A real-life post card, the big little town of Southport is filled with beauty, history, southern charm, and a bit of Hollywood.
Sitting on the front porch of the exquisite southeast waters of the Cape Fear River, Intracoastal Waterway, and the Atlantic Ocean, this prime coastal village—all 2.2 square miles of it—ranks high on top ten lists, including: ‘One of America’s Happiest Seaside Towns,’ and ‘Best Beach Town in America for the Fourth of July.’ You can’t help but fall in love with Southport with its Live Oak tree-lined streets, historic residential homes, and friendly people. Living here is like being part of a museum, where three centuries of Southport’s past is well-kept, yet enjoyed.
Southport is a popular vacation destination, but visitors have been known to develop a serious crush on the town and purchase property before leaving. And why not. This town has everything a person could possibly want to carve out a full life near the sea. From its warm weather, endless outdoor recreation activities, volunteer opportunities, amazing food and cultural experiences, abundant boutiques, proximity to major highways and airports, and a flourishing business environment, Southport has everything for empty-nesters, retirees, and families alike looking to put down roots. This picturesque, bucket-list worthy community has a population of nearly 4,000 and has all the amenities of an urban locale while maintaining its small town character.
Established in1792, Southport’s natural beauty, historic flavor, moderate climate, and southern maritime charm make it a natural film and TV location. Movies like Safe Haven, A Walk to Remember, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and Crimes of the Heart, to name a few, have been filmed in the town of Southport and have given the local business and tourism economy a boost.
Southport isn’t Wilmington, but it’s close—geographically and in character. Both cities offer the same coastal, historic vibe, but Southport is much smaller and more relaxed—compared to Wilmington’s 100,000 plus population. But with a less-than-40-minute drive, Southport residents can enjoy the urban amenities of Wilmington, yet live far enough away to enjoy the quietude of a quaint seaside village life.
According to Southport’s official town website, their residents are some of the most friendly and happy people in the world. Maybe that’s what makes this town a place where people love to work, play, and live. Just stroll through the 9-acre Southport Waterfront Park and you’re sure to spot smiling faces sitting on the benches gazing out at the Cape Fear River, or happy sounds of an angler snagging his catch from the city Pier.
For the more adventurous and active folks, peddle your way through all the historical sites that make Southport unique with a guided bicycle tour through Fort Johnson, the Brunswick Inn, the Old Brunswick Jail, and the Smithville Burying grounds. If you’d rather explore the beautiful Southport waterfront, well, by water, try a kayak excursion with The Adventure Kayak Company.
Downtown, residents and visitors alike find that it’s easy to spend several hours without noticing. A walk down scenic Howe and surrounding streets won’t disappoint with its array of vintage and antique stores, small museums, specialty-boutiques, and art galleries, like the Franklin Square Gallery. After shopping, take a load off and enjoy lunch at the Southport Tea House.
It doesn’t take long for residents to find their niche in Southport. Whether you see yourself sitting on a park bench reading a book, hypnotized by the 365-days-a-year salubrious breezes, or joining an art association to enhance your cultural horizons, you’ll see how easy it is to make this classic waterfront community home.