Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Southport, NC

  • Published 2022/03/20

Southport, North Carolina, must top your list when looking for getaways in summer.

It is a beautiful place with a tranquil atmosphere.

It has every element in abundance, be it historical, natural, or luxury.

Also, the city is a favorite Hollywood destination.

Many famous movies and television shows have been shot in the region.

Southport is also known for its maritime heritage and classic museums.

The atmosphere of the state is calm and inviting.

It will be an excellent place for a three-to-four day-long getaway.

There is a lot to explore and enjoy.

Here’s a list of the best things to do in Southport, North Carolina:

Explore the Waters on the Southport-Fort Fisher Ferry

View of Fort Fisher Ferry

Jayne Chapman /

Southport is known for its marine life and pristine beaches.

The Southport-Fort Fisher Ferry takes you on a ride across the ocean for about an hour.

The ride offers scenic views of the city.

Fort Fisher Ferry on the waters

Edward Orde, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It is a comfortable way to explore the waters.

The costs are minimal, and the experience will be worth it.

They take an offbeat route.

With turquoise water flowing beneath you and a calm breeze caressing your face, it will be a pleasant time.

Visit the North Carolina Maritime Museum

The North Carolina Maritime Museum is a treasure for locals and visitors.

You’ll need about 30 to 45 minutes to have a look around.

It is an informative and interactive place.

Its primary themes are maritime history, fisheries, and shipwrecks.

It will be a delight to learn this information about marine life.

They also show a movie that is quite entertaining and helpful at the same time.

If you have kids with you, they will immensely enjoy this place.

Walk around the Pier

Sunset on Southport pier

Eddie J. Rodriquez /

The Southport Pier and Riverwalk offers a clean and long path to walk on and enjoy the sunset.

The best time to visit is in the evening as there is a clear and gorgeous sunset view.

After exploring different sights, you may want to spend some leisure time here.

They also have benches where you can sit and admire the view.

Fishing activities also take place here.

This is the best place to see the tangerine sunset dipping into azure waters.

You can sit here for hours and munch on some snacks.

Go Paddling or Kayaking

Water activities are enjoyable, and paddling tops the list.

Many tour operators rent out boats and let you go swimming.

It is the top-recommended activity in Southport.

The water is swift and spreads over a large area.

You can go as far as you want.

They allow two people on a boat, so arrange your group accordingly.

They take all the precautionary measures for your safety, so do not worry about that.

If you do not know how to paddle, the instructor guides you skillfully and with utmost patience.

Kayaking or sailing is offered, too.

You can take up any activity that interests you.

Search for Gems in Timeless Treasures & Unique Gifts

Are you the one who loves hoarding antique items?

This shop houses some real treasures.

The items sold here cannot be found elsewhere.

It is a paradise for people who adore vintage items.

It is a small quaint shop but has wonders within.

You may browse through the shop and buy the one that suits your style.

You can buy some personalized items for your loved ones too.

Wine Tasting at Silver Coast Winery

Located in the city’s heart, Silver Coast Winery is a fascinating place to be.

This winery is known for award-winning wines.

Their wines are old and smooth to gulp down.

They offer a wide array of flavors to choose from.

The staff is knowledgeable and friendly.

They will suggest the best wines for you.

Even if you drink one glass of wine, you will end up buying several bottles.

The evening is the best time to visit.

The atmosphere is lively and pleasant.

There are times when live music is playing.

They also have a gift shop.

Adore Art at the Artshak Studio and Gallery

The art of a particular place speaks volumes about the destination.

It is the best medium to get to know a place’s culture and ethos.

The Artshak Studio and Gallery is the go-to place for every art enthusiast.

It is a fantastic urban studio with contemporary art pieces.

The owners are immensely passionate about art, so they have curated an excellent in-house collection.

The place is brimming with creativity and elegance.

It is a must-visit spot in Southport.

Even if you do not understand art, do not worry.

The owners are accommodating enough to explain the intricacies of the art showcased.

They also have a coffee machine indoors to brew a cup and silently admire the beautiful art.

Say a Prayer at the Trinity United Methodist Church

The Trinity United Methodist Church is a tribute to divinity.

It is a beautiful church inside out.

Erected in the 1700s, it is an example of Victorian architecture.

This church is known for its magnificent stained glass windows.

The architecture is gorgeous and intricate.

It is a visual treat for visitors.

You should visit it on a Sunday to engage in the service, too.

The church appears to be right out of a fairy tale.

The view is naturally breathtaking.

Also, there is utter silence on the property.

You can sit and meditate, or you can pray and seek blessings for betterment.

As you will step out, you will feel positive and happy.

See the Price Creek Lighthouse from Afar

View of Price’s Creek Lighthouse

Buckeye Sailboat /

Are you searching for spots to snap an aesthetic picture?

Your search ends at the Price Creek Lighthouse.

The lighthouse is surrounded by a lawn and is a picturesque location.

You would love the atmosphere here if you are looking for peace and serenity.

Enjoy a Bird’s-Eye View of Southport

Skydiving is an excellent option for viewing the city from a bird’s-eye view.

Skydive Coastal Carolinas offers the best skydiving experience in Southport.

The professional staff will guide you at every step.

It might appear daunting, but their hospitality will make it easier for you.

The experience will be phenomenal, and they will also snap some pictures so you can take them back home and cherish those moments.

Have Appetizing Seafood at Mr. P’s Bistro

It is a fact that not every restaurant serves delectable seafood, but Mr. P’s Bistro will not disappoint you.

It is not the only seafood restaurant in the city, but it is the best.

You can plan a luncheon here and order the bestseller from the menu.

The menu is finely crafted, and the food is fresh and delicious.

Try out their tuna dishes, which are delectable.

Their service is fast and affordable.

The view from the restaurant is impressive, too.

Check Out the Franklin Square Gallery

Located in the city’s heart, the Franklin Square Gallery promotes and displays art created by local artists.

It consists of pottery, paintings, sculptures, and prints.

All the works are original and authentic.

They strive to preserve the local ethos and culture of the city.

The space is filled with unique artwork.

You can spend an hour here to explore and look at the pieces.

It will be a fun-filled hour to look at these gems and get to know the culture and artists.

Go for a Dinner Date at Bella Cucina

An ideal spot for dinner, this restaurant serves delicious Italian cuisine.

They are known for their hand-tossed pizzas, which come in different shapes and flavors.

Their spaghetti is also worth trying.

You must head over here for dinner and a glass of wine.

The ambiance is warm and full of happy vibes.

You won’t be disappointed—it’s everyone’s go-to Italian place in Southport!

Explore the City with Southport Fun Tours

Did you know that you can explore most of Southport by simply joining a few tours?

Southport Fun Tours offers several tours that take you around the city and its famous places.

If you do not have a day planned in detail, you can take up one of these tours.

They are affordable and cover many prominent areas in Southport.

You can go for an early morning ride as the atmosphere will be pleasant.

On these tours, you will also get to see the everyday life of locals.

Stop by Fort Johnston-Southport Museum & Visitors Center

In this museum, you’ll learn about Southport’s rich history, from founding “Smithville” in 1792 to the countless individuals and events that have defined the city’s culture.

Even if you live in the area, you could be shocked by what you discover!

Younger visitors will enjoy the scavenger hunt, which introduces them to the museum’s many displays.

After you’ve seen the museum, have a seat in the “front yard” and enjoy the view of the Cape Fear River, boats, dolphins, and seagulls as they pass by.

Maps, brochures, and other helpful information may be found at the tourist center if you’re unfamiliar with the region.

Additionally, the museum’s docents are there to answer any questions you may have concerning your visit to Southport.

Rent a Kayak from The Adventure Kayak Company

In addition to kayak tours and rentals, The Adventure Kayak Company offers bike tours and kayak rentals that allow tourists to explore the Cape Fear environment and the heart of Downtown Southport on their own time.

In addition to a retail store on-site for long-term travelers, this all-encompassing tour organization highlights the lesser-known but equally popular attractions that have made Southport a North Carolina tourist hotspot.

A kayak trip is highly recommended if you’re just in town for a few days and aren’t sure where to begin.

Each trip includes basic paddling instruction and a tour of the city’s waterways.

Pick up a one-hour, half-day, or multiple-day rental of a bike or kayak, and see Southport from a whole different viewpoint!

Stroll Around Downtown Southport

It’s hard to find another place like the downtown area of Southport, which mixes a laid-back beach town atmosphere with traditional southern architecture and design.

Finally, tourists may sit back and enjoy the view from a rocking chair while sipping on a cup of coffee and soaking in the relaxed atmosphere.

There is a lot of activity and people in Southport’s downtown because of its unusual location next to the Cape Fear River’s mouth, where it meets the Atlantic Ocean.

Since this region has been a prominent port of call for centuries, tourists can see a strong marine influence in every corner.

Waterfront restaurants and shops coexist alongside weather-beaten harbors, modern marinas, and boats of various shapes and sizes.

Shop for Souvenirs at Lantana’s Gallery & Fine Gifts

Lantana’s is a great place to find a wide variety of unique and exciting art, jewelry, clothing, and other items.

The shop was founded in 2007 by Jim and Deb Meehan in Southport and rapidly became a popular destination for locals.

Six months after launching, their daughter Hilary stepped in to help with the collection, sales, and marketing, as well as day-to-day operations.

Additionally, Lantana’s is a boutique shop for MacKenzie-ever-classic whimsical assortment of home products and seasonal presents.

Shop for all of your favorite bath and body products and home fragrances here.

In addition, you’ll discover products such as soap savers, matches, and reeds in this section as well.

Final Thoughts

Whether you choose to do just one or all of these local favorites, your Southport vacation will be an unforgettable experience.

This seaside town is packed with activities that cater to guests of every age or taste.

From wild creek explorations to the most fantastic antique shopping on the coast, Southport has something for everyone.

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