BOLIVIA, NC (July 13, 2012) – Calling all extras and star-watchers: The historic seaside town of Southport, NC is the place to see and be seen this summer. It’s the filming location
for the upcoming movie, “Safe Haven,” starring Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough. Based on the Nicholas Sparks book, production is underway from June through mid-August. The crew will be re-creating the annual N.C. 4th of July Festival, where the crowd will provide backdrop, and the casting company is looking for extras for scenes around this ultracharming seaport town.
Founded in 1792, this maritime village is a star in its own right with its picturesque style and scenery. Moss-draped live oaks shade street after street lined with perfectly-preserved architecture, from elaborate homes once owned by ship captains and Civil War blockade runners, to typical fishermen’s cottages. The waterfront commands dramatic views of the Cape Fear River, two lighthouses and an island wildlife refuge, not to mention ships sailing up to Wilmington or out to the Atlantic.
If the waterfront locale, historic Victorian homes, or turn-of-the-19th century cemetery look familiar, it may be because they’ve appeared on the big and small screen. Southport’s picturesque scenery has appeared in A-list flicks including “Crimes of the Heart,” “A Walk to Remember,” “I Know What you Did Last Summer,” and 2012’s breakout TV show, “Revenge.”
While Southport looks great on the big screen, it’s even better when enjoyed close-up. One of the best ways to see the sights is by bike or horse-drawn carriage tour, where visitors can explore maritime history, shopping, historic homes and waterfront dining while leaving the car and their cares behind. Take in the small town appeal of Southport on a pedal through the past bike tour with The Adventure Company www.theadventurecompany.net.
For a Southern immersion experience, take a historic carriage tour with The Old South Tour Company, whose owner dresses in period costume and points out the sights in a delightful drawl. www.oldsouthtourcompany.com
Southport is one of the best places for great seafood, and one needn’t dress up for dinner. The Southport Yacht Basin has plenty of waterfront dining such as Fishy-Fishy, location of some scenes from “Revenge.” The fishing depot, American Fish Company (“I Know What You Did Last Summer”), is now a bar called Old American Fish Company, one of the filming locations for “Safe Haven.”
The town’s colorful history can be explored at the new Fort Johnston Garrison House Visitor Center and Museum. Next door at the NC Maritime Museum, exhibits tell of pirate plunder and Civil War Blockade escapades, shipwrecks and the heartbreaking bounty that has washed ashore over the years. (www.ncmaritimemuseum.org/southport)
Southport is part of North Carolina’s Brunswick islands, located in the southernmost corner of North Carolina, stretching from south of Wilmington and the Cape Fear River to the South Carolina border. On the islands and the mainland are more mouthwatering dining, museums and shops, abundant fishing and championship golf, and riveting maritime and military history. Accommodations, many pet-friendly, range from an attractive campground to luxurious golf resorts. Charming motels, B&Bs and inns and plenty of comfortable, affordable vacation rental homes round out the options. To learn more about what to do and where to stay, including special vacation packages, please visit www.NCBrunswick.com.