Southport, home of our Hamilton Realty Group of Carolinas Connect coastal office, is centrally located to some of southeastern NC’s best-kept secrets.  In fact, historic Southport is a quaint fishing village and, in our opinion – is one of the area’s BEST hidden gems!  Southport features historic homes, huge live oaks, antique shops, art galleries, activities, parks and restaurants. Southport, NC is also home to the North Carolina 4th of July Festival and the U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament.

Only 30 minutes north is Wilmington, another favorite town. Rich with history and personality, there is a wonderful charm in Wilmington and many fondly refer to it as a little Savannah, GA.  Whether you choose to explore Southport or Wilmington (or both!) – you’ll want to check out these hidden gems. Consider us your insider source – and, who doesn’t love a few a tips from a local?!

The Ghost Walk of Old Wilmington:  Not all history is good history – but, it sure does make a great story! The Ghost Walk of Wilmington has historical interpreters, many dressed in costume, that will lead you to Wilmington’s most haunted places while entertaining you with blood-boiling tales of piracy, murder, suicide and more!  Tours are offered nightly at 6:30 & 8:30pm. Tickets range from $10-$12.00.

Cape Fear Museum: Located in downtown Wilmington, this fun, kid-friendly museum offers you a history lesson about the lower Cape Fear region and preserves history with several special exhibits hosted throughout the year. The “Toys & Games” exhibit is open all summer showcasing historical toys and games as well as recent ones.

The Cotton Exchange: Back in the day, cotton was “King” of North Carolina, and Wilmington was one of the largest and busiest cotton export cities in the area.  Today, The Cotton Exchange houses over 30 unique specialty shops and restaurants. The Cotton Exchange was the first downtown complex in North Carolina to adapt and utilize existing buildings, serving as an excellent example of local preservation efforts. This hidden gem is a shopper’s paradise to purchase local goodies to take home to friends.

Fort Fisher Hermit Bunker: Visit historic Fort Fisher to find a “Hermit’s Bunker.” Robert E. Harrill became known as the Fort Fisher Hermit.  For 17 years, Mr. Harrill lived under the stars, living off the land and the contributions of the thousands of visitors who came to meet “The Hermit.” Although he’s been gone for a number of years, his home — a WWII bunker — is still there along the salt marsh near Fort Fisher.  His story is very interesting, and his “mysterious” death even more so.  Take this opportunity to walk the trail where The Hermit lived all those years and experience the beautiful view he saw each day.

Britt’s Donuts (seasonal): Don’t ask for sprinkles, don’t ask for cream filled…AND, don’t forget to eat AS MANY as you can in the summer because Britt’s is only open during the tourist season!  This donut shop, located on the Carolina Beach boardwalk, has been open since 1939.  The menu is short and oh, so sweet – warm-glazed donuts, fresh coffee and cold milk. Be prepared to wait in line and don’t order just one – because one is never enough!

Provisions Company (seasonal): Provisions is a favorite among Southport locals. You’ll find this “dive” along the Yacht Basin in downtown Southport and many say it serves the best seafood around. Don’t expect frills or thrills here. The menu is written on a chalkboard and the beer is self-serve, just remember to write it on your tab! Try the conch fritters – they’re a local favorite!


The Hamilton Realty Group of Carolinas Connect Realty offers a team of real estate agents that specialize in getting YOU results. We offer staging of your home, professional photography and videos, creative online, direct mail and social media marketing, as well as Mega-Open Houses to get you the maximum exposure to the qualified buyers.

Call 910.218.1300 today and discover how we can help sell your home quickly AND for the best price!  From North Carolina’s Triad region to the southeastern coast, The Hamilton Realty Group of Carolinas Connect Realty is your full-service real estate resource, proudly helping over 2,200 families call North Carolina home.