10 Interesting Things About Life on Topsail Island
If you follow this blog, you know that we talk a lot about beach life and island living here on our little piece of barrier island paradise known as Topsail Island, located on the beautiful coast of North Carolina just south of the Outer Banks. If you have a dream of owning a beach home, then this post might be the impetus you need to take the next step in making that dream a reality (we can help you with that, by the way).
We wanted to share 10 interesting things about life on Topsail Island with you that you may only get a taste of when vacationing here. These insights are gained from spending more than just a week or two every year here. This is the good stuff: the local perspective on living on Topsail Island. You definitely want to read this!
1. Even during the busy season, Topsail's beaches are quieter than most.
If you've ever been to any of the big-name East Coast family beach vacation destinations, you know that Topsail is a completely different experience than these larger, more commercialized beaches. We're not going to name any names, but those popular beach destinations get a little bit crazy and have a lot of congestion during the busy summer beach season. It's wall-to-wall towels on the sand and a sea of people you're sharing the beach with, not to mention that many of those destinations are parking nightmares with limited access to the beach—many of which charge a fee to park and/or to access the beach .
Enter, Topsail Island. Here the beaches are pristine and the natural coastal beauty shines through the moment you step foot onto the island. Even during the summer season, you can still enjoy a laid-back, quintessential beach experience without all of the interference. It's all beach, all the time. Topsail's beaches are quiet, family-friendly and safe. It's no wonder the secret is out and Topsail has been named among the best beaches in the country. Did you know that Topsail Beach was recently named Best Little Beach Town in America? It was. We like to share to share our island and beaches with others, but we also are protective of our island paradise and work hard to maintain its unique identity, history and coastal elements. So, it's a little bit of a double-edged sword. We're happy for the recognition of what we already know is true, but we don't want things to change too much around here.
2. Topsail Island has a strong community of residents.
One of the main reasons why Topsail Island has kept its sense of identity in tact and preserved is because of its strong community. Building and maintaining the local community ties is strongly valued by the residents. And although you'll find that the locals are friendly and welcoming to newcomers, they also have a tight-knit relationship with those who have lived here over the years. The small-town values, safe environment, family-friendly atmosphere and support of the local businesses are high priorities. Those are the things this island was built upon and what helps it to continue to thrive.
3. Topsail residents work hard together to preserve and protect the island.
From sea turtle protection and monitoring programs to cleaning up the beaches, the volunteer spirit and action of the Topsail community is noteworthy. Volunteering comes naturally to the people who care most about the island—its residents. They want to preserve and protect what they love. Who doesn't? They pitch in and do what needs to be done to make that happen. The collective giving spirit reaches far beyond just the beaches and shorelines and extends into the lives of others through Topsail's many other volunteer opportunities such as the Friends Feeding Friends food collection charity that takes unused food items from vacationers leaving the island and gives them to those in need. This is one of many examples of the giving spirit you'll find here.
4. Topsail Island is tied to nostalgia of times past.
If you talk to the locals about what brought them to Topsail Island, you'll hear stories of generations of families that came here to visit, vacation and live on the island. The nostalgia of the good ol' days rings loud and clear. Family traditions, vacations, and time spent together on Topsail Island are continuing legacies here. Many residents are cherishing memories of times past and busy making new ones for their families. It's a special bond they share with the island, which you'll soon discover and appreciate.
5. The Topsail towns maintain a warm hometown feel and laid-back vibe.
People wouldn't seek out Topsail Island if it wasn't a warm and welcoming place to be. The Topsail towns maintain their hometown feel and island way of life. Southern hospitality and friendly people are the mainstays here. Families feel safe, strangers feel welcome, and everyone looks out for each other. You'll find some of the best neighbors you could ever hope for on Topsail Island, that you can be sure of.
6. Commercialization is not a priority on Topsail Island.
It's not about high-rise hotels and motels here. It's not about big-name stores and malls here. It is about preserving and protecting the natural beauty of the beaches, the island and the waterways. It's about sun, sand and surf without all of the other things that get in the way of that. Though Topsail Island has seen an increase in those choosing to live and vacation here, you'll see that values, foundation, and roots of Topsail Island run deep and stay strong. High rise development is not allowed, beautification is encouraged, and conservation of the island environment is a top priority.
7. Small businesses are valued and supported.
Topsail Island is built on small business and local merchants. From the restaurants and shops to the piers and surf shops, you'll find one-of-kind places that you won't find anywhere else. Topsail Island values shopping and buying local both for its inherent value and quality, in addition to the genuine support for those who live and work here. Just stop into any Topsail business, and you'll see what we mean.
8. Topsail values its maritime roots and its fishing village heritage.
The early 20th century on Topsail Island consisted of a handful of structures on the island mainly used for fishing shelters and summer vacations by those who had boats to access the island. There was no bridge from the mainland at that time and certainly no development. It wasn't until the 1950s that development of the island was even a possibility. And so it began. Originally a sleepy fishing village and occasional vacationers' paradise, Topsail Island became increasingly popular once the bridges, roadways, and accesses were built and available to the public. The rest is history. Today, fishing is still a big draw to the island with charter fishing, pier fishing, surf fishing and soundside fishing all available to you at any given moment.
9. Life is slower and simpler here, but in the best ways possible.
You are definitely on island time here where the moments are savored, there's no big hurry or hustle and bustle, and the simple things in life are noticed and embraced. Mother Nature is your constant companion, offering up many opportunities to share in her artistry from sunrise to sunset. Beauty abounds here and people are willing to slow down and notice it. Topsail Island has a way of helping you to forget your troubles for a little while and stay focused on what really matters in life. Maybe it's the beach mindset. Maybe it's the island mentality. Maybe it's just magic. Whatever the reason, you'll experience it during your time here, and you'll miss it when you're away from it.
10. Topsail Island has a spirit all its own.
The essence of Topsail Island is not easily explained in words. You can tell someone about it, but it's not the same. You need to be here to really understand. Immerse yourself in the island and its way of life—and get to know it and its people on an intimate level. You'll find its enchantment is not easy to shake. You'll be drawn to Topsail Island again and again, and you'll begin to understand why those who call it home love it so.
Are you enamored with Topsail Island?
Are a a few weeks vacation not enough anymore?
Let us help you make Topsail Island a more permanent part of your life!
Do you live on Topsail Island? What do you love and value most as a resident?