With a mild climate, beautiful beaches, an active arts community and abundant recreational opportunities, the Topsail Island, NC, area is attracting younger retirees to its sunny shores in ever-increasing numbers.
Naturally, the temperate climate of the area entices transplants from the north who are tired of frigid winters, snow, ice, potholes and gray skies. Winter, such as it is here, is moderated considerably by the warming effect of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf Stream. The average summer high temperature is 88 degrees, the average winter low is 36 degrees and the overall average for the year is 64 degrees.
Active retirees will find no shortage of outdoor pursuits to enjoy in the southern coast region. With the Intracoastal Waterway, rivers, sounds and Atlantic Ocean beaches, water figures primarily into the lifestyle of the southern coast. Golf is huge here, especially in Brunswick County, and there are literally hundreds of courses from Topsail Island in the north to Brunswick County in the south; see our Golf section for listings. For those who enjoy being in, on or around the water, the southern coast offers water-oriented activities such as boating, sailing, fishing, paddling and surfing. Details can be found in our Marinas, Fishing and Watersports sections. Our Sports, Fitness and Parks section features the many other activities people enjoy in the area, including softball, cycling, racquetball, martial arts, yoga and much more.
For those interested in gardening in their retirement years, the southern coastal area is in USDA growing zone 8, averages 248 or more growing days per year and has an annual rainfall of 54 inches. The heaviest rainfall months are June, July and August, and more often than not, it rains at night and is sunny during the day — Camelot right here in Dixie. Several varieties of flowers bloom all winter, and numerous shrubs and trees retain their foliage all year.
For cultural pursuits, Wilmington is the arts epicenter of the region. No matter where retirees choose to live, the cultural offerings are never too far away. Wilmington has a thriving film industry, a theatrical community much bigger than one would expect of an area this size and performing arts series in a host of fabulous venues. A rich collection of artists are drawn to the southern coast region. See our Arts and Annual Events sections for more information.
When the grandkids come to visit, there are abundant activities to entertain them (see our Kidstuff section), and those who want to volunteer will find a wealth of opportunities (see our Volunteer section).
For those ready to enjoy the good life, the region offers a broad range of dining options (see Restaurants) and the shopping possibilities are seemingly endless, from national chains of every sort to unique boutiques to antiques shops to souvenir shops (see Shopping).
Another aspect of the southern coast area attracting retirees is a considerably expanded healthcare system that is increasingly focused on the needs of seniors. Healthcare on the southern coast includes a major hospital offering state-of-the-art care, private physicians practicing the full range of specialties, urgent care centers, complementary care practitioners and alternative healthcare practitioners. See our Medical Services section.
The housing options for retirees on the southern coast are wide and varied. There is a strong upswing in the development of retirement communities, many of them with golf courses, tennis courts and swimming pools and offering a wide variety of housing choices. Other choices include golf course communities, waterfront estates, beach-community condominiums, low-maintenance town homes, downtown Wilmington loft-style apartments, acreage in the country and more. See our Real Estate and Neighborhoods section for a glimpse of what the region offers.
Although progressive and growth-oriented, this area still possesses elements of charm, graciousness and gentility of the South, which, coupled with the cosmopolitan influence of retirees and new residents from all across the nation, results in a delightfully relaxed but upbeat ambiance. Also, partly due to the enormous number of activities available to them, retirees tend to feel more included living in the southern coast communities than they would living in a large urban area.