Vacations Beach

About Topsail Beach, North Carolina


Off the coast of Southeastern North Carolina is a place called Topsail Island. The town of Topsail Beach is a small community which is located on the island. Topsail Beach is a historical area which was founded in the 1700’s when it wasn’t uncommon to see pirates roaming the waters. The town was incorporated in 1963 and has since become a popular tourist and residential area.


One of the smallest communities on Topsail Island is the town of Topsail Beach, North Carolina. This town is located on the southern side of the island. Topsail Island is approximately 26 miles long and is also home to Surf City which is the largest town on the island. 

Topsail Beach is known for its mild climate and weather that is pretty much ideal on a year-round basis. The area also offers many of the simple pleasures not found in everyday life and the environment is kept natural with one of the most unspoiled beaches on the eastern coast of North Carolina.

The town of Topsail Beach has approximately 1200 homes but only some of the homes are occupied by year-round residents. Island conversation is priority and they restrict the construction of high rise buildings in the town.
Before World War II you could only access the island by boat. It wasn’t uncommon to see residents in the surrounding area visit the island by boat and have picnics on the beach. While the war was ongoing, the island was taken over by the United States Navy. They involved John Hopkins University in an operation that was called Operation Bumblebee. This operation consisted of building roads, dredging the waterway, and piping a fresh water supply over to the island. It was during that time that an arsenal center was built that would store rockets. Launching pads were also constructed.

In addition to those changes, there were concrete observation towers constructed all over the island which would be the home base to those military personnel who would observe experimental launchings. Between the years of 1946 and 1948 there were more than 200 rocket launchings that took place. After the testing program came to an end, the island was sold to the public. Visitors to Topsail Beach will see that some of the original military buildings remain.

Tourist Information

Topsail Beach, North Carolina offers a few different lodging types for those that visit the area. Beach driving permits are made available only during the off-season from October through March. While Topsail Beach will provide a scenic vacation for its visitors, they also offer some activities and attractions for tourists. Those are limited due to the fact that Topsail Beach is not commercialized and preservation of the beach town is of utmost importance to the local residents and government.

There are several golf courses on Topsail Beach that will provide a great deal of entertainment for golf lovers. Other entertainment options include shopping, swimming, scuba diving, a riverboat cruise, and a couple of really neat museums.

Access to Topsail Beach is easy with its location right off of U.S. Highway 17 which is between Jacksonville and Wilmington, North Carolina. This small beach town has several restaurants and a general store. There are also some unique retail shops. There is one bookstore on the island and a few motels that are locally owned and operated.
Visitors and residents of Topsail Beach can enjoy beautiful sunsets above the sound of the sea. Finding a variety of shells on the beach is not uncommon. Topsail Beach is a great place to visit or live.

Tips and comments

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By Susan Hill, published at 04/04/2012
   Rating: 4/5 (11 votes)
About Topsail Beach, North Carolina. 4 of 5 based on 11 votes.


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