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Topsail Island is a 26-mile long barrier island lined with pristine beaches, maritime forest and no traffic lights. Known as a laid-back getaway for its uncrowded beaches and great fishing and boating. It is a paradise for those looking to spread out and look for shells and play in the surf without bumping elbows with strangers.

It is separated from the mainland by a series of small sounds and channels that make up a portion of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. In addition, there are inlets, and tidal creeks via boat, kayak or stand-up paddle board. 

Located just off the North Carolina coast, it consists of the three quaint seaside towns of North Topsail Beach, Surf City, and Topsail Beach. The island is accesible by car via two bridges, one in North Topsail beach and the other in Surf City. 

U.S. 17 is the main highway leading to the island from the two closest cities, Jacksonville to the north and Wilmington to the south. The nearest public airports are located in Wilmington (ILM) and Jacksonville (OAJ)

Topsail Island Pier Fishing


Whether it's surf fishing, pier fishing or deep water, fishing is a popular activity on Topsail Island. Anglers will need to obtain a fishing license. Wherever you stay on Topsail a fishing pier is nearby.

There are three fishing piers on the island, Sea View Fishing Pier, Surf City Ocean Pier and the Jolly Roger Fishing Pier. The piers are also popular sightseeing spots offering superior views of the Atlantic Ocean.

For more information on Topsail Island fishing please click here to visit out blog on winter fishing.

Topsail Island Pirate Legend

Legendary Topsail

Legend has it that Topsail Island got its name centuries ago when pirates, such as Blackbeard, would hide their ships in the channel between the island and the mainland. Only the top of their sails were visible to ships approaching from the Atlantic. 

Dogs on Topsail Island Beaches

Dog Friendly Beaches

Topsail Island offers some of the most dog friendly beaches in North Carolina. The golden rules are always: pick up after your dog whether on the beach or in a neighborhood and please keep your dog on a leash. 

The Town of Topsail Beach allows dogs to be leash-free during the off-season, October through May. 


Sea Turtle Hatchling on Topsail Island

We Love Sea Turtles

The Topsail Island community is well-known for its devotion to sea turtle preservation and conservation efforts. Loggerhead sea turtles come to Topsail's vast beaches to nest and lay eggs from mid-May through August. In addition, Surf City is also home to the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center, which is dedicated to the mission of conservation and preservation of all species of marine turtles, both in the water and on the beach.