In the early twentieth century the area now know as Wilton Manors was known as Colohatchee. A train stop along the Florida East Coast Railroad near the current NE 24th Street shared that name. The name Wilton Manors was coined in 1925 by Ned Willingham, a Georgia transplant and land developer. Wilton Manors was incorporated in 1947.
The city is home to a sizable LGBT minority as well as winter vacationers, who frequent its many nightclubs and gay-owned businesses along the main street, Wilton Drive; the 2010 U.S. Census reported that it is second only toProvincetown, Massachusetts in the proportion (15%) of gay couples relative to the total population (couples as reported to the U.S. Census).