We stayed in Carolina Beach and took the ferry to Southport. We decided to leave our car on the Fort Fisher side because it looked as though the ferry docked in town as ferries do in other places we have visited. That is not the case here. The 2 mile walk was not difficult but due to the extra time to walk in and back we had less time to explore Southport. For travelers going the other way, there is a short trail near the ferry terminal which leads to the aquarium. Fort Fisher and the Fort Fisher recreation area are also walkable from the dock. We visited in December and the ferry was nearly filled to capacity with cars. During the summer, I can imagine there are times when no more cars are allowed on. Leaving your car behind and "hoofing it" on either side is an option.