The 2022 Autumn With Topsail Festival

When you visit the Autumn With Topsail Festival, you’ll discover that it’s much more than just a festival. It’s an experience! The festival was started in 1988 by the Historical Society of Topsail Island and the Assembly Building, which houses the Missiles & More Museum. Today, it’s still held on those grounds, attracting hundreds of artisans from across the region who display and sell their work at the juried Artists’ and Crafts Court.

What is the Autumn With Topsail Festival?

Enjoy exciting live musical entertainment, delicious food with beer and wine, inflatables for kids, and even more. The Autumn With Topsail Festival is a great way to spend a day or weekend on the beach and enjoy all that Topsail Island offers. It’s also a fantastic opportunity for you to support local artists and artisans who have worked hard to create unique, beautiful pieces.

You’ll find everything from handmade jewelry and pottery to woodworking and stained glass creations. You’ll also find many unique gifts for yourself and your loved ones. The Autumn With Topsail Festival is a fun, family-friendly event that everyone will enjoy!

What dates are the Autumn With Topsail Festival?

The Autumn With Topsail Festival is held on the first weekend in October each year. The festival kicks off on Friday night at 5:00 pm. The food vendors and the beer and wine garden will be available, but the craft vendors won’t be open until Saturday. The festival will be open from 10 am until 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday, so you have plenty of time to browse through all the different vendors and artists’ booths!

The official Autumn With Topsail website has the entire schedule of events on its website. The live music begins Friday night at 6:00 pm and will continue on Saturday and Sunday evenings. Their website has the entire band lineup and performance times.

The festival will be offering a FREE shuttle bus service that will make stops along Anderson Boulevard. Click here to see the full route map for the shuttle bus service.

Visit Topsail Island for an Unforgettable Fall Vacation!

If you’re planning a trip to Topsail Island this fall, chances are you’ve heard rumors about the Autumn With Topsail Festival. But what is it? How can you learn more about it? That’s precisely why we’ve compiled this guide: to answer all your questions about this inviting event and maybe even convince you to attend on October 20th and 21st. In the end, we hope we’ve given you everything you need to know about one of the best October events on Topsail Island.

To maximize the enjoyment of your Fall vacation to Topsail Island book one of our relaxing and luxurious vacation rentals here on Topsail Island.

Topsail Fourth of July Fireworks You Need to Know About

The Fourth of July holiday is quickly approaching! What are you doing? Where are you going to watch the fireworks? If you’ll be spending Independence Day here with us on Topsail Island, North Carolina then we have the best places to go for July 4th fireworks—and more. Check our local favorites and make your plans to join us. Bring your family, bring your friends!

Book your Topsail Island oceanfront rental today.

Surf City Independence Day Fireworks

July 3rd: Surf City fireworks always happen the evening before so you can get an early start to the holiday festivities. This celebration happens each year on July 3rd right on the island so it’s not far from your Topsail Island rental.

Click here for details on this year’s Surf City Fireworks & Celebration at Soundside Park.

Holly Ridge/Sneads Ferry Fireworks

July 4th: You get double the July 4th celebrations with one on-island fireworks celebration and one that is off the island. The mainland towns of Holly Ridge and Sneads Ferry team up to bring you one fabulous Fourth of July celebration each year at their Liberty Festival and Fireworks held at Holly Ridge Municipal Park.

Click here for more details on this year’s Fourth of July Liberty Festival and Fireworks.

Other Topsail Island Fourth of July Events

We have a few more July 4th events you’ll want to know about during your Topsail beach vacation. Take a look at these!

Ocean City Jazz Fest Kicks Off on July 4th

July 4-7 beginning at 5pm. Celebrating its tenth year, the Ocean City Jazz Festival is held in historic Ocean City in North Topsail Beach. Gates open at 4pm. Advance ticket prices are $50-$60 for one day or $160 for all three days. Tickets at the gate increase by $5. Event details here.

Surf City Pier Kids Fishing Tournament on July 4th

The Surf City Pier opens for a free day of fishing for youngsters age 16 and under in a fun, educational and safe environment. You must pre-register for this event. Call 910-328-3521 for more details.

More Annual Topsail NC Events

You can find all of the best and most popular Topsail area annual events all year long on Access Realty’s Events and Activities page and on our Best of Topsail 2019 Events post. Check them out!

What are you doing this Fourth of July? We want to know! Share this post if you’ll be here celebrating Independence Day with us this year. Happy Fourth of July from us to you!

10 of the Best Things About an Oceanfront Topsail Island Rental

We love talking about our oceanfront rentals here on Topsail Island, North Carolina. Why? Because they are amazing! With so many beautiful accommodations right on the beach, the hardest part is choosing which one is best for you and your family. But before we get to that part, let’s talk about the 10 best things about an oceanfront Topsail rental and why it might be the right choice for you and your family.

1. Access

Front row access to Topsail’s beaches.

Not only does our company name reflect how much we value offering the best access to the beach, but we also know it matters to you as a vacationer, too. Whether you stay right on the oceanfront of Topsail or not, quick and easy access to the beach is important.

It goes without saying that choosing a vacation rental right on the ocean front or ocean side pretty much guarantees you VIP access to the beach and all it has to offer. Knowing that you can walk out your door and be on the beach within minutes is a really great perk during a beach vacation. And isn’t being at the beach what you’re here to enjoy the most?

Make it easy. Make it quick. Make it convenient. Book an oceanfront Topsail rental.


Spectacular oceanfront views from inside your Topsail Island rental.

Along with the best access to Topsail beach, you also get breathtaking views from an oceanfront rental—both from the inside and out. Looking out the window and gazing at all of that blue sparkling Atlantic Ocean water, sunny blue skies, and pristine sandy shoreline is good for the soul.

Step outside onto the oceanfront deck and immerse yourself in the coastal elements while you deeply breathe in the salty air. It doesn’t get any better than that! Ocean views 24/7 don’t get old. Ever!

view from Casa Verde

3. Amenities

Amazing Topsail vacation rental amenities.

The most compelling reason for choosing a beach vacation rental over a hotel/motel stay is the freedom to customize and personalize your stay by choosing the amenities that matter most to you and your family. Which amenities are must-haves? Which vacation rental amenities will you use most? These are the questions to ask before you book a rental.

Popular Topsail vacation rental amenities include, but are not limited to, pet-friendly rentals, beachfront homes with pools or pool access, boat access, hot tub, fenced-in yard, outdoor shower, and charcoal or gas grill just to name a few.

You can go to our Vacation Rentals heading at the top of Access Realty’s homepage, hover over it, and then slide your cursor down to hover over the By Amenities option to search our Topsail Island rentals by the amenities they offer. Alternatively, you can go right to our Oceanfront/Oceanside Rentals page and refine your search to include the amenities you’re looking for in that group of rentals. It’s that easy! Let us know if we can help you in your search or answer any questions you may have.

4. Spaciousness

Spacious and roomy for extended family and friends.

Many of our oceanfront Topsail rentals are large and spacious enough for your to bring your extended family or your friends—and share the cost. Think about the memories you can make with those you love the most. This is a really special way to share quality time together in a very beautiful place. Get those plans underway today!

We have several Large Group Topsail Vacation Rentals that are also right on the oceanfront. Check them out and start planning your next family vacation or reunion.

5. Decks

Oceanfront decks that showcase the best of the beach.

We’ve already touched on this point and it definitely relates back to #2 of this post, but it’s worth elaborating upon. Having an oceanfront deck is a pretty sweet Topsail rental amenity that you are and your family are sure to get a lot of use out of and enjoy to its fullest.

First, you can’t beat the views. Then there’s the luxury of waking up, staying in your pajamas (if you please), and sipping your morning cup of coffee out on the deck each and every morning of your Topsail beach vacation. It is a very enticing thought, isn’t it? Almost as much as the evening glass of wine or beach cocktail to indulge in each evening in that very same spot.

Sunbathe with a little more privacy, sit out there and read a book, or do absolutely nothing but relax. However you spend your time, you’ll definitely be spending a lot of it on the oceanfront deck of your Topsail rental.

view from Ocean Song’s deck

6. Sunrises & Sunsets

Bird’s eye view of Topsail Island sunrises and sunsets.

Then there are the coastal sunsets that you can view right from your beachfront rental that you absolutely won’t want to miss! Topsail Island is perfectly positioned to give you stunning sunrises over the ocean to start the day and magnificent sunsets over the sound to end your day.

While we’re on the topic of sunsets, don’t miss our previous post on where to dine on Topsail Island while taking in the best sunset views.

7. Shelling

More opportunities for shelling and beachcombing.

Do you know what two of the top shelling tips are?

1. Get out on the beach early.

2. Get out on the beach often.

You have to increase your odds! Well, that’s really easy to do when you’re staying right on the Topsail oceanfront. No extra time needed to get to your shelling spot, no need to find parking, and no extra preparation required. Just get out there as often as you can and before others get first dibs on the seashells. Those are your best shelling strategies!

You can find some more helpful Topsail shelling tips here on where and how to find the best shells on the island.

8. Fishing

Easy and accessible fishing right outside your doorstep.

When you choose an oceanfront rental on Topsail beach, you’re also gaining access to surf fishing right outside your door. Walk to the water and cast your line (just make sure you have an NC fishing license first), and fish all day if you choose.

Depending on where your oceanfront rental is located, you may also be really close to one of Topsail’s three fishing piers (there’s one in each town) giving you another easy option to fish until your heart’s content. It’s a great way to have a family fishing experience, too. The Topsail fishing piers have a blanket fishing license so you don’t need one—and all the fishing gear necessary for a great day of pier fishing, so you don’t have to worry about a thing.

Read more about Topsail fishing and other things to do during your NC beach vacation here.

9. Playing

Kids have a coastal playground in their front yard.

Every parent knows that the beach is one nature’s best playgrounds. With so many ways for kids to play (and learn), you don’t need much for your kids to be occupied for hours on end at the beach.

From shelling and sandcastle building to tidal pool exploring and wave splashing, the beach offers an endless array of activities for all ages and interests from toddlers to teens.

Do you want some additional fun family beach games, ideas and activities for the kids and kids-at-heart? Read this.

10. Strolling

Stroll the beach anytime you please.

One of the most loved beach vacation activities of all time is the simple but beautiful beach stroll. Walk the beach whenever you want by just heading out of your oceanfront rental and onto the beach. Stroll hand-in-hand with your sweetheart at sunset or take the whole family for a walking adventure to get your daily dose of exercise.

Walks on the beach are a quintessential beach activity and one that’s easy to do from your Topsail Island oceanfront rental.

So what are you waiting for? Take the next step and find your place in the sand today. You won’t regret it! Book your Topsail oceanfront rental and look forward to all of this and more.

Have you rented an oceanfront rental on Topsail Island? If so, what did you love most about being right on the beach?

All You Need to Know About the New Surf City Bridge

As you drive over the bridge onto Topsail Island, NC for your beach vacation, you’re going to notice that things have changed quite a bit from last summer. The old historic swing bridge lives on in our memories but not in its usual location.

(You can watch a short video clip of some of the final stages of the Surf City swing bridge demolition here.)

Instead, you’ll be driving over the new Surf City high-rise bridge—and taking in some pretty fabulous views as you do. Here’s what you need to know about the new bridge and what it means for your Topsail, NC beach vacation and how it affects you getting to your Topsail Island rental.

The Surf City Bridge opened ahead of schedule late last year, which is really good news for you (and for those who of us who live here and drive over it every day). The new 65-foot-high, $53 million Surf City Bridge represents an improvement over the old swing bridge it replaces, as the swing bridge forced motorists to wait numerous times each day so the bridge could be opened to allow boats to pass. Traffic now can move continuously over the bridge as boats pass underneath. Faster, more efficient access to Topsail Island and its beaches? Oh yeah! We approve.

The bridge was originally scheduled to open in September 2019. But crews with NCDOT and Balfour Beatty Construction worked with the local community to accelerate the construction of the much-anticipated bridge so it could serve the community sooner. So that’s exactly what happened, with the new bridge opening 9 months ahead of schedule—which is pretty impressive (not to mention unheard of) when it comes to a massive construction project such as this.

After the opening ceremony, the Surf City Bridge became open to the public at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, December, 2018. Local officials led a vehicle procession across the 3,773-foot span between Topsail Island and the mainland for its inaugural run.

The new bridge also boasts 7.5-foot bike lanes and a 10-foot wide multi-use path, so there is a lot to love about the new Surf City Bridge and its user-friendly upgrades.

As they say, the rest is history. Oh and did we mention the panoramic views? Get your camera ready!

You can read more about the Surf City Bridge project on the NCDOT page.

Have you driven over the new highrise bridge in Surf City? What did you think? We want to know! Our comment section is always open and we love hearing from our readers.

The Ultimate Guide to the Best of Memorial Day on Topsail Island

It’s hard to believe that another Memorial Day holiday is quickly approaching. It’s the symbolic start of summer in most places, including on Topsail Island, NC. Although the beach spirit is alive and well here all year long, now’s the time when the summer fun and festivities begin. Set your watch to island time—Topsail Island time, that is—and come spend the Memorial Day holiday with us. You won’t be disappointed!

Your Topsail Island oceanfront rental (or whichever location you love most) is the place to soak up the Carolina sunshine, splash around in the blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean, take a deep breath of the salty air, and find your place in the sand.

Here are the local highlights and what things you may want to consider during your Memorial Day getaway to Topsail. Enjoy!

Why Memorial Day on Topsail Island

So you may be wondering if Topsail Island is the place for you and your family. If you haven’t already been here to experience it for yourself, here are few things you should know about, including why families love vacationing at Topsail Beach.

Here’s the short list:

  • Affordable. Families don’t have to break their budget or their bank account when vacationing on Topsail Island. In fact, TripAdvisor recently named North Topsail Beach and Surf City in the Top 20 most affordable beach destinations in the entire country. True story! You can read all about it here.
  • Family friendly. Yes, we cater to families here on Topsail Island and value a family-friendly beach atmosphere. Skip the overcrowded, bigger beach destinations along the East Coast and come spend some time here with the ones you love the most. Once you visit Topsail Island, it’s hard to go back to any of those other beaches. Fair warning!
  • Safe and community centered. We are a community-centered island and each of our towns has its own unique offerings. So no matter which place you choose to call your home-away-from-home for a week or more, you and your family will feel safe, secure and right at home. North Topsail Beach, Surf City, and Topsail Beach eagerly await your arrival.
  • Not overly commercialized. The beautiful beaches and gorgeous Eastern Carolina coastline are the stars of the show here, but there’s also enough other family-friendly activities and things to do to keep your family busy—but not too busy. Skip the loud and crowded summer spots and choose one that is a little more relaxed, a lot more laid back, and focus on what you really want from a beach vacation.
  • Topsail, NC offers a quintessential beach vacation experience. Visitors and vacationers come here looking to enjoy a beach vacation experience that’s not like the rest. Topsail towns and beaches give you exactly that. With a focus on spending quality time together, making memories that last a lifetime, and capturing the moments that matter most—all in a beautiful place—that’s what you can expect from your Topsail beach vacation. And that’s what keeps families coming back year after year to spend this most precious time together here on our island. We consider that a privilege and an honor.

Best of Topsail Beach

If you follow Access Realty’s blog (and we hope you do!) you know that we love sharing our little piece of paradise with you and all it has to offer. We want you to have the best NC beach vacation ever, so we strive to share the things we love most about the area from an insider’s perspective. If you ever have any questions, please let us know. We’d be happy to be of service.

Here are a few of the many highlights of Topsail’s beaches:

  • Nestled between ocean and sound. Topsail Island is a barrier island perfectly placed between Atlantic Ocean waters on one side and calm soundside waters on the other. It really is the best of both worlds. Did we mention that the coastal sunrises and sunsets on Topsail Island are incredible? Well, they are!
  • Beach fun for everyone. Whatever you love to do on the beach, from reading and relaxing to fun and family-friendly beach games and activities (and more), you can do it here. No wall-to-wall beach towels for you to wade through. Claim your space then spread out, relax and enjoy it to the fullest—and however you please.
  • Plenty of on-the-water-fun. Choose your water adventure whether it’s calm and quiet on the soundside of the island or where you can find more wave action on the ocean side. You choose the aquatic adventure and then go for it! We have plenty of local sports outfitters and surf shops to give you what you need, if you don’t already have it in your Topsail Island rental. Read more about the most popular Intracoastal Waterway activities on Topsail Island here.
  • Beachcombing for shells, shark teeth and sea glass. Beachcombers absolutely love Topsail Island and for good reason. Whatever your beachcombing pleasure, you can start out on your shelling, shark tooth hunting or sea glass finding adventure. Who knows what the ocean will wash up on any given day? Megalodon teeth have been found on Topsail beaches, you know…
  • Picnics and cookouts. Memorial Day is a one of those holidays where we tend to want to gather together with family and friends and make it a little extra special with a picnic-style meal or cookout on the grill. Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice that. Pack up a picnic and bring it right to the beach. Or take advantage of the grills you can find locally. Maybe your Topsail rental has one included or go ahead and use the free charcoal grills available in some of our local Topsail parks. You may also want to check out our previous post for recipe ideas and cool treats perfect for a beach picnic or lunch.
  • Topsail events & attractions. Topsail’s annual events, local festivals, and area attractions offer something for everyone of every age and interest. See what’s happening during your stay and check out some of the most popular things to do on the island and off. Visit our local recommendations of the best things to do in Topsail here.

Topsail Military History

Let’s not forget the true meaning and significance of the Memorial Day holiday. It honors those who have given the ultimate sacrifice so that we can enjoy the freedoms we currently have on this day and every day. So what can you do to bring that meaningfulness to life during your Topsail beach vacation?

We have a few ideas for you:

  • Experience living history on the island. The local history of Topsail Island is rich in military history and significance. From the Missiles and More Museum to the Topsail Missile Towers, and all of the fascinating military history that is part of Topsail’s past, there are always stories to be told and new things to learn.
  • Venture off the island for a day trip. The nearby towns of Jacksonville and Wilmington are also quite rich in military history. From the Battleship North Carolina to the National Cemetery and Battlefield, as well as the historic forts and sites that are also nearby, you’ll find plenty of ways to fill your days with history, learning and remembrance.
  • Ask a local. They probably have a few additional suggestions for you depending on your interests. We have a wealth of local resources in our residents and area businesses, so go ahead and strike up a conversation. The Topsail Historical Society is another wonderful resource for you to explore.

What’s your favorite way of remembering the true meaning of Memorial Day when you’re here on Topsail Island?

Where to Stay on Topsail Island

Alright, now it’s time to make your plans to be here! Whether it’s Memorial Day or any day, there is always plenty of culture, history, natural beauty, events and festivals, and so much more for you to discover on Topsail Island.

Book your oceanfront Topsail Island rental for the best front-row access to Topsail beach and all the coastal beauty found right outside your doorstep.

What are you doing this Memorial Day? Wherever you are spending it, we wish you a safe, meaningful and relaxing holiday weekend. Happy Memorial Day to you and yours.

The Most Popular Places To Go Out on the Town in Topsail

A fun night out on the town during your Topsail, NC beach vacation is easy to find with all of the options that are available to you—and all right near your Topsail Island rental. The hardest part is deciding what you want to do most! Whether it’s date night, a special occasion or just a regular part of your beach vacation, nights out on (or off) the island are always a hit. Check out some of the best ways to go out and experience what the area has to offer.

Drinks, Dinner & Live Music

The first thing that comes to mind when we’re talking about going out on the town are the local favorites in Topsail that are the perfect spots to enjoy a bite to eat, sip an adult beverage, and listen to live music.

Topsail Bars & Breweries Offering Live Music:

  • Brass Pelican, Surf City: Known for its laid-back atmosphere and dive bar status, you can enjoy a cold drink, tasty bar food, live music, the outdoor area and a come-as-you-are atmosphere here.
  • Hopsail Island, Surf City: This full service bottle shop and tap room serves up some of the best and most unique beer (and wine) on this island—and all with a smile coupled with friendly service. Check out their event schedule, too.
  • Lo-re-lei’s Pub & Grill, Sneads Ferry: Go off island for this one and enjoy a full menu and some really cold beer. Lo-re-lei’s also offers live music, karaoke contests, dance parties, as well as pool and darts tournaments.
  • Quarter Moon Wine Bar, Topsail Beach: The Quarter Moon is not just for coffee and books! They have a wine bar complete with live entertainment. Check out their event schedule and see who’s playing.
  • Salty Turtle Beer Company, Surf City: Locals love the Salty Turtle and you will too. Enjoy this brewery and taproom complete with a beer garden. You can even bring your own food in with you, if you please.
  • Second Row, Surf City: It’s all about beer, wine and music here. It’s open mic all the time and they’ll even provide the instruments. It’s casual and totally captivating.
  • Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar, Surf City: You can’t really have a quintessential Topsail beach vacation without fresh local seafood. You also can’t have romance without fresh local oysters—and they serve them up daily at Shuckin’ Shack. They also host “Sundays At The Shack” with live music on their pet-friendly patio every Sunday in June-August from 4-6pm.
  • Swingbridge Cork & Brew, Surf City: Enjoy unique wines, craft brews, kegs for order and a lot of live entertainment in a fun, friendly atmosphere. Try a flight or a wine tasting while you’re here.

Romantic Restaurants Topsail Island:

  • Beach Shop & Grille, Topsail Beach: The Beach Shop and Grill was founded in 1952 and is an historic landmark in Topsail Beach serving fresh local seafood, NC pork and the freshest produce. Enjoy this upscale casual bistro near the beach, where the seafood is freshly caught and prepared, the shrimp and grits are infamous, and the house-made desserts are to-die-for. There’s an amazing wine list and craft beer list, too, making it a wonderful place to spend the evening.
  • Beauchaine’s 211, Surf City: Beauchaine’s casual fine dining and full service bar is a great place for drinks and dinner. It’s the perfect spot for date night, family dinners, special occasions and other celebrations. Outdoor seating is available, too. Reservations recommended.
  • Daddy Mac’s Beach Grille, Surf City: Daddy Mac’s is located right on the beach offering awesome views of the Atlantic Ocean and Surf City Pier. They have a separate lunch and dinner menu that include the freshest seafood, great burgers, sandwiches and salads for lunch, quality steaks, excellent pasta dishes, as well as many other local favorites. No reservations are taken unless you have a large group.

These are only a select few of the many places available for your evenings out. We also recommend you check out TripAdvisor’s top picks for Topsail restaurants that give you even more great date-night dinner and drink destinations.

Outdoor Adventures

Perhaps you’re looking for something a little more active and adventurous for you and your date. We’ve got some wonderful suggestions for that, too! Whatever your interests, you’re sure to find a few fun ways to get out and enjoy your time together. Here are a few of our favorites.

  • 18-Hole Golf Courses:If you’re an avid golfer, you’re in the right place. Topsail has some fabulous golf courses to tee it up and get your game on. You can read up on our Ultimate Guide to the Best Topsail Golf Outings right here.
  • Water Sport Adventures: Kayaks, paddle boards, jet skis, charter boats and surf board lessons and rentals are available to you on Topsail Island. Get out there and paddle the local waters or set out on a sightseeing cruise or chartered fishing boat. However you like to get out on the water, you can find it here. Visit our Things To Do page for local recommendations and businesses to get you where you need to go.
  • Romantic Walks on Topsail Beaches & Piers: With three separate but equally beautiful towns on Topsail Island, you can stroll your way around hand-in-hand with your sweetheart while taking in all of the breathtaking coastal scenery and gorgeous views that the island has to offer. Each town has a fishing pier where you can walk and talk. Each of our beaches also offers romantic walks to be shared each and every day. Read more about each of our Topsail towns and visit them all if you can.

Unique Topsail Experiences

If you’re looking for some suggestions for out on the town experiences that are truly unique to Topsail Island, then these are for you. They promise to give you a memorable time that will bring you fond memories of your Topsail beach vacation for years to come.

  • Sneads Ferry Community Theatre: Come on out and enjoy a show! The Sneads Ferry Community Theatre is a fun and entertaining place for an evening out. These local productions are crowd favorites. Check out their upcoming performances and get your tickets.
  • Topsail Skating Rink, Topsail Beach: Lace up your rollerskates and get ready to roll at this family-owned Topsail landmark that’s been in business for over 50 years. Rollerskate to 70’s and 80’s music every night from 7pm to 10pm. Ice cream, snoballs, smoothies and other snack options complete this classic date night experience.
  • Topsail Escape Room, Surf City: Did you know that Topsail Island has an escape room experience? It does! It’s good clean fun for everyone. From families and couples to friends and coworkers, the Topsail Escape Room challenges you to get your mental game on! Work together and work out your escape. Will you succeed? There’s only one way to find out. Do it!
  • Topsail Moose Lodge, Holly Ridge: The local lodge offers special events, dance classes, and one-of-kind local fun. See what’s happening here next time you’re in town.
  • Turtle Factory Wine and Design, Sneads Ferry: Come to The Turtle Factory and paint a masterpiece while you snack and sip some wine. It’s a unique way to spend your time with your loved one or with a group of family and friends, and you’ll take a piece of Topsail home with you.

Well, these are our top suggestions for popular places to go out on the town and have a good time during your Topsail, NC beach vacation. Now that you know ours, we want to know yours!

Oh and one more thing….

Need a Babysitter During Your Topsail Vacation?

Topsail Childcare Solutions, Nanny/Babysitting Placement Agency: Need childcare while you’re on your Topsail, NC vacation? No problem! Topsail Childcare Solutions specialize in vacation babysitting. If you are vacationing in the Topsail area and would like a date night, or just some time to do activities that are not child-friendly, they can provide a babysitter for you for a $20 sign-up fee. You will get a sitter that has been interviewed, passed a background check, has references checked, and is CPR/First Aid certified. Find them on Facebook at the link above; or call/text (910) 789-4701 for more information.

Where do you go for a fun night out when you’re here? We want to add to our list of local favorites by hearing from you!

How to Keep Your Kids Busy at the Beach

How to keep your kids busy at the beach? Wait, what? Isn’t the beach one of the most entertaining places on earth for kids of all ages? Yes, yes it is. Most days all you have to do is step out of your Topsail Island oceanfront rental and onto the beach, and they are as happy as clams.

But then there are those days where you need a few extras (parents, you know what we mean). So just in case you have a day or two like that during your Topsail, NC beach vacation— we’ve got you covered with these fun, family-friendly beach activities for the kids and kids at heart.

Here are some of the easiest and most popular games, activities and classic beach fun to keep your kids happily amused while you sit back and soak up the sun.

Sand Play

Beach Treasure Hunt: A beach treasure hunt is fun for all ages. You can either hide objects, toys or coins in the sand for the kids to find, or you can keep it even simpler by creating a list on paper or in the sand of things they need to find and retrieve from the beach.

Build a Sandman: Forget about building a snowman, build a sandman instead! Use wet sand to create your base and then get creative with the rest. Sunglasses, goggles, flippers, flip flops, beach towels, and other beach accessories make perfect accents.

Bury Each Other in the Sand: What child doesn’t love the opportunity to bury their sibling in the sand? …Or friend, or parent… (if you’re down with that). Goggles or sunglasses might be helpful as a preventative measure for keeping sand out of the eyes. Then it’s time to switch places!

Oil Drilling: This is a classic beach activity where kids have 5 minutes (or any time period you choose) to dig a hole in the sand. Whoever has the deepest hole when time’s up is the winner. Just remember to fill up any holes you make in the sand when you’re done! You don’t want anyone to get hurt or provide any dangerous obstacles to sea turtles and their hatchlings.

Sand Angels: This is a fun activity for the littlest ones to enjoy. Sand angels are made the same way as snow angels. You can even add a few shells for decoration.

Sand Drawing: Kids love to draw and the beach can be their canvas. Have them draw pictures in the sand using their hands, sticks or shells. You can draw a frame first that each child has to draw their picture inside or have them start from scratch and you can judge the best picture.

Sand Hopscotch: Draw a hopscotch grid on the sand and use shells as markers. Kids love it!

Sand Sculptures: You can get really creative with these—sculpting turtles, aliens, or anything you want. Decorate with shells and pebbles for added effect.

Sandcastle Building: Make it a team competition between two different sandcastles, or give the kids a time limit to finish their own masterpiece. However you do it, sandcastle building is fun for all ages.

Easy Beach Games

Beach Scavenger Hunt: Supply each child with a list (it can be written or drawn with pictures) and a bucket in which they can collect their treasures.

Bucket Ball: Use some buckets and a tennis ball to have kids take turns aiming and tossing the ball into the buckets, or you can buy the commercially produced game and bring it with you to the beach.

Fill a Bucket Relay: Place small plastic buckets away from the water, one bucket for each person or team. The aim is to be the first to fill the bucket with water from the sea, using only hands to carry it. (Younger children can use cups or sponges instead of their hands.)

Parachute” Games with a Beach Towel: Grab a large beach towel and a beach ball. Hold the ends and sides of the towel with the ball in the middle of the towel, and see how high that ball can bounce. Aim for the sky!

Sand Bull’s Eye: Draw three circles in the sand and collect some stones and shells. Players have to throw the stones into the circles for points (one for the big outer circle, two for the middle circle and three for the center circle).

Sand Pictionary: Write down a list of beach objects on separate scraps of paper (sand castle, ice cream, crab, etc.). Fold them up and put them in a bucket. Set a timer for 1 minute. One child picks out a piece of paper from the bucket and has to draw in the sand the object that is written on it. The other kids have to guess what is being drawn. After each correct guess the drawer then picks another bit of paper and keeps drawing as many objects as they can in 1 minute. The drawer scores a point for each drawing that was correctly guessed by the other kids. Another child then becomes the drawer and does the same thing. This can also be done in teams of 2 or more—the drawer from each team reads the same bit of paper and tries to get only their teammate to guess, racing against the other team.

Seek and Retrieve: Assign a part of the beach as a boundary, and tell everyone who’s playing to bring back the most interesting thing they can find within the boundary area. Bonus points for whoever gets back first.

Squirt Ball: Bring water guns and a beach ball to the beach, and draw a line in the sand for each team. Place the beach ball between the two lines. Players have to use the squirted water to get the beach ball over the other team’s line.

Classic Beach Activities

Beach Volleyball: Beach volleyball is so fun. Enjoy a mixed game of kids and adults or divide up teams any way you choose. For the smaller kids, a beach ball and a towel are great substitutes for a net and volleyball. Try to count the number of times they can get the ball back and forth.

Beach Frisbee Golf: Try substituting a game of regular frisbee with frisbee golf for a new twist. Set up targets using items you brought to the beach (could be a picnic blanket, an umbrella, a towel, or you could even dig a hole in the sand to aim at). Take turns trying to throw your frisbee as close to the target as you can. Make sure smaller kids are allowed to stand closer to the target than the bigger ones to keep frustration levels to a minimum.

Bocce Ball: Bocce ball is an easy game for all ages to learn and to play. A “jack” or target is thrown on the sand. Players then throw their weighted balls and the one who gets their ball closest to the target wins a point. The game continues until a certain number of points are reached. If you don’t own a bocce set, improvise with rocks and other beach treasures. Just always make sure no one is walking by when it’s your turn to throw!

Bubble Blowing: Don’t underestimate the entertaining power of a simple bottle of bubbles. The beach is the perfect wide-open space for kids to blow, chase, and pop bubbles. So easy, so fun!

Frisbee: The beach is a nice open space for a good old-fashioned game of frisbee. It fits easily in your beach bag and can be played on the sand or partially in the water. Just be mindful of anyone near to you so you don’t become a nuisance or accidentally hit them.

Kite Flying: Let’s go fly a kite! This is a classic beach day activity. Even if it’s not a windy day, kids love running while pulling a kite behind them. Many of Topsail Island’s local sports outfitters and shops sell kites, so check them out.

Limbo: Play a beach-friendly version of this game by improvising with a pool noodle, jump rope, paddle, or beach towel. This one’s not just for the kids, either. How low can you go?

Musical Beach Towels: This is just like musical chairs, but instead you’re using beach towels. Make sure there’s one less beach towel than number of people playing. Start up the music from your phone and when it stops, each person must sit on a towel. Whoever is left without a towel is out of the game. Remove another beach towel and continue playing in this manner until the winner is revealed.

Tidal Pool Exploring: Topsail Beach has pockets of tidal pools left behind when the ocean waters recede at low tide offering the perfect opportunity for kids to play, explore and observe.

Tug of War: Using a jump rope or some beach towels tied together, stand at the water’s edge. Divide the kids (and adults) into two teams as equally (and fairly) as possible. Make sure the middle of the rope is right over a line drawn in the sand. Hand the ends of the rope to each team and on the signal let them tug away until one team is triumphant.

Love these beach games and activities? You can find more here and here.

What are your favorite family-friendly beach games and activities for the kids and kids-at-heart? We’d love to hear them!

25 Free Things To Do on Topsail Island

Raise your hand if you love free! We have some really good news for you—there are a lot of free things available to you and your family during your Topsail beach vacation, and they’re all right near your Topsail Island rental. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but rather 25 of the many free things you can enjoy while you’re here.

Here is our Topsail Top 25 list of best free activities, events, festivals, and things to do. How many will you take advantage of during your Topsail Island vacation? We want to know!

Free Annual Topsail Events

1. Participate in the Dolphin Dip on New Year’s Day.

It’s an annual tradition here on Topsail Island. Have you done The Dip? It happens every January 1st in Surf City on the beach. Bring in the New Year with a splash. Save the date! Event details here.

2. Attend the Surf City Easter Egg Hunt.

Every bunny loves an Easter egg hunt and the Surf City Parks and Rec Easter Egg Roll never disappoints. This year it’s held in a new location: the Surf City Parks and Rec Community Center fields. BYOB! (Bring your own basket.) Event details here.

3. Go to the Summer Concert Series.

From Memorial Day to Labor Day, enjoy the sweet sounds of some of the best musicians in the area. Come to Soundside Park on select summer nights for a fun and free evening out. Summer Concert Series schedule coming soon. Stay tuned! Event details here.

4. Watch free Movies in the Park.

Free outdoor movie showings in Soundside Park every Friday from Memorial Day to Labor Day are a summer favorite. Movies start at dark with pre-show activities and food vendors at 7pm. Movie schedule coming soon! Event details here.

5. Celebrate Independence Day with Surf City Fireworks.

We start the fireworks the night before the Fourth of July here on Topsail Island. The Surf City Independence Day celebration and fireworks in Soundside Park on July 3rd is a local highlight. Spend July 4th with us! Event details here.

6. Attend a Topsail Christmas tree lighting.

Christmas on the coast of North Carolina is a beautiful thing. Topsail Island comes alive with local tree lightings in Surf City and Topsail Beach, parades, and other special events throughout the season. Holidays are better at the beach, you know.

(Click here to see the best annual Topsail, NC events from our previous post. They aren’t all free but they are all totally affordable.)

Free Activities Around Topsail Island

7. Explore North Topsail Beach.

Spend a day or two or three just exploring around town. Start from your North Topsail Beach vacation rental and begin your adventures. Check out the Permuda Island Coastal Reserve, the Sea View Pier, the beaches and soundside waters just to name a few.

8. Explore Surf City.

Surf City is centrally located on the heart of the island. Walk out of your Surf City, NC rental and take in all the sights including the Surf City Ocean Pier, the beaches and sound, as well as the main dining and shopping strip on the island.

9. Explore Topsail Beach.

The southernmost town on Topsail Island, Topsail Beach offers miles of beautiful beaches, ocean and soundside waters, as well as the Jolly Roger Fishing Pier, the Missiles and More Museum, and access to Lea Island—plus they’re all right near your Topsail Beach vacation rental.

(Click here to read more about the area and each of our Topsail, NC towns.)

10. Visit the Missiles & More Museum

Learn about the storied past of Topsail Island at the Missiles and More Museum, housed in the historic Assembly Building in Topsail Beach. Delve into the people, times, and goings on that led up to the present day beach vacation destination that Topsail Island is today. It’s free, but donations are always welcomed.

11. Have a picnic at Soundside Park.

How much do we love Soundside Park? Let us count the ways. It’s the perfect spot to picnic, grill out, fish from the docks, watch the sunset, and let your kids burn off some pent-up energy. Lots of free events happen here, too!

12. Enjoy one of Topsail’s parks or playgrounds.

North Topsail Beach offers its Town Park; Surf City has Soundside Park, Kenneth D. Batts Park, and Nelva R. Albury Recreation Area; and Topsail Beach has its Town Center Park—each with their own unique amenities to enjoy.

13. Visit the Seacoast Art Gallery.

Stop by the Seacoast Art Gallery in Surf City and view the beautiful art and handiwork of Topsail’s local artists and artisans. It really is a local treasure!

14. Window shop around town.

One of the best things to do around town is to window shop Topsail Island’s unique stores. Right off the main strip you’ll find the Bumblebee Market, Topsail Island Trading Company, The Mermaid’s Purse, Mia’s Marketplace, and plenty of surf shops and sports shops just to name a few. Peruse the Topsail Chamber of Commerce Retail Shopping Guide here.

15. Bike along Topsail Island.

Hop on your bike and pedal your way all along Topsail Island. Try the Topsail Island bike path, the beach, and anywhere your two wheels can take you. Read more about biking around Topsail Island here.

Free Things To Do on Topsail’s Beaches

16. Soak up the Carolina sun.

You’re on a beach vacation, so soak it up! Whatever you enjoy most, get out there and do it. From fishing and boating, kayaking and canoeing, surfing and paddleboarding, biking and walking, or just finding your spot in the sand and relaxing, there are plenty of ways to get your daily dose of Vitamin D here.

17. Walk the Topsail shoreline.

Stroll your favorite stretch of the 26 miles of shoreline that Topsail Island has to offer. Make it your morning or evening ritual. Feel the sand beneath your feet, hear the waves crash around you, breathe in the salty ocean air, and enjoy the views all while getting your exercise.

18. Collect seashells.

Topsail Island has some beautiful seashells just waiting to be discovered. Get out early and go out often for the best selection. Want some tips on shelling? Read our previous post: How to Find the Best (and the Most) Shells on Topsail Island.

19. Hunt for shark’s teeth.

Shark teeth abound on Topsail Island. From recently lost teeth (sharks lose thousands of teeth over their lifetime) to fossilized Megalodon teeth, you never really know what you may find. That’s all part of the adventure!

20. Search for sea glass.

The search for that glint of sea glass in all its colors dotting the shoreline is a beachcombing adventure all its own. With a watchful eye and a willing spirit, you have all you need for your sea glass hunting expedition on Topsail’s beaches.

21. Surf the waves of the Atlantic.

With plenty of Topsail surf shops and sports outfitters to guide you, you can grab your board, get out on the Atlantic, and ride the waves. May the swell be with you!

22. Paddle the local waters.

Whichever mode of paddling you prefer, Topsail’s soundside waters are very inviting to those who seek peaceful and calm on-the-water adventures. Bring your kayak, canoe, or paddleboard then get out and explore.

23. Swim in the Atlantic Ocean.

When is the last time you went for a swim in the wide-open ocean waters? It’s good to feel small in a big world every now and again. Float with the pelicans, body surf the waves, or just take a refreshing dip in the Atlantic. It really is rejuvenating.

24. Savor the Topsail Island sunrises and sunsets.

Because of Topsail Island’s placement along the North Carolina coast, you get the best of both worlds when it comes to coastal sunrises and sunsets. You get a double color show every day with stunning sunrises over the ocean and breathtaking sunsets over the sound.

25. Try surf fishing from any Topsail Island beach.

Surf fishing from Topsail’s beaches won’t cost you a dime, as long as you have the minimal fishing equipment, some bait, and a little patience. Just make sure you already have your NC fishing license!

Which of these free Topsail Island activities will you enjoy this year during your beach vacation? Or do you have more to add to our list? We’d love to hear from you. Drop us a comment and let us know!

10 Quotes to Get You in a Summer State of Mind

We are devout summer lovers here! How about you? As winter drags on, we’re here to inspire you with what’s to come. These encouraging words will remind you of all that the summer season has to offer you with its bright sunny days and beautiful star-filled nights.

What makes summertime even better? Spending it on the beach, of course. And by beach, we mean Topsail Beach! Here is a little extra motivation to start planning your Topsail beach vacation with us today.

Cheers to sun, sand sea and all that summertime is meant to be!

Summer State of Mind

“One must maintain a little bit of summer, even in the middle of winter.”

—Henry David Thoreau

One thing about living at the beach is that it’s pretty easy to maintain a summer state of mind. Constant reminders from the ocean, salty air, and sandy shorelines remind us that a summer state of mind is easy to find here on Topsail Island. Won’t you join us?

Summer is the Best

“Summertime is always the best of what might be.”

—Charles Bowden

Ah, summertime. It really brings to mind the best times in life spent wild and free, allowing you to just be. Every approaching summer is filled with the anticipation of good things to come and beach vacations to be enjoyed. Have you planned yours yet?

A Little Summer Goes a Long Way

“Cause a little bit of summer is what the whole year is all about.”

—John Mayer

The whole year revolves around the summer season with its warm sunny days and beautiful starry nights. The other seasons each have their own charm, but summertime will always be our favorite.

Sunny Disposition

“You are so much sunshine in every square inch.”

—Walt Whitman

It’s easy to have a sunny disposition when you’re on the coast of somewhere beautiful, like right here on Topsail Beach. Soak up the sunshine while you’re here and radiate its warm glow for others to see. Even when you’re not at the beach, be the sunshine you want to see in the world!

No Shoes, No Problem

“If you’re not barefoot, then you’re overdressed.”


Welcome to beach life! Spend your time being barefoot and carefree. No shoes, no shirt, no problem! You’re on island time now and the dress code is come as you are.

Summer Nights

“The summer night is like a perfection of thought.”

—Wallace Stevens

How beautiful are the summer nights where the stars are bright, the warm salty breeze is caressing your skin, with the sound of the waves serenading you? Most beautiful indeed. Summer nights are perfection in many, many ways. Come share some summer days and nights with us this summer on Topsail Island.

Warm Up, Buttercup

“I love how summer just wraps its arms around you like a warm blanket.”

—Kellie Elmore

Depending on where you live and what your winter has been like, you may need a nice, big, warm hug right about now! Warm yourself up right now by imagining your summer beach vacation here with us. Take it a step further by planning your Topsail beach vacation and chasing those winter blues away in an instant. Summer is coming!

Endless Summer

“I could never in a hundred summers get tired of this.”

—Susan Branch

Nope, the beauty of the beach never gets tiring whether it’s summertime or not. We get to experience plenty of endless summers on the North Carolina coast, and we love every single one of them. How many of your summers have you spent on Topsail Island? We’d really love to know!

Smell the Sea, Feel the Sky

“Smell the sea and feel the sky. Let your soul and spirit fly.”

—Van Morrison

Delight all of your senses and immerse yourself in beach life. Take time to really breathe it all in and feel in on your skin. Its presence is unmistakable and truly does affect your mind, body and spirit. The beach is some of the best medicine known to man and the best news of all is you don’t need a prescription. Just come and get some!

Summer Afternoons

“Summer afternoon, summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”

—Henry James

How do you like to spend your summer afternoons? Lying on the beach? Reading the afternoon away? Catching up on some much needed naps? Fishing off the pier? Swimming in the ocean? Walking miles of beautiful beach? Whatever it is that you love to do, you can find it here on Topsail Island. Summer afternoons are pretty awesome here!

Friends, Sun, Sand & Sea

“Friends, sun, sand, and sea, that sounds like a summer to me.”


This sounds like everything you need to have the perfect summer! Grab your family and friends, find your place in the sand, and spend some time by the sea this summer. Your Topsail, NC beach vacation is ready and waiting for you! Happy Summer!

Isn’t it time you booked your beach house rental in Topsail, NC? Get into a summertime state of mind right now!

How to Have the Best Family Spring Break Ever

What does a successful family spring break require? That’s a really great question! It’s not just something you can throw together last minute and hope for the best. A vacation is both an investment of your time and your money, so of course you want it to be the best it can be. We have some helpful tips to ensure you have happy memories of your family spring break for years to come.

1. Choose a family-friendly spring break destination.

You really don’t want to choose the spring break locations that the college kids are choosing, right? Right! You want a family-friendly vacation destination without all of the spring break antics and indulgences.

Topsail Island, North Carolina has just what you need to get away from it all and still have fun at the beach. With a welcoming, safe and family-centered atmosphere, everyone is sure to enjoy their beach days. There’s enough to do to keep your focus on family time without too many distractions that draw everyone in different directions. We happen to think it’s the perfect family spring break destination for oh so many reasons!

Check out TripAdvisor’s Top 10 Things to Do with Kids on Topsail Island and see why families love it here.

2. Plan ahead and do your research.

Take some time to see what family-friendly activities and attractions are available to you and your family during your stay. This will help you plan your time and budget for any big-ticket items. Don’t forget to search for the free and low-cost options in the area, too.

Topsail Island offers not only miles and miles of beautiful beaches but plenty of family-friendly fun around town. Check these favorite Topsail Island attractions, annual events, and things to do.

3. Book a vacation rental instead of a hotel/motel.

Booking a vacation rental makes sense and saves you money. Why choose a hotel or motel stay when you can opt for a vacation rental that offers more bang for your buck? Think about all you can get with a vacation rental: more privacy, more space, a kitchen, laundry facilities, pet-friendly options, a personalized vacation experience and so much more. Why sacrifice any of that?

Take a look at our Topsail Island rentals and see which one best suits your family’s needs and wants.

4. Choose amenities that matter most to your family.

When you’re perusing your vacation rental options, think about the must-have amenities that you and your family will use during your spring break vacation. Whether it’s a pool, tennis courts, bicycles, hot tub, game room, boat dock, fishing pier—or whatever your family wants as part of their stay, plan accordingly. Talk together about what’s most important and prioritize.

Discuss your vacation rental’s preferred location, style, size and all the extras. Then find the best vacation rental for you and your family—one that at least meets, if not exceeds, your expectations. This is your vacation, so don’t settle for less.

5. Stay flexible.

This is not the spring break vacation of your youth when you were single and carefree. A family spring break is quite different (but in a good way!) so you have to go ahead and expect the unexpected. Keep the right perspective and know that all may not go as planned, which is almost always the case when you’re traveling with kids and teens. Focus on the memories you’re making and what will be remembered in the long run. It may not be perfect, but it can be fun, relaxing, and enjoyable for everyone.

It’s good to have a plan but it’s also important to stay flexible and go with the flow. Allow some time for spontaneous adventures while also planning ahead the best you can for the big things. Communicate with your family, discuss the options, and keep your expectations realistic.

Before you know it, your spring break vacation will be in full swing. Savor these fleeting moments that will quickly become memories. These are days you will look back upon and wish you could go back to, so cherish them.

Happy spring break to you and yours!

Let us know if we can help you plan your family spring break on Topsail Island. We’re here to help!