The Historic Riverwalk in Downtown Southport will quickly introduce newcomers to the waterfront scene in this coastal community, and will surely instill a newfound appreciation and overall enthrallment with this scenic laid-back region.

The Historic Riverwalk in Southport, NC

A short, handicapped accessible walkway that's appropriate for walkers of all abilities, this easy stretch of boardwalk runs parallel to the Southport waterfront, skirting past the banks of the Cape Fear River, and can easily be enjoyed as a romantic, informative, or family-friendly activity during virtually any Southport outing or exploration.

The Historic Riverwalk in Southport, NC

The Southport Riverwalk begins and ends at the popular Southport City Pier, a free-to-the-public attraction that comprises of a squat, short, and handicapped accessible pier which extends into the waters of the Cape Fear River. The pier itself is reason enough to visit the entrance to the Riverwalk, located at the very end of Southport's "main drag" of Howe Street, however tenacious visitors who want to extend the exploration further will love all the views and local wildlife sightings that the Southport Riverwalk has to offer.

The Historic Riverwalk in Southport, NC

The start of the Riverwalk begins at the pier and the adjacent Southport Waterfront Park, and veers west, along quiet Bay Street, where it circles the small bay of the local Southport yacht basin before veering back to a smaller boardwalk that follows a modest local peninsula. Wooden signs are found throughout the well-maintained concrete and wooden trail, which point out both native species as well as historical points of interest. The entire route is about a .7 mile excursion, and yet the terrain covers three distinct coastal ecosystems, (specifically salt marshes, maritime forests, and beaches), which is one of the many reasons why this short trail has landed on the list of state-wide North Carolina Birding Trails.

A view from the Historic Riverwalk in Southport, NC

In fact, the route is quintessential strolling for local bird watchers, as a wide variety of visiting and native species can be spotted from various areas along the trail. At the waterfront city pier, bird watchers can spot Royal terns, least, and sandwich during breeding seasons, as well as plenty of Bonaparte's gulls in the winter months. The trail's end, which straddles the line between maritime forest and marshlands, is a great spot to relax and look for clapper rails, seaside sparrows, and painted buntings, which make regular appearances along the Intracoastal Waterway, as well as rare American white pelicans in the winter months, and swallow-tailed or Mississippi kite in the spring months of April, May and early June.

A view of the Cape Fear River from the Historic Riverwalk in Southport, NC

Of course, you don't have to be a bird aficionado to enjoy this leisurely walk, and just strolling the trail has its own rewards in the form of world class views of the Cape Fear River. A number of benches are stationed along the way, to enjoy a lingering look of the waterfront scene, and visitors with a good eye can spot the famous "Old Baldy" lighthouse as well as the Oak Island Lighthouse in the distance from a number of trail-wide vantage points. The end of the trail is a reward all its own, as it's a great place to park the bikes in the adjacent bike rack, or leave the flip flops behind, and stroll out to a waterfront gazebo that overlooks the adjacent Southport Marina. A favorite romantic destination around sunrise or sunset, the view alone is worth the short excursion to reach the trail's distinctive end.

A view of the Cape Fear River from the Historic Riverwalk in Southport, NC

The Riverwalk is open to all Southport patrons, and plenty of parking is available at the adjacent Southport Waterfront Park, which borders both the City Pier's and the Riverwalk's entrance.

A view of the Cape Fear River from the Historic Riverwalk in Southport, NC

As an undeniably beautiful introduction to this gorgeous area, the Southport Riverwalk is basically a fantastic trek for any coastal newcomer to uncover the sights and sounds of this region which have propelled Southport onto the list of best coastal communities along the Carolina coastline. Overlooking a handful of marinas, gorgeous riverfront landscapes, and an abundance of native wildlife, the Southport Riverwalk is a gorgeous little excursion that is all but required for any Cape Fear area visitor.

 


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Victory Beach Vacations

Victory Beach Vacations

Visitors who are on the hunt for the postcard-perfect vacation rental in the heart of the Carolina Beach or Kure Beach area will find an enticing selection and plenty of friendly customer service when they rent through Victory Beach Vacations. Based in Carolina Beach in the coastal Cape Fear region, Victory Beach Vacations has more than 100 vacation rentals in all shapes and sizes to ensure that every vacationing family can find their dream home away from home on the beach.   When you book your Cape Fear getaway with Victory Beach Vacations, the fun doesn’t end when you leave the beach, it continues with an array of privately-owned properties outfitted with all of the amenities needed for a fabulous beach vacation.   Jenna Lanier, General Manager, explains that her family first opened the rental and property management business in 2002. At the forefront of Victory Beach operations is Lanier’s mother, Caroline Meeks. Meeks is both the Broker in Charge and co-owner with husband, Buck Meeks, who manages the Field Services team with Lanier’s husband, Scott.   For nearly 20 years, the Victory Beach team has worked tirelessly to establish a network of top-of-the-line rental properties for Cape Fear visitors to enjoy. “As far as our properties go,” explains Lanier, “they are all updated, well-furnished and appointed. “We have always performed post-cleaning inspections and since the pandemic, have put freshly laundered duvets over all of the comforters between rentals.”   Lanier emphasizes how important the guests experience is “we strive to give our guests a relaxing, stress free, memorable vacation.” This emphasis on customer service has led to Victory Beach Vacations having a 4.8 Google rating with over 300 reviews by happy owners and guests.In addition to Victory Beach’s superior sanitation practices, the company offers properties for every type of visitor. Choose from luxury oceanfront houses and condos to more reasonbly priced 2nd row properties with oceanviews. Many properties include pools and hot tubs as well, perfect for outdoor entertaining, and many are dog friendly.   Lanier also notes that all properties are within walking or driving distance to Pleasure Island’s main attractions – Carolina Beach and Kure Beach. The former, as described by Lanier, is the more commercialized of the two destinations and features a boardwalk, outdoor dining options and a plethora of weekly activities including fireworks, live music, amusement park pop-ups, and movies under the stars. Kure Beach offers a more residential feel with its fishing pier, intimate restaurants and family favorite, North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher.More water fun awaits, too. “There is a harbor and a canal that feed into the intercoastal. We have several properties on the harbor so guests can bring their boat, kayak, [or jet ski] and travel between islands,” says Lanier.   A stay with Victory Beach Vacations is an annual pilgrimage for most. “A large percentage of guests are previous guests. Some even reserve the same property for the next year as they’re checking out,” Lanier says. “It’s almost like it’s their personal vacation home.”   Even before guests arrive at their vacation destination, the Victory Beach Vacations’ website greets them with a live beach cam and exquisite aerial footage of both Carolina and Kure Beaches. See for yourself by scanning the QR code and call Victory Beach Vacations at 910.458.0868 to book your Cape Fear getaway. Start making your memories today! —Grace Silipigni

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