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I'll probably sound like a broken record, but, these little towns on the Eastern coast couldn't be more charming. Beaufort, Georgetown and now Southport. It's like when you have a baby and your totally enamored with them from 0-3 months and then 3-6 months comes and it's even better and you can't imagine that 6-9 months could surpass that and it does. That's the way it's been in the Carolina's.
Southport, formerly known as Smithville, is one of the oldest communities in coastal North Carolina, and as such, the town has ties to virtually every major American event. From its initial discovery centuries ago by European explorers, to its role in the American Revolution and Civil War, Southport’s deep roots are as fascinating as the coastal town landscape itself.
We'd heard from Robert Creech, a presenter at the Looper conference and resident of Southport, NC, that it is an idyllic, historical setting and he was right. After we arrived, Robert who lives by the marina came down and greeted us (he greets all the Loopers that stay in Southport since he is a Harbor Host for Southport). We had a nice visit and thanked him for his cruising notes from Fort Myers to Norfolk, VA. He invited us to his porch for a glass of wine and we are hoping to stop by yet today.
Southport has been absolutely delightful. It reeks of southern charm from it's historical homes strewn down every sleepy street to the southern style food at local haunts like Fishy, Fishy, Provision Company, Moore Street Oyster Bar and Taylor Cuisine Cafe. Since getting here I feel like we've walked thru every neighborhood at least once, ogled at every turn of the century home with it's historical marker by the front door and smiled at the church steeples dotting the skyline in every direction. If you like small towns, you'll love this one!
The icing on the cake is the Southport Marina. It's a top notch marina with a great staff and location. And during the transient times of the year, they even have an ICW Navigation and Weather Briefing each night at the marina offices. We plan on attending tonight and look forward to hearing any information Hank, the presenter is willing to share about the ICW north of here.
Below are a few snapshots of our time in Southport.....
Southport has been a popular filming location for television and movies, including film adaptations of the works of novelist Nicholas Sparks. The town can be seen in the television series Dawson's Creek, Under the Dome, Revenge, and Matlock, and in numerous movies, including I Know What You Did Last Summer, Summer Catch, Domestic Disturbance, Crimes of the Heart, Nights in Rodanthe, A Walk to Remember and Safe Haven. According to the tourguide, Oprah and other acotrs have stayed in this home while filming.
A slice of Americana. Saturday night we went for a walk thru town and everyone has a front porch, every porch has a light on and almost every one has an American flag. We learned that little old Southport, population 3,700, is the location of the North Carolina Fourth of July Festival, which attracts 40,000 to 50,000 visitors annually. Reminded me of the 4th celebration in Hooterville.
Tom & Sue Slightam
Read along as we circumnavigate the eastern half of the United States and southern Canada on the Great Loop on our boat BELLA, a Cruiser 460 Express.