Wilmington was rollin' on the river Wednesday with the announcement from USA Today that it has been chosen America's Best Riverfront location in the publication's 10Best Readers' Choice travel award contest.
"This prestigious 10Best Readers' Choice travel award shines a spotlight on Wilmington's vibrant riverfront with more than 200 shops, restaurants, attractions, tours and cruises within easy walking distance," officials with the Wilmington and Beaches Convention and Visitors Bureau said in a news release Wednesday.
Coming in a close second was Spokane, Washington, in what USA Today's 10Best organizers said was one of the publication's largest contests to date. Wilmington received 33 percent of the votes to Spokane's 28 percent.
The list of top ten vote-getters is here
"With this designation, the rest of the country will learn what we already know: Wilmington has the best riverfront in the United States and remains our most popular tourist attraction," Wilmington mayor Bill Saffo said in the release. "The city is proud of the investment we have made in this important public amenity and today's national designation shows why it's so important to our community."
New Hanover Board of Commissioners member Jonathan Barfield said in the release that the ranking "will further advance our tourism and hospitality industry and overall economic development efforts. And I applaud the City of Wilmington's leadership for their investment and visionary leadership."
Nominees were chosen by a panel of relevant experts, according to USA Today officials, who explained that the panel included editors from USA Today, editors from USA Today 10Best.com, relevant expert contributors, and sources for those and other Gannett media properties. Voting was done digitally over a four-week period.