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!
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.
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.
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.
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 nottoo 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
We’re preparing for the best year ever here on Topsail Island! If you haven’t planned your North Carolina beach vacation yet, this post will help you get started. We’re giving you a quick preview of the best of Topsail NC in 2019 with the highlights of what to expect around our Topsail towns, on our Topsail beaches, and what you need to know about our fabulous Topsail Island rentals. Best of all, it’s all in one place—right here— and easy to view at a glance.
Let’s begin, shall we?
Best Annual Topsail NC Events
Topsail Island and the greater Topsail NC area has fun, family-friendly events all year long. This is not a comprehensive list but it’s a great start on planning your Topsail beach vacation fun. We love our local festivities, activities and special events—and you will too!
(Event dates are accurate at the time of this blog post but are subject to change. It’s always best to confirm on the event site by following the links provided.)
Family-friendly fun abounds on Topsail Island all year long. Here are a few of our favorite things to do while you’re here. Be sure to check with each Topsail attraction for their seasonal availability and hours of operation.
Access Realty has Topsail Island rentals to suit your every need and desire with the amenities that matter most to you. We also make it incredibly easy to find what you’re looking for with our vacation rental search options. Of course you can select available rentals by date and availability, but you can also narrow down your search in various other ways. Here are some of the most popular ways to search Topsail vacation rentals on Access Realty’s site.
Okay, so now that you have an overview of all things Topsail Island, it’s time to plan your next visit. We hope this helps you get started. We’re also here to answer any questions you may have. Hope to see you soon!