As one of two quiet beach communities along the twenty-six mile barrier island Topsail Island, this beach is a well kept secret and those who have discovered this hidden treasure enjoy its clean beaches, white sands and warm waters. Many come to experience true island life with temperate climates, fresh seafood and low-key atmosphere. Waterfront restaurants serve some of the best shrimp and seafood in the area and there's always time for building a sandcastle with your family.
Residents of Topsail Beach pride themselves on their dedication to the environment. From the cleanliness of the area to the abundant nature on the island, locals take initiative in keeping the area beautiful. The Topsail Turtle Project, an organization dedicated to locating and protecting the many loggerhead turtle nests in the area, runs solely on volunteers. These individuals monitor the nests until the baby turtles hatch and then they help keep watch over the species as they trod off to the waters of the Atlantic. For sick or injured turtles, volunteers work in a center to help the animals while they are rehabilitating and then help them return to the ocean. Turtle Talks teaches visitors about the turtles and what steps we can take, whether you're local or visiting, to keep the species safe.
The name origination for the area is one derived from local folk lore. The story goes that the channel between the island and the mainland was once a hiding spot for pirates. These "scallywags" would wait for passing ship to steal their treasure and such. Supposedly the only part of the pirate's hidden ship that could be seen was the topsail, until they charged forward to overtake the passing ship. There are also local stories that claim that the famous pirate Blackbeard came to Topsail Island and hid his treasure.
Events honoring these tales allow little pirates to go on a treasure search along the beach to find Blackbeard's treasure. There are many different activities and events on the island as well. The Topsail Island Museum, located on Topsail Beach pays tribute to the war history of the island. The US Government used this island as a top-secret testing site for developing and testing ramjet missiles. This project led the way to advancing the nation's jet aircraft and missile program.