Southport vacation rentals

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Popular amenities for Southport vacation rentals

Stay near Southport's top sights

Bald Head Island Ferry28 locals recommend
Waterfront Park18 locals recommend
Fishy Fishy Cafe116 locals recommend
Provision Company109 locals recommend
Oliver's on the Cape Fear49 locals recommend
Frying Pan27 locals recommend

Quick stats about vacation rentals in Southport

  • Total rentals

    110 properties

  • Nightly prices starting at

    $70 before taxes and fees

  • Total number of reviews

    5K reviews

  • Family-friendly rentals

    60 properties are a good fit for families

  • Pet-friendly rentals

    20 properties allow pets

  • Rentals with a pool

    30 properties have a pool

Your guide to Southport

Welcome to Southport

Southport is a sleepy coastal town perched along Cape Fear River, due south of Wilmington. Southport was established in 1792 and was a harbor for pirates in the early 18th century. Today, it’s a popular vacation destination for those looking for less crowded beaches along the North Carolina coast. Flanked by Oak Island to the west and Bald Head Island to the east, Southport’s rugged, marshy environment lends its commercial area a relaxed charm. There you’ll find plenty of fish shacks, dive bars, and open-air restaurants overlooking the water, many of which have attached boat docks. A popular way to explore the flora and fauna in and around Cape Fear River is by kayak and paddleboard. Several outdoor outfitters in Southport offer equipment rentals and guided tours. In Southport’s historic district, live oak trees draped with moss frame the old homes, many of which have stood tall for more than a century — and some since 1800.

The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Southport

Spring (from March to May) and fall (September to November) bring the best weather to Southport and its neighboring North Carolina beaches. Although summer can also see its fair share of pleasant weather, be prepared to deal with some crowds. When booking your stay, always be mindful of hurricane season, which for the Atlantic Ocean, can start in June and run through November, with the biggest storm months being August and September. Southport’s temperatures are often warm enough to enjoy the beach through late October. October is also a big time for annual festivals such as Riverfest in Wilmington and NC Oyster Festival in Shallotte, 25 miles away.

Top things to do in Southport

Bald Head Island

At just three miles long and less than a mile wide, Bald Head Island — a quick ferry ride from Southport — is bursting with wildlife. Expect to see dolphins, egrets, bald eagles, and even the occasional alligator. History buffs can check out the 90-minute island tour, which covers the island’s former status as a hunting ground for wild pigs and the British fort it housed during the Revolutionary War.

The Museum of Coastal Carolina

Science-based experiences are the name of the game at this Ocean Isle Beach museum, located 33 miles west of Southport. Part natural history exhibit, part dry aquarium, the Museum of Coastal Carolina educates visitors about the rich nature in this area through dioramas and interactive exhibits. The Ingram Planetarium in nearby Sunset Beach, owned by the same organization, schedules a wide array of educational programming, including a classic-rock laser show.

Oak Island Lighthouse

Guarding the entrance to Fort Caswell, the concrete Oak Island Lighthouse was built in 1958. It’s open for self-guided tours for those who want to ascend the 131 steps to the lantern gallery, which offers unobstructed views of the surrounding Brunswick Islands.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How is the weather in Southport?

    Southport experiences a humid subtropical climate. Summers are hot and humid with highs around 90°F (32°C), while winters are mild and short with temperatures rarely falling below 40°F (4°C). It's important to note that Southport often receives rain throughout the year.

  • What are some of the best things to do in Southport?

    Explore the Southport Marina, a favorite among boating enthusiasts, walk the Riverwalk with beautiful Cape Fear River views, or learn about local history at the North Carolina Maritime Museum. Art lovers often enjoy the Franklin Square Gallery.

  • What is the best time of year to visit Southport?

    The most popular time to visit Southport is during the summer months, particularly July when the North Carolina Fourth of July Festival takes place. This week-long celebration includes a parade, various contests, and a spectacular fireworks display.

  • What are the best places to stay in Southport?

    Popular areas to stay in Southport include the charming downtown area, the tranquil Caswell Beach, and the vibrant neighborhood of Oak Island. Each area has its own unique appeal, whether it's the historic homes in downtown, the beach access at Caswell, or the eclectic shops and restaurants of Oak Island.

  • What are the best places to visit in Southport?

    The Old Brunswick County Jail Museum, a historic building from the 1900s, the Southport Pier and RIverwalk, and the Fort Johnston - Southport Museum & Visitors Center are some of the popular places to visit in Southport.

  • What are some hiking trails in Southport?

    While Southport itself doesn't have extensive hiking trails, the Brunswick Nature Park, located about 20 miles (32 km) away, provides opportunities for hiking. There, you can explore the Cypress and Live Oak trails, which take you through breathtaking coastal ecosystems.

  • What are some family activities to do in Southport?

    Families can enjoy a day at the Southport Community Building Park, explore the Fort Fisher State Recreation Area, or visit the North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport. For an educational experience, the Old Brunswick County Jail Museum is a great choice.

  • What are some of the best day trip ideas in Southport?

    Day trips from Southport often include visits to the nearby cities of Wilmington and Myrtle Beach. Nature lovers can spend the day exploring the Green Swamp Preserve or take a ferry to the tranquil Bald Head Island.

  • Are there vacation rentals with a dedicated workspace in Southport?

    Yes! Work meets play with ease at over 30 vacation rentals in Southport featuring dedicated workspaces. Stay connected and productive in your home away from home.

  • Are there pet-friendly vacation rentals in Southport?

    Four-legged friends are welcome in Southport. Choose from more than 20 vacation rentals for guests traveling with pets.

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