Old Brunswick County Jail

20+ Great Things to Do in Southport NC & Nearby

Looking for Things to Do in Southport NC?

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As you wander through the charming streets of Southport, North Carolina, you’ll quickly understand why this coastal gem captures the hearts of all who visit. Nestled at the mouth of the Cape Fear River, Southport boasts a rich tapestry of maritime history and Southern hospitality. 

Here, you’ll find picturesque views of the river meeting the Atlantic, framed by ancient, moss-draped oaks. The town’s vibrant community spirit is evident in its friendly cafes, unique shops, and the lively waterfront that always seems to hum with activity. Southport isn’t just a destination; it’s an experience inviting you to be a part of its story.

Things to Do in Southport NC

Let’s dive into some fun things you can enjoy while in Southport.

1. North Carolina Maritime Museum 

Address: 204 E Moore St, Southport, NC 28461

Located at the confluence of the Cape Fear River, Intracoastal Waterway, and the Atlantic Ocean, this museum, once a humble establishment on Howe Street, has evolved into a celebrated state agency since 1999. Its home, the historic officer’s quarters at Fort Johnston, adds to its allure. 

Imagine strolling through exhibits that narrate the rich maritime heritage of the Cape Fear region. Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious about coastal culture, the museum’s transformation and its diverse collection promise an engaging and informative afternoon. Here, every artifact tells a story, inviting you to explore the depths of Southport’s maritime past.​

North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport

2. Fort Johnston-Southport Museum & Visitors’ Center

Address: 203 E Bay St, Southport, NC 28461

Nestled in the historic Garrison House, this museum invites you into Southport’s past, from its 1792 founding to the present. Engaging guides take you through a rich tapestry of local history and culture. 

It’s a family-friendly experience, complete with a scavenger hunt for younger visitors. After exploring, relax outside, watching the serene Cape Fear River as boats and wildlife drift by. The adjoining Visitor Center is your gateway to Southport, offering maps, brochures, and insights to enrich your stay in this charming coastal town.

Fort Johnson Museum's View out to the water

3. Northrop Antiques Mall 

Address: 111 E Moore St, Southport, NC 28461

Nestled on Howe Street, the Northrop Antiques Mall beckons with its distinctive, angled rooftop and forest-green awning, a symbol of Southport’s timeless allure. This historic brick building houses a captivating world where about 38 dealers present their eclectic collections. 

Here, history and creativity collide, offering everything from vintage books and old bottles to contemporary crafts and artworks. With such a diverse array of treasures, each visit becomes a unique adventure, catering to the whims and fancies of every visitor. 

4. Southport Fishing Pier 

Address: 178 E Bay St, Southport, NC 28461

This small pier, easily accessible for everyone, is a highlight of the area and is free to use. It’s part of the charming Waterfront Park, complete with park benches, a gazebo, and swings, often enlivened by an ice cream truck during peak seasons. 

The pier also serves as a starting point for the picturesque Riverwalk Trail, a path that winds through scenic waterfront vistas. Additionally, it’s a popular spot for birdwatching, being part of the NC Birding Trail, where you can observe a variety of bird species in their natural habitat.

Southport Fishing Pier

5. Artshak Studio and Gallery 

Address: 822 N Howe St, Southport, NC 28461

Artshak Studio and Gallery is set in a unique barn-style building and has a vibrant showcase of diverse art forms. It features the creations of around 56 artists, offering a rich tapestry of paintings, sculptures, and photographs, along with distinctive works in clay, metal, glass, wood, and fabric. 

The gallery is a fusion of regional charm and contemporary flair, displaying art that ranges from classic to cutting-edge. A visit to Artshak is an adventure in artistic exploration, with each corner unveiling novel and intriguing pieces, such as sculptures made from shimmering silver utensils and captivating, luminous glass art.

6. Southport Waterfront Park 

Address: 146-176 E Bay St, Southport, NC 28461

Here, a picturesque oasis that spans nine acres seamlessly blends the charm of downtown Southport with the tranquil vistas of the Cape Fear River. This park is a magnet for those who love to watch the fishing boats and Intracoastal waterway travelers. 

With its array of comfortable benches along the water’s edge, picnic spots, and swings, the park invites you to relax and soak in the serene surroundings. The nearby fishing pier, extending invitingly into the river, is a welcoming spot for fishing or simply enjoying the water.

Waterfront Park Things to Do in Southport NC

7. Old Brunswick County Jail 

Address: 318 E Nash St, Southport, NC 28461

Tucked away at Nash and Rhett Streets, near the Old Smithville Burying Ground, the Old Brunswick County Jail is a captivating landmark in Southport. Constructed in 1904, this brick building, now maintained by the Southport Historical Society, has been lovingly restored. 

It showcases the original jailor’s quarters and authentic jail cells, complete with historical details. The jail is also known for its cameo in the 1986 movie “Crimes of the Heart.” Visitors, especially families, find it a fascinating spot, with guided tours and special activities for kids, offering a unique and educational glimpse into Southport’s storied past.

Old Brunswick County Jail

8. Southport Ferry to Fort Fisher

Address: 1301 Ferry Rd SE, Southport, NC 28461

Embark on a scenic journey with the Southport-Fort Fisher ferry. This delightful ride, costing only $7 for a typical vehicle, offers a cost-effective and picturesque way to travel between Southport and historic Fort Fisher, including the North Carolina Aquarium and Kure and Carolina Beach.

The ferry, accommodating cars, RVs, and trailers, is a popular choice for both locals and tourists. Pets are welcome but must remain leashed or in vehicles. With a crossing time of about 35 minutes, enjoy the coastal beauty of North Carolina on your journey.

Fort Fisher Ferry Entrance

9. Southport Ferry to Bald Head Island 

Address: 1301 Ferry Rd SE, Southport, NC 28461

The ferry to Bald Head Island, a short but scenic journey, departs from Deep Point Marina in Southport, NC, located just two nautical miles away. This 20-minute ride is a gateway to the serene beauty of Bald Head Island.

Operating hourly from the mainland and every half hour from the island, it provides a convenient connection. The round-trip fare for adults is $23, and children aged 3-12 can enjoy this maritime adventure for $12. 

10. Southport Pier Riverwalk

Address: Marsh Walk, Southport, NC 28461

Enjoy this tranquil spot near the mouth of the Cape Fear River, which offers a picturesque experience for visitors. This accessible municipal pier, free for public use, lies adjacent to Waterfront Park, which boasts amenities like a water fountain, park benches, a gazebo, swings, and often an ice cream truck. 

The Riverwalk Trail starts near the pier, winding along Bay Street and around the yacht basin’s small bay, then looping back to a boardwalk on a peninsula. Keep your eyes out for birds like the White Ibis, Glossy Ibis, and Painted Bunting​.

11. Franklin Square Gallery 

Address: 130 E West St, Southport, NC 28461

A cooperative art gallery is a vibrant center of local creativity. Operated by the Associated Artists of Southport, a non-profit organization, the gallery brings together a diverse group of painters, sculptors, and potters.

These artists collaborate to create a dynamic space where visitors can explore a wide range of artistic expressions, from traditional paintings to innovative sculptures and pottery. 

12. Kingsley Street Park 

Address: 418 E Bay St, Southport, NC 28461

Enjoy the peaceful and scenic views at Kingsley Street Park.  A highlight of the park is its dock that stretches into the Intracoastal Waterway, offering stunning views of the Cape Fear River and nearby islands.

The park is freely accessible to the public and includes amenities for pier fishing, making it a popular spot for both local anglers and visiting fishing enthusiasts. 

Kingsley Park

13. William S. “Bill” Smith Park

Address: 4446 Fish Factory Rd SE, Southport, NC 28461

This park offers a range of recreational facilities, including four baseball/softball fields, a football field, and a nine-hole par-three disc golf course. It’s also equipped with a kayak launch for water enthusiasts, a dog park for pet owners, and a picnic shelter perfect for family outings. 

14. Skydive Coastal Carolinas

Address: 4019 Long Beach Rd SE., Southport, NC 28461

Since 1996, Skydive Coastal Carolinas has been thrilling adventure-seekers with skydiving experiences along the picturesque Carolina coastline. From the moment you take off, you’re treated to stunning vistas of the Atlantic, Oak Island Lighthouse, and Bald Head Islands.  

The freefall experience lasts 45 to 60 seconds, where you’ll soar at 120 mph, followed by a serene parachute glide for 5 to 7 minutes over Southport’s stunning landscapes. The experience culminates with a smooth landing, celebrating your remarkable flight​.

15. Smithville District Park

Address: 8340 River Rd SE, Southport, NC 28461

The park features two baseball/softball fields, a football/soccer field, and a basketball court, catering to sports enthusiasts of all ages. Additionally, the park has two tennis courts, a playground for children, and two picnic shelters, making it ideal for family outings and social gatherings. 

16. Keziah Memorial Park

Address: 119 W Moore St, Southport, NC 28461

This little park is a peaceful spot for picnicking and other passive activities, offering a tranquil setting for visitors seeking a quiet retreat in nature. The presence of the beautiful Indian Trail Tree adds a touch of historical significance, making it a unique and interesting destination within Southport.​

17. Potter’s Seafood Market

Address: 94 Yacht Basin Dr, Southport, NC 28461

This charming yellow fish house is known for its commitment to providing the freshest seafood directly from their boats. Visitors can witness the daily catch brought in, adding an authentic touch to their seafood shopping experience. The market’s expert staff are on hand to assist with seafood selection for any occasion, and they also offer cooking tips and recipe suggestions.

18. The Christmas House

Address: 104 W Moore St, Southport, NC 28461

Established in 1997 by Ann Endres, the store is set in a historical Southport home dating back to 1885. This unique store offers a year-round Christmas experience, aiming to bring the joy and spirit of Christmas Day to its customers every day. 

The Christmas House

19. Summer Farmers Market

Address: Franklin Square Park, 130 E West St, Southport, NC 28461 

The Farmers Market in Southport is held every Wednesday from 9 am to 2 pm during the summer months.  This seasonal market is a bustling hub for the community, offering an array of fresh, locally sourced produce and goods. Visitors can enjoy the vibrant atmosphere while browsing stalls filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, artisanal products, and unique crafts. 

Franklin Square

20. Surf Cinemas 

Address: 4836 Long Beach Rd SE, Southport, NC 28461

Looking to sit down and relax, enjoy the local theater just outside of downtown at Surf Cinemas.   

Drinks and Restaurants in Southport NC

Here are just some of the great options for dining in Southport.

✅ Provision Company
Address: 130 Yacht Basin Dr, Southport, NC 28461

This spot is perfect for enjoying scenic views of the Intracoastal Waterway while savoring a variety of treats like ice-cold beer, peel-and-eat shrimp, and classic American favorites like hamburgers and hot dogs. Known for offering some of the best views and sunsets in Southport, it’s an ideal place to relax and soak in the coastal ambiance; you cannot go wrong here.

Provisions Company

✅ Oliver’s on the Cape Fear
Address: 101 W Bay St, Southport, NC 28461

This upscale restaurant is housed in a historic 18th-century ship chandlery and offers a unique dining experience with options for brunch, lunch, and dinner.

They have both indoor seating and outdoor dining areas, including a covered patio and a waterfront terrace, providing an elegant and scenic setting for meals​. Make sure to try the lobster bisque and shrimp and grits; they have a lot more incredible options as well. 

✅ Blue Cow Grille
Address: 108 E Moore St, Southport, NC 28461

This vibrant local burger joint is known for its fresh, locally-sourced menu and relaxed atmosphere. They offer a variety of mouth-watering options, including burgers, wings, salads, sandwiches, tacos, and seafood dishes. Start your meal with their fresh pork rinds. 

Blue Cow Grille

✅ Local’s Family Diner
Address: 832 N Howe St, Southport, NC 28461

Local’s Family Diner is a welcoming establishment offering a classic American diner experience. They provide a variety of hearty and delicious options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Make sure to try their omelets! 

✅ Southport Smoke House
Address: 1102 N Howe St, Southport, NC 28461

Southport Smoke House, set in a relaxed atmosphere, is celebrated for its wood-smoked barbecue and homemade sides. Enjoy brisket, pulled pork, sausage links, ribs, wings, and more!

✅ Fishy Fishy Cafe
Address: 106 Yacht Basin Dr, Southport, NC 28461

Favored by both locals and visitors alike, they offer a menu rich in fresh and fried seafood, salads, burgers, sandwiches, and dinner entrees such as grilled ribeye and Surf and Turf.

Enjoy their two full-service bars and the choice of indoor or outdoor seating. It is also an ideal place for savoring refreshing drinks and enjoying stunning sunsets. 

Fishy Fishy Cafe

✅ Southport Gourmet and Sushi Bar
Address: 1643 N Howe St, Southport, NC 28461

Southport Gourmet & Sushi Bar is known for its authentic Japanese-cooked dishes and an array of creative sushi rolls and sashimi. They stand out for their fresh, flavorful dishes, making it a must-visit for those seeking a taste of authentic Japanese flavors in Southport.

✅ Joseph’s Italian Bistro
Address: 5003 O’Quinn Blvd SE, Southport, NC 28461

Joseph’s Italian Bistro offers a delightful fusion of authentic Italian flavors and homely charm. Enjoy fresh seafood, rich pasta, chicken, steak, and veal dishes served in a warmly welcoming atmosphere.

✅ Rusty Hooks Dockside Grill
Address: 4907 Fish Factory Rd, Southport, NC 28461

Enjoy fresh, seafood-centric fare served in a relaxed, nautical setting. Enjoy the wild-caught catch of the day, seasoned to perfection, as you bask in the laid-back ambiance and scenic waterfront views. You’ll find seafood, steaks, tacos, burgers, sandwiches, and more!

✅ Eric’s Grille
Address: 1671 N Howe St, Southport, NC 28461

Enjoy this retro-style diner inside a strip mall with walls lined with memorabilia. Serving breakfast and lunch with a traditional twist, it’s a popular spot for both locals and visitors. Enjoy breakfast sandwiches, pancakes, omelets, and southern classics in the morning, while the lunch menu offers burgers, BBQ, hot dogs, BLTs, and more. Cash only.

✅ Southport Coffee Co.
Address: 5503 Rob Gandy Blvd, Southport, NC 28461 and 130 E Moore St, Southport, NC 28461

Enjoy delicious house-roasted coffee and espresso drinks. Their flagship store downtown also offers full breakfast and lunch options. 

Southport Coffee Co

✅ Burney’s Bakery of Southport
Address: 808 N Howe St, Southport, NC 28461

Burney’s Bakery is a delightful haven for those with a sweet tooth. This charming bakery offers a delectable array of treats, including glazed croissants, apple fritters, donuts, pies, cakes, ice cream, and coffee. From indulgent pastries to scrumptious desserts, it’s a haven for those seeking a delightful sugar fix in Southport.

✅ Frying Pan
Address: 319 W Bay St, Southport, NC 28461

The Frying Pan Restaurant offers a laid-back, seasonal waterfront dining experience with a focus on down-home Southern seafood dishes prepared in a variety of delectable ways. Set on the Southport Waterfront, this eatery combines the best of American cuisine with outdoor dining and a relaxed atmosphere.

Enjoy fresh local favorites like pan-seared seafood, grilled specialties, blackened creations, and fried seafood classics. Don’t forget to savor their mouthwatering homemade desserts.

Frying Pan

✅ American Fish Company
Address: 150 Yacht Basin Dr, Southport, NC 28461

A captivating open-air deck bar offering an enticing selection of cocktails, domestic and craft beers, wine, and live music. With breathtaking views and some of the best sunsets in town, it’s the perfect spot to unwind.

Enjoy cold beer, craft cocktails, drink specials, and a vibrant live music scene. Membership is easy and required for just $1, and a quick sign-up with your driver’s license is all it takes to join this club. 

✅ Edgewater 122
Address: 122 Yacht Basin Dr, Southport, NC 28461

Edgewater 122 is a fantastic waterfront restaurant offering both lunch and dinner options. The location is truly wonderful, and the atmosphere is beautifully inviting. Be sure to try the delicious crab dip – it’s a must!

This restaurant provides an elevated dining experience right by the water, making it a highly recommended destination for those seeking a memorable culinary adventure in Southport.

Edgewater 122 Restaurant

✅ The Mullet Bar
Address: 112 Yacht Basin Dr, Southport, NC 28461

With stunning sunsets, live music, and refreshing drinks, it’s the perfect place to unwind. Its rustic tiki bar appearance adds to the charm, and the million-dollar view will take your breath away.

Located right on the water, you can savor the salt air and watch boats pass by. Don’t miss the top deck, offering panoramic views of the yacht basin and breathtaking sunsets. Please note that they are open seasonally.

The Mullet

✅ Moore Street Oyster Bar
Address: 110 E Moore St, Southport, NC 28461

Renowned for fresh oysters and a broad array of seafood dishes, they pride themselves on using the finest ingredients to showcase the best of the ocean’s offerings. Oysters, served raw or warm with a variety of sauces, are a highlight, alongside a menu featuring a diverse range of seafood delicacies. 

Moore Street Oyster Bar

✅ Fizzy Jane’s
Address: 614 W West St, Southport, NC 28461

Fizzy Jane’s, located in downtown Southport across from the marina, is the perfect spot to indulge in delicious starters and mouth-watering cocktails. With a diverse menu featuring cheese plates, steak boards, scallops, fish of the day, surf & turf, salads, and more, Fizzy Jane’s specializes in creative cuisine.

Whether you’re here for brunch or dinner, this restaurant, bar, and lounge is the place to savor craft cocktails and a memorable meal in the heart of Southport.

✅ Cafe Koa & Market
Address: 302 N Howe St, Southport, NC 28461

Influenced by the diverse cultures of the Pacific Rim, they offer a unique dining experience featuring fresh island food with an Asian flair and Hawaiian freshness.

Their culinary style incorporates a variety of cultural influences from the western shores of North and South America to Australia, Eastern Asia, and the Pacific Islands. 

Cafe Koa

✅ Mr. P’s Bistro
Address: 309 N Howe St, Southport, NC 28461

A classic, relaxed dining spot known for its Lowcountry-style oysters, crab dishes, and more. Whether you’re craving prime rib or craft cocktails, this old-school gem has it all. With its charming ambiance and a menu featuring Southern coastal delights, it’s a must-visit for those seeking a taste of tradition and quality in their dining experience.

Mr P's Bistro

✅ Carolina Coastal Cafe – CaCoCa
Address: 607 N Howe St, Southport, NC 28461

Carolina Coastal Cafe, affectionately known as CaCoCa, is your go-to spot for a delightful breakfast and lunch experience. With a full coffee bar and an array of baked goods, it’s the perfect place to kickstart your day. CaCoCa is renowned for its seasonal baked goods, offering a variety of delicious options. 

✅ Flava’s Ice Cream Shop
Address: 310 W Bay St, Southport, NC 28461

They offer classic options like vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, cookies & cream, mint chocolate chip, and adventurous choices too. Proudly serving Maola Ice Cream, sourced from local North Carolina dairy farms, Flava’s also features delicious treats like old-fashioned milkshakes and warm brownie sundaes made from scratch using a family recipe. 

Flava's Ice Cream

✅ Loco Jo’s Bar & Grill
Address: 602 N Howe St # E, Southport, NC 28461

A beachy and cozy establishment offering a delightful menu of seafood, craft beers, and internationally-inspired pub grub. Despite its compact size, this eatery provides a vibrant atmosphere with a diverse selection of culinary delights. 

✅ Dry Street Pub & Pizza
Address: 101 E Brown St, Southport, NC 28461

A local favorite known for its soups, desserts, breads, and fresh salads with homemade dressings. The restaurant’s highlight, however, is its variety of creative pizzas, celebrated for their unique toppings and flavors. 

Dry Street Pub & Pizza

✅ Bambini’s Pizzeria
Address: 1513 N Howe St STE 9, Southport, NC 28461

Bambini’s Pizzeria is a haven for lovers of delicious Italian cuisine. With a focus on New York-style pizzas, as well as a menu featuring seafood, pasta, and salads, it’s a one-stop destination for classic Italian flavors. 

✅ Silver Coast Winery
Address: 6680 Barbeque Rd NW, Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469

With over 400 awards, it’s a delightful destination for wine and craft beer lovers. Enjoy award-winning wines and craft beers while exploring their gift shop and art gallery. The taproom offers a variety of craft beers. It’s a must-visit spot for both wine and beer enthusiasts in a cozy setting.

Silver Coast Winery

Things to Do near Southport NC

If you are looking to continue to explore outside of Southport, here are some other great things to do nearby.

✅ Visit the Oak Island Lighthouse
Address: 300a Caswell Beach Rd, Oak Island, NC 28465

The Oak Island Lighthouse is a must-visit attraction on the North Carolina coast. Standing tall at 153 feet, it offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and the surrounding area.

Visitors can climb the 131 steps to the top for a truly memorable experience or simply appreciate its striking beauty from the ground. This iconic lighthouse is a historic landmark and a symbol of the region’s maritime heritage. 

Oak Island Lighthouse

✅ Fort Fisher State Historic Site
Address: 1610 Fort Fisher Blvd S, Kure Beach, NC 28449

Just a ferry ride away, explore the rich history of the Civil War at the Fort Fisher State Historic Site. This well-preserved fortification played a pivotal role in the conflict, guarding the entrance to the Cape Fear River.

Visitors can immerse themselves in history through interactive exhibits, guided tours, and artifacts. Stroll along the scenic trails and take in the breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Fort Fisher Canon on mound

✅ North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher
Address: 900 Loggerhead Rd, Kure Beach, NC 28449

The aquarium is a fascinating destination for all ages to experience after taking the ferry to Kure Beach. Explore immersive exhibits featuring marine life from river otters to sharks and even Luna, the albino American alligator.

Discover hands-on activities, touch tanks, and educational programs that provide insight into the region’s diverse ecosystems. The highlight is the massive Cape Fear Shoals tank, home to vibrant marine species. 

North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher Sign

✅ Museum of Coastal Carolina 
Address: 21 E 2nd St, Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469

Located in Ocean Isle Beach, this museum offers engaging exhibits that delve into the region’s unique ecosystems, wildlife, and history. Explore interactive displays, fossils, and marine life. Learn about the area’s Native American heritage and maritime past. With hands-on activities and educational programs, it’s an enriching experience for all ages. 

Museum of Coastal Carolina entrance

✅ The Swamp Park
Address: 5550 Watts Rd SW, Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469

Explore elevated rope courses and zip lines that offer stunning views of the surroundings. The Swamp Park is a thrilling adventure for nature enthusiasts and those seeking outdoor excitement, allowing you to connect with the rich ecosystems of the coastal region in an unforgettable way.

Swamp Park

✅ Ingram Planetarium
Address: 7625 High Market St, Sunset Beach, NC 28468 

This state-of-the-art facility invites visitors to embark on cosmic journeys through captivating shows and exhibits. Explore the wonders of the night sky, distant galaxies, and the solar system in the planetarium’s dome theater. Interactive displays and educational programs provide a deeper understanding of astronomy and space science. 

Ingram Planetarium Building

✅ Caswell Beach
Address: Oak Island 

Discover the serene beauty of Caswell Beach, a hidden gem on the North Carolina coast. Nestled near Oak Island, it offers pristine, uncrowded beaches perfect for relaxation and long walks. Enjoy fishing, birdwatching, and stunning sunsets along the shore. Caswell Beach is also home to the iconic Oak Island Lighthouse, the must-visit landmark mentioned above. 

Annual Events in Southport NC 

Here are some fun events to enjoy throughout the year in Southport.

✅ Southport Spring Festival | March 29 – 30, 2024

Celebrate the advent of spring in Southport at the lively Southport Spring Festival, a two-day event in late March that promises fun for all ages. With live music, local arts and crafts vendors, kids’ activities, and a plant sale, there’s something for everyone.

Satisfy your cravings with delicious local food from various vendors. Best of all, it’s entirely free and conveniently located in downtown Southport, welcoming visitors to bask in the beauty of spring along the North Carolina waterfront. 

✅ 2024 Southport Plein Air Festival | May 2 – 4, 2024

The Southport Plein Air Festival is an extraordinary annual event presented by Up Your Arts and the City of Southport.

It gathers local and regional artists and curious visitors to our stunning coastlines; all united in their pursuit of capturing the city’s genuine essence and beauty. This celebration of artistic expression against the backdrop of Southport’s scenic vistas is a truly unique experience you won’t want to miss.

✅ North Carolina 4th of July Festival

Join the vibrant NC 4th of July Festival in Southport, a tradition spanning over two centuries. Here, you’ll discover a bustling Arts and Crafts show in Franklin Square Park, a journey from its modest beginnings to a beloved festival feature.

The air fills with enticing aromas from a variety of foods, offering everything from traditional American fare to sweet treats. Be captivated by the historic parade. This event, drawing thousands, celebrates American pride in an atmosphere of joy and community spirit.

✅ Winterfest | Dates TBD 2024

Winterfest is a delightful celebration that offers something for everyone, both young and old. With a Tree Lighting Ceremony, Cookie Contest, Christmas Movie screenings, Craft Festival, Christmas Parade, Flotilla, and more, it’s a heartwarming way to embrace the holiday season.

​​Where To Stay in Southport NC

📍River Hotel of SouthportRiver Hotel of Southport offers a private beach area and amenities like a sun terrace. Guests can enjoy free WiFi and parking. Some rooms come with a kitchenette, including a fridge, dishwasher, and microwave. 

📍Hampton Inn & Suites By Hilton Southport – This 3-star hotel features an outdoor swimming pool and offers air-conditioned rooms and free WiFi. Guests can also access a fitness center and a 24-hour front desk for their convenience. Each room is equipped with a flat-screen TV and a fridge, ensuring a comfortable stay.

📍LaPolena Bed & Breakfast – an adults-only accommodation offering a fitness center, free bikes, and a garden. Guests can enjoy a balcony, free private parking, and free WiFi. The property also features spa facilities and an elevator. The rooms are equipped with air conditioning, flat-screen TVs, and private bathrooms with showers and bathrobes. Guests can have wine or champagne and chocolates or cookies delivered to their room. 

📍Private Garden Cottage in the heart of Historic Southport – This cottage enjoys a prime location in historic Southport, just a short walk from antique shops, stylish boutiques, and riverside seafood eateries and bars.

📍Waterfront Retreat walkable to downtown – Relax at this tranquil Southport Retreat, conveniently equipped with an elevator. Enjoy stunning waterfront views, both day and night, as you’re right on the waterway. Everything you need in Southport is within walking distance, from beloved restaurants like Fishy Fishy and the Provision Company to charming shops like Candy & Company Boutiques, the Southport Market, and the Southport Cheese Shoppe, not to forget The Christmas House.

Southport NC: FAQs

📌 How do I spend a day in Southport NC?
Start with breakfast by the waterfront, savoring fresh seafood or Southern classics. Then, explore the historic district’s streets, taking in antebellum architecture and historic landmarks.

Dive into maritime history at the Fort Johnston-Southport Museum. Afterward, catch a ferry to Bald Head Island for beachside adventures or head to the Oak Island lighthouse. Return to Southport to dine on fresh seafood with a sunset view. Extend your evening with live music.

📌 Is Southport North Carolina worth visiting?
Absolutely, Southport is well worth a visit. This charming coastal town boasts a rich history, a stunning waterfront, and a warm, welcoming community. You’ll find picturesque streets, historic architecture, and opportunities to explore maritime heritage. 

📌 What has been filmed in Southport NC?
Southport has served as the backdrop for the film adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ novel, “Safe Haven.” Additionally, the TV series “Dawson’s Creek” used the town for several episodes, showcasing its coastal beauty. 

📌 Does Southport NC have a downtown?
Yes, Southport has a vibrant downtown area that’s a central hub for both locals and visitors. The downtown district features historic buildings and a picturesque waterfront along the Intracoastal Waterway.

You’ll find a variety of boutique shops, restaurants, and cafes, all within walking distance. It’s a lively and inviting downtown, perfect for leisurely strolls, exploring local history, and enjoying the coastal atmosphere.

📌 Is Southport NC a small town?
Yes, Southport is considered a small town. As of 2023, its population was around 4,015 residents.

📌 What body of water is Southport on?
Southport, NC is located at the confluence of the Cape Fear River, the Intracoastal Waterway, and the Atlantic Ocean. 

Final Thoughts

Get ready for your Southport, NC adventure, a coastal haven brimming with anticipation for your arrival. Explore the historic district’s streets steeped in maritime tales. Savor fresh seafood and Southern delights at waterfront eateries.

 Engage with the welcoming community, joining in lively festivals. Southport can’t wait to greet you with open arms, offering history, culture, cuisine, and warm hospitality in a welcoming coastal paradise.

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