View the Southport map to see the quaint waterfront town located at the mouth of the Cape Fear River, the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean. Oak tree lined avenues and beautiful historic homes make up most of Southport but the town center features 15 antique shops, restaurants, historic sites, the Southport Maritime Museum, art galleries and quiet, relaxing parks.
Southport NC is a popular filming location for television and movies. The small town can be seen in the television show “Dawson’s Creek” and the movies “I Know What You Did Last Summer”, “Summer Catch”, “Domestic Disturbance”, “Crimes of the Heart”, “Nights in Rodanthe” and “A Walk to Remember” “Safe Haven”, among others.
Southport NC also hosts a Fourth of July festival of North Carolina. Every year vendors from all around the country travel to Southport for four days of fun and excitement downtown.
Southport NC was explored as early as the 1500s by Spanish explorers. Before the construction of Fort Johnston, British settlements along the Carolina coast lacked fortifications to protect them against pirates and privateers, and numerous Spanish attackers exploited this weakness. In response to these attacks, Governor Gabriel Johnston in 1744 appointed a committee to select the best location to construct a fort for the defense of the Cape Fear River region. France meanwhile declared King George’s War against Britain in 1744. The Governor of South Carolina agreed to lend ten small cannons for the fort. Facing increasingly bold Spanish privateer raids, the General Assembly of North Carolina colony in April 1745 authorized the construction of “Johnston’s Fort” near the mouth of the Cape Fear River. In spring 1748, the legislature appropriated 2000 pounds for construction costs, and people finally began building Fort Johnston. Southport developed around Fort Johnston and was originally named Smithville.