Started in 1962 by Edgar "Johnny" Herring originally as a bait and tackle shop, the store has passed through the generations, expanded in size and product to include kayaks and quality outdoor apparel and gear. Top name-brands like Patagonia, Costa Del Mar, Life Is Good and Kiss my Face can...more about Herring's Outdoor Sports
Leave Wilmington's traffic jams and crowds behind and head to the Topsail Island beaches to rejuvenate your body and soul. Whether it is a meditative marsh paddle, a long walk at the ocean's edge or a wild ride on a board in the surf, visitors to Topsail Island can easily unwind and relax. After a morning on the beach, summer visitors can tour the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center for a close-up view of these incredible creatures. History buffs and aviation aficionados can learn about the island's aerospace history at the Missiles and More Museum and shoppers will be pleased at the variety the island offers.
Wise daytrippers bypass the crowds and parking hassles of Wrightsville Beach and head north to Topsail Island. Located forty-five minutes north of Wilmington off Highway 17, Topsail Island offers plenty of natural beauty and miles of sandy beaches that are perfect for walking, swimming, surfing and shell collecting. Driving from Wilmington, visitors cross the island's old fashioned and much beloved swing bridge to get on to the island. The bridge's unmistakable rumble and the smell of salt air greet every visitor like a welcomed old friend.
Loose the city stress and tension with an early morning marsh paddle. It is the perfect time to watch egrets and herons forage for their breakfast. Kayaks and canoes can be rented in Surf City and marsh tours are also available. If you would like to bring your own kayak, public boat ramps are located at Soundside Park at the base of the swing-bridge. A morning paddle can be rejuvenating but it can also work up quite an appetite and luckily there are several great lunch spots and picnic areas in Surf City.
For long solitary walks on the beach head to North Topsail Beach where some of the island's most remote stretches of beach are located. If being in the thick of things suits you more, surfers ride the waves at the public access site in downtown Surf City. For uncrowded family-friendly beaches, Topsail Beach on the island's south end is a perfect getaway. After a swim, a walk and a sand castle building contest, there is still more to see and do.
With the Intracoastal Waterway one one side of the island and the ocean on the other, water sports are very popular here. Surf board and personal watercraft rentals, fishing piers and charter boats are all available. Summer visitors can tour the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center to get a close up view of these magnificent creatures who predate dinosaurs. Visitors can also learn about the island's aerospace history at the Missiles and More Museum. Both the Sea Turtle Center and the museum are located in Topsail Beach.
Breathtaking sunsets are an everyday occurrence on Topsail Island. Spectacular views are available from local sunset cocktail cruises, waterfront restaurants and from "the point," the vast stretch of sand at the island's south end. Come for a day and you might stay forever.
Surf City, NC 28445 • map(910) 328-3291
HerringsOutdoorSports.com • facebook
This holistic spa offers fabulous facials for all ages, genders and skin types, a variety of massage modalities, a full service hair and nail salon and yoga classes. The massage menu includes Relaxing and Trigger Point Full Body massages, Hot Stone and Aromatherapy massages, Couples and Lomi-Lomi massages and an ancient Polynesian-style...more about Inis Spa
Fayetteville, NC • map(910) 488-8787
zipquest.com • facebook
Zip line through the woods, ascend floating spiral stairways to tree-house platforms and cross Carver's Falls on a suspension bridge on what USA Today says is one of 10 Great Zip Lines: Zipquest - Waterfall and Treetop Adventure in Fayetteville, N.C. The adventure begins with an orientation of zip line basics,...more about ZipQuest - WaterFall & TreeTop Adventure