One of our family's favorite places to visit in NC, is the beautiful NC coast. My husband's family has been vacationing in Holden Beach, NC for years, and my family tends to vacation in Oak Island, NC- the next beach over from Holden. Just off the island, and dead ahead of Oak Island, is a beautiful oceanside city, full of history and southern charm.
Southport, NC is one of those NC treasures, and a best kept secret. Situated in between Wilmington and Myrtle Beach, Southport is home to beautiful old homes, gorgeous live oak trees, charming boutiques and antique malls, restaurants, and the Southport Ferry.
When we visit Southport, we usually find a place to park, along one of the main streets, and start our afternoon off by strolling into Port City Java, for a coffee. From there, we visit the Christmas House- a must-see for anyone who loves Christmas decor. There's a candy shop inside, as well as room upstairs, filled with toys, games and decor for the little ones. As if a house filled with holiday decor and candy isn't enough, there's a fantastic little ice cream shop attached to the business, as well!
The Chrisrmas House
We then walk around the streets of Southport, just popping into the little shops, and sometimes, we grab a bite to eat at one of the local restaurants. The Pharmacy is a popular spot among locals and visitors, alike. We often walk up and down the residential streets, marveling at the beautiful old homes. I long to own a home with a 'Circa 18--' sign on the front porch. One of my favorite houses in Southport is one that was converted into a home from an old church building.
My mom, me, and my Gram in Southport- December 2010
To walk along the pier and the battery in Southport is so peaceful. We've spent many an afternoon, just strolling the pier, or sitting in one of the swings, looking out to the sea.
Ferry ride from Southport to Fort Fisher- May 2012
If you happen to find yourself in Southport, a must-do is to head to the Southport Ferry. For a small fee per vehicle, you drive your car onto the ferry, park it, and once the horn sounds, you may get out of your car and walk around. The ferry gives you a nice little ride over to Fort Fisher, home of the Fort Fisher Aquarium- another wonderful NC attraction! From Fort Fisher, you can drive over to Kure Beach, Carolina Beach, and keep going, and you'll end up at Wrightsville Beach, in historic (and beautiful) Wilmington, NC. Keep your eye on the time if you want to take the ferry back to Southport- they only run until dusk. If you miss the ferry, it's not too far of a drive from Wilmington back to Southport.
If you're a fan of Safe Haven, by Nicholas Sparks, and plan to see it on the big screen this month, keep your eye on the scenery- the film was shot in beautiful Southport, NC!
Though I have never stayed in Southport, it's one of my favorite places in the entire state of NC, and lucky me- I only live about 3 1/2 hours from the NC coast. If you'd like to plan a visit to Southport, I'd be happt to recommend some great places for you to check out. In the meantime, visit the City of Southport online to see lots of wonderful photos, a calendar of events, and more!
If you ever get to go to Southport, I truly hope you'll love it as much as my family does!