Wilmington is a port city in and is the county seat of New Hanover County, North Carolina, United States. The population is 106,476 according to the 2010 Census, making it the eighth most populous city in the state of North Carolina. Wilmington is the principal city of the Wilmington Metropolitan Statistical Area, a metropolitan area that covers New Hanover, Brunswick, and Pender counties in southeastern North Carolina, which has a population of 362,315 according to Census 2010 official results. It was named in honor of Spencer Compton, the Earl of Wilmington, who was Prime Minister under King George II.
Wilmington was settled on the Cape Fear River. It offers a historic downtown with a one-mile-long Riverwalk as a main tourist attraction. It is minutes away from nearby beaches. The National Trust for Historic Preservation named Wilmington, North Carolina, one of its 2008 Dozen Distinctive Destinations. City residents have the advantage of living between the river and the ocean. Wilmington has three beach communities in the surrounding area. Wrightsville, Carolina, and Kure beach are all 20 to 30 minute drives from downtown Wilmington.
In 2003 the city was designated by the US Congress, as "A Coast Guard City". The city is home port for the USCGC Diligence (WMEC-616), a United States Coast Guard medium endurance cutter.