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 , a United States Coast Guard medium endurance cutter.It is the site of the World War II battleship . Now a war memorial, the ship is open to public tours and is on display across from the downtown port area. Other attractions include the Cape Fear Museum, the Wilmington Hammerheads USL soccer team, and the training camp site for the Charlotte Bobcats. The University of North Carolina Wilmington provides a wide variety of programs for undergraduates, graduate students and adult learners, in addition to cultural and sports events open to the community.Wilmington is the home of EUE Screen Gems Studios, the largest domestic television and movie production facility outside of California. "Dream Stage 10," the facility's newest sound stage, is the third-largest in the US. It houses the largest special-effects water tank in North America. Since the studio's opening in 1984, Wilmington has become a major center of American film and television production. Movies such as A Walk To Remember, Blue Velvet, Weekend at Bernie's, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Empire Records, Cape Fear, Black Knight, 28 Days, The Crow, Nights in Rodanthe, Firestarter, Maximum Overdrive, The Jackal, Sleeping with the Enemy, The Hudsucker Proxy, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, Message in a Bottle, Domestic Disturbance, Cat's Eye, The Road to Wellville, No Mercy and Hounddog; as well as television shows such as Matlock, Surface, The WB's Dawson's Creek and One Tree Hill and the HBO series Eastbound & Down have been produced there. Hundreds of films, documentaries, and television series have been filmed here.