Southport is a small tradition rich town on the coast right across from Bald Head Island. It is located between Myrtle Beach and Wilmington in Brunswick County off of North Carolina highway 17 and then down highway 211. Southport was originally founded in 1792 under the different name of Smithville. But local residents decided to change the name to Southport shortly thereafter in 1887 in hopes that this name change would attract the eventual port city needed in the area which eventually became Wilmington located further up the Cape Fear River.
The historic downtown area of Southport is picturesque featuring two hundred year old live oak trees that drape the downtown area causing plenty of shade. The waterfront area is especially pleasant with a boardwalk that meets the bulkhead and allows a truly gorgeous view of the Intra Costal Waterway as well as the inlet. This area is actually a waterfront park complete with a pier and a gazebo. Sitting on a bench watching boats go by through the inlet and waterway is truly relaxing and you should take time to enjoy the area by sitting down and taking it all in.
The historic district of Southport is truly worth the trip to see it because it accurately depicts the way the town has been laid out for centuries. There are a multitude of small antique and collectable stores that will surely captivate you interest for hours on end. This area has been used in many different films including a the teen horror film “I Know What You Did Last Summer.”
There are many local beaches a short drive away from Southport including the beautiful township of Oak Island, which includes Long Beach, just recently acquired through renewed town limit lines. The beaches being so close Southport is a great place to vacation since it is a perfect jumping off point for anything you want to do in Brunswick County. The ferry to the historic Fort Fisher is a great educational opportunity for children of all ages or for the Civil War historian in your family. Some of the remains of the fort are still standing and are well preserved by the state. Fort Fisher also has an aquarium that features a huge salt-water tank with presentations on every type of fish including sharks.
Historic downtown Wilmington is only a twenty to thirty minute drive northeast depending on the traffic. There you can go on the authentically restored World War II Battleship that sits in the Cape Fear River rigt across from the downtown area of Wilmington. Downtown Wilmington also offers great local eclectic shops that should satisfy any buyer’s desires. Any type of fishing that you want to do can be easily arranged out of Southport as well. Charter a sport fishing boat for the day or join a large group. You can also fish off the pier or drop your personal watercraft into the Intra Costal for your own fishing adventure.