As the folklore and stories go, the name, Topsail (pronounced Top‘sul), dates back to the early 1700s when Blackbeard and his gang called the area home. Hiding behind the dunes and maritime forest that cover most of Topsail, pirates would use the Island to surprise and ambush passing ships. To avoid future attacks, the crews of the merchant ships learned to spot the tops of the pirate vessel’s sails – and as such, the name Topsail Island was born.

There are two bridges that currently allow access to the island – a swing bridge in Surf City (soon to be replaced by a new high-rise bridge) and the existing high-rise bridge at the north end which lands in North Topsail Beach and connects to Sneads Ferry, a small town just south of Camp Lejeune, the Marine Base in Jacksonville, NC.

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