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Author Topic:   Topsail Island-where to Whaler
johnhenry posted 07-27-2009 10:24 AM ET (US)   Profile for johnhenry   Send Email to johnhenry  
We are taking a much needed vacation on Topsail Island NC.
I am looking for suggestions on boat outings with the family. Any can't miss explorations or places to go. I appreciate any and all suggestions.
K Albus posted 07-27-2009 01:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
I'm not from that area, but I vacation with my boat in Wilmington every once in a while. You can head south on the ICW to Wrightsville Beach. There are a lot of nice houses and boats to check out in the area, as well as a number of restaurants on the water with free docking.

If you're feeling a little more adventurous, you can cruise down to Bald Head Island. See: . There's golf, dining, beaches, and a nature preserve on the island. There are no cars on the island, but you can rent a golf cart to get around.

You can also head up the Cape Fear River into downtown Wilmington. See: . There are plenty of restaurants on the waterfront there with free docking. There's also plenty of shopping nearby. The USS North Carolina battleship museum is also located in downtown Wilmington. See: .

There is also supposed to be some nice restaurants and shopping in Southport, but I've never been ashore there. See: .

And finally, you should check out Jim H's report of his trip in the Southport/Wilmington area. See: (I don't think he ever posted the longer trip report he promised in this thread.)

As far as north of Topsail Beach, I've never been up that way and don't know anything about it.

Free Bird posted 07-27-2009 07:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for Free Bird  Send Email to Free Bird     
I haven't been since we bought a beach house in the OBX three years ago but there's a nice public ramp to the south side of the swing bridge in Surf City. There's a small public park there with areas for fishing. I believe the sound side there is the Intercoastal. There are ramps in Topsail Beach but I never spent any time down there so I don't know about public access.
69boo307 posted 07-28-2009 12:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for 69boo307  Send Email to 69boo307     
When are you going to be down there? I'm going to be at Carolina Beach the week of 8/15-8/22nd with my little Whaler. I'm in the same boat though, not being very familiar with the waterways or the best places to go (pun intended). I'm going to try to cruise up to Wrightsville Beach one afternoon for dinner.
johnhenry posted 07-28-2009 03:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for johnhenry  Send Email to johnhenry     
I will be there next week aug 1-8. I will report back then, Thank you K albus for the suggestions. Wrightsville beach sounds like the 1st stop.
K Albus posted 07-28-2009 03:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
There's a free "Coastal Boating Guide" available from the State of North Carolina at .

For the Cape Fear area, including Wilmington and the ICW north to Wrightsville Beach, Maptech makes a Waterproof Chart. Maptech's website is apparently down for some reason at this time, but you can find the chart at many online stores. Here's one source: . It's Chart 092 - Cape Fear - Masonboro Inlet to Lockwood's Folly Inlet.

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