• Photo: Charles Chadwick Talton / Shutterstock


This small town, quietly positioned at the mouth of Cape Fear River, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. An increasingly desirable retirement spot, Southport retains its village charm and front-porch hospitality. Stately and distinctive homes, antiques stores, gift shops, and vibrant restaurants line streets that veer to accommodate ancient oak trees. The town, portrayed in Robert Ruark's novel The Old Man and the Boy, is ideal for walking; it's also popular with moviemakers—Crimes of the Heart (1986) and Safe Haven (2013) were filmed here.


Trip Finder

No Thanks

Love To Travel?

Get FREE email communications from Fodor's Travel, covering must-see travel destinations, expert trip planning advice, and travel inspiration to fuel your passion.

Thank You

Now sit back, relax, and check your inbox to start planning your next travel adventure.

Please tell us more about the type of travel you're interested in. Check all that apply.