Summer in Southport

Southport is a charming harbor town – located where the mouth of the Cape Fear River meets the Atlantic Ocean. Encompassing  2.2 square miles of pristine scenery and dotted with centuries of maritime history, Southport has received numerous accolades and was named one of the “Happiest Seaside Towns in America” by Coastal Living Magazine.

Stroll under a canopy of 200-year-old live oaks and admire the architecture of the Victorian homes, once occupied by ship captains. Grab a cup of coffee and head to the waterfront to swing on one of the many public bench swings, gazing at the variety of seabirds and boats that pass by. Walking trails hug the water’s edge, leading to eateries at the Yacht Basin that serve fresh catches right off the boat.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Howe Street is the main thoroughfare of the vibrant downtown district which is packed with antique stores, specialty shops, restaurants, and art galleries. Parking is free in downtown Southport, and everything is within walking distance. Stay in one of the many Victorian B&B’s or one of the waterfront inns to enjoy a southern living inspired experience.


Southport Realty

Southport is a quaint coastal town with a storied history that goes back to its founding in 1792. The idyllic setting has lured visitors from near and far for generations. 

Against this beautiful backdrop Southport Realty was founded by Mary Ann Russ, now retired, She built a reputation as one of the top real estate leaders with her exceptional customer service, integrity and local knowledge. Owners, Pamela Frandano and Kim Ann Russ continue the tradition and have the leading independently owned and managed real estate firm in Southport. They are gratified to be part of the bustling Southport community, especially when Trip Advisor just named Southport as one of the 16 “Top U.S. Towns to Discover this Year.” Add this to Coastal Living Magazine naming Southport as the “Happiest Seaside Town in America” in 2015 and “Best Beach Town in America to Celebrate the Fourth of July” in 2016. The community truly thrives and has become one of the top places on the East Coast to call home. 

Offering full service real estate, the firm has agents who combine a relaxed feeling with decades of experience and expansive knowledge of the area who can assist buyers and sellers, whether looking for a primary or second home, an investment or business property. In addition, Southport Realty offers Property Management services – short and long-term residential, vacation and commercial leases. 

Stroll Southport with a Local Expert! Visit the Southport Realty office at 114 S. Howe Street, or give them a call at (910) 457.7676.


Southport Cheese Shoppe

Five years ago, Lisa and Eric Stettner left their former lives behind in New Jersey and headed South in search of a slower pace of life. Eric owned an auto repair business for twenty-five years and Lisa was a former bus driver.  

Just two days before pulling the trigger to purchase a Bed and Breakfast, Lisa was approached by two of her neighbors who proposed to join forces and open the Cheese Shoppe. After a year, Lisa’s partners decided that the venture wasn’t really for them, as they were already retired but the Stettners kept the shop going, and the business has been thriving for two and a half years.  

The Southport Cheese Shoppe has approximately 45 different imported and domestic cheeses from around the world including North Carolina. The shop also carries a variety of jams, spreads, olives, sauces, dips and charcuterie, (salami, prosciutto, pate), along with fresh, crusty bread from the northeast, and authentic New York style bagels that are baked fresh every morning and used for breakfast sandwiches.  

The shop recently received the Brunswick People’s Choice Award for “Best Lunchtime Sandwiches.”  They are now offering “picnic lunches” for the summer season that come packed in an insulated bag, ideal for toting along on the boat or at the beach.  

The Southport Cheese Shoppe prepares cheese plates for customers who want to head down to one of the wine shops to enjoy a glass of wine with their cheese. The shop also makes custom platters including an assortment of cheeses and accouterments, ideal for book clubs, card parties, weddings, and other events. Very little notice is required when ordering custom platters, except during the holidays.  

During the winter months, the shop teams up with local wine stores for wine and cheese pairing events. The Southport Cheese Shoppe is located at 417 Howe St., Suite B in downtown Southport, or you can reach them at (910) 477-6387, or visit their website at


Ports of Call Bistro

Get a taste of world and regional cuisine in the heart of downtown Southport.  Ports of Call Bistro opened its doors in June of 2011, in the original Maritime Museum space, and is co-owned by Ray Acayan and Jacob Pfohl, who traveled the world extensively, resulting in this globally-inspired gem.  Customers simultaneously feel at home, as well as transported by the international cuisine and décor.

Every day is different at Ports of Call Bistro.  The restaurant’s menu changes seasonally, and the main menu items are linked to major ports of call.  The local market influences daily specials, which are displayed in front of the bistro for passersby to view as they stroll down Howe Street.  The owners support local resources and culture and follow the motto, “Think globally, act locally.”

Enjoy some of the best local music and entertainment nightly while dining at Ports of Call Bistro.  Or, check out one of their monthly Chef’s Tasting and Wine Dinners, which is a series, focusing specific regions around the world.  The Chef prepares a special tasting menu with perfect wine pairings. Reserve seats now for their next Chef’s Tasting and Wine Dinner on July 26, 2018, featuring the flavors of Spain with a prix-fixe multi-course dinner paired with fine Spanish wines.  

Ports of Call Bistro is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday and serves brunch on Sundays.  The restaurant is located at 116 N. Howe Street in downtown Southport. For reservations, please call (910) 457-4544.


The Christmas House

Christmas in July? Absolutely! The Christmas House is a downtown Southport icon that is open year-round and filled with items that aren’t just for Christmas. This family-owned and operated business has been open since 1997.  

The Victorian home that houses the business was built in 1885 by a Riverboat Pilot and has most of its original ceilings, floors, and staircase. The Christmas House is one of the few historical homes remaining that the public can walk through to get a feel for the architectural structure during the late eighteen-hundreds. The owner, Ann Endres, added on to the home in the rear to create more space.  

The Christmas House creates custom bows, wreaths and garlands for all occasions and holidays. Hundreds of ribbons are sold by the yard – you can pick a few of your favorites, and the designers at The Christmas House will custom make your bows for no additional cost. The shop also sells stuffed animals, children’s books, over one-hundred different puzzles, themed ornaments, personalized ornaments, Santas, Angels, nautical gifts, signs and much more, with new items arriving weekly. Be sure to visit the old-fashioned candy shop that has 68 flavors of salt water taffy separated by barrels. Take part in all the merriment of The Christmas House decor and goodies, or, simply enjoy people-watching in the shade from the front porch gazebo.  

The Christmas House is located at 104 W. Moore Street, in the heart of downtown Southport.  You can also reach them at (910)457-5166.