Southport, North Carolina
We wanted a short break and wanted to explore more of the North Carolina coast, so headed to Southport. One of our neighbors has a house in this town and highly recommended it as an easy drive and wonderful town to visit.

Wouldn’t you like to be sitting here, right now?

Robt. Ruark Inn IMG_7479_wm

It is the front porch of the Robert Ruark Inn.

Robt Ruark Inn Collage_wm

If you have followed my blog and my travel posts for a while, you know I am particular about where I stay. While we avoid five star hotels and generally do not want large resorts, we also do not want heavy, dark, over-done Victorian inns. I do not want to see an antimacassar in any room!  An overly effusive proprietor will probably not get my return business either.
Ok, enough with the negatives! There are so many positives in taking a road (or any) trip and that was true for this one.

We ended up at The Robert Ruark Inn. We booked the Captain Adkins Room and couldn’t have been happier there.

Here are a few things that matter to me when traveling, especially to a small Inn or B&B:

  • A tastefully furnished and/or refurbished Inn. This would include appropriate period pieces, lots of light, wood floors recently polished and well maintained, and just not too cluttered…
  • A bathroom that works. Decent shampoo and other amenities: we recently stayed at a small hotel in Florida that should be ashamed of the brand/quality of shampoo & conditioner….not to mention the lack of soap. So yes, good soap is a must: and please, one for the sink and another for the shower.
  • A rug in the bathroom. You can’t believe how rare this is! And the Ruark Inn had a lovely soft rug placed between the claw foot tub and sink console. Many points for that.
  • Afternoon tea is always a welcome amenity. Here they offered not only loose tea, but wine and cheese/crackers in an unusual presentation, and then port and sherry on the sideboard most of the evening.
  • Lots of pillows and various sizes is a plus.
  • Good lighting. While I realize we are all trying to save energy/electricity there is a limit as to just how low the wattage can be for my (older) eyes to read at night.
  • Some fresh air! Due to the coastal hurricane threat it is a state law in North Carolina that windows are sealed shut. I don’t know about other states, but I am becoming more adept at asking about this when I make a reservation. Here, our room had a door to a private porch, so fresh air was no problem.
  • Breakfast. Yes, we like some breakfast, thank you, and this one did not disappoint.

I am happy to say that the Robert Ruark Inn and it’s very congenial hosts, Rick and Linda, were very attentive to all these details. I was a satisfied guest!





My recommendation for dinner:
Mr. P.’s Bistro

Mr. P's Bistro_wm

Yes, it’s modest from the outside and yes, you DO need a reservation. Wonderful food, great service and we will definitely be back.

We left Southport not by car, but by car-on-ferry. It’s the
Fort Fisher/Southport Ferry

A short 35 minute ride leaves you at Fort Fisher where you can walk and explore the Fort or drive on up to Wilmington and points North. We love the
Lake Champlain Ferry; I mentioned it in a post HERE. This was similar if a bit smaller.


We couldn’t have picked a better day.

Ft. Fisher Ferry IMG_0097_wm

Loading docks and well worn ropes…


And finally, enjoying a kir royal at Le Catalan in Wilmington.
You can read much more detail in my previous post about this great waterfront restaurant.

Le Catalan Wilmington IMG_7482_wm

And now, back to reality. I recommend a visit to Southport with its good selection of B & B’s, great assortment of restaurants with really good food, it’s location on the Cape Fear River and the intracoastal waterway, and its typically Southern atmosphere (love those live oak trees with the Spanish moss!)


Today is May 14, three weeks after our visit. We just received a hand-written thank you note from Rick and Linda. Now, just how nice is that? They thanked us for staying at the Inn and hope to see us soon again. That is truly a first!