Trip to Southport, NC

I’ve only been to a handful of small towns in my life and this week I had the extreme pleasure of spending the week in Southport, NC for my brother’s wedding.  He is marrying the lovely Rachael Anderson today and I couldn’t be happier for them.

We had a lot of free time this week before the wedding festivities began so I took my sister, Ginni, and Ashley around downtown Southport for some exploring.

After we walked through the shops we headed to the Waterfront Park & River Walk area (corner of Howe St and Bay St), which is located on the Cape Fear River.  This is a beautiful spot to have a seat on a bench or swing and watch the boats come by.  There are several small pavilions with picnic tables, but be careful of the seagulls if packing a picnic lunch.

View of the Waterfront from the north
Map of the area detailing the various islands around Cape Fear River
Bike racks are available
Paved walkways make it easy for strollers
Pavilion with picnic tables
Benches along the Waterfront

Next to the Waterfront is City Pier, which is a popular spot for fishing.  The moderate breeze from the river also helps cool down the hot and muggy NC summer days!

Continuing north on Bay St, you’ll come to Southport Community Building, which is where my brother and Rachael are getting married today!  It has a gorgeous deck overlooking the river, which is where the ceremony will be held and a reception hall inside the building.  There is parallel parking available on both sides of Bay St and stairs to access the building from the street.

Views from the top deck
Southport Community Building

Continuing north, we enjoyed watching the large boats return from trips at sea.  The homes along the walk are also interesting to look at, especially given their historic, New England style.  Each home has a plaque near the front door listing when it was built; most are from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

Not having a final destination in mind, I was pleasantly surprised when we came upon another park along the river, Kingsley Park!  Kingsley Park is at the corner of Kingsley Dr and Bay St and is only about 1/4 mile from the Waterfront area.  This was an area where menhaden fishing boats used to dock decades ago.  Menhaden fish are caught in nets and are mostly used for their oil and ecological resources, as they have too many bones for human consumption.

Kingsley Park has several benches, paved sidewalks, information plaques detailing the menhaden fishing industry and Hurricane Hazel destruction from 1954, and a long pier into the river.

Kingsley Park
Benches in the park
Gardens around the park
View towards the river
Ashley and me on the pier
Ginni and Ashley on the pier
Information plaques about the fishing industry

Southport, NC is a fantastically quiet getaway with so much to do.  Whether you’re walking around downtown, shopping, taking in scenes of the river, or eating at one of the local restaurants you’ll have a great time.  From Raleigh, Southport is only 2.5 hours – perfect for a day trip and making wedding memories!  Congrats again to Brandon and Rachael…can’t wait to celebrate with you tonight!

Thumbs up: scenic views, photo ops, educational plaques, historic homes, river walk, piers, downtown atmosphere

Thumbs down: nothing to note 🙂

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