Arriving at the east side of the Cape Fear River, we drove into Southport, a quaint, old sea village, which used to be home to the pilots who would guide ships up the Cape Fear River to Wilmington. Lots of B&Bs, so it is that type of sea village.
It used to be named Smithville, but there was another Smithville in North Carolina so its name was changed to Southport.
We drove around a little, then stopped at the visitors center in the only building still left of what was Fort Johnston, an early defensive work for the Cape Fear River and Wilmington. It is small, but has a lot of pertinent stuff and very friendly and informative volunteers manning the desk.
there is also a branch of the North Carolina Maritime Museums located next to it.
Drove around the town for awhile before driving out to nearby Fort Caswell.