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The Perfect Day Trip to Southport, NC

Faith Teasley

Posted on August 21 2020

Southport, NC Waterfront

Oh, Southport...

Southport, NC is one of the first coastal towns I fell in love with. There's just something so quaint and charming about this sleepy little town.  It's the perfect place for a day or weekend trip alike!  

Here's what we recommend for a day trip to Southport.


  • First things first, stop by Port City Java for a cup of coffee
  • Head to the Waterfront Park and stay awhile
  • Visit the Southport Visitor's Center
  • Stroll the streets of downtown Southport
  • Head to a waterfront restaurant for lunch
  • Visit the North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport
  • Peruse more stores and/or book a boat tour
  • Have dinner at Fishy Fishy cafe and watch the sunset 

Safe Haven Movie

You may recognize Southport from the movie "Safe Haven", based off the novel by Nicholas Sparks.  There are multiple movie locations to explore!  Be sure to visit the Southport Visitor's Center to see some special props from the movie.

Here are just a few of the movie locations to visit:

  • The historic Grey Burriss house, pictured above, located around the corner from Fishy Fishy Cafe
  • Old American Fish Company, located at 150 Yacht Basin Drive, was Ivan's Fish Shack - where Katie worked in the movie
  • Fort Fisher Terry Terminal 
  • Downtown Southport

Waterfront Restaurants


One of the best ways to enjoy Southport is to dine on the water!  There are multiple eateries to choose from and they are all wonderful!  
Fishy Fishy Cafe - Our personal favorite!  We love to enjoy lunch and dinner here alike.  This is also the best place to view a vibrant Southport sunset!  Pro tip: order the jalapeño hushpuppies.
Provision Company - If you know, you know.  Fresh seafood and beautiful waterfront views!  
The Frying Pan - Delicious food with great views of the water at a different angle from the other waterfront restaurants.
Oliver's on the Cape Fear - Two words: Sunday Brunch.  What could be better than waterfront views and mimosas?  
Moore Street Market - Not on the water, but definitely worth a mention!  If you're a fan of pimento cheese, I recommend trying the Friend's Fav sandwich.  It's also a fun movie location to visit from the movie Safe Haven.

Waterfront Park

Waterfront Park is right beside the City Pier - and it's the perfect place to spend an hour or two!  Grab an iced coffee from Port City Java and stay awhile.  There's plenty of bench swings available to enjoy the views!  If you look closely enough, you can spot both the Old Baldy and Oak Island Lighthouses.  You can also watch the sailboats and ferries as they pass through.  Sometimes, you can even see dolphins playing in the surf!  Waterfront Park is also a set location from the movie A Walk to Remember.

Cruise Around Southport by Boat or Bike

If you want to explore Southport like a true local, we recommend taking a boat, kayak or bicycle tour!  There are plenty of awesome local businesses to choose from.   
 
Interested in a Southport, NC Coastal Wall Art Print?  Visit the Saltwater Collection Print Shop!  
Follow Saltwater Collection on Instagram

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