Topsail Island, a 26 mile long barrier island located on the coast of North Carolina, has provided families for years the best kept secret family vacation.
Topsail is rich in history beginning in the days when Native Americans would visit it’s shores from the mainland by crossing the sound in dug out canoes to stories of Pirates with buried treasures to US military rocket testing. Today Topsail serves as a beautiful laid back family vacation spot with something to offer all beach lovers.
Topsail Island is divided into three distinct towns each with their own unique personalities. At the north end of the island is properly named North Topsail Beach, centrally located is Surf City and the south end is known as Topsail Beach.
The mainland area is comprised of the old WWII military town of Holly Ridge and the quaint commercial fishing village of Sneads Ferry.
North Topsail Beach
North Topsail Beach is the youngest of the three towns on the island being incorporated in 1992. The town is directly accessed via NC Hwy 210, 172 and 17 via the modern “high rise bridge”.
North Topsail Beach offers single family homes ranging from 2 bedrooms to as many as 15 bedroom beach mansions! The town also has the bulk of the island’s condominiums with the St. Regis Resort, Villa Capriana, Shipwatch, Topsail Reef, Topsail Dunes & St. Moritz.
North Topsail has many public beach accesses to the sandy shores, an inlet area where 4 x4’s are allowed and several public park areas including tennis courts and playgrounds.
The Seaview Fishing Pier is also located in North Topsail Beach offering the angler a chance at the “big one”.
Other commercial enterprises are limited at North Topsail with only a couple of restaurants in the resort communities but easily accessible to a nice selection of restaurants in Surf City and Sneads Ferry. This actually adds to it’s charm!
Surf City is centrally located on Topsail Island and accessible by Hwy 210/50 over the “draw bridge” or “swing bridge”. Surf City is the largest of the three towns with a growing mainland city limits that boasts some nice commercial amenities to it’s residents and visitors.
Surf City offers small beach cottages to larger beach homes along with several town homes and condo communities such as the Surf Condos and Turtle Cove.
Surf City has most of the commercial businesses of this area but is well planned. The island portion of the town offers centrally located restaurants and other “mom and pop” businesses while the mainland portion offers stores and restaurants like Food Lion, Harris Teeter, McDonald’s, BoJangles, Lowes, etc. This layout helped to preserve the quaint island charm so many enjoyed in Surf City.
The Surf City Pier is also located in Surf City . . .of course! The pier offers the anglers fishing along with a restaurant and tackle shop.
Surf City has many public beach accesses and several larger parking areas for day trippers.
Topsail Beach is located at the southern end of the island and offers the most quaint feel on the island. Topsail Beach is only accessible by traveling through Surf City to the south end of the island.
Topsail Beach has very limited commercial which consists of a bookstore, a couple of restaurants, a putt putt, skating rink, several small stores and gift shops and a fishing pier.
Topsail Beach is a very quiet town with no through traffic which is a very nice get a way from the normal rat race many of us are used to!
Topsail Beach has two town home communities, Queen’s Grant and Serenity Point while the rest of the residential neighborhood is comprised of beach cottages and homes.
The properly named Jolly Roger Fishing Pier gives the anglers in the town their shot at the trophy along with a restaurant and tackle shop as well.
The town offers a town marina with boat ramp and wet slips by reservation only but the most unique feature is the southern tip of the town. As a result of mother nature, the southern tip of Topsail Beach is actually growing and has resulted in an unspoiled almost 2 mile long natural seashore complete with aquatic life and birds! At the end of the road there is a small parking area if you would like to take a beautiful walk around the tip of the island.
Topsail Beach is the home of the annual “Autumn with Topsail” festival in the fall of the year featuring family fun with a street fair, live music and other events.
Ever wonder where most of the fresh seafood you enjoy at Topsail comes from?
Sneads Ferry is a quaint community located over the “high rise bridge” at North Topsail that was founded on the commercial fishing industry. In fact, we are willing to bet any shrimp boats you see off Topsail return to Sneads Ferry.
A quick ten minute car ride will offer your family a step back in time while walking the docks of several “fish houses” where the fishing and shrimp boats tie up to unload the day’s catch. Just down the shore is the Riverview Restaurant located at 119 Hall Point Rd serves up daily catches in all it’s southern coastal cooking.
Sneads Ferry is also home to the Sneads Ferry Shrimp festival in August complete with a crowning of several “Shrimp” Queens, street fair, blessing of the fleet and other family activities.