Southport Town, Pier and Waterfront Park

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North Carolina Coast
Southport Town, Pier and Waterfront Park
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It's wonderful to stroll along Waterfront Park and then onto the Southport Fishing Pier. There are benches and bench swings in the park, plus picnic tables under gazebos. Other than the gazebos, the park doesn't have any shade, so wear sunscreen and hats- we didn't and we regretted it! It's nice to walk to the end of the pier, checking out the fishing- you might see someone reel in a fish! 

After, walk east along East Bay Street. The views are lovely of the beaches along the river, and there are plenty of divebombing birds to see. You will come to a tiny park with a cute dock and gazebo over the water. Next cross the street and walk back, stopping at Fort Johnston. It's an attractive brick building on a huge lawn, raised up with views of the water. You can sit in blue adirondack chairs and let the sea breeze blow your hair. There is no shade in this spot either.
After walk west past Waterfront Park to the seafood restaurants on Yacht Basin Dr. This is an industrial area that is now a lively nighttime spot, on a gorgeous salt marsh. You can have a drink at American Fish Company (where the Nicholas Sparks novel's movie Safe Haven was filmed), which has live music in the evening, and doesn't serve food. After 7pm, it's adults only. Up some stairs, with big windows and views up and down the coast, check out Frying Pan, which has fairly good food. Another restaurant, right on the water by the yachts is Fishy Fishy Cafe, which has slightly greasy and expensive, but good food. It's noisy and exposed to the wind, but has live music starting around 7pm. Provision Company is a place to get cheaper bites. And Flava's Ice Cream has overly sweet but decent ice cream- my waffle cone was stale though. 
Continue along Yacht Basin Drive to Brunswick Street and you will see the most adorable 1870s historic houses. They are so beautiful! Here you can walk on the Marsh Walk, a boardwalk over the salt marsh to a gazebo with fantastic views of the colorful buildings where you just ate a meal! There are some rare birds to spot.
Near Southport Pier is North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport, but it is too musty. We walked in and walked straight out again.
If you need a coffee shop, check out Port City Java, on the main strip called Howe Street, which leads north from Waterfront Park. It has nice outdoor seating. The main part of town, where Howe Street and Moore Street meet, has mostly souvenir shops and antique stores, plus some restaurants that didn't appeal to us much. 
Southport is a small town. You can pretty much see it all in half a day, or a whole day if you take it slow.
From Southport Ferry Terminal, a six minute drive from the Southport Fishing Pier, you can take a 35 minute ferry across the Cape Fear River to Fort Fisher, where there are some more things to do such as the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher, the ocean views, twisty maritime forest, and sea wall at the 1921 Fort Fisher Monument, and the amazing expansive grounds of the Fort Fisher Historic Site.

Continue to directions...

The main streets, Howe and Moore, have many knick knack and antique stores.

Flowers and river pilot's lookout in the distance.

Bench swing at Waterfront Park.

Waterfront Park- probably nicer at sunset since it has no shade.

Nice trees in the town.

Gazebo at Waterfront Park.

Looking toward Waterfront Park.

Southport Pier.

River beach below Southport Pier.

Looking toward Yacht Basin Drive, from Southport Pier.

Sailboats on the Cape Fear River.

River's shoreline, as seen from the Southport Pier.

Fort Johnston building and blue adirondack chairs.

Maritime trees and stairs leading up to houses.

Little river beach along West Bay Street.

Howe Street, the main strip. I prefer the other area, Yacht Basin Dr.

Cafe along Howe Street.

Moore Street Market is cute.

Park in front of Fort Johnston building.

Adirondack chairs facing the water, at Fort Johnston.

A couple watches the river from the adirondack chairs.

Musical sculpture.

Barge entering the river.

Pretty trees and benches along the sidewalk.


Southport Pier and Waterfront Park are located at 178 East Bay Street, Southport NC 28461. There is parking along Howe Street, which leads to the park.


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Last Updated: Mon, 26 Feb 2024 01:34:34 GMT

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