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!

Top 4 Reasons to Spend Labor Day on Topsail Island

Top 4 Reasons to Spend Labor Day on Topsail Island


Labor Day weekend is the (unofficial) final “hurrah” of summertime. School has started and schedules are full again, but we are given one last chance to kick back and relax with an extra day off. So why not spend Labor Day at the beach?


Here are our Top 4 Reasons to Spend Labor Day on Topsail Island:

Last Chance for a Summer Vacation Get-Away

1. Last Chance for a Summer Vacation Get-Away

This holiday provides most of us a three day long weekend. The last “time off” we get during the warm summer months before the colder air rolls through. Why not take one last trip to your favorite beach and soak up as much vitamin C (or Vitamin Sea, as we like to call it!) while you still can? Not sure where to visit? Learn about the three different towns that make up all of Topsail Island to decide which is best for your vacation.

Head to the Beach for Amazing Weather & Temps!

2. Head to the Beach for Amazing Weather & Temps!

Late August/Early September weather is a local’s favorite time of the year. Water is warm, air is comfortably hot with a breeze, and the sand has cooled off enough to walk around barefoot… Perfection.

Save Money with More Affordable Vacation Rental Prices

3. Save Money with More Affordable Vacation Rental Prices

Labor Day weekend means you are out of Peak Rental Season! Prices drop down to Mid Season rates and you no longer have the requirement for a full week stay. That means you pay less and only have to stay for the weekend (unless of course you plan to stay longer…you’ll end up wanting to!)Browse through our available vacation rental homes here.

Enjoy the Final Summer Events and Activities

4. Enjoy the Final Summer Events and Activities

From watching Movies in the Park to listening to the Sounds of Summer Concert Series to a fun round of Nighttime Golf at Castle Bay Country Club,  join in on the last of the local Summer events our area offers! Plus, fishing and boating are great this time of year too!


No matter which reason you choose, you will be sure to have a blast on Topsail Island during your long holiday weekend.


Tell us in the comments how you plan to spend your extra time off!

Top 4 Reasons to Spend Labor Day on Topsail Island

15 Rainy Day Activities on Topsail Island

Top 15 Rainy Day Activities on Topsail Island


“Rain, rain go away” is the song we are all singing today at Topsail Island. This week has been (and looks like it will continue to be) pretty soggy, but don’t let the weather dampen your vacation fun! There are several activities that you and your family can do on (and around) Topsail Island when you can’t be out on the beach.

Looking for something to do on this rainy day? Check out our Top 15 Rainy Day Activities!


Top 15 Rainy Day Activities

on Topsail Island:


Sea Turtle


1. Visit the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center.


2. Take a spin at the Topsail Beach Skating Rink .


3. Get a healthy dose of “retail therapy” at Mia’s Marketplace or Bumblebee Market.


Swingbridge Cork & Brew


4. Enjoy a nice glass of wine at Swingbridge Cork & Brew or a crisp local beer at The Salty Turtle Beer Company.


5. Test your wit and logic at the Topsail Escape Room.


6. Pick up your rainy day read at Quarter Moon Books & Gifts (P.S. – enjoy a glass of wine and some retail therapy here too!).


Lotus Flower


7. Treat yourself to a spa day at Inis Spa or The Float Spa of Sneads Ferry.


8. Indulge in some locally made fudge at The Topsail Island Trading Company or grab something sweet at Sugar Island Bakery.


9. Browse through (and buy!) local artisan designs and wares at Coral Cottages Boutiques or Carolina Decor & More.




10. Enjoy a hot cup of specialty coffee at The Daily Grind or 4 C’s Java.


11. Grab a few new movies from a local Redbox and some popcorn from The Topsail Island Popcorn Factory for a good ole movie marathon.


12. Take the kids for ice cream and some arcade fun at Beach Bunny Ice Cream & Arcade.


Topsail Steamer


13. Cook up some fun with a Topsail Steamer bucket for a late lunch or early dinner.


14. Paint yourself a wooden sign or ceramic figurine to take home as a souvenir at The Turtle Factory.


15. Burn some energy at the 24/7 Sneads Ferry Fitness gym or join in on a yoga class at the Surf City Community Center.




No matter which activities you choose to do, always remember:

A Rainy Day at the Beach is Better than a Sunny Day at the Office.




We’d love to see how your family enjoys a Rainy Day at Topsail. Drop us a picture in our comment section!



Top 15 Rainy Day Activities on Topsail Island

Topsail Restaurants with the Most Breathtaking Views


Are you in search of a delicious dining experience coupled with the best views that Topsail Island, North Carolina, has to offer? We’ve got them! From North Topsail Beach to Surf City to Topsail Beach and beyond, we have rounded up the most popular Topsail restaurants with the most breathtaking views for your dining pleasure. They’re all close and convenient to your Topsail beach vacation rental, so you’re never far away from great food with a great view!


Beauchaine’s 211, Surf City

Beauchaine’s is located at the heart of Topsail Island on 211 S Topsail Drive in Surf City. Serving upscale American and seafood cuisine, Beauchaine’s offers an upper deck and outdoor seating with lovely views of the soundside of the island and the town park. Make your reservation before sunset for a color show that pairs perfectly with your meal.


You can preview Beauchaine’s food and wine menu here.


The Breezeway Restaurant, Topsail Beach

The Breezeway Restaurant and Motel is Topsail’s Landmark Seafood Restaurant since 1949 and is located at the south end of the island  at 636 Channel Boulevard in Topsail Beach, conveniently located 6.2 miles south of Surf City stoplight. The Breezeway sits right at the water’s edge, perfectly situated on picturesque Topsail Sound. This casual seafood family restaurant provides waterfront dining in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. The Cherry Family invites you to join them for delicious seafood, hushpuppies and a spectacular view of the Topsail Sound.


You can preview the Breezeway Restaurant’s menu here.


The Bistro at Topsail, Surf City

The Bistro is a local favorite on Topsail Island and is located at 602-B Roland Avenue in Surf City boasting some of the best Intracoastal Waterway views around. That’s why it made the list of Top 100 Most Scenic Restaurants in America. You’ll enjoy the modern take on classic Southern cuisine at The Bistro, as well as all of the Topsail beauty to behold while dining here. Enjoy dinner with a view on the back deck at this multi-award-winning restaurant.


You can preview The Bistro’s menu here.


Buddy’s Crab House/Oyster Bar, Surf City

Buddy’s is located right on the Atlantic Ocean at 101 Roland Avenue in Surf City. This seafood-centric family restaurant is sure to please. There’s an outdoor dining area where the views can’t be beat. Buddy’s serves lunch, dinner, drinks and offers takeout, too.


You can preview Buddy’s menu here.


Daddy Mac’s Beach Grille, Surf City

Daddy Mac’s is located at 108 N Shore Drive in Surf City and offers indoor dining as well as right on the Atlantic oceanfront deck. Known for its fresh seafood, high quality steaks, and perhaps the best crab cakes around—Daddy Mac’s is a popular Topsail Island restaurant with panoramic views of the North Carolina coastline.  Daddy Mac’s Beach Grille does not accept reservations or call ahead seating, so it’s first come, first served.


You can preview Daddy Mac’s menu here. 


Inlet 790, North Topsail Beach

Located at 790 New River Inlet Road in North Topsail Beach, Inlet 790 is a full service restaurant located inside Villa Capriani and  offering a variety of American Cuisine served up with scenic views. Indoor and outdoor seating are available and you’ll love the classy yet casual ambiance of this NTB favorite.


You can preview Inlet 790’s menu here.


It’s a restaurant with a view, for sure. Ocean’s Edge is just as amazing as it sounds and is located on the top floor of Building 2 at the St. Regis Resort on 2000 New River Inlet Drive in North Topsail Beach. Enjoy some of the best ocean views in the Carolinas with made-from-scratch dishes served up in a friendly atmosphere—where the view is just the beginning!


You can preview the Ocean’s Edge menu here. 


Riverview Cafe, Sneads Ferry

The Riverview Cafe is the only off-island restaurant that made our Topsail Island most scenic restaurant list. Located at 119 Hall Point Road in Sneads Ferry, the Riverview is family-owned and operated since 1946 making it a local landmark famous for specializing in fresh Topsail seafood. You can’t beat the New River views, either.


You can preview the Riverview Cafe’s menu here. 


Sears Landing, Surf City

Last but not least, Sears Landing in Surf City is right on 806 Roland Avenue offering up breakfast, lunch and dinner with simply great seafood and a wonderful waterfront back porch bar. You can arrive by foot, by car, or by boat and they’ll have a place for you! Sears Landing offers both indoor dining and an outside covered deck. You can also relax and enjoy your meal on the porch in a rocking chair or dockside at a picnic table. Wherever you choose to dine, come hungry and leave satisfied.


You can preview Sears Landing’s dinner menu here.



These are our favorite Topsail restaurants with a view. What are yours? We want to know!