Monday, November 16, 2009

Thematic Photographic 75: "Travel" v.6.0 - One-Tank Destinations I

"Public Beach Access"
North Topsail Beach, NC - July 2009 (Click to embiggen)

Thematic Photographic hosted by Carmi - Button Image by Smarmoofus Hosted by Written Inc.

When I was a kid, they used to call North Carolina "Variety Vacationland" because of its... variety of vacation destinations. I don't think we put it on our license plates or anything, but it was a common phrase bandied about in the media. Back then though, the majority of tourists were homegrown -- or regional at least. In more recent years, more folks have discovered the place which is good and bad. Good in that it brings in additional revenue and most of it in areas of the state that really need revenue. Bad in that, predictably, the influx of tourists has created the need for the infrastructure to support the trade. More people means more places to put them which means more development which -- in my opinion at least -- begins to rob the area of the things that made it attractive as a vacation spot in the first place.

In a strange turn of events, I was introduced to one of the few place on the North Carolina coast that hasn't been overdeveloped yet by a friend from New England of all places. Yes, I said "introduced" because despite all the time I've spent on our coast, if I've ever been to Topsail Island I don't remember it. Most often my excursions to the beach have been to the "Crystal Coast" area around Emerald Isle -- about an hour's drive north of Topsail. On occasion I've ventured to the Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach area -- a little less than an hour to the south of Topsail. And in between is a gem that has all of the charms (if not the internet access) of both of those places without quite as much of the downside that comes with it. It's coming, the signs are all there. Mainly in the form of "For Sale" signs along the main road from North Topsail Beach to Surf City. Half the island appears to be up for bids by my reckoning. But for now, topsail has it all over its neighboring beaches in two critical areas: public beach access and parking for said public beach access. The beaches along emerald Isle aren't private beaches per se, but to get to most of them you have to cross private property, and... you have to park somewhere. A far more difficult challenge. Not so in Topsail Beach. At least not in North Topsail Beach, where I took this photo. I've posted a number of shots from my trip there, and had conflicting feeligns about each post. On one hand, I'd love to freeze time and keep Topsail just like it is today. Let it remain the best-kept secret of the Carolina Coast. But truly, could you cpature such beauty and keep it to yourself? I can't.

Stumble Upon Toolbar


lisaschaos said...

Really, from your posts of Topsail this year I assumed you had been there many times. How nice to find a new place in your own backyard!

SandyCarlson said...

Darn it all, that's it. I'm making my way there this December. Irresistable....

Mama Zen said...

Maybe I could for a little while. It looks so untouched now.

Lil Bit said...

Definitely quite beautiful ... altho I get somewhat a sense of "walking the plank" with this shot. lol

You reeeeeally got check out the outer banks sometime. ;)