Small Coastal Towns
Topsail And Jacksonville Area Towns
North Carolina’s southern coast offers a wide variety of activities and styles and covers an area over 100 miles long from the western tip of the Crystal Coast to the South Carolina state line. The three counties in the northern part of the region, Duplin, Onlsow and Pender, are largely rural and include farms, military bases and gorgeous beaches.
If you like your beaches quiet, the Topsail area is just what you’re looking for. This 26-mile long barrier island is perfect for a kicked-back vacation. Accessible by two bridges, one an old-fashioned swing bridge and the other a modern high-rise bridge, the Island consists of three towns; mostly residential North Topsail Beach, active Surf City and quiet Topsail Beach. Along with the mainland towns of Sneads Ferry and Holly Ridge they make up the Greater Topsail Area. There’s also Hammocks Beach State Park near Swansboro.
When you’re tired of resting in the sand and surf, you’ll find lots to do here. Take a scenic cruise on the Intracoastal Waterway or learn about the area’s history from pirates to the space program at the Missiles and More Museum. Tour nearby Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base, play golf on one of the area’s excellent courses, or visit the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center and check out the Topsail Turtle Project. Be here the second weekend in August for the Sneads Ferry Shrimp Festival, a delicious annual event, or try your luck fishing from one of the island’s three piers.
Travel inland and you’ll discover North Carolina’s farming heritage along with delicious fresh fruits and vegetables. Visit the Cowan Museum in historic Kenansville to learn about farm life in the 19th Century, then think blue as the North Carolina Blueberry Festival in Burgaw celebrates that humble fruit each June. Some of North Carolina’s oldest and newest wineries are also here, as well as a number of farms where you can pick your own fruit.
North Carolina’s history can be found at Moore Creek National Battlefield, the site of the first patriot victory of the Revolutionary War and Penderlea Homestead, site of a restored Depression era farm.
For more information about your Southern Coast/Topsail Area Beaches vacation, contact Onslow County Tourism, Pender County Tourism or Duplin County Tourism.
By Pam Watson
By Pam Watson
added: January 2, 2009
updated: June 25, 2009