The name Topsail Beach is said to have originated in the 1700s at a time when the pirate ships roamed the waters of the Atlantic coast. The pirates would hide out of sight in the channel so that merchant ships passing by the island would be unwary of the impending attack. As more and more merchants became aware of the new pirate hiding place, they became more vigilant about looking for the topsails of the pirate ships rising above the landscape. It has since been referred to as Topsail Island.
Just before the breakout of World War II, the island became a popular spot for picnickers and treasure hunters hoping to stumble across Blackbeard's treasure. Once the war began, the Navy took over the island for what became known as Operation Bumblebee. Operation Bumblebee was the commencement of the space program in the United States.
After dredging and a roadway were created, rockets were stored in arsenals on the island and a launching pad was created on the oceanfront. They also built a number of observation towers throughout the island. It is estimated that more than 200 rocket launches have taken place on the island between 1946 and 1948. Several of the military structures still exist today.
Many of the observation towers have now been converted into a variety of businesses and private residences. The town is now a popular vacation spot and has a number of registered historic places for history buffs.
When Is the Best Time to Visit Topsail Beach, NC?
The best time of year to visit the Topsail Beach area will largely depend on what you plan to do during your trip. If you are planning your trip to enjoy the beach, then you'll want to wait to book your trip until late June or early July, when the water temperatures begin to warm up. Unfortunately, this can also be the most crowded time of year for this destination, so you may find that accommodations are harder to book and more expensive.
If you are looking to save a little money on your accommodations by traveling during a less crowded season, then early spring may be the best option for you. The water can still be a little chilly, but may be tolerable in the early spring months, and the weather is warm enough to enjoy many of the area's outdoor activities and excursions.
Travel to Topsail Beach in late summer and early fall can be problematic, as you would be along the coastal area during the peak of hurricane season. You will not find many water activities during this time of year, but, if you are fine braving the rain, accommodations can be extremely cheap.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Topsail Beach, NC:
Topsail Beach by Star Rating
Below are 3 charts demonstrating mean nightly cost trends by star rating class in Topsail Beach, NC. You can use these charts to calculate the most cost effective time to stay in Topsail Beach during the year.
What Are Some Luxury Hotel Options in Topsail Beach, NC?
4 Star Average Prices: $246.00
If your budget is larger, and you want to find the perfect hotel with amazing views, luxury room features, and top-of-the-line amenities, you can find what you're looking for at one of the luxury hotel accommodations listed below.
When you stay at the Holiday Inn Resort on Wrightsville Beach, you will enjoy its close location to popular stops like Arlie Gardens, Spectrum Gallery, and the Poplar Grove Plantation. The rooms provide you with everything you need to complete your trip, such as 32-inch flat-screen televisions, cable programming, deep bathtubs, refrigerators, desks, and safes. The hotel features numerous amenities including an outdoor pool with a poolside bar, concierge services, an indoor pool with a children's swim area, fitness facilities, and a spa.
Another amazing hotel option located right on the beach is the Residence Inn by Marriott. During your stay, you will enjoy rooms with refrigerators, stovetops, LCD televisions, cable programming, and complimentary daily newspapers. Amenities to make your stay even more enjoyable include a 24-hour business center, an on-site grocery and convenience store, an outdoor pool with picnic area, and complimentary Wi-Fi and breakfast. When at the hotel, you will be within walking distance of Fat Cat Gallery and Charles Jones African Art.
What Are Some Low-Cost Hotel Options in Topsail Beach, NC?
3 Star Average Prices: $136.16
If you are traveling to the Topsail Beach area on a budget or just like to get the best deal that you can, there are plenty of low-cost hotel options in and around the area. Just a short distance from Topsail, in Wilmington, North Carolina, is the Suburban Extended Stay. They offer comfortable rooms and popular amenities at a great price.
The hotel is located close to the Mayfair Town Shopping Center and Fountainside Fine Arts Gallery. You can choose from a wide range of room options with features such as pillowtop beds, 25-inch LCD televisions with cable programming, refrigerators, microwaves, and stovetops. Other amenities available to guests include a picnic area, a business center, free Wi-Fi, and laundry facilities.
Another great hotel in the area that will give you a lot of bang for your buck is The Comfort Inn, also located in Wilmington. Rooms at the hotel are outfitted with 42-inch LED televisions, cable, kitchenettes, and coffee makers. The hotel also features an outdoor pool, a complimentary breakfast, and a 24-hour fitness center. During your stay, you will be just a short drive from many of the popular attractions such as the Wilmington Railroad Museum, St. John's Art Museum, and Ogden Park.