Southport was originally named Smithville after Benjamin Smith who served under Gen. George Washington in the Revolutionary War. The first Spanish explorers arrived in 1521 and settled up the Cape Fear River in what became known as Brunswick Town. In the early 1700 Southport was a harbor for pirates, including Stede Bonnet, the “Gentleman Pirate,” who was a frequent visitor. What began as a small fishing and military town has blossomed into a community for retirees and commuters working in Wilmington.
Waterfront Park offers breathtaking views of the Cape Fear River and is a great spot for a leisurely walk or a rest on one of the many front porch-style swings facing the water. There is also a fishing pier. If you run out of things to do (which we doubt), take a ferry to Bald Head Island to explore its beaches, lighthouse and nature trails.
The Waterway Guide Team has gained extensive boating knowledge over the years, and now we are sharing all of the tips, skills and tools we’ve picked up along the way!