Welcome to Pender County, NC
What does Pender County, NC have to offer you and your family?
Whether you are relocating, retiring or moving for a fresh start, Pender County has a lot to offer residents:
Pender County is just north of Wilmington, NC and is famous for its Southern hospitality, natural beauty, and delightful small town festivals. Communities including Hampstead, Surf City, and Topsail Beach are popular destinations for folks that want to be near Wilmington, NC, but not in the city. Historic downtown Wilmington is now just 20 minutes away thanks to the recently completed I-140 / US 17 Bypass around Wilmington.
A generation ago, Pender County was a sleepy collection of tobacco and blueberry farm communities, railroad stops, and fishing villages. Its waterways, maritime forests, and beautiful beaches were a well-kept secret. In the 1990s, the secret got out! Since then, Pender County’s population has nearly doubled to an estimated 52,000 residents. Don’t let the influx of new residents fool you though. Pender County is still largely rural, though now dotted with several golf course communities and pockets of shops, restaurants, and other businesses.
Pender County’s communities are the epitome of small town living. Once you spend time here, you may find it difficult to leave. There are a variety of different properties in all sizes and price ranges. The simple small town pleasures of Pender County make it a great place to live if you are starting a family, looking for a vacation home, preparing for retirement, or just want to live the good life.
If you are considering making the Topsail Island NC communities of Topsail Beach and Surf City or Hampstead NC your home, the real estate professionals at Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage can help. We operate two convenient offices in Hampstead and Surf City to make it easier for you to find your Hampstead NC real estate or Topsail NC real estate. Contact our local real estate experts today.
The tiny communities of Atkinson and Currie are located near Moores Creek National Battlefield, the site of a major Revolutionary War victory, in the western part of Pender County.
The communities of Watha, Burgaw, St. Helena, and Rocky Point are located near Interstate 40 in central Pender County. The small town of Burgaw features a charming historic district complete with a picturesque courthouse ringed with oak trees and North Carolina’s oldest surviving train depot. Every summer, Burgaw hosts the NC Blueberry Festival. Ask any local for directions to Rocky Point and they’re likely to include Paul’s Place Famous Hot Dogs. Since 1928, the local landmark at the intersection of Highway 117 South and Highway 133 has served up delicious hot dogs to hungry locals and visitors from around the world.
Hampstead (pronounced HAM-sted) is Pender County, NC’s most populated area. Approximately 16,000 residents live in Hampstead NC area along U.S. Highway 17 between Wilmington, NC and Surf City. Hampstead is home to a collection of businesses, restaurants, and shops. You’ll know you’ve arrived in Hampstead when you see the sign welcoming you to the “Seafood Capital of the Carolinas.” Fishing is an important part of Hampstead’s heritage and still an important part of its economy. Hampstead fishermen supply much of the seafood eaten in Onslow, Pender, and New Hanover counties.
Every year Hampstead celebrates its fishing history by hosting the North Carolina Spot Festival for Hampstead NC residents and vacationers. Spot are small, tasty fish that are plentiful in the Hampstead area. During warm weather, fishermen and shrimpers sell freshly caught seafood from iced-down coolers along the roadside and Poplar Grove Plantation hosts a local farmers market. Don’t miss the chance to stop at one of Hampstead’s pick-your-own blueberry farms and fill your bucket (and your tummy) with fresh, local blueberries.
Hampstead also has an array of real estate options that are all minutes from the waterways and ocean. Choose from the following options:
- New and existing homes
- Single-family homes
- Gated communities
- Golf course communities
- Waterfront homes
- Charming tin-roofed “salt boxes”
Many Hampstead, NC homes front the Intracoastal Waterway, and even more neighborhoods line Hampstead’s creeks. Boaters and fishermen will love the easy water access from Hampstead’s four marinas. Golf lovers can enjoy Hampstead’s four golf courses; Belvedere Country Club, Castle Bay Golf Course, Olde Point Golf and Country Club, and Topsail Greens Golf Club. Some Hampstead NC real estate is available in the neighborhoods intertwined with these challenging courses.
Learn more about Hampstead, NC real estate.
Just east of Pender County’s mainland is Topsail Island. The 26-mile long barrier island is home to three towns. The towns of Topsail Beach and Surf City are in Pender County and the town of North Topsail Beach is located in Onslow County. Topsail Island takes its name from local pirate lore. Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard, and other pirates once hid their ships in the channel between the island and the mainland and waited for passing merchant ships. The topsail was the only part of the pirate vessel that was visible from the Atlantic Ocean, so merchant ships kept watch for them when they entered the area. Legend says that Blackbeard once hid his treasure on Topsail Island and folks still search for it today.
Topsail Beach is Topsail Island’s southernmost town. Approximately 585 folks make Topsail Beach their home year-round, but during the summer the population swells to an estimated 8,500. That’s not counting the loggerhead sea turtles that make their nests here every summer and their hundreds of turtle hatchlings. Every day volunteers walk every bit of Topsail Island’s 26-mile shoreline, watching for turtle nests so that they can protect this endangered species.
Topsail Beach is even home to the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center, a hospital for sick or injured sea turtles. The sea turtle cause, along with beach fun, unites residents and visitors of all ages and makes Topsail Beach a truly special place.
Surf City, NC is Pender County’s fastest growing town and it’s easy to see why the town sandwiched between Topsail Beach and North Topsail Beach has grown to nearly 2,000 full-time residents. Families with children and kids at heart love the natural beauty and limitless activities in Surf City. In the summer, thousands of visitors come to Surf City via the swing bridge that connects the town to the mainland. The town’s laid-back, friendly atmosphere is enough to make anyone want to stay and for those who do, there are a multitude of new and existing homes in all shapes and sizes to choose from. The real estate professionals at Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage’s office located at 326 North New River Drive in Surf City will be happy to assist you with all your Topsail NC real estate needs.
Activities popular with both visitors and locals, include:
With activities for families, adults, children and seniors, Pender County offers something for everyone. With year-round temperate weather, outdoor activities are plentiful in the cities that make up Pender County. Whether you are searching for Hampstead, NC real estate or Topsail, NC homes, there will always be something to do.
- Sightseeing cruises
- Water sports
- Exploring ancient cypress forests on the Black River
- Going to the beach
- Picking blueberries at a local farm
- Eating fresh seafood
In Pender County, you can pack a picnic and eat lunch in the spot where George Washington and his officers once did the same, get the buzz on Operation Bumblebee, tee off on a scenic golf course, or go blueberry picking. Pender County, North Carolina has lots of eco-attractions, historical sites, and man-made fun, including:
- Moores Creek National Battlefield
- Topsail Island beaches
- Surf City Pier
- Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue & Rehabilitation Center
- Belle of Topsail Riverboat Cruise
- Topsail Beach Marina
- Historic Downtown Burgaw
- Missiles and More Museum
- Pender County Museum
- Penderlea Homestead Museum
- Train Depot of Historic Burgaw
- Bannerman Vineyard / White Oak Farm
- Horse Farms & Equestrian Resorts
- Pick-Your-Own Blueberry Farms
- Holly Shelter Wildlife Refuge
- The Washington Oak
Pender County, North Carolina is defined by its small town atmosphere and love of simple pleasures. Nothing exemplifies these more than local festivals like these Pender County NC events:
- Autumn with Topsail
- Battle of Moores Creek Anniversary
- Big Fall Festival
- Celebrate Hampstead Festival
- Dolphin Dip
- NC Blueberry Festival
- NC Spot Festival
- Pender County Spring Fest
- Topsail Offshore Fishing Club King Mackerel Tournament
- Halloween Festival at Poplar Grove Plantation
- Topsail Island Holiday Boat Flotilla
- Sun Fest
Whether you’re a newcomer or a native, just starting a family or just starting retirement, building a business or building sandcastles; the real estate professionals at Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage can help you find homes for sale in Pender County, North Carolina that are just what you’re looking for. Contact our real estate professionals today for help finding your perfect piece of Pender County, North Carolina.
Ready to start browsing for Hampstead, NC real estate or Topsail, NC homes? Explore all of the Pender County real estate options for you and your family.