If you are complaining about parking, do your research. It's not expensive to park in the city decks. The first hour is FREE!
Parking is also free on second, third, fourth and many other streets downtown. You just have to know where to go. Call ParkWilmington at 910-762-5678. YES, they have a vested interest in issuing parking tickets. SO DOES WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH but you don't hear as many complaints there. The ParkWilmignton office is on 2nd street just north of the intersection at market street and I'm sure they'll tell you where you can safely park your car.
If you use a parking meter, try the pay by phone option. I do! They'll remember your card number after the first time you use their service. They'll even text you a reminder before your meter expires, and you can ADD MORE TIME without stopping what you're doing.
There are many hidden secrets to downtown other than the restaurants and bars on Front Street. I live on 2nd Street and always find something new to explore on bike rides or walks with the dog. These are things that you'll never see just riding around in your car. The history and architecture of our town rivals that of every historic town on the southeast coast.
Try the farmer's market on Saturday Mornings. The vendors there are always so nice and and happy to talk with enthusiasts about their trade. Especially the gardeners!
Afterwards, stop by to see Brad and the ALWAYS nice crew at Chop's Deli for one of the best sandwiches in town. There are so many options for lunch and dinner downtown. You just have to get out of your comfort zone!
Dram Tree Park is a wonderful secret under the bridge for folks that want a great place to enjoy the river as the boats go by. Right by the park, at the foot of Castle on Surry Street is Ted's Fun on the River. It's a great neighborhood spot if you want to see how the locals do it. Sit on the porch with a beer or rent a canoe!
While you're on that side of downtown, walk through the Arts and Antiques district. Anyone that's ever been to RX restaurant at 5th and Castle will tell you it's the best place in town! Just down from RX is Wilmington Wine where visitors can choose from a great selection of wine and beer or enjoy a glass or bottle of your favorites on the back porch while the breeze blows through. Make sure you say hey to Bent, He's the dog in charge! Feeling hungry? Take that beer next door and grab a meal at Jester's Java. Afterwards, browse through the antique shops and find something special for a friend or loved one!
Wilmington WaterCat and the other water tour boats on the riverwalk are an inexpensive activity that provide a great view of our downtown scene from a new perspective. You can cruise up or down river with a cold beer and they have local specials and discounts if you ask Captain Ed!
Where to begin with the battleship! One can spend hours roaming the decks of the ship as well as the gift shop. A quick water taxi ride across the river and you're all set! Try packing a picnic and enjoy battleship park and the views of downtown from across the river.
For those that say there's nothing but bars, bars, bars downtown, GET OUT MORE! The longest line I've ever seen downtown was for ice cream at Kilwin's! I doubt there's a drop of booze in that place.
There are ghost tours, ghost bar crawls, historic walks, trolley rides, horse and carriage rides and so much more! Many of these activities are hosted by local actors doing side work from their projects that help support HOLLYWOOD EAST!
So, take some time, do some research, get downtown, and maybe catch a movie being filmed. There's no other place like it in the world!
I would have selected once or twice a month. We will go to dinner or to a show at about that rate.
I actually would have gone downtown far more often if there was a ballpark. Instead between work and the kids we just don't have the opportunity as often as we'd like. I think we'll be going more often now that Ziggy's is open. Of course we'd go even more often if we didn't have to pay for parking everywhere.
The Riverwalk is charming, but once is enough. The historic houses are beautiful, but, again, I've seen them many times.
The commercial district is ugly. The few shops are unoriginal and uninviting. Clearly, the entire downtown commercial area is designed to entice college students to get drunk, to get down and party. You walk by bar after bar after bar after bar.
In the daylight, the bars' windows are dirty and smudged and full of a chaotic mess of flyers.
The city leaders who encouraged the bar scene downtown, and put no limits on the number of bars, should be denounced for ruining what could have been a beautiful, historic and charming shopping experience.
Shame, shame, shame on ugly downtown Wilmington.
Downtown is dirty, homeless people wander the streets, people on the sidewalks are nasty, cussing and will say obscene things to you, it stinks down there, it is not safe for women at all. The only thing going on for downtown are the clubs where kids get drunk, do drugs, fight, murder, rape and cost the taxpayers thousands of dollars to pay the police to try and keep law and order. Remember the night someone punched a police horse? I wish I would have been right there for that one to defend the horse. Who in their right mind would want to be involved in all this? As hard as a few try, Wilmington is never going to be a Charleston.
75% "almost never" come down town.
After all the marketing, the bruha, the speeches, the banners.
Almost no one comes down town.
Bring It! Down town is a failure.
The people overseeing BIDT are failures.
WDI is a failure
The CC is a failure
But we are getting condo's down town - so there's a serious effort to repopulate the area.
Thank God the ballpark initiative was voted down as this poll indicates that all the economic benefits would have been grossly over stated (which we pointed out back then). No one is going down town and no one would be staying down town after a ball game according to this poll.
sorry John Hinnant - I hope you do better selling commercial real estate.
I love the downtown area...the shops, restaurants, the bars, the atmosphere. I know they're those who hate it and site crime...I never worried about it...hang with friends, stay where the people are and stay out of remote alleys off the beaten path and there should never be any problems. If it ain't your thing, then don't go..,but I love it. I don't consider it a bad thing almost 75% don't come down. There's enough people down there as it is. I like alot of you guys..but all of you at once kinda cramps my style....lol. Now that I think about it...I'm going to go tonight!! Start with Elijah's for some dinner, the Fortuna Glass wine bar, then head over to Slainte's for some Irish fun...HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND! Oh yeah...check out Hell's Kitchen on Mondays. Adam starts with trivia at 7:30, then the official site for viewing "Under The Dome" gets going with available cast and crew at 10....just sayin'
Wow ! I guess Downtown needs to work on some things to boost visitors. There seem to be a lot of people at night certainly, but I see people during the day too. Maybe it's just tourists I'm seeing.
Lots of other places to go in Wilmington where I do not have to pay to park. You would think groups like WDI would realize this by now but I guess they are too busy counting donations and tax dollars for $10,000 parties.