About Topsail Island

Topsail Island enjoys a mild climate that makes for ideal year-round weather accommodating most outdoor activities. While visiting the Topsail area, you will enjoy some of the most beautiful, uncrowded beaches the east coast offers. Fishing is abundant and each of the three communities has its own fishing pier with sales and supplies. Fishing enthusiasts of all ages enjoy catching Spanish mackerel, tarpon, spots, mullet, king and more. With so much to do, and things to experience, we have offered some assistance here on our website for helping you to find your way around. Restaurants, hotspots, and just plain fun things to do can be found on these pages. For more details, CLICK HERE.


Activities available on Topsail Island include: the Historical Society and Missiles and More Museum; the Belle of Topsail, a replica of an 1880's turn of the century riverboat that cruises the scenic waters of the North Carolina, Intracoastal waterway and sounds, and charter services that offer island hopping, crabbing, clamming, tubing, shelling, fishing, and scenic cruises. With a diverse selection of shopping and dining choices, guests rarely find a need to leave the island once they've arrived. Probably the most unique site to visit is The Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center. For more than ten years volunteers at the Center have helped injured sea turtles. In addition, residents of Topsail are organized to help in protecting the nests of endangered sea turtles. Guests always enjoy seeing the turtles and taking a tour of the facility.

If our visitors need more activity, there are several excellent golf courses just off the island within a few minutes drive and historic Wilmington just 30 minutes away with shopping and a downtown riverfront community.


Accommodations are varied and plentiful, from small cottages to large homes perfect for that family vacation. Nothing is far from the water - with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Intracoastal Waterway on the other, sunrises and sunsets are memorable.

Hidden Treasure

The prize pirates dreamed of Hidden Treasure Does it still exist? Pirates like those who were prevalent in the 1700's along a deserted coast of North Carolina. They hid their ships behind a narrow island to ambush passing merchant ships headed towards larger ports. As the merchants became more cautious, watching for the tops of the pirates' sails above the trees, the name evolved - Topsail Island. Visitors will quickly learn the unusual pronunciation of this island and be welcomed as family of this special place. Known to all who have made special memories here as "top' sul".

While the pirates may be gone, the treasure still exists, remaining hidden from those that would seek to over commercialize or rob Topsail of its' peaceful charm. This inviting 26 mile-long barrier island that is accessible by an old fashioned swing bring (or a modern high rise bridge) is home to year round residents, as well as seasonal visitors who have made themselves family by returning annually for decades.

Approximately 45 minutes from Wilmington, North Carolina, the island has three distinct towns - North Topsail Beach is followed by Surf City in the center, and then finally Topsail Beach at the southern tip. The island is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway and is only 500 to 1,500 feet wide. Highway 210 on the western side connects with Highway 17 to Jacksonville or Wilmington, Highway 210 on the southern side intersects with Highway 50 (Surf City) and then westward to Highway 17 at Holly Ridge.