History buffs of all ages will find that our area is steeped in rich history – from pirate graves to significant civil war sites – there is so much to explore!
The Fort Fisher Civil War Museum
1610 Fort Fisher Blvd. South, Kure Beach, NC 28449 / 910.458.5538
Hours: Apr 1-Sep 30 – Tue-Sat (9am-5pm), Sun (1pm-5pm); Oct 1-Mar 31 – Tue-Sat (9am-5pm)
Cost: No admission fees
Remains of the earthen fort that kept the Cape Fear River and the port of Wilmington open to blockade runners, which delivered vital supplies to the Confederate armies until the fort fell on January 15, 1865. The visitor center offers guided tours and contains exciting, interactive exhibits.
Brunswick Town / Fort Anderson
8884 St. Phillip’s Rd. SE, Winnabow, NC 28479 / 910.371.6613
Hours: Tue-Sat (9am-5pm); Closed Sun-Mon
Cost: Free of Charge; Donations Accepted
Brunswick Town, a colonial site dating from 1726-1776, served as a Cape Fear River port and was razed by British troops in 1776 and never rebuilt. Fort Anderson, built atop the old village site, was a Confederate fortification, which was part of the Cape Fear Defense System until the Civil War engagement of February 1865.
North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport
116 N. Howe Street, Southport, NC 28461 / 910.457.0003
Hours: 9am-5pm (Tuesday-Saturday)
Cost: $2 (ages 16-61), $1 (ages 62 and up), Children are free
The North Carolina Maritime Museum takes visitors on a fascinating walk through the history of the Lower Cape Fear region. You can see a 2000 year old Indian canoe, learn about the region when it was a hiding place for the likes of Blackbeard and other pirates and see an exhibit on noted shipwrecks.
Battleship North Carolina
1 Battleship Road, Wilmington, NC 28402/ 910.251.5797
Hours: Everyday through 5/27/11 (8am-5pm); 5/27/11-9/5/11 (8am-8pm)
Cost: $0-$12 (depending on age and membership)
Step onto the decks of the U.S.S. North Carolina, once known as the greatest naval weapon in the world. Preserved in all her glory, she will captivate your heart by giving you a deeper appreciation of what it took to bring victory and peace to the world.
The Old Brunswick County Jail Museum
318 E. Nash Street, Southport, NC 28461 / 910.457.7927
Tour Hours: 11am-2pm each Wednesday and Saturday (May-October)
The Old Brunswick County Jail Museum offers tours of the two-story brick building built in 1904 and visitors can look back in time at the law enforcement history of the 20th century. The structure is also home to the Southport Historic Society.
Old Baldy Lighthouse and the Smith Island Museum of History
101 Lighthouse Wynd, Bald Head Island, NC 28461 / 910.457.5003
Tour Hours: Tue-Sat (10am-4pm), Sun (11am-4pm)
Cost: $5 (13 and up), $3 (3-12), Free for Ages 2 and under
Built in 1817, Old Baldy is North Carolina’s oldest lighthouse. Visit the Smith Island Museum next door to view historic artifacts from the island and then climb to the top of the lighthouse and take in the view. Bald Head Island is accessible by private passenger ferry (call 910.457.5003 for reservations).
Oak Island Lighthouse
1100 Caswell Beach Road, Caswell Beach, NC 28465
Hours/Cost: Please call for seasonal tour information
The Oak Island Lighthouse was completed in 1958 and the lights can be seen for 24 nautical miles. It is an amazing feat of architectural design and construction.
Walking Tour / Southport Trail
Southport, NC 28461 / 910.457.7927, 800.388.9635
Hours: Seasonal, Mon-Sat (9:30am-4:30pm)
Enjoy architectural beauty and 25 historic landmarks on a beautiful self-guided walking tour of Southport, North Carolina. The tour is a 2-mile route that begins at the Southport Visitor Center on Moore Street.
Old Smithville Burying Ground
Corner of Rhett and Nash Street, Southport, NC 28461
Hours: Sun Up to Sun Down
The Old Smithville Burying Ground dates back to the mid-1700’s is the final resting place to several American historical figures, American Revolution and Civil War soldiers and those lost at sea.