Southport, a quaint, historic seaport, is situated at the confluence of the Intracoastal Waterway and the Cape Fear River where it flows out to meet the Atlantic Ocean. This is the place for people who genuinely want to kick back and enjoy beautiful coastal scenery. The town makes for an interesting day trip. Leave the car — parking is free — and just walk around as you discover shops, restaurants and pleasing views. It’s an extremely casual community that invites visitors to pause and savor a slow pace of life that is fast disappearing in nearby areas. A lovely, leisurely stroll, Riverwalk, begins at Waterfront Park and winds along the riverfront, through the Old Yacht Basin and on to the Southport Marina.
The town is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and history buffs will especially appreciate a visit for its beautiful old homes and historic cemeteries. The Captain Thompson Home, for example, offers a glimpse into the life of a Civil War Blockade Runner. The literary set will enjoy a visit to the Adkins-Ruark House, (now the Robert Ruark Inn Bed & Breakfast) where author Robert Ruark lived as a young boy with his grandparents. Ruark’s novels, including The Old Man and the Boy, give readers insight into Southport life years ago.
Once known as the best kept secret in North Carolina, this lovely little village with its live oak–lined streets is now being discovered. New shops, restaurants and hotels are springing up in the area as well as in the town, affording residents better choices without the necessity of traveling out of town. New housing developments abound. The Southport Marina has been completely redone and the movies have discovered the town – again. The first movie filmed here was Crimes of the Heart, in the 1980s. There have been several others since that time including Safe Haven which was filmed in the summer of 2012. The TV series, Under the Dome, was also filmed in Southport.