Topsail Island (Wilmington’s “Mayberry By The Sea”) Guide

No two beaches are the same. Wilmington has different beaches that provide newcomers with varying population sizes, shops, and seclusion. Topsail Island (prounced TOP-SUL) is a great beach if you don’t enjoy crowds. It also has these features:

  • Very few hotels and resorts (adding to the Mayberry vibe)
  • Blue waters (This may be opinion, but something I’ve noticed)
  • Few crowds
  • Easy parking
  • Great restaurants and shops near beach

Where is it located?: Topsail Island is about a 45-minute drive north of Wilmington. While the drive may take a bit, it’s well worth the wait and have many attractions including:


Click for Google Directions


#1 Turtle Hospital

Let me put it this way: I am a 26-year-old male and I LOVE the turtle hospital.

  • It’s only $5 dollars
  • You get to see large amounts sea turtles in an air conditioned environment
  • The turtles at the hospital are being rescued
  • All money goes to a worthy cause and it’s fun

Image result for Turtle hospital


#2 Soundside Park

The great thing about Seaside Park is (you guessed it) it’s close to the sea!  You can easily go to the park, walk the marshes, and head to the beach after you’ve enjoyed a quick walk.

As you walk in the park, there are places to rent kayaks, eat at restaurants, and shop.




#3 Topsail Pier & Beach

Topsail Beach, Topsail Island

Topsail is a far less developed beach then Carolina Beach or Wrightsville Beach.

  • Land lots tend to be spaced further apart
  • Far fewer hotels
  • Not quite as upscale as Wrightsville, but far nicer then Carolina Beach.


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