Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Charming Southport

Posted August 14, 2012

The cat sleeps in the piano here. The ghost sleeps in the basement but likes to bump around on the third floor at night. Welcome to the Brunswick Inn, a charming bed & breakfast down by the water in Southport.

I saw the cat blazing by me like a bullet from the kitchen into the piano where it hit what sounded like a middle C. I never saw or heard the ghost but the wind was blowing hard one night and the rain was coming down in torrents the second night. Plus, I always pack a white noise machine to help me sleep. The ghost has reportedly been haunting the inn for 130 years. It is said to be the spirit of harpist Tony Casseleta who drowned in a freak boating accident nearby in 1882.

Over the years inn patrons and owners have called Tony a gentle ghost who still plays his harp and enjoys the mostly peaceful setting. But when there is a lot of commotion and noise at the inn pictures have mysteriously crashed to the floor and suitcases have been rummaged through allegedly by the ghost. Jim and Judy Clary, the current owners of the inn, are convinced Tony is real. They only play soft and soothing classical music because that’s what Casseleta used to play on his harp at the Brunswick Inn in 1882 before his tragic death.

Southport Photos: Charming Southport

I loved the inn and my stay in Southport, The blueberry pancakes here were out of this world.  I tried three restaurants while in town – Fishy Fishy, Mr. P’s Bistro and The Pharmacy. I would highly recommend the fish tacos at Fishy Fishy and the crab cakes at The Pharmacy. Fishy Fishy has become a favorite of cast members of the movie Safe Haven being filmed here. We spotted David Lyons having lunch here on Saturday. At least three movies have been shot in the Southport area in recent months. It is easy to understand why. The captivating canopy of live oaks and the beautiful historic homes lining the streets near the waterfront are a feast for the eyes.

I love the gentle pace of Southport and the genteel spirit. I hope you enjoy the slide show and get a taste of this charming town.  I had a great time snapping these pictures.  The tune is a song I wrote called Open Door which seems to fit the personality of Southport.


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  • shortcake53 Aug 18, 2012

    Our favortie place on earth is Southport. Would move there in a heartbeat if we could. We spent four days there recently and loved every minute of it.

  • 2gurlz2boyzMom Aug 17, 2012

    Southport is very relaxing. Other than when it's July. As my sister called them, "terrorists" came to town - meaning the tourists. I used to love visiting her when she lived in Southport. Love the ferry, took my kids on that in 2010, they loved it!!! I would retire in Southport.

  • Question Aug 16, 2012

    Love Mr. P's Bistro, especially this time of year when grouper is on the menu! We're going to retire to Oak Island one day and spend our time kayaking. The Southport-Ft Fisher ferry is one of the best ways you can spend $5, get a boat ride for the family and transportation to the aquarium to boot!

  • oldrebel Aug 16, 2012

    If I were going to live (or retire to the beach area) Southport would be One of three choices for me , the other's being Beaufort and Ocracoke.

  • bartamm1 Aug 15, 2012

    Love, love love Southport and OKI. Love Fishy Fishy, Provisions and Taylor Cuisine and Catering.

  • joeBob Aug 15, 2012

    Many great memories of Southport, Bald Head Island and the beaches of Oak Island. It really was different 20 years ago and I definitely miss breakfasts at the Sea Captain. We sold our place at Caswell Beach and vacation at Sunset now but we always go back and visit Southport and get a hot dog at the Trolley Stop.

  • sjohnson9 Aug 15, 2012

    Thank you so much for sharing your vacation stories. I enjoy reading your blog and especially enjoy your music and photos.

  • Mrs. Beasley Aug 15, 2012

    I can't believe nobody has mentioned the Yacht Basin Provision Company. Definitly a fun experience and great view with really good food!

  • Glass Half Full Aug 15, 2012

    I remember and miss the Sandfiddler and I also miss the awesome little motel we used to stay at on Oak Island right across from the Yaupon Beach pier. The condo they replaced it with is awful!

  • Questioning Aug 15, 2012

    Beautiful music and photography. It looks like its time to plan a day trip to the Ft. Fisher and Southport.




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Bill Leslie