WILMINGTON, N.C. – Given ongoing concerns around COVID-19, outdoor events are likely to be popular options for the foreseeable future. Wilmington, N.C., is home to several new outdoor venues well suited to socially distanced meetings. These new offerings join the destination’s existing abundance of outdoor activities, open networking spaces, and break areas, as well as an intimately sized convention center and island beaches.
North Waterfront Park and Amphitheater
North Waterfront Park and Amphitheater is scheduled to open in 2021 in Wilmington’s Convention District. This 6.6-acre urban greenspace is an ideal outdoor location for receptions and special events, as it can accommodate more than 6,000 people for an event.
The park will take advantage of views of the Cape Fear River and will connect to the downtown Riverwalk. A playground with a splash pad, shade trees, and lush gardens will allow visitors to enjoy a respite among the active downtown urban landscape.
The project has received Waterfront Edge Design Guidelines (WEDG) verification, which is the gold standard for resilient, ecologically sound, and accessible projects along the coast. The park’s largest feature will be an open-air music venue managed by Live Nation, making it one of only a handful of the brand’s music venues located on the water. The amphitheater’s VIP Club will feature a balcony overlooking the seating area.
Station No. 2
Located minutes from downtown in the Castle Street Arts & Antique District, Station No. 2 offers an intimate, unique event venue with a 1,100-square-foot outdoor space that can accommodate up to 50 patrons. It is well suited for weddings, rehearsal dinners, corporate parties and receptions, and other special events.
Built in 1915, the interior of this former horse-drawn carriage firehouse has a maintained original tin ceiling with exposed brick walls. The red firehouse doorway opens to a vaulted ceiling event space with a side door connecting to an open courtyard, which has a recently enhanced patio created with flagstone pavers.
The Aloft features a unique pedestrian- and pet-friendly ‘Front Yard.’ The outdoor space will offer seating, a fire pit, and music, and it will be connected to the hotel’s bar, the WXYZ Lounge, for outdoor beverage service. The ‘Front Yard’ can accommodate up to 50 guests. Guests can host weddings and private events on the rooftop bistro bar, Above, which looks out across the scenic Cape Fear River. Offering indoor and outdoor seating, the rooftop venue is available for up to
100 guests. Now part of the Aloft, the Coastline Center was constructed in the late 19th century for the Atlantic Coastline Railroad (ACL). It can host groups of up to 500.