Southport : North carolina


What It Is Like to Retire in Southport

The Southport, North Carolina area is a coastal gem that has become the retirement community for many 55+ active adults. Located on the Atlantic coast near the North Carolina’s southern end, this area is comprised of several towns - Caswell Beach, Oak Island, the Village of Bald Head Island, Boiling Springs Lakes, and the Town of St. James.  Southport is located in Brunswick County. Nearest large towns are Wilmington (NC – 25 miles) and Myrtle Beach.

Southport, NC is the laid-back hub of Brunswick County—one of coastal North Carolina’s fastest growing regions. The town was an active seaport in colonial times and remains one of the few active fishing villages in North Carolina. The population was just over 3000 in 2007, up over 20% from 2000. Its picturesque location and Victorian homes have been used for the television shows "Dawson's Creek" and "Spies", and the movies "I Know What You Did Last Summer," "Summer Catch," and "A Walk to Remember". The area features over 28 miles of sandy beaches and a number of lighthouses.  The downtown area features old brick storefronts and antique shops. Shrimp boats bring their catch to Southport’s waterfront, where you can taste fresh seafood from one of the many dockside eateries.

Where to Retire in Southport and Home Prices

The area is developing rapidly with many upscale communities aimed at retiring baby boomers and people looking for vacation homes. Most of these new planned communities are heavily oriented towards golf. There are over 30 golf courses in Brunswick County with more being built each year. Four courses in the St. James Plantation and Winding River Plantation communities are certified as Audubon Cooperative Sanctuaries. In the fanciest developments prices can range from million dollar houses to 2BR golf villas  in the $200’s. reports the Median Home Value to be $253,009 in early 2021.


What Is Special about Southport

Charming waterfront town in the Low Country. The North Carolina 4th of July Festival. The U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament. Many luxurious golf course communities. Southport'sWaterfront Park. Milder winters.  Beautiful public beaches nearby.


What Is Not Special about Southport

Traffic can get very bad in season. Developmental pressures are strong.


Who Will Like Retirement in Southport

Southport attracts a community of people who either want to live in a charming old river town or expensive new golfing communities. The average age is quite high at 56.


Local Economy Is Driven by

Tourism, construction, and real estate are important to the economy.

Climate and Physical Environment

Southport is located at the mouth of the Cape Fear River, the Intracoastal and the Atlantic Ocean. Oak Island, Holden Beach, and Bald Head Island are three barrier islands near Southport that offer a tranquil dose of nature. Boiling Spring Lakes, one of the fastest growing cities here, takes its name from the over 50 bubbling spring lakes. Summers are hot and humid, but more pleasant than inland.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

It seems like there is always something happening in the area. There are fishing tournaments, parades, outdoor festivals such as the Christmas by the Sea Festival, community concerts. Home tours, entertainment, parade, concerts, flotilla, and more.


The crime rate is slightly above average.

Medical Facilities

J. Arthur Dosher Memorial Hospital Cardiopulmonary, diagnostic imaging, emergency care and many more services. Brunswick Community Hospital (21 miles) 60 beds and growing. New Hanover Regional Medical Center (30 miles) This hospital limits its services to specialties such as orthopedics, rehabilitation medicine, etc. The Coastal Rehabilitation Hospital - Cardiac/pulmonary rehab facility



Wilmington International Airport (25 Miles); Myrtle Beach International (68 miles).


Valuable Links

Southport/Oak Island Chamber of Commerce


What people are saying about Southport

There is a nuclear reactir in Southport, NC.
Posted by Jasminenirvana on July 09, 2014
Re: What is Southport, NC Like
[quote:62b89563b3="gordo550"]My wife and I are thinking of retiring to the Southport area in NC ( most specifically St James Plantation). We are from CT and in early 60s and late 50s. What can people tell us about the area. We like golf, swimming, beach, biking and most activities.[/quote:62b89563b3] There's a huge discussion on (coastal NC) about St. James Plantation that you might find interesting.
Posted by GMarcan920 on June 02, 2014
What is Southport, NC Like
My wife and I are thinking of retiring to the Southport area in NC ( most specifically St James Plantation). We are from CT and in early 60s and late 50s. What can people tell us about the area. We like golf, swimming, beach, biking and most activities.
Posted by gordo550 on March 16, 2011

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