Thursday, October 23, 2014

National kudos for Wilmington's waterfront

Readers of USA Today had the chance to do a "10 Best Readers' Choice" vote for the city with the best American riverfront, and when the results were released Wednesday, Wilmington won.

As USA Today correctly noted, "Because Wilmington is associated with the many barrier island destinations for which it serves as a gateway -- Wrightsville Beach chief among them -- the public often forgets it's actually a river city."

Along the Cape Fear River at Wilmington, you'll find the Henrietta III excursion boat (shown above), Battleship North Carolina and a 1.75-mile wood-plank Riverwalk, where a weekly farmers market and other outdoor events are staged throughout the year.

Which of the winners are within easy striking distance?

Wilmington is a  3 1/2-hour straight-shot drive from Charlotte via U.S. 74.
Savannah is four hours south of Charlotte, Interstate all the way.
Richmond, Va., is 4 1/2 hours northeast, Interstate all the way.
Also on the list is Chattanooga, Tenn., a 5 1/2-hour drive to the west, via any of several routes.

Here's the full list:

2. Spokane, Wash.
3. Davenport, Iowa
4. Dubuque, Iowa
5. Pittsburgh
6. Louisville, Ky.
9. Detroit