We enjoyed walking through the town. We didn't go and get an actual brochure, but there is actually a self guided walking trail (pamphlet information below by the Southport Historical Society.) Another place we haven't been is Franklin Square Art Gallery - An association of local artisans in varying medians including paintings and pottery in a beautiful historic building. Admission is free. Hours: Monday-Saturday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm and Sunday 1:00 - 4:00 pm June, July & August. Location: 130 E. West Street, Southport (behind Franklin Square Park). Phone: 910.457-5450 Historic Southport Trail, a Self-Guided Walking Tour - The brochure can be picked up at the Southport Visitor’s Center, 113 W. Moore Street, Southport or the Southport-Oak Island Chamber of Commerce Welcome Center, 4841 Long Beach Road. Phone: 800-457-6964 or 910.457-6964.
Another place to visit is NC Maritime Museum @ Southport - Houses a collection of memorabilia pertaining to the vast nautical history of Southport, the Lower Cape Fear, and southeastern North Carolina. Self-guided tours through 12 designated stations, or ask a guide to lead the way. On-site research library. Films and programs offered year-round. Admission: $2.00 adults (16 yrs. & up), Seniors $1.00, and Children free. Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. Phone: 910.457-0003. Location: 116 N. Howe Street, Southport.
I drove to the Airlie Gardens hoping to take some nice photos, but they were closed. This place offer 67 acres of beautiful scenery. There are a number of lakes, statuary and flowers of all kinds, most notably an impressive display of azaleas. For more info, check out www.airliegardens.org.
MM 309.0 Free Dock
The Provision Co. has a free dock which will hold two 40' boats. Only an extension cord could be plugged in, not regular boat power. Free overnight with meal (which is very reasonable in price).
The guys there had no clue as to what the depth at low tide would be, but one of the girls said she fell off the dock once, and she could stand up in the water - only up to her chest. She wasn't a particularly big girl. There is also another free dock in this basin with 15A electric. Four feet at low water with a very high pier and a limited 24 hour stay. This dock is past the fishing docks to the T-pier on the port.
MM 311.4 South Harbour Village Transient Dock
The South Harbour Village marina was not even open until June 2001, so it wasn't there when we came up last time.. It was a former menhaden plant. The fuel is not particularly cheap. Nov 2001 they were getting it for 67 cents(diesel) and selling it for $1.09. (our guest signed for a fuel delivery when she was up doing email.)
They have a long face dock and put transients inside and outside on the face dock. There are slips sticking out into the basin from one end of the face dock, and two sections in the basin and one section at the far end of the face dock. There is a grass lump used to be under the old docks for the menhaden boats. That dock doesn't go out as far in that area.
They wanted us to come in and tie port side to, which necessitated getting into the dock with the port side next to the inside which should have been easy. Unfortunately the boat only backs to starboard and the wind was carrying us away from the dock.
As we tried to turn to make another pass, the current caught us and carried us sideways down the fairway. As Bob tried to regain control without running aground on the grass lump or hitting anyone else's boat, the dock master and other boaters ran up and down the piers trying to decide where we'd end up and wanting to protect their property from us crashing into it. Eventually at the end of the fairway, the cross dock lessened the current, and Bob was able to back all the way back up to the entrance and make a better approach. The dockmaster's comment was: "I guess I forgot to tell you about the current". He did take one of us to the market in his car. They advertise a 1000 ft. floating dock at a perfect parallel to the channel, making it an easy-in, easy-out dock. Amenities include 30, 50 and 100 amp power, cable TV, gas, diesel, a pump-out station, a courtesy phone, Internet access, laundry, showers, a full-service restaurant, a deli and an 18-hole golf course on site. In addition to the transient dock, there are 119 slips. On site lodging is available, as well as fuel, groceries, and Internet services. Laundry and showers await you in our dockhouse, and for the mega-yacht goer, 100 amp service, 35 gallons per minute fuel pumps, and 12 feet of water depth at low tide.
Their transient overnight fee is $1.00/ft, $3.00 for 30 amp and $5.00 for 50 amp. Monthly it is $7.25/ft and metered power (28 foot minimum), Quarterly it is $21.00/ft and Annual it is $81.00/ft. Cable TV is free as is water.
Old Baldy Lighthouse
The lighthouse is on Bald Head Island, and must be accessed by ferry from the mainland. It is lit at night, but not with a proper lighthouse type light, as it is no longer an active lighthouse. I understand it can be climbed, but I have not done that.
It is two nautical miles off North Carolina’s coast at the mouth of the Cape Fear River, Bald Head Island is a 20-minute passenger ferry ride from the mainland ferry terminal at Indigo Plantation and Marina.
From their webpage: For most of the year, ferries leave the mainland on the hour and the island on the half-hour beginning at 8:00 am. The winter schedule may be abbreviated. Advance ferry reservations are required, and should be confirmed three days in advance. (Call 910-457-5003.)