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.
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.
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.
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? 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.
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.
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!