Topsail Beach trip planner
Create a fully customized
day-by-day itinerary for free
Things to do: fun & games, museums
Topsail Beach is a town in Pender County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 383 at the 2012 census. It is part of the Wilmington Metropolitan Statistical Area.HistoryLocal folklore claims the name, Topsail, originated during the 1700s when pirate ships roamed the coastal waters. Historians explain that marauding pirates hid their ships in the channel behind the island and waited for passing merchant ships loaded with goods. The pirates would pursue and attack the merchants, claiming the cargoes as their own. Eventually the merchants became aware of this infamous hiding place and began to watch for the tops of the pirates' sails showing over the rolling dunes - hence the name Topsail Island.Prior to World War II, the only access to Topsail Island was by boat. Area residents frequently made this short trip to picnic and search for the pirate Blackbeard's rumored buried treasure.During World War II, the U.S. Navy took over the island and began a joint venture with Johns Hopkins University known as Operation Bumblebee. The waterway was dredged, roads were built, and fresh water was piped onto the island. Operation Bumblebee was the beginning of the space program for the United States Government. An arsenal center for the assembly and storage of rockets was built on the sound side of the island, and launching pads were constructed on the oceanfront. Concrete observation towers were built throughout the island to monitor the experimental launchings. Over 200 rocket launchings took place on the island between 1946 and 1948. When the testing program was dismantled, the government sold the island to the public. The Town of Topsail Beach was incorporated in 1963. Many of the original military structures still stand today. Many of the concrete observation towers have since been converted into private residences and places of business.Add Topsail Beach and other destinations in United States to your travel itinerary using our United States trip itinerary maker.
Create a full itinerary — for free!
Plan your trip to Topsail Beach
Get a personalized planA complete day-by-day itinerary
based on your preferences
Customize itRefine your plan. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
Book itChoose from the best hotels
and activities. Up to 50% off
Manage itEverything in one place.
Everyone on the same page.
Top tours for Topsail Beach
View more tours
Best things to do in Topsail Beach
Things to do around Topsail Beach
Visit for: 3h 30min
Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center
Visit for: 2h 30min
Surf City Pier
Visit for: 2h
Topsail Boat Rental
Visit for: 3h
Visit for: 3h
Topsail Island Trading Co
Visit for: 1h
Where to stay in Topsail Beach
Browse hundreds of hotels and read guest reviews on the world's leading online travel agency website.
CHECK IN - CHECK OUT
Millions of travel reviews
Extend your holiday
Visit top cities near Topsail Beach:
Recently planned trips to Topsail Beach
10 days in Topsail Beach BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, teens, popular PREFERENCES: June, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in Topsail Beach BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, teens, popular PREFERENCES: June, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 14 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 13 days in North Carolina BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, kids, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: July, kids, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Topsail Beach & Rehoboth Beach BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, relaxing, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, relaxing ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 1 day in Topsail Beach BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans