Southern Hospitality

 

Welcome to Your Home Away From Home

STORY BY: LISA P. STITES
Beaches, golf, boating and fishing. Southeastern North Carolina is truly a vacation destination for families and people of all ages. With some of the State’s finest beaches, Oak Island, Caswell Beach and Bald Head Island offer plenty of vacation rental selections, making it easy to find the perfect beach house or condo to suit your needs.

Hotels and motels on Oak Island also welcome guests who want to wake up to the sound of the surf and head straight to the beach for some surfing, fishing or just relaxing on the sand. The beach towns have pristine marshes for exploring by kayak and serve as picture perfect landscapes for photographers. Caswell Beach visitors love to visit the Oak Island Lighthouse, and in the Town of Oak Island, visitors can choose from more than 60 beach accesses. There are also many places to access the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway for fishing or boat watching. Visitors to Bald Head Island, which is accessible only by ferry or boat, can rent a golf cart and spend a day exploring the island. The beach towns have plenty of choices for great seafood dinners and there’s nothing quite like seeing the nighttime sky over the ocean, but for those who long for a more traditional town setting, Southport is just the thing. Southport’s tree-lined streets take us back in time to a simpler, quieter pace. In Southport you’ll find unique local shops and restaurants serving up hot dogs, gourmet meals and everything in between. The City has often served as a set for television and film; one of the more recent feature films to feature this charming locale was “Safe Haven.” Visitors will also enjoy a walkway out into the marsh, the City Pier and adjacent Waterfront Park, the Old Smithville Burying Grounds, the North Carolina Maritime Museum and Southport Visitors Center at Fort Johnston, and the Old Jail Museum. The Southport waterfront is a popular place to sit and swing on one of the benches or walk along the shore listening to the peaceful sounds of the water. Don’t feel silly pulling over to park just to watch a huge cargo ship or the Coast Guard go by – locals do it all the time because it never loses its appeal. There’s just something special about watching a huge ship passing quietly by. Picture yourself waking up in a small and sleepy Southern town with all the grace and charm most people think exist only in the movies. It’s real, and it’s here. Now find the perfect backdrop for your dream vacation.

CAPTAIN NEWTON’S INN

120 W. Moore Street, Southport www.captainnewtonsinn.com

Just one short block up from the water, Captain Newton’s Inn offers historic and comfortable accommodations among centuries-old Live Oaks. The Inn has three well-appointed rooms in different sizes and style. Room amenities include private bathrooms, a small wine refrigerator stocked with bottled water, wireless internet and cable television. Just across the street is a quiet park with the majestic 800-year old Indian Oak Tree. Stroll through the park on your way to the water or take some time to swing, rock and just watch and listen. The Inn was built on one of the original 100 lots laid out by the city founders, and the house has been part of Southport since 1886. It was built by Captain Walker Newton (a renowned river pilot of his time) and updated since. The inn sits only one block from downtown Southport and all of the great places to eat and shop. Amenities include a daily continental breakfast and a wine and cheese reception.

RIVERSIDE MOTEL

103 West Bay Street, Southport www.loisjanes.com/rooms/riverside-motel

Located literally on the Cape Fear Riverside, this motel offers guests breezes off the water and a front-seat view of the boats, birds and lighthouses that paint the coastal picture. Just off the back porch is where the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway meet. The motel was founded in the 1950’s by the same family that also owns and operates Lois Jane’s. There is a seafood restaurant right next door, and others within walking distance. Guests will also enjoy Waterfront Park, just steps away from the motel. With benches, picnic tables and a pier, this park is a popular spot for walking along the water, feeding the gulls and fishing. It’s also a popular place to watch the ships pass as they travel to and from the port in nearby Wilmington, NC. The Pilot Tower, used by river pilots who guide ships through the sometimes treacherous local waters to the port, is adjacent to the motel. All rooms have TVs, air conditioning, a refrigerator, microwave and coffeemaker. Some rooms have a queen bed and others have two full size beds. There is a two-night minimum on weekends. While children are welcome, pets are not.

LOIS JANE’S

106 West Bay Street, Southport www.loisjanes.com

Family tradition is at the heart of this B&B directly across from the river. This gorgeous home was built in the late 1800s and was renovated in the 1990s by the original owner’s great-grandchildren and turned into the B&B. The family welcomes guests but still uses the home as a gathering place for special occasions. The sibling team that oversaw the renovation had realized that selling the home was just not an option, and what began as a minor repair to plaster turned into a complete renovation. They named the Inn for their mother and have been open for business since the mid-1990s. Guests can enjoy accommodations in one of several rooms, all with picture-perfect views of the river or garden – Miss Mary’s Room (with private access to the balcony and breathtaking views of the Cape Fear River), Davey’s Room (named for the River Pilot and outdoorsman in the family), Lois Jane’s Room (named for the owners’ mother, who loved to watch over the water and enjoy the view of Bald Head Island), Meezie’s Room (near the rear of the home under a giant Willow Oak tree), and Skip’s Suite Upper and Skip’s Suite Lower (tucked into a guest cottage just behind the main building). All guests can enjoy a full Southern breakfast each morning and wine and hors d’oeuvres are served at 5 p.m. daily. The Inn also offers packages and can accommodate parties by offering up to 14 rooms (utilizing the family-owned Riverview Inn across the street). Guests can also order champagne and chocolates to help celebrate special occasions.

THE BRUNSWICK INN

301 E. Bay Street, Southport www.brunswickinn.com

This beautiful mansion is a registered Southport Historic Landmark and includes the Garden Room, the Governor’s Room and Lady Brunswick’s Room for guest accommodations. Rooms are furnished with period furniture and accessories and all come with a water view. The Inn has been “carefully updated, respecting the historical integrity of this magnificent piece of architecture,” according to the Inn’s website. Original heart pine floors, run plaster ceiling moldings, Southport bow trim, unique rotunda, louvered cathedral-shaped pocket doors, observatory and nine working fireplaces remain intact. The Inn dates back to the mid- 1800s, and is a Federal-style mansion overlooking the Cape Fear River with clear views of Bald Head Island and the Oak Island Lighthouse. Most mornings, guests can enjoy breakfast in the crystal-chandeliered dining room, which opens up to the second-floor rotunda. Some mornings, breakfast is served in the huge working kitchen in front of the massive fire place. Owners Jim and Judy Clary offer guests dishes such as Praline French Toast, Scrambled Eggs with Chevre’ Cheese, warm buttery cinnamon apples, only home-made pastries, and seasonal fresh fruit compotes. Afternoon hors d’oeuvres and selected wines or non-alcoholic beverages are served in the dining room and enjoyed throughout the richly furnished mansion. Gathering on the expansive veranda is a popular pastime for guests at the Inn. The Brunswick Inn is the perfect vacation spot for “sitting a spell” with plans to do nothing but watch the boats float by.

SOUTHPORT INN

119 N. Davis Street, Southport www.thesouthportinn.com

In 2013, Innkeepers, Mark and Jane Ramach, sold everything, bought a boat, named her Average Looper and started a trip called The Great Loop, according to the Southport Inn’s website. Southport was one of the couple’s first stops and after traveling more than 6,000 miles through 18 states and Canada, they decided to settle there permanently.The Southport Inn is an historic landmark, originally built by Samuel S. Drew for R.W. McKeithan and his wife, Amelia, in the spring of 1894. Robert W. McKeithan, born January 20, 1843, was an enlisted Confederate in the NC 1st Artillery Regiment, Co. E. Later in 1896, he was selected as a delegate to the state’s Democratic Convention. During the turn of the century, McKeithan manufactured turpentine in nearby Supply, according to the site.The Inn’s accommodations pay homage to the home’s history – Amelia’s Room, The Captain’s Room and The Davis Room. The home’s high interior ceilings are crafted with tongue and groove bead board in concentric patterns. The floors are original painted heart pine. Southport bow trim, a trademark of North Carolina coastal craftsmen, adorn the windows and doors. In 2004, The Southport Inn Bed & Breakfast was spared the wrecking ball. The Inn is a short walk from area restaurants and shops. Visitors can stroll through nearby Franklin Square Park and see works by featured artists at the Franklin Square Gallery.

BELL-CLEMMONS HOUSE

313 E. Moore Street, Southport www.bell-clemmons.com

Visitors have long been welcomed to this charming, double-porch B&B that is tucked away on a quiet tree-lined street just one block from the water, as it served as a boarding house in the early 1900s. The Bell-Clemmons was built during the Civil War and It was renovated in 2004 in a shabby-chic comfortable cottage style decorated with an eclectic mix of locally-sourced antiques and other “cottagesque” pieces. Much of the original woodwork was either preserved or re-purposed during the renovation, maintaining the historic feel of the home. The House has four guest rooms; Outer Banks Room, Key West Room, Savannah Room or the Newport Suite, with the Newport suite offering a private stairway and screened-in porch; and each room offering a full bath along with cable television, an iPod docking clock radio, and free high speed wireless internet. Wicker furniture graces the porches, ready for guests to sit a spell and experience true Southern charm; plan on enjoying a beverage and homemade goodies on the porch or in the lounge. In the morning, guests can also expect a gourmet breakfast in the home’s dining room, kitchen or garden porch. Guests can also take one of the bicycles provided on property, to explore the charming and eclectic shops or restaurants that are within easy walking distance of the Bell-Clemmons, or they can learn some local history heading to nearby historic sites, like the Old Smithville Burying Grounds, with some headstones that pre-date the city.

THE INN AT RIVER OAKS

512 N. Howe Street, Southport www.theinnatriveroaks.com

Located on Howe Street in the heart of the City’s Water Tower District, the Inn at River Oaks has been in existence for more than 50 years and has become a significant part of Southport’s history.The motel is within walking distance of many different shops and restaurants. The Inn at River Oaks is family owned and operated and owners take pride in providing good service at a good price for their guests, according to the motel’s website. In January 2005, the motel was renovated and updated, making it feel just like being home. All suites are non-smoking rooms. Guests can enjoy a short walk down Howe Street to the waterfront. Guests can choose from a standard room, suites or even efficiency apartments.Guests of the motel can make use of a DVD player (in select rooms), mini-fridge, microwave, cable television with HBO, and free WiFi. This motel is almost completely tucked into the shade of many trees, making it a quiet and cool respite from the busyness of a hot summer.

ROBERT RUARK INN

119 N. Lord Street, Southport www.robertruarkinn.com

Named for the author who called Southport home, the Robert Ruark Inn is a well-appointed home, featuring professionally decorated rooms in period antiques. All rooms have private baths with vintage-themed bathrooms including claw foot tubs or a spa-like shower. Robert Ruark was an acclaimed and prolific writer whose most notable work was his “Old Man and The Boy” series that covered the days spent in his childhood home in Southport. The series produced two books and a number of articles for “Field and Stream Magazine.” Ruark began his writing career in two small Southport newspapers and became a syndicated columnist and best-selling author in the 1940s, 50s and 60s. He was a noted big game hunter, waterman and sportsman, skills he developed early in life, as the area is ripe with animals, nature and both fresh and saltwater estuaries, rivers and beaches.

The Inn is a short walk to the business district and the water. You can tour Southport on one of the Inn’s bicycles or electric cart. Reservations can be made for the Captain Adkins Room, Robert Ruark Room, Charlotte’s Room and Virginia’s Room. Guests are treated to a full breakfast in the dining room or alfresco on the veranda. Enjoy a glass of wine or a cup of tea in the afternoon, or relax in the brick courtyard with appetizers. Complimentary bottled water and a round-the-clock gourmet coffee/tea station are also available.

If you’re new to the area or if you’ve not been here in a while, you may not realize that there are now four national hotels in the Southport-Oak Island area – all of them on Howe Street/N.C. 211 (Southport-Supply Road). Whether you’re planning just a quick trip or have business in the area, these are all a short driving distance to downtown Southport and Oak Island, area grocery stores, restaurants and shops.

HAMPTON INN

5181 Southport-Supply Road SE,

Southport hamptoninn3.hilton.com

Enjoy the many thoughtful amenities this Southport hotel has to offer. Begin each day the right way with Hampton’s free hot breakfast, or grab a Hampton On the Run Breakfast Bag for a busy work day, available Monday through Friday. Work out in the fitness center which features a treadmill, bicycle and elliptical trainer, or swim laps in the outdoor pool. Stay on top of work away from the office in the business center, or host a meeting for up to 45 guests in the hotel’s 1,050 sq. ft. function space. Guests can unwind after a long day in a room that offers business and leisure travelers home comforts like a clean and fresh Hampton bed, flatscreen LCD TV, microwave, mini-refrigerator, free WiFi access, and a lap desk. Comfortable accessible rooms are also available.

The Hampton Inn staff pledges to provide friendly service, clean rooms, comfortable surroundings, every time. The hotel offers 80 spacious, comfortable guest rooms. The hotel also provides a laundry and valet services.The Hampton Inn has received the 2015 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award. This honor is awarded to establishments that achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site. Hotel staff takes great pride in consistently offering an exceptional experience to their guests.

WINGATE BY WYNDHAM SOUTHPORT

1511 North Howe Street, Southport wingatehotels.com

The Wingate by Wyndham Southport hotel boasts friendly service and a great location near the famous Southport Pier and Riverwalk. The hotel is well-situated in Southport for work with renowned corporations like Duke Energy within a half-mile of its front doors and Sunny Point Military Base approximately five miles away. For those in the area on vacation, the hotel is a short drive to area attractions such as the Bald Head Island ferry, the Fort Fisher ferry, beautiful beaches and several waterfront restaurants, grills and cafes. The hotel offers a bounty of amenities, all designed for guests’ ultimate convenience and comfort. Visitors can take advantage of the hotel’s fitness center and seasonal outdoor swimming pool, a fully-equipped business center, free Wi-Fi, and free hot breakfast. Ample free parking is also available, and children younger than 17 stay free with an adult in the same room. Take a walk on the beautiful Southport River- walk, browse the quaint shops downtown, explore the historical sites in the area or enjoy a day full of water sports. The Fort Fisher State Recreation Area is home to a famous Civil War port as well as North Carolina Aquarium, home to hundreds of exotic animals both just a relaxing 30 minute ferry ride from Southport. Visit the colonial village at Brunswick Town or lounge on one of the beautiful beaches in the area. Play a relaxing round of golf on the open fairways and inviting greens of Oak Island Golf Club or the Oak Island Par 3 at South Harbour. Fresh seafood and family-style Southern classic dishes and much more can be found at area restaurants. For guests who need to host an event, the hotel offers two meeting rooms, from 15 to 60 guests.

HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS & SUITES

3400 Southport-Supply Road, Bolivia ihg.com/holidayinnexpress

Situated near the Swains Cut Bridge (known locally as the second, or new bridge to Oak Island), the Holiday Inn Express & Suites is just three miles from the Oak Island beaches and a quick drive to Southport. The hotel is also an easy drive to Brunswick Community College and the Odell Williamson Auditorium and the Brunswick County Government Center. St. James Plantation is located within a mile and offers some of the finest golf courses in the Southport/ Oak Island area. Championship golf may also be experienced at the Fred Couples designed course of Carolina National at Winding River Plantation or the George Cobb designed Oak Island Golf Club, both less than 10 minutes away by car. Guests can start the day with complimentary Hot Express Start Breakfast Bar. Guests can enjoy the indoor heated pool or relax while sitting in front of a salt water fish tank. The hotel also offers high speed internet and a large fitness center. New development across Midway Road brings a Lowes Foods store, with other shops and eateries in the plans as well.

COMFORT SUITES

4963 Southport-Supply Rd., Southport comfortsuites.choicehotels.com

Comfort Suites is a hotel designed to meet the demands of business travel or a relaxing vacation. The hotel staff strives to give guests everything they need during their stay to ensure they leave feeling refreshed and ready for a successful day ahead. This smoke-free Southport hotel is a 45-minute ride to Downtown Wilmington and Myrtle Beach, so you can start your adventure as soon as you land. Visitors will also enjoy amenities such as a business center, a grilling area near the pool, free WiFi, a free weekday newspaper, fitness center, and a seasonal outdoor pool. Mornings get off to a good start with a great breakfast, featuring everything from eggs, waffles and meat to healthy options like yogurt and fresh fruit. All suites have TVs with HD channels, refrigerators, microwaves, irons and ironing boards, coffee makers and hair dryers. Electronic devices can be kept charged with the recharge device including AC and USB outlets provided in all guest rooms. In addition to the standard rooms, the hotel offers executive suites, which feature complimentary wireless high speed internet, two flat panel HD TVs, a full-size microwave and refrigerator, wet bar, activity table with two chairs, work desk with task chair, triple sheeted smart bedding and a whirlpool tub.

It’s never too early to make your plans

Whether you’re looking for the quaint and picturesque style of one of Southport’s Bed & Breakfast homes, a serene waterfront motel in Southport or on one of the area’s beaches, or a vacation home or condo rental, southeastern Brunswick County has just the right spot to help vacationers relax, refocus and revitalize themselves. Come join us – make your plans today!

 

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