NC Maritime Museum at Southport, NC

The North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport is one of three maritime museums sponsored by the state that lies along the eastern portion of NC. The Southport branch focuses on the maritime history of the lower Cape Fear River, and contains a detailed and fascinating collection that covers shipwrecks, piracy, the Civil War, commercial fishing, hurricanes, and a number of other natural and manmade events that have left a permanent mark on the North Carolina coast. Voted one of the best attractions in Southport by newcomers and frequent vacationers alike, an afternoon at the museum is a must for any coastal lover who wants to dive right into the fascinating history and culture that this region supplies in abundance.

NC Maritime Museum at Southport, NC

From the outside, the museum, which moved to its new location on the corner of Moore and Davis Streets in 2011, evokes an immediate sense of maritime nostalgia. With an exterior of white wooden planks, simple landscaping, and a wooden navy blue entrance sign, the site resembles a classic coastal cottage or a boat house rather than a museum, but this first impression only adds to the charm.

NC Maritime Museum at Southport, NC

Inside, visitors will almost feel like they're touring the haul of an old ship, with crisscrossing wooden beams overhead that create an arc-like appearance for patrons touring the exhibits. Flags fly overhead, and down below, visitors can meander through countless displays and artifacts that cover all aspects of North Carolina's unique maritime history.

NC Maritime Museum at Southport, NC

Once inside, visitors can admire a fragment of a 2,000 year old Native American canoe, read the desperate pleads for clemency by the notorious pirate Stede Bonnet before he was hanged, and view the relics from the original colonial port of Brunswick.

NC Maritime Museum at Southport, NC

A ship model exhibit presents delicate and painstakingly made models of some of the region's most notable vessels, and a "River Pilots, Rescues and Aids to Navigation" section of the museum allows nautical fans to peruse a variety of instruments, both past and present, including a 48" Coast Guard nun buoy.

NC Maritime Museum at Southport, NC

The museum also features an extensive exhibit which pays homage to the sport and commercial fishing industry which has put the region on the map. Displays in this section include a 9' foot model of a shrimp-boat net, anglers posing with their big catches, and a nearly 8' foot replica of a famous local fisherman, who perches slightly above the museum and watches the daily activities.

NC Maritime Museum at Southport, NC

One of the most impressive collections includes the artifacts of the Civil War's blockade runners. This extensive display of exhibits, protected by panes of glass, features historical items that were once considered valuable items during the Civil War, including everyday staples such as buttons, spoons, sad irons, and even gin. With excavated cannons and cannonballs on full display as well, the exhibit presents a complete portrait of the dangers that faced the blockade runners, and the high cost of inflation that was a clear result of their hazardous and often deadly efforts to bring the comforts of home to the isolated south.

Visitors of all ages will also want to peer through the lens of the museum's own periscope - a first for North Carolina museums - which features incredible views of the lower Cape Fear Region.

In addition to regular and visiting exhibits, the North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport also features a wide array of events year round, including regular educational programs and talks, biking tours of Southport, and special workshops geared towards adults and kids alike. A special summer series even focuses on the museum's youngest visitors, with special day camps dedicated to digging into Coastal Carolina's past in a fun and thoroughly engaging way. A complete list of upcoming events can be found online at the NC Maritime Museum's website at http://www.ncmaritimemuseums.com/southport/.

The museum is open year round, from Tuesday until Saturday, from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., and special groups or educators can request more information or tours by calling the museum directly at (910) 457-0003. The museum is free to the public, although donations are always accepted, and frequent museum fans can become a "Friend of the Museum" to help provide educational programs, camps and field trips to new maritime explorers. Details on how to become a Friend of the Museum can be found online at http://www.friendsncmmsouthport.org/membership_info.html.

Southport's North Carolina Maritime Museum is considered a local treasure among residents and new visitors alike, and a tour through this coastal institution is sure to inspire maritime lovers of all varieties.From the ancient remnants of the early Native American local inhabitants to the recent tools used by modern day commercial fishermen, the NC Maritime Museum paints a complete portrait of generations of Southport's everyday life on theCape Fear River banks.

 


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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