(OH MY GOODNESS!)
We were so completely and utterly blown away by magical Southport. To be honest, the main reason why we decided to go there was because of the movie Safe Haven. Well, it happened like this - we really wanted to visit somewhere in North Carolina but didn't want to go too north as it would add a couple extra days on the trip so we though south-east North Carolina would be perfect, before we would then drive down to Charleston. Safe Haven is one of those movies we put on in the background and I love the setting and have always wanted to visit a little American seaside town just like the one in the movie so I look up IMDB filming locations and it was set in south-east NC - Southport to be exact. The ideal location!
So incredibly glad we decided to go! It was such a major highlight of our honeymoon and was even more beautiful in real life then it was in the movie! For real! Check out the photo diary to see for yourself (however my photos don't come close to properly showing how magically amazing it is):
We arrived at 9am after an early 4 hour drive from Charlotte, NC and arrived to sleepiest little seaside village that wasn't even close to waking up for the day. That suited us perfectly as we were a little sleepy ourselves so we walked down by the water and strolled all around the wide tree lined streets. It was already incredibly hot and after about half an hour we were already yearning for a lemonade, breakfast and a coffee so we headed towards Moore Street Market & Deli (a filming location of Safe Haven, you can see photo evidence in the cafe), where we witnessed the slow mornings of Southport over a refreshing lemonade and a seriously delicious bagel!
After we felt more energised, we walked towards our B&B - Robert Ruark Inn!
Robert Ruark Inn
Wow. I don't even know where to start. In our opinion - this is the onlyyyyy place to stay in Southport, and I'm pretty sure many people agree with us after reading the Tripadvisor reviews. The owners, Linda and Rick, are amazing people and couldn't be better at running a B&B!
George and I got there about 4 hours before check-in time is but were immediately taken on a tour of the property by Rick, showed us to our beautiful room and then took us on a complementary 1 hour tour of the whole town on his golf cart which was the best thing ever! Afterwards he showed us to our complementary bikes to use as much as we wanted (this was the beginning of our bike obsession).
In the afternoon (after we were exhausted from all the cycling), we sat on the porch and sipped on a complementary (everything is complementary at this place - seriously!) bottle of white wine. This magical moment was the first one of the trip where I was like 'ohhhh my goodness, is this real life?!" It was so peaceful, slow and relaxed that it really felt like a dream!
The stunning homes and architecture
Southport inspired us in a billion ways but we were constantly talking about how we wanted a house with a 'Southport porch'. Now we think about it, we just want to build a whole Southport house! They are so romantic, big & airy (but in a cosy way), welcoming and comforting!
It's a winning combination when you pair it with the stunningly beautiful tree-line wide roads! Oh my goodness. So so pretty!
Cycling around everywhere!
Southport is super tiny so we cycled around approximately 3 times which made us feel like we know it like the back of our hands! One of the great things about the town was that we could also just park our bikes up anywhere without any kind of lock! Even when we went sailing for an hour and a half, we just pushed them up against the wall of a restaurant and there they were when we came back! The city girl in me was blown away! Such a nice trusting vibe.
Cycling around the beautiful town made me feel so carefree. There was the summer soundtrack of cicadas buzzing, it was about 35c, we were cycling around a tiny seaside village full of wide tree-lined streets - I felt like I was reliving an American version of my childhood! Take me back!
Because we got to Southport so early, we felt like our day was soooo long which is the best thing ever when you're on holiday! So after a stroll around town, a golf cart tour around town, cycling around town we thought that we needed to see the town from the sea!
We thought our sailing trip was going to be more of an informative tour rather than just a ride on a boat (I think our expectations were too high after Rick's amazing golf cart tour), so we were a little disappointed (especially since it cost $150) but there is nothing like being on the water is there! We were on a boat with a couple who were celebrating their 20 year wedding anniversary and got engaged on the same day we did and got married on the 6th Aug (rather than the 2nd) so we bonded and they told us to go on weekly date nights :)
There were so many cute spots lining the water on Yacht Basin Drive! Rick told us to eat at Provisions so of course we had to because he knows what's up! It was amazing!!! Those steamed shrimp with a crab cake and corn is what we shared for lunch. So simple, so fresh and so yum! Favourite kind of food experience! There was a wait for a table so we enjoyed Pacifico's out on the pier! The drink system at Provisions is done on honesty - you take any drink you want from the fridge just as long as you tell them what you had. See - such a beautifully trusting town! We gave them a hefty tip because of that awesomeness!
That whole street get's flooded when high tide hits but no one really seems to care. We were told that they still serve with water coming up to your knees haha! When we got back from our sailing trip, they had bridges extended out over onto the sidewalk. Just another little unique aspect of Southport that adds to it's charm!
Thank you so much Southport! You were a blast and we will never forget how much you charmed us! Small towns have A LOT going for them - that is for sure!