At the northern end of Topsail Island and off the coast of southeastern North Carolina lies the Town of North Topsail Beach. The name comes from New Topsail Inlet, but local folklore states that Topsail Island (pronounced Tops'l) gets its name because pirate ships hid behind the island with their topsails visible from the sea. Whatever theory you'd like to believe, it's clear that Topsail Island has a rich and varied history and is a fantastic vacation destination.
North Topsail Beach boasts a family-friendly beach style of living. High rise developments are not allowed and beautification and conservation of the island environment are a top priority. While the town is small with only about 4000 year-round residents, 60,000 tourists come to North Topsail Beach each week throughout the summer months.
The number one thing to do at North Topsail Beach? Hit the beach, of course! Topsail Island is an island paradise known for its fishing. You can drive right up on the beach to set up your poles. Or, better yet, just dig your toes in the sand, take in the ocean view, and relax. Maybe take a stroll and the miles of beach in search of rocks and shells. Keep an eye out for birds, fish, jellyfish, and tiny crabs. You may even find some shark teeth! The most important thing is to enjoy the peace and quiet.
If you're sick of the ocean, how about the river? Wilmington is a vibrant riverfront city and less than an hour away. The Riverwalk winds along the Cape Fear River taking you to many of the city's shops, cafes, nightlife, parks, and the Port City Marina. Check the calendar because you may be visiting during one of Wilmington's annual festivals such as Riverfest, Wilmington Beer Week or the world-famous North Carolina Azalea Festival. Follow the coast south for two hours and find yourself in Myrtle Beach. This coastal paradise offers 60 miles of wide, soft sandy beaches, family-friendly attractions and more! Head inland for North Carolina's largest city and most popular destination, Charlotte. The restaurants, craft breweries, nightlife and culture will make you anything but bored. Visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame or raft the rapids where Olympians train at the U.S. National Whitewater Center. You can also spend the afternoon Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden or shop 'til you drop at the outlets at Concord Mills.
With the abundance of ocean-front homes available in the area, a vacation rental is the way to go. The closest hotels are actually in the Wilmington area. Some great options are Homewood Suites by Hilton Wilmington/Mayfaire or Hampton Inn & Suites Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach.
North Topsail Beach is a little over 6 square miles meaning you can easily get around town by foot. To get to Topsail Island itself, there are two bridges. The easiest and most direct route is to take NC-210 W, but you can also get to North Topsail Beach through Surf City by taking NC-50 S and heading northeast on N New River Drive.
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