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Topsail Beach

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Topsail Beach

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Topsail Island is a 26 long mile barrier island off the south-eastern coast of North Carolina, U.S. Within Topsail Island are three smaller communities: Surf City, North Topsail Beach and Topsail Beach. Topsail Island is known for it's luscious maritime forests, sanctuary and wild-life centers for sea-turtles and beautiful beaches. The island lies on the North side of [Onslow County] and the South side of [Pender County]].



The history of the name “Topsail Island” has said to come from the idea that pirates used to hide behind the island waiting for merchant ships loaded with goods to pass, only with their topsails visible from the sea. The pirates would attack the ship and claim the ship's cargo as their own. There is also a legend that Blackbeard hid his acclaimed treasure on Topsail Island. Although an interesting story, it was never proven and the name is known to have come from “New Topsail Inlet” a chart that predicts the tide for North Carolina residents.

Get in[edit]

Most people drive into Topsail Island with two main bridges: a high rise bridge on the North End and a swing bridge that enters Surf City. Prior to the beginning of World War 2 Topsail Island was only accessible by boat.

By Plane[edit]

Three airports that are close to, but not located in Topsail Island are:

  • Holly Ridge Airport (for small aircraft), (910) 329-4751.
  • Albert J. Ellis Airport, Jacksonville (910) 324-3001
  • Wilmington International Airport, Wilmington (910) 341-4125.

Get around[edit]

You’ll need a car or a bicycle to get around the island, there is a well maintained bicycle path that runs from Surf City to the southern-most point of the island. Biking is extremely popular in and around Topsail Island.

See[edit][add listing]

Topsail Island Museums Missiles and More, Surf City Beach, Seacost Art Gallery, The Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center.

Do[edit][add listing]

Enjoy the beautiful scenery, the white sandy beaches and the clean crisp waves. Topsail Island is known as “Fisherman’s Paradise” because of the ocean’s rocky bottom. You can go on boat tours, kayak, go on nature and wildlife tours, parasail, paddleboard, windsurf, kite and surf on the island.


Sea turtle populations are rapidly decreasing due to the increase of human life on the island and degradation of sea turtle habitat. Efforts have been made to increase the living habitats for sea turtles. By focusing on the main stage of life, the egg site, turtle life has been beginning to prosper. These sites can be found all along beaches up into the sand dunes. The four main species of turtles on the beaches of Topsail Island are leatherback, loggerhead, green and Ridleys Sea Turtle. A species specific to the efforts made by these funds is the Loggerhead Sea Turtle. This turtle was the basis for the Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in Topsail Island, North Carolina.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Topsail Island Trading Company- A locally owned and operated store that sells clothing, jewelry and beach souvenirs. The Daily Dip is an extremely popular ice cream shop in Surf City, Wings is a chain store of clothing and all beachwear.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Some of the local restaurants and cafe’s in Topsail Island are The Daily Grind, Sugar Island Bakery and Surf City Barbeque to name a few. These few restaurants have all received certificates of excellence.

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Hunga Bunga Java, M&M Plaza, Surf City, NC, 910-328-JAVA, [1]. This independently owned coffee hut features Fair Trade coffee, amazingly friendly staff, and great frozen coffee and fruit drinks. They are happy to make custom drinks to order or give suggestions if you're having trouble deciding. Make sure to write a few words in their community journal/log book kept on a table by the door. $.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

The most popular option for sleeping in Topsail Island is definitely the option rent a beach house, there are other options though for people only looking to stay for a short period of time: Tiffany’s Motel, Holiday inn, Island Inn. People in this area are normally vacationing for a long period of time so it makes more sense to vacant in a rental home for a cheaper amount of money.


The most danger you will find on Topsail Island is in the ocean. Rip currents can be particularly dangerous to inexperienced swimmers and children. Rip currents are powerful, narrow channels of fast moving water that move at up to eight feet per second. There is an extremely low crime rate on the entire Island, people feel comfortable letting their children play alone on the beaches.

Get out[edit]

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