As you drive over the bridge onto Topsail Island, NC for your beach vacation, you’re going to notice that things have changed quite a bit from last summer. The old historic swing bridge lives on in our memories but not in its usual location.
Instead, you’ll be driving over the new Surf City high-rise bridge—and taking in some pretty fabulous views as you do. Here’s what you need to know about the new bridge and what it means for your Topsail, NC beach vacation and how it affects you getting to your Topsail Island rental.
The Surf City Bridge opened ahead of schedule late last year, which is really good news for you (and for those who of us who live here and drive over it every day). The new 65-foot-high, $53 million Surf City Bridge represents an improvement over the old swing bridge it replaces, as the swing bridge forced motorists to wait numerous times each day so the bridge could be opened to allow boats to pass. Traffic now can move continuously over the bridge as boats pass underneath. Faster, more efficient access to Topsail Island and its beaches? Oh yeah! We approve.
The bridge was originally scheduled to open in September 2019. But crews with NCDOT and Balfour Beatty Construction worked with the local community to accelerate the construction of the much-anticipated bridge so it could serve the community sooner. So that’s exactly what happened, with the new bridge opening 9 months ahead of schedule—which is pretty impressive (not to mention unheard of) when it comes to a massive construction project such as this.
After the opening ceremony, the Surf City Bridge became open to the public at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, December, 2018. Local officials led a vehicle procession across the 3,773-foot span between Topsail Island and the mainland for its inaugural run.
The new bridge also boasts 7.5-foot bike lanes and a 10-foot wide multi-use path, so there is a lot to love about the new Surf City Bridge and its user-friendly upgrades.
As they say, the rest is history. Oh and did we mention the panoramic views? Get your camera ready!
It’s hard to believe that another Memorial Day holiday is quickly approaching. It’s the symbolic start of summer in most places, including on Topsail Island, NC. Although the beach spirit is alive and well here all year long, now’s the time when the summer fun and festivities begin. Set your watch to island time—Topsail Island time, that is—and come spend the Memorial Day holiday with us. You won’t be disappointed!
Your Topsail Island oceanfront rental(or whichever location you love most) is the place to soak up the Carolina sunshine, splash around in the blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean, take a deep breath of the salty air, and find your place in the sand.
Here are the local highlights and what things you may want to consider during your Memorial Day getaway to Topsail. Enjoy!
Why Memorial Day on Topsail Island
So you may be wondering if Topsail Island is the place for you and your family. If you haven’t already been here to experience it for yourself, here are few things you should know about, including why families love vacationing at Topsail Beach.
Here’s the short list:
Affordable. Families don’t have to break their budget or their bank account when vacationing on Topsail Island. In fact, TripAdvisor recently named North Topsail Beach and Surf City in the Top 20 most affordable beach destinations in the entire country. True story! You can read all about it here.
Family friendly. Yes, we cater to families here on Topsail Island and value a family-friendly beach atmosphere. Skip the overcrowded, bigger beach destinations along the East Coast and come spend some time here with the ones you love the most. Once you visit Topsail Island, it’s hard to go back to any of those other beaches. Fair warning!
Safe and community centered. We are a community-centered island and each of our towns has its own unique offerings. So no matter which place you choose to call your home-away-from-home for a week or more, you and your family will feel safe, secure and right at home. North Topsail Beach, Surf City, and Topsail Beach eagerly await your arrival.
Not overly commercialized. The beautiful beaches and gorgeous Eastern Carolina coastline are the stars of the show here, but there’s also enough other family-friendly activities and things to do to keep your family busy—but nottoo busy. Skip the loud and crowded summer spots and choose one that is a little more relaxed, a lot more laid back, and focus on what you really want from a beach vacation.
Topsail, NC offers a quintessential beach vacation experience. Visitors and vacationers come here looking to enjoy a beach vacation experience that’s not like the rest. Topsail towns and beaches give you exactly that. With a focus on spending quality time together, making memories that last a lifetime, and capturing the moments that matter most—all in a beautiful place—that’s what you can expect from your Topsail beach vacation. And that’s what keeps families coming back year after year to spend this most precious time together here on our island. We consider that a privilege and an honor.
Best of Topsail Beach
If you follow Access Realty’s blog (and we hope you do!) you know that we love sharing our little piece of paradise with you and all it has to offer. We want you to have the best NC beach vacation ever, so we strive to share the things we love most about the area from an insider’s perspective. If you ever have any questions, please let us know. We’d be happy to be of service.
Here are a few of the many highlights of Topsail’s beaches:
Nestled between ocean and sound. Topsail Island is a barrier island perfectly placed between Atlantic Ocean waters on one side and calm soundside waters on the other. It really is the best of both worlds. Did we mention that the coastal sunrises and sunsets on Topsail Island are incredible? Well, they are!
Beach fun for everyone. Whatever you love to do on the beach, from reading and relaxing to fun and family-friendly beach games and activities (and more), you can do it here. No wall-to-wall beach towels for you to wade through. Claim your space then spread out, relax and enjoy it to the fullest—and however you please.
Plenty of on-the-water-fun. Choose your water adventure whether it’s calm and quiet on the soundside of the island or where you can find more wave action on the ocean side. You choose the aquatic adventure and then go for it! We have plenty of local sports outfitters and surf shops to give you what you need, if you don’t already have it in your Topsail Island rental. Read more about the most popular Intracoastal Waterway activities on Topsail Island here.
Beachcombing for shells, shark teeth and sea glass. Beachcombers absolutely love Topsail Island and for good reason. Whatever your beachcombing pleasure, you can start out on your shelling, shark tooth hunting or sea glass finding adventure. Who knows what the ocean will wash up on any given day? Megalodon teeth have been found on Topsail beaches, you know…
Picnics and cookouts. Memorial Day is a one of those holidays where we tend to want to gather together with family and friends and make it a little extra special with a picnic-style meal or cookout on the grill. Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice that. Pack up a picnic and bring it right to the beach. Or take advantage of the grills you can find locally. Maybe your Topsail rental has one included or go ahead and use the free charcoal grills available in some of our local Topsail parks. You may also want to check out our previous post for recipe ideas and cool treats perfect for a beach picnic or lunch.
Topsail events & attractions. Topsail’s annual events, local festivals, and area attractions offer something for everyone of every age and interest. See what’s happening during your stay and check out some of the most popular things to do on the island and off. Visit our local recommendations of the best things to do in Topsail here.
Topsail Military History
Let’s not forget the true meaning and significance of the Memorial Day holiday. It honors those who have given the ultimate sacrifice so that we can enjoy the freedoms we currently have on this day and every day. So what can you do to bring that meaningfulness to life during your Topsail beach vacation?
We have a few ideas for you:
Experience living history on the island. The local history of Topsail Island is rich in military history and significance. From the Missiles and More Museum to the Topsail Missile Towers, and all of the fascinating military history that is part of Topsail’s past, there are always stories to be told and new things to learn.
Venture off the island for a day trip. The nearby towns of Jacksonville and Wilmington are also quite rich in military history. From the Battleship North Carolina to the National Cemetery and Battlefield, as well as the historic forts and sites that are also nearby, you’ll find plenty of ways to fill your days with history, learning and remembrance.
Ask a local. They probably have a few additional suggestions for you depending on your interests. We have a wealth of local resources in our residents and area businesses, so go ahead and strike up a conversation. The Topsail Historical Society is another wonderful resource for you to explore.
What’s your favorite way of remembering the true meaning of Memorial Day when you’re here on Topsail Island?
Where to Stay on Topsail Island
Alright, now it’s time to make your plans to be here! Whether it’s Memorial Day or any day, there is always plenty of culture, history, natural beauty, events and festivals, and so much more for you to discover on Topsail Island.