Wilmington named nation’s second best riverwalk by USA Today reader’s poll

Wilmington named nation’s second best riverwalk by USA Today reader’s poll

Hunter Ingram

Wilmington StarNews
The Wilmington Riverfront has been named the second best Riverwalk by USA Today's 10Best Reader's Choice poll.

WILMINGTON – Locals and tourists know the Port City’s riverwalk is one of the best in the country, and now it’s official.

On Friday, 10Best Readers’ Choice travel award contest, sponsored by USA Today, announced Wilmington placed second in its 2021 Best Riverwalk poll. The Port City was only beat one contender – Detroit’s International Riverwalk.

This isn’t the first time the city has earned such a distinction. Wilmington placed first in 10Best’s 2014 contest to name the Best American Riverfront, a distinction it still touts in promotional materials today.

The second-place finish, out of the 10 finalists, is still a win for the city that is eyeing a major comeback in the coming months as tourists steadily venture out on vacation again after last summer’s stay-at-home orders dampened the summer season due to COVID-19.

Wilmington and Beaches Convention and Visitors Bureau celebrated the results following Friday’s news, applauding the readers who voted for the city’s 1.75-mile riverwalk, which now includes more than 200 shops, restaurants, attractions, theatres, walking tours and river cruises.

“The City of Wilmington’s investment in the Riverwalk has transformed it into one of our destination’s key attractors,” Kim Hufham, president/CEO of the New Hanover County Tourism Development Authority, said in the statement. “Visitors and residents of Wilmington and its island beaches know that our Riverwalk is a special place for recreation, dining, shopping, entertainment, and natural beauty. While we had high hopes to again win the number one spot in a USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice contest, it is quite an honor to be voted as number two among so many outstanding riverwalks across the U.S.”

Nominees for USA TODAY’s 10Best awards are chosen by a panel of relevant experts which include a combination of editors from USA TODAY, editors from 10Best.com, relevant expert contributors, and sources for both these media and other Gannett properties. The StarNews is owned by Gannett.

1. Detroit International RiverWalk (Detroit, MI)

2. Wilmington Riverwalk (Wilmington, NC)

3. Schuylkill River Trail (Philadelphia, PA)

4. San Antonio River Walk (San Antonio, TX)

5. Smale Riverfront Park (Cincinnati, OH)

6. Waterfront Park (Louisville, KY)

7. Bricktown (Oklahoma City, OK)

8. Mississippi Riverwalk (Dubuque, Iowa)

9. Chicago Riverwalk (Chicago, IL)

10. Charles River Esplanade (Boston, MA)

Reporter Hunter Ingram can be reached at 910-343-2327 or Hunter.Ingram@StarNewsOnline.com.