwy 132 &, US-17, Wilmington, NC 28405

Call 910-313-6665 for Sleep Inn Group Code Marathon24
Call 910-392-1741 for Mainstay Suites Group Code Marathon24
Booking cut-off date February 2, 2024

Local Activities

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.

Outdoor Recreation

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.