Topsail Beach won the readers’ choice award as Best Little Beach Town in the USA in a recent survey conducted by TripAdvisor, the world’s largest online travel site. The Topsail Beach entry was island-wide, recognizing the 26-mile-long barrier island that also includes Surf City and North Topsail Beach.
It didn’t come as a surprise when Chris Rackley learned Topsail Island was voted in a recent online poll of travelers as a top beach destination.
He hears it from vacationers in the area all the time.
“It truly is a little gem,” said Rackley, president of Lewis Realty Associates in Surf City.
Topsail Beach won the readers’ choice award as Best Little Beach Town in the USA in a recent survey conducted by TripAdvisor, the world’s largest online travel site.
TripAdvisor compiled a list of 14 of the must-see, small-town beach destinations in the United States and then allowed the public to vote for the favorite location.
Voting ended Aug. 1 and Topsail edged out Jamestown, Rhode Island; Traverse City, Michigan; and Morro Bay, California to take the recognition. Topsail secured 13 percent of the vote, with Jamestown following at 12 percent and Morro Bay receiving 10 percent, according to the TripAdvisor website.
Topsail also faced other strong contenders in its home state.
North Carolina was the only state to have three locations on the list on contenders, including Corolla along the Outer Banks, which came in at about 10 percent of the votes and Wrightsville Beach with 6 percent.
The Topsail Beach entry was island-wide, recognizing the 26-mile-long barrier island that also includes Surf City and North Topsail Beach.
“Without huge hotels or glitzy attraction, Topsail is a place to enjoy the beach in its purest, simplest form — without the crowds or chaos of some popular coastal towns. If your idea of paradise involves long days spent relaxing in the sun, lazily casting a line or catching up on your to-read list, you’ll love the island’s private, cozy cottages and beachside retreats just steps from the ocean,” the TravelAdvisor summary for the destination states.
With the majority of the commercial activity on the mainland, Rackley said when you cross the bridges to Topsail Island, the top activity is simply enjoying the shoreline, whether shell hunting, fishing or just relaxing by the sea.
If you are looking for attractions, try the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center on the mainland or the history at the Missiles and More Museum.
“Really, Topsail has a feeling of just relaxing,” Rackley said.
More and more people are discovering what the cozy, relaxing vacation they can enjoy on the island.
“Topsail for many, many years was an undiscovered treasure. The last 10 or so years more and more people are coming in. Many of our guests are coming here for the first time and then signing up to come back next year,” he said.
Rackley said more people are coming to the area but he said the geography of the island will keep it the treasure that visitors have come to know.
Rackley said visitors telling their family and friends about the — has always been one of the best ways of advertising the area.
Now with social media and the internet promoting surveys like the latest on TripAdvisor, word can spread faster than ever.
“It’s like word-of-mouth with a 21st century twist,” Rackley said.