Topsail Island North Carolina offers a laid-back getaway with serene beaches and a small-town atmosphere. Topsail Island is a 26-mile long barrier island just off the North Carolina coast, with three charming seaside towns: North Topsail Beach, Surf City, and Topsail Beach. Topsail Island is off the coast of North Carolina but is located farther north then the Outer Banks.
Stay in one of the three main towns: North Topsail Beach, Surf City, or Topsail Beach. Each provides a unique and fun beach experience. With its maritime forests and natural landscape, North Topsail Beach is surrounded by water on three sides and offers dog-friendly shores. Surf City, located in the middle of the island, is the most commercial destination, offering lots of dining options, shopping, and community events. Situation on the southernmost end of the island, Topsail Beach is a coastal town with untouched sands and unbeatable views.
Make sure to visit the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in Surf City. Visitors can volunteer at the sea turtle hospital, take a tour of the facility, and help with the rehabilitation efforts of the turtle patients. Or cast a line off of the Surf City Ocean Pier. Or hop in a kayak to explore the sound, inlet, and ocean surrounding the town. In Topsail Beach, set up your chair at Serenity Point to catch a breathtaking sunset. There is plenty for everyone in Topsail Beach North Carolina. To learn about all the best North Carolina beaches, visit here.
Topsail Island Weather – When to Visit
Average temperatures for Topsail Island are in the 70s and 80s during the spring with less humidity then during the summer months. Spring is the perfect season for enjoying the best of Topsail Island, whether you choose to walk, run, pedal, or paddle your way around Topsail Island. Take advantage of the spring season lull where you have more of the island and its beaches to yourself and less crowds to contend with.
Best Topsail Island Beach Towns
North Topsail Beach
North Topsail beach is known for uncrowded and serene beaches and many say it's the best place to look for shark teeth and sea glass along the sand. It is also the only place to drive a 4×4 vehicle on the beach.
Surf City encompasses 5.3 square miles and has its own pier. That pier attracts a lot of visitors, especially those that love to fish! With white sandy beaches that beckon to sun worshipers and lovers of water sports.
In Topsail Beach enjoy sunbathing, swimming, surfing, fishing or whatever water sports you like to participate in. The beautiful sound front with access to the Intercoastal Waterway and nearby Lea Island is a great place to explore by boat.
Best Topsail Island Activities
Spend the Day at Topsail Beach
Lay down a beach towel and catch some rays on sandy Topsail Beach. Build a sandcastle or sunbathe and then cool off in the crystal blue ocean water. There are plenty of Topsail Beach activities to enjoy. In the evening, take a leisurely stroll along the shore and watch the beautiful sunset over the water. Visitors can have a relaxing day on the beach, whether they are there to sunbathe, surf or fish Topsail Beach is the perfect spot to have a fun and easy-going beach vacation.
Go fishing at Jolly Roger Fishing Pier
Topsail Beach is known for being a fishing town, and this is evident by the popular Jolly Roger Fishing Pier. Located close to Jolly Roger Inn, fishermen of all ages come to this pier for some quality onshore fishing. Right next to the pier is Jolly Roger Inn, which boasts beautiful ocean views, and is the perfect spot to stay if you’re planning on fishing or just exploring the area. If you don’t know what to do in Topsail Beach but you enjoy fishing, then head out to spend the day here!
Book an Excursion with Top Sail Island Tours
Those who want to fish offshore can always book an exciting fishing excursion with Fish Topsail. Half-day fishing trips start at $60.00 and all day trips start at $100.00. Not into fishing but still want to enjoy a boat tour? No problem – Fish Topsail offers evening cruises. Guests can bring their own drinks and food, then sit back for a relaxing cruise along Topsail’s pretty waters.
Learn about marine life at Ecological Marine Adventures
At Ecological Marine Adventures, children and adults can take advantage of some hands-on learning about marine life and their environment. Come take a one or three day class and learn everything from paddle boarding to crab hunting, to free weekly community classes. The free classes are perfect for visitors to Topsail Beach, as attendees are permitted to touch the various forms of marine life that inhabit the touch tanks.
Check out Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center
For a friendly and fun family experience, visit the Sea Turtle Rescue Center. Young and old will enjoy seeing the turtle hospital. The place is wheelchair friendly and the guides are helpful and interesting. Check with them for release dates, as they do set the turtles free if they can. Tables are set out that explain the turtle mission.
Best Topsail Restaurants
Beach Bums Grill & Bar $11 – 30
A North Topsail Beach staple offering cold drinks, good food, and live music right along the beach. Telephone: 979-871-9145 Web: Beach Bums Bar & Grill
Seaview Pier Restaurant Under $10
Enjoy a fresh meal right on the pier! This friendly restaurant combines a picturesque view of the Atlantic Ocean with a nice little restaurant offering freshly prepared seafood and other delectable items. Telephone: 910-328-3172 Web: Seaview Pier Restaurant
Beach Shop & Grill $10 – 30
Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, this eclectic shop and restaurant uses the finest ingredients to create inspired takes on low-country inspired foods. They have an award winning wine list with more than 250 selections representing every major wine region in the world. Telephone: 910-328-6501 Web: Beach Shop & Grill
The Breezeway $11 – 30
This casual seafood family restaurant provides waterfront dining at its very best. Conveniently located 6.2 miles south of Surf City stoplight The Breezeway sits right at the waters edge. Telephone: 910-328-4302 Web: The Breezeway
Topsail Steamer $11 – 30
Topsail Steamer offers Seafood Steamer Pots prepared with fresh local seafood, meats, veggies and home-made spices to take home, steam, eat and enjoy. Telephone: 910-328-2645 Web: Topsail Steamer
Best Topsail Nightlife
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. Telephone: 910-328-4373 Web: Brass Pelican
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. Telephone: 910-803-2325 Web: Hopsail Island
Lor-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. Telephone: 910-327-0900 Web: Lor-re-lei's Pub & Grill
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. Telephone: 910-803-2019 Web: Salty Turtle Beer Company
Shuckin' Shack Oyster Bar, Surf City
You 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. Telephone: 910-803-2037 Web: Shuckin' Shack Oyster Bar