Hampstead is coastal North Carolina’s hidden treasure. Nestled between Wilmington and Jacksonville, this quaint village has low property taxes, award winning schools, lovely waterways and marshes, friendly neighborhoods, convenient shopping, and excellent golf courses.
This village is an active community with a vibrant mix of locals and newcomers, young families and retirees. Hampstead's diversity, location and unbeatable amenities make it a unique destination in the Cape Fear region.
Hampstead is one of the fastest growing and most desirable places to live in southeastern North Carolina. Situated on the Topsail Sound and the Intracoastal Waterway, Hampstead remains unincorporated, by residents' choice, and is essentially rural with its vast winding rivers, creeks, and hundreds of acres of woodlands. It is an ideal location for commuters into nearby Wilmington, Jacksonville and Camp Lejeune. Within Hampstead you will find 5 “award of excellence” winning schools and four challenging, 18 hole golf courses open to the public year round - a true golf lover's paradise! Only minutes away are the white sandy beaches of Topsail Island. The mild winters of Hampstead are a major draw to those seeking homes in a warmer climate.
Hampstead began as a fishing village, and is still one of a few local villages that stake claim to the title of "Seafood Capital of the Carolinas". Each September brings the Spot Festival, a long-held tradition that celebrates a local favorite fish, Spot, that is abundant in local coastal waters. Spot lovers young and old travel from all over the south to enjoy this popular festival every fall.
There's plenty to do in the Hampstead area. Of course, the beaches are the most popular, but year round golfing, tennis, boating and fishing rank high with the residents. Hampstead offers access to a variety of historical and natural attractions. Poplar Grove Plantation is one of the oldest existing peanut plantations in North Carolina and was preserved as a museum in 1980. Poplar Grove Plantation's mansion is on the National Register of Historic Homes. There are re-enactments from the Civil War era in nearby Moore's Creek and Fort Fisher. Harbour Village Marina has deep water access and slips available for purchase or lease. A new public boat launch is under construction and is ideal for boating and fishing enthusiasts. With many small, uninhabited islands offering opportunities to explore, picnic, surf, fish, enjoy the wildlife, or just relax, Hampstead is a great place to live or visit anytime.
Pender County was settled mostly by English colonists who fled to America during the English Civil War in the mid 1600s. The first settlers were mostly farmers who cleared the land to build plantations like Frog Hill and Grovedere which encompassed what is now the town of Hampstead. The Sloop Point Plantation house, dating back to 1726, is one of North Carolina's oldest buildings and during the colonial period, it was a small active port for shipments of rice and lumber to foreign destinations.
George Washington stopped in Hampstead on his Southern Tour. It's been reported that he slept at Hampstead when he bunked for the night in a local home. Washington was reported to have eaten lunch under an old oak tree south of Hampstead. This tree still exists and has been preserved as an historical monument that records the event. A portion of the original old road which Washington traveled by stage, can still be found near Hoover Road today. Legend has it that Hampstead got its name from George Washington in the late 1780s. It seems during one of Washington's many trips along the King's Highway he planned to spend the night in the area and feast on mullet caught in the Topsail Sound. However, when he arrived, they didn't catch a single mullet, so they feasted on ham instead. From that day on, the area was known as "Hampstead". In honor of his visit, the Washington Oak tree was planted as a monument by the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1925; the tree continues to be the town's centerpiece today.