The charming small town of Southport is located along the Atlantic coastline of North Carolina, a place where history, dining, shopping, and simply enjoying the waterfront breezes are a part of the daily laid-back life. While visitors can be tempted to just sit on a porch, relax, and take in the views, Southport offers several attractions and plenty of fun for a weekend getaway, including maritime museums, lighthouses, wine and craft beer tastings, historic forts, and much more. This is all in addition to the miles of coastline of beach and ocean waters. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport
© North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport
The North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport is open from 9:00am until 5:00pm, Tuesday through Saturday, showcasing the lower Cape Fear River’s maritime history. Situated where the Atlantic Ocean, Intracoastal Waterway, and Cape Fear River meet, the museum features educational programs and permanent exhibits focused on hurricanes, shipwrecks, and fisheries, as well as military conflicts that range from piracy up through World War II. The North Carolina Maritime Museum has been voted by both frequent vacationers and newcomers as one of the small town’s best attractions and offers a good escape from the summer heat during the afternoon.
204 E Moore St, Southport, NC 28461, Phone: 910-477-5150
2.Silver Coast Winery Tasting Room, Southport, North Carolina
© Silver Coast Winery Tasting Room
The Silver Coast Winery Tasting Room is situated within the middle of charming downtown Southport, North Carolina. The Tasting and Taproom offers wine tastings of several award-winning wines, along with tastings of a number of craft beers, which are available by the bottle or on tap as one of the ten rotating beers. Special craft beer tastings take place every other Friday. The Silver Coast Winery Tasting and Taproom is open Monday to Saturday from 11:00am until 7:00pm and on Sundays from noon until 6:00pm, and also features an art gallery and eclectic gift shop.
105 South Howe Street, Southport, NC 28461, Phone: 910-777-5151
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3.Fort Johnston - Southport Museum & Visitors Center
The Fort Johnston-Southport Museum and Visitors Center features historical artifacts, original documents, and several exhibits on display about North Carolina’s Fort Johnston, which was built in 1749 by the British as protection for the region against French and Spanish attack. The fort was the country’s oldest active-duty fort and saw 250 years of service. Visitors to the Fort Johnston-Southport Museum can join a docent-led tour or take their own self-guided tour of the museum. Overlooking the mouth of the region’s Cape Fear River, the museum showcases the natural beauty, culture, heritage, and history of Southport, North Carolina.
203 E. Bay Street, Southport, NC 28461, Phone: 910-457-7927
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4.Artshak Studio and Gallery, Southport, NC
© Artshak Studio and Gallery
The Artshak Studio and Gallery is a “come as you are,” hands-on art studio in the town of Southport that aims to share beautiful artwork with everyone. Artshak hosts more than fifty artists, including sculptors, photographers, and painters, as well as fabric, wood, glass, metal, and clay artists. Housed inside of a coastal, barn-style building, the studio and gallery is a unique destination in the historic small town for art lovers and visitors can walk through and explore the colorful and cool gallery to see a well mixed art collection that consists of photographs, paintings, sculpture, and much more.
822 N Howe St, Southport, NC 28461, Phone: 910-457-1757
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5.Price's Creek Lighthouse, Southport, North Carolina
© The Cape Fear River at Southport
The Price's Creek Lighthouse, also called Price Creek Lighthouse, is located just outside of Southport and is one of Price Creel’s two range lights out of a series of lighthouses used to guide ships from the Cape Fear into Wilmington. The brick, two-story lightkeeper’s house featuring a wooden lantern was constructed in 1849 and served as a signal house for the Confederacy during the Civil War to communicate between Fort Caswell and Fort Fisher. Storms, however, eventually destroyed the house. The surviving light can be found on the banks of Cape Fear River and can be seen from the Southport ferries.
Ferry Rd SE, Southport, NC 28461
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6.Brunswick Little Theatre, Southport, North Carolina
© Brunswick Little Theatre
The Brunswick Little Theatre in the coastal North Carolina town of Southport is a non-profit organization aiming to build community in the area through the arts and theatre by bringing people together through playing, exploring, and learning. The theater was the result of three friends who shared a pleasant conversation and a couple glasses of wine, discovering a mutual love for theatre, and after more than thirty years of performances, the Brunswick Little Theatre is still going strong. Productions at the little theater include revues, musicals, and plays, and workshops are often held at the theater as well.
8068 River Rd SE, Southport, NC 28461, Phone: 910-447-2586
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7.Mr. P's Bistro, Southport, North Carolina
© Mr. P's Bistro
Mr. P's Bistro has been a part of the Southport community for a long time and has become one of the town’s top dining establishments, offering a good wine list and Low Country cuisine. Guests can dine on dishes of the Lower Cape Fear within a casual and welcoming environment that’s great for a laid-back dinner with family or friends. The menu at Mr. P’s Bistro features seasonal specials, homemade desserts, certified-Angus beef, fresh local seafood, and plenty of oysters. The restaurant is open from 5:00pm until 9:00pm Monday to Saturday and reservations are recommended.
309 N. Howe Street, Southport, NC 28461, Phone: 910-457-0801
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8.Ports of Call, Southport, North Carolina
© Ports of Call
The Ports of Call Bistro and Market offers a globally-inspired interior design and menu within the historic downtown area of Southport, providing an ideal restaurant for either lunch or dinner with family and friends or a romantic date night dinner. Guests can also check out the market area to discover finds from all over the world. Ports of Call strives to make diners feel at home, but also transport them to a celebration of the world’s cultures and cuisine. The seasonally changing menu features items named linked to the major “ports of call” throughout the world with which they are associated.
116 N Howe St, Southport NC 28461, Phone: 910-457-4544
9.Moore Street Oyster Bar, Southport, North Carolina
© Moore Street Oyster Bar
The Moore Street Oyster Bar is housed within a building built during the late 1880’s. Originally the home of Watson’s Pharmacy, the building on Moore Street, which has seen several changes itself over the years, has been a restaurant for more than fifty-five years. The Moore Street Oyster Bar offers visitors and locals alike late-night dining, a great list of tap beers, daily specials, oysters, a bourbon menu, and sports viewing across ten televisions, including the NFL Sunday Ticket. The oyster bar is open seven days a week from 11:00am until 12:00am and Saturday brunch at 10:00am.
110 East Moore Street, Southport, NC 28461, Phone: 910-363-5115
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10.Bella Cucina, Southport, North Carolina
© Bella Cucina
A pizzeria and fine Italian dining spot in Southport, Bella Cucina is a family owned and operated eatery that features locally-caught seafood and farm fresh ingredients. First opening its doors in 2004, the restaurant has established itself as a go-to place for both people visiting the area’s sandy, beautiful beaches and local residents. Numerous recipes used for the dishes served at Bella Cucina were handed down from one generation to the next within the DeMeo family and three generations are involved in the business. Bella Cucina focuses on Tuscan-style cooking that uses the freshest ingredients possible from local markets.
5177 Southport-Supply Rd SE, Southport, NC 28461, Phone: 910-454-4540
10 Best Things to Do in Southport, North Carolina
- North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport, Photo: North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport
- Silver Coast Winery Tasting Room, Southport, North Carolina, Photo: Silver Coast Winery Tasting Room
- Fort Johnston - Southport Museum & Visitors Center, Photo: researchdiva/stock.adobe.com
- Artshak Studio and Gallery, Southport, NC, Photo: Artshak Studio and Gallery
- Price's Creek Lighthouse, Southport, North Carolina, Photo: The Cape Fear River at Southport
- Brunswick Little Theatre, Southport, North Carolina, Photo: Brunswick Little Theatre
- Mr. P's Bistro, Southport, North Carolina, Photo: Mr. P's Bistro
- Ports of Call, Southport, North Carolina, Photo: Ports of Call
- Moore Street Oyster Bar, Southport, North Carolina, Photo: Moore Street Oyster Bar
- Bella Cucina, Southport, North Carolina, Photo: Bella Cucina
- Cover Photo: Jill Lang/stock.adobe.com
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