Downtown Southport visitors who want to learn more about this community’s essential role in North Carolina history, or who just want to enjoy a rainy day adventure that’s filled with maritime culture, can pay a visit to the engaging North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport. Located just off of Moore Street a block or so away from the waterfront, this central museum is one of three state-sponsored maritime museums found along the coast, and is home to a treasure trove of exhibits that trace the lineage of this unique and storied coastal town.
The interior has the appearance of an ancient ship, with criss-crossed wooden beams creating an arched main entry where a world of exhibits can be found. Items on display can change regularly, but patrons can explore a host of treasures, including a 2,000-year-old Native American canoe, the clemency pleas from the famous pirate Stede Bonnet, intricate ship models, and Civil War artifacts. There’s also detailed exhibits on the local lifesaving stations, the commercial fishing industry, and the early roots of Southport, which when combined, presents a clear and vivid picture of the community. A fun stop for history buffs and everyday explorers alike, the North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport is an educational rainy day destination that will fascinate vacationers of all ages and interests.