Photos From Our Walk Through Southport NC


“I love you. I am who I am because of you. You are every reason, every hope, and every dream I’ve ever had, and no matter what happens to us in the future, every day we are together is the greatest day of my life. I will always be yours. ”
– Nicholas Sparks


I can see why Nicholas Sparks writes such heartwarming books. When you’re walking through a town like Southport, you feel this sense of relief. You feel in control of your life, a feeling of positivity appears, while all anxiety disappears. Southport has to be one of the most calming places I’ve ever been to. It’s not your typical beach town; the people of the town are welcoming because they’re genuinely happy. You can see how much pride they have for their town. Shop owners were painting the outside of their stores, city member’s planting trees, and civilians reading newspapers on the piers. The homes are fairytale like with unique character on every porch. Listening to the boats, smelling the fresh salt water, and feeling the wind bounce off the water is what makes this place magical. Why would anyone ever leave?


I went to Southport early Saturday morning.


The town of Southport has so many cute places to eat, shop at, or just to hang out. They have a lot of antique stores if you’re into that, which you know I am.


We found a place to eat, the Ports of Call Bistro & Market. The only problem is that the restrooms were located a block down, so before eating, we headed towards to restrooms. They were over at the Visitor’s Center.


The visitor’s center was right on the water. That’s also where they have little museum displays. There is so much history in Southport, NC. I’m excited that I’ll be spending a lot of time down there because I really want to take the ghost tour!


This tree was in front of the visitors center. Remember the part where Katie is swinging and talking to Jo? That’s the tree. (see picture 1 below)


In the visitor’s center, they have a room dedicated to the movie Safe Haven. They have tons of photos, props, and brochures about the film.


Here are all the snapshots they took around the town during the filming.


These are the doors from Ryan’s Market! You know, the one that kept getting stuck.


Here is the famous bike she road.

IMG_5280They even had all the letters and the recipe for the cherry pie she made!IMG_5282

This letter made me cry during the movie.

IMG_5285 IMG_5286

The cute little picture Lexi colored for Katie.


The market is right next to the Visitor’s center.


Katie goes in there during the film while talking with Jo. After checking out the display and a couple of other little shops, we decided to get some lunch.


I hadn’t had my coffee yet because I woke up at seven and had an hour to get ready. I don’t like gas station coffee or using gas station bathrooms, and so I decided to wait until lunch.


The coffee at the bistro was great, and it was much needed! They had skim milk for the cream. I loved the tables at the bistro; it gave so much character to my photos 😉


It’s hard to stick to a good and healthy diet when you’re out of town, but it just takes a lot of willpower.


I ordered the lunch menu, soup, and salad. My salad was spring mix with onion, cucumber, radishes, and parmesan with balsamic dressing. My soup was chicken and rice with ginger. Everything was fresh and hearty.


For dessert, I had a shot of espresso. I’ve been replacing my sugar with either tea or coffee. They had the best espresso I’ve ever had!



I successfully left that restaurant without eating a brownie!

After lunch, we headed out for more exploring. We wanted to stop at The Christmas House. They have the cutest decorations for every holiday and tons of home decor. They have an endless amount of things!


They also have candy…


As you’re walking up to the door, you walk past their cute front porch. It reminds me of something you’d see in a movie. I’d love to live in that house!


Now I know where Mr. Cluas and Mrs. Claus go during their offseason.


They had almost every flavor of salt water taffy you could think of!



I bought some earrings for myself 🙂


We left the store and went out to do more exploring. This cute little park leads straight to the water, and you could see the sea through the trees. I just want to live there 🙁


This would be my reading spot if I lived there. This is where you’ll find me on the weekends.



We walked on several piers. Everything there is so quaint and peaceful.


There were a lot of walkways to the water. This one took you to a little picnic table.


This was the place Katie worked in the movie!


They were closed otherwise we would have eaten there.


Right before Katie went in looking for a job, she was sitting in this spot.


I love taking photos of all the shops and seafood restaurants. Maybe this summer I’ll be able to try them all!


These restaurants are all by the boats.


Most of the homes own their own boats and dock right across the street.


This house was Ryan’s in the film Safe Haven. It was right across the street from the water.


I just loved this one!



A little fisherman by the dock <3


The doc right across the street from “Ryan’s” house.


The town was so quiet. You could hear only the seagulls, horns from the boats in the distant, and the water crashing into the dock.


If I owned one of these boats, I’d just sleep outside sunbathing all day.


A private walkway to the water.


Even the marsh was beautiful. Glad I didn’t see any alligators.


The salt marsh boardwalk and waterway overlook were so long! It was such a pretty walk to the water.


You could see the boats, the restaurants, the lovely houses, and the water from the walkway.


At the end of the walk, there was a giant gazebo.


The walk back leads to the cute little houses.


Imagine having the house right in front of the walkway? So gorgeous.


We decided to walk the neighborhoods after the pier walk.






It was hard to put the camera down with all of these homes.



Would you ever paint your house pink? I think it’s cute, but I don’t think I’d ever been able to do it.


Now that white house is my dream home! Look at the wrap around porch and the quaint windows!


This was the last house on our neighborhood walk. It was time to meet up with the guys for dinner.


We wanted to go to Fishy Fishy but they were closed. This must be the time of year they close for maintenance. They had men painting and fixing boards outside.


There are boats all around the restaurants, which means…fresh seafood!


In the summer they pour the shrimp in a tube from the sea to the restaurant. I can’t wait to see that.


We decided to have dinner on the water at Cape Fear Restaurant & Lounge.


The restaurant had a beautiful view.



or the buffalo shrimp…


There weren’t too many healthy things on the menu, so I had a house salad with fresh shrimp. I figured I’d get another bag of nuts and eat when I get home. I had tons of broccoli and grilled chicken left over.


We ordered fresh stuffed flounder, potato salad, and sautéed vegetables. I ate most of the vegetables, and they were soooooooooo good. It was also the first time trying flounder, and I loved it! Sorry, Ariel.


I’m obsessed with doors, especially fun ones.


I love the seaside character all the stores incorporate.


We decided to get coffee for the car ride home at the Moore Street Market.


“One day, a girl brought a boy here and the summer of a lifetime began…” Adorable.


We all signed the wall of fame while we waited for our drinks:)




The inside of the market was so warm.


It had several rooms to sit.


The girl working was seriously the nicest barista I’ve ever met! She filled us in on where to go and what to see in the town. I didn’t meet one unfriendly person in Southport!


I ordered a 12 oz almond milk latte with four shots of espresso.


We walked back with our coffees to the car. I didn’t want to leave. If I could choose anywhere to live right now over any place in the world…it would be right here in Southport. Maybe I’ll just move down there to blog and paint.






  • Corey Snapp

    We feel in love with Southport so much we moved here!

    Reply to Corey Snapp
  • Josette Ulstad

    Do another post like this!

    Reply to Josette Ulstad
  • val

    amazing photos

    Reply to val
  • Brigitte Kaye

    Loved reading this along with the beautiful pictures. We are moving to Southport next week…..oddly enough…..we bought the house next door to your “pink” house. Reading your blog will make todays packing chores easier.

    Reply to Brigitte Kaye
  • pipa

    I loved this post.

    Reply to pipa
  • Rio

    This is one of my favourite posts of yours, ever! I get such a warm fuzzy feeling every time I watch Safe Haven. I’d love to just pack up my stuff and move here. You’ve explained my feelings about it perfectly in this post! I hope you had a wonderful time!
    PS. That letter made me cry too! 😉

    Reply to Rio
  • fta


    Reply to fta
  • Amy Lynn

    Oh I am so happy to see when people discover our hidden treasures! Southport is 25 minutes, or a short ferry ride away from me here in Wilmington NC. Next time you visit – hop on the ferry in Southport and you’ll end up in Fort Fisher, NC. There’s a trail of an old blockade that stretches across the water that leads to a little private island that is open to the public. Great spot for a picnic and photos! It’s called Zeke’s Island (trust me, look it up! Amazing). Close by is the Battlefield at Fort Fisher with amazing history and the most gorgeous unique trees you’ll ever see along the coast.

    Reply to Amy Lynn
  • miss Abbey


    This post was beautiful. Your photos, your story, and your attitude towards an unknown town were so warming. The people of the town must be thrilled to have a well known blogger, like you, to do a cover story for them. I can’t wait to visit there one day.


    Reply to miss Abbey
  • Kirsten

    i came across your blog from Pinterest and saw this post about Southport- I live here! What a small world! Everyone who visits loves it! 🙂 and it was really cool to see your perspective and pictures of where I live!

    Reply to Kirsten
  • Alissa

    Gorgeous, Taralynn, I love your travel posts! I’ll have to add this to the list of places to visit…we love Charleston, but would like to try somewhere new.

    Reply to Alissa
  • Meghan Smith

    My family goes there every year! I love that town and I’m planning to move there some day. Oak Island the beach across the bridge is fantastic too.

    Reply to Meghan Smith
  • Sara

    We vacation in Southport/Oak Island every summer! It’s wonderful, and I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Next time you’re there, visit Baked With Love. It’s a wonderful restaurant that has fresh soups, sandwiches, salads, etc. Healthy and homemade meals! Also, you should visit Four Legs Good… They have organic, fresh made treats for animals! I think you would love it! I always stop to get my two dogs treats, and they love them!

    Reply to Sara
  • Cindy Baker

    I think I just found my new place for vacation. Beautiful. I am trying to decide on a family vacation and am back and forth on a few places. You have been to all three – Charlotte, Charleston and Southport which would you recommend. They all look very nice. Reading up on all three makes it hard to decide. Love quaint shops, restaurants, etc. Any info would help. Love your blog/food ideas. I am a mom with kids, and grandkids. Love to see someone turn negative into a postitive. I’m sure your parents are very proud of you.

    Reply to Cindy Baker
  • Erin Morton

    You’ll have to do a long, detailed blog about the ghost tour since i won’t be able to go on it myself 🙂 haha I lovvvveee paranormal stuff, it fascinates me!!

    Reply to Erin Morton
  • Stephanie

    You were in my neck of the woods! I live in Wilmington, about 20-30 minutes away from Southport. Love it here!!!

    Reply to Stephanie
    • Kristin C

      Wilmington is awesome. When I was younger my mom had her doctors appointments in Wilmington so we’d drive there from Ocean Isle and spend the day.Then, last winter, when my wedding was approaching, we made several trips to the Wilmington Hobby Lobby to get some of the decorations. Sweet memories.

      Reply to Kristin C
    • Taralynn McNitt

      We almost stopped there! next time 🙂

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Erica

    So very jealous! After seeing that movie that has been all I wanted to do is visit there and live there! It looks awesome. Those little houses and the little beach town. Thanks for sharing the pictures! Looked even better than the movie. 🙂

    Reply to Erica
  • Ashley

    That place looks like a dream! I LOVE that movie and actually didn’t know it was a real place, oops. If you like cute towns like that, you’d love New England! TONS of small town charm. My favorite places to visit during the summer are Portsmouth, NH / Rockport, MA / and Ogunquit, ME. Also, good job on the self control with the junk food! I’ve recently started carb cycling and counting my macros to prepare for a my wedding, and it is HARD. Especially when there’s temptation around 24/7….my coworkers literally shove donuts in my face all the time and I refuse!

    Reply to Ashley
  • Winding Spiral Case

    These are all such beautiful photos of a very lovely town! I really got a sense of its charm through your images 🙂 Sounds like you had an amazing day and appreciated every minute of it. Also “fresh salt water” is an amusing oxymoron — but maybe the marsh is an estuary 🙂

    Reply to Winding Spiral Case
  • Jenel

    You should be a professional photographer

    Reply to Jenel
  • Stacy @ Sweating Tulipz

    I am so jealous of this place! It is beautiful and quaint…I wouldn’t want to leave! You did an excellent job capturing the beauty of this town…and now I want to go watch Safe Haven!

    Reply to Stacy @ Sweating Tulipz
  • Kim

    Take me there now!

    Reply to Kim
  • ela

    That is such a cute town and the food looked delicious. I wish I had the willpower to only order a salad with shrimp. I would have ordered the fried shrimp **sigh**

    Reply to ela
  • Lacey @ Runs and Roses

    Your pics are beautiful! That movie is so cute, I love how they have all the props and stuff still there!

    Reply to Lacey @ Runs and Roses
  • Linda @ The Fitty

    What I love about your blog is your character behind the words, and the fact that you strive to live healthy AND you blog about travel! As someone who longs to travel, I sort of live through them by reading your blog and looking at your pictures. 🙂 Please tell more stories of your travels!

    And horray for no brownies! Willpower rocks. 🙂

    Reply to Linda @ The Fitty
  • Kristin C

    Ahhh, seriously. I see these pictures and I am DYING to visit home. I love the mountains, but I was raised 45 minutes from Southport, at Ocean Isle Beach, NC and I miss the beautiful water, skies, and sand. I do have to admit though, that Southport is more charming than OIB. OIB’s actual beaches are gorgeous but Southport the town wins the prize!

    Reply to Kristin C
  • Charllotte

    I don’t read too many of your blog post. But for some reason this one happened to catch my eye.. maybe because I rather enjoyed Safe Haven.. But when I finished reading this post I felt like you were telling a story.. Just saying. This post was amazing and was delightful to read.. Pleasse Keep it up and I will probably be back to read more

    Reply to Charllotte
    • Kristin C

      That’s what attracted me to her blog the first time I stopped by too 🙂
      I’ve been reading for two years now 🙂

      Reply to Kristin C
  • steph

    So jealous of the ocean & blue skies! The grey winter in Michigan just doesn’t do it for me :(. I would love to live somewhere like this!

    Reply to steph
    • Kristin C

      You are a much tougher woman than I am! I couldn’t handle NY for a week when I went to my friend’s wedding in December. No way could I handle Michigan all winter!
      I hope things start warming up and brightening for your area soon!

      Reply to Kristin C

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