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!

Your 2019 Visitor’s Guide to the Best of Topsail Island

Your 2019 Guide to the Best of Topsail

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.) 

January 1, 2019: Dolphin Dip in Surf City

March 2, 2019: Surf City Business Expo

April 20, 2019: Easter Egg Roll at Soundside Park in Surf City

Memorial Day-Labor Day 2019: Movies in the Park at Soundside Park

Memorial Day-Labor Day 2019: Summer Concert Series at Soundside Park

July 3, 2019: Independence Day Fireworks & Celebration in Surf City

July 4, 2019: Independence Day Fireworks in Holly Ridge and Sneads Ferry

July 5-7, 2019: Ocean City Jazz Festival North Topsail Beach

August 10-11, 2019: Sneads Ferry Shrimp Festival

September 2019 (Dates TBA): Topsail Island Jeep Week

October 19-20, 2019: Autumn with Topsail

Nov 2-3, 2019: NC Spot Festival in Hampstead

November 16, 2019: Surf City Christmas Tree Lighting

November 29, 2019 (TBA): Topsail Island Holiday Lighted Boat Flotilla

November 30, 2019: Topsail Beach Christmas Tree Lighting

You can find more annual events as they are added to our Topsail event calendar here.

Best Local Topsail Attractions

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.

Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue & Rehabilitation Center

Missiles and More Museum

Topsail Beach Skating Rink

Shipwreck Point Miniature Golf

Patio Playground

Soundside Park

Seaview Pier

Surf City Ocean Pier

Jolly Roger Pier

Find more information about our favorite things to do on Topsail Island here.

Best Topsail Island Rentals

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.

Search Topsail Rentals By Location:

North Topsail Beach

Surf City

Topsail Beach



Search Topsail Rentals By Popular Amenities:

Wedding Friendly

Large Group Rentals

Interactive Floor Plans

Pet Friendly

Pool Access

Elevator Access

Hot Tub Access

Boat Access

Linens Included

Search Topsail Rentals By Community:

Queen’s Grant

St. Regis Resort

Summer Winds Townhomes

Surf Condos

Turtle Cove

Villa Capriani

Village of Stump Sound

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!

A Topsail Guide to the Holidays: The Best Way to Shop

A Topsail Guide to the Holidays: The Best Way to Shop


So what is the best way to shop for the holidays? Locally, of course. When you shop local and buy local, not only are you helping to support small business owners in the Topsail, NC area but you’re also giving the gift of uniqueness and local flair that you won’t find at the big retailers—whether you shop the mass markets online or in-store, it just isn’t the same.

In support of the “Shop Small” movement and to encourage you to shop locally, we’re highlighting the best shopping in the Topsail, NC area where you’re sure to find the perfect gift for everyone on your holiday list.

This is Part 2 of our Topsail Guide to the Holidays, so if you missed Part 1 on the best festive Topsail events, you can read all about it here!

Topsail Hometown Christmas Local Discounts

Hometown Christmas is a Shop Local campaign in the Greater Topsail Area that runs through December 20th where local Chamber of Commerce businesses give back to the community through charity drives and giveaways,  holiday open houses, Santa sightings, special holiday events and more—while also promoting the Shop Small movement by providing discounts to local shoppers in the Hampstead, Sneads Ferry, Holly Ridge, North Topsail Beach, Surf City and Topsail Beach areas.

Visit the Topsail Chamber of Commerce Hometown Christmas page or like and follow Hometown Christmas on Facebook for the latest updates and information. There are a many specials happening right now, so don’t miss out!



Holiday Gift Ideas for Topsail Beach Lovers

Would you like some holiday gift giving inspiration for the special people in your life? We have them! Here are some really unique and very memorable gift-giving ideas for everyone on your list. Our local Topsail retailers have a little something for everyone. Make your list and check it twice!

Here are some of the best Topsail gift ideas that you can shop for and buy locally:

  • Adopt or sponsor a sea turtle on behalf of someone: The Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center offers the gift of adoption or the chance to sponsor a sea turtle in a loved one’s name. The sea turtle hospital gift shop also has a nice selection of gift items for the sea turtle lovers in your life.
  • Artwork or handcrafted  items: Give the gift of artwork from a local NC artist, hands-on classes, art supplies or frame something special to give as a gift this season. Art Exposure and Coral Cottage Boutiques are wonderful places to shop for some artistic local treasures. Carolina Shores Natural Soaps offers handcrafted skincare and beauty products made in Carolina with the highest quality ingredients and perfect for gift giving.
  • Gourmet NC food specialties: Give the gift of local flavor and a taste of NC with gourmet treats from some of our favorite places. The Bumblebee Market and Mia’s Marketplace offer local and regional flavors that are sure to please.
  • Home & garden decor: From hammocks and rocking chairs to tide clocks and weather instruments, you can give the gift of Topsail style by shopping at Beach Furniture Outfitters, The Gift Basket/Topsail Island Trading Company, Southern Emporium, and It’s a Topsul Thing where you’ll find plenty of ways to give a gift of the beach or find that whimsical conversation piece that brings a little bit of Topsail to any home or outdoor space.
  • One-of-kind jewelry: Many of the local gift shops also sell handcrafted jewelry from local artists. You can also visit Tommy J Designer Jewelry (formerly Mystic Treasures) for rare and unique jewelry designs created on-site. They also offer state-of-the-art custom design services for a personalized gift like no other.
  • Pampering: Give the gift of pampering! Everyone loves a little time to relax and receive some TLC. Our Topsail area day spas and wellness services are wonderful ways to show someone you care. Give the gifts that they most likely won’t give to themselves!
  • Restaurant or shopping gift cards: You can’t go wrong with a gift card to one of your favorite Topsail Island restaurants or local retailers. Gift cards make those hard-to-shop-for people in your life much easier to find gifts for.
  • Sports outfitters, lessons or experiences: Topsail Island offers plenty of places to find gifts for the sports enthusiasts in your life. Stop by Herring’s Outdoor Sports, Southend Outfitters, or any of the local surf shops and see what they have to offer. Whether it’s actual sporting goods, brand name activewear, fishing gear, surfing lessons or a paddling excursion out on the local waters, the local sports shops have a nice selection of gift options.
  • Sweet treats: Who doesn’t love a sweet treat? We have some delicious little Topsail shops and eateries that offer amazing gift giving opportunities. Whether it’s a gift card or an actual treat you’re giving, there are plenty of ways to do it. Check out our favorite places to find the yummiest sweet treats on Topsail Island.
  • Topsail area day trip or cultural experience: Don’t underestimate the power of an experience this holiday season. It’s the gift that keeps on giving and provides a lasting memory that will be cherished for a lifetime. Choose from local adventures like a visit to the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher, hop aboard the Battleship USS North Carolina, or take a day trip to Poplar Grove Plantation. These are only a few of the many local experiences and adventures you can share with those you love.
  • Topsail beach vacation for your family: Last but certainly not least, you can always give your family the gift of a Topsail beach vacation to look forward to next year. Plan it early and you’ll also give the gift of anticipation as you count down the days until you’re all here on our beautiful Topsail beaches with your toes in the sand. Check out these vacation planning tips to help get you started!



Topsail Island Gift Shops & Local Retailers

If you’d like to read more about our Topsail Island businesses, take a look at the Topsail Chamber of Commerce List of Retailers and Gift Shops for some local favorites. All that’s left to do is shop ’til you drop. We have what you need here in Topsail, NC for everyone on your holiday list. Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to you and yours!


Where’s your favorite place to shop locally in the Topsail, North Carolina area? We would love to know! Our comment section is always open. 



How to Have the Most Fun on the Intracoastal Waterway


One of the highlights of a Topsail, North Carolina beach vacation is being so close to the beautiful waters that surround our little barrier island. Nestled between the majestic Atlantic waters on the oceanside of the island and the tranquil soundside waters of the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) on the other, Topsail Island is truly a water lover’s paradise offering the best of both worlds where you can experience amazing inland and off-shore adventures.

Today, we’re putting a spotlight on the inland water adventures that await you on the ICW.

Get to know the Intracoastal waters near Topsail.

Let’s get to know a little more about the lay of the land and local waters, so you can get better acquainted this little piece of paradise on the North Carolina coast.

A Quick Topsail Island Geography Lesson

Topsail Island is one island in a chain of barrier islands located along the North Carolina coast,  midway between the mainland cities of Jacksonville, NC to the north and Wilmington, NC to the south. Topsail Island itself is situated in both Onslow and Pender counties and is home to the three seaside towns of North Topsail Beach, Surf City, and Topsail Beach with each providing a unique ambiance all its own.

Offering 26-miles of expansive shoreline, pristine beaches and a quintessential beach vacation experience, Topsail Island has quickly become a popular vacation destination for couples, families and beach lovers from all over.

It’s no wonder that Topsail Beach has recently been voted Best Little Beach Town in the USA by TripAdvisor, the world’s largest online travel site. Little Topsail Island is making a big splash on the beach scene, which is no surprise to those who know it best. It’s certainly not a secret anymore!

The Location of the  Intracoastal Waterway (ICW or ICWW)

The northeastern edge of Topsail Island is where you’ll find the New River Inlet, and the southwestern edge lies in the Topsail Inlet. The island is separated from the mainland by a series of small sounds and channels that make up a portion of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.

The Intracoastal Waterway at-large is a 3,000-mile inland waterway along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts of the United States, running from Massachusetts southward along the Atlantic Seaboard and around the southern tip of Florida, then following the Gulf Coast to Texas. The ICW is made up of natural inlets, saltwater rivers, bays and sounds, as well as artificial canals,  providing a navigable route for boaters along its length without many of the hazards of the open ocean waters.

Where to Access the ICW During Your Topsail Vacation

There are three public boat ramps on Topsail Island. If you want your own, then be sure to choose a soundside Topsail vacation rental that comes with stunning views and  instant access to the ICW anytime you want it. (More on that later in this post!)

  • North Topsail Beach: There is a boat ramp at the end of Shrimp Lady Lane under the high-rise bridge. The ramp is free, and there is plenty of parking.
  • Surf City: Public boat ramps are located at Soundside Park on 517 Roland Avenue right near the bridge.
  • Topsail Beach: The south end of the island also has a boat ramp offering access to the Intracoastal. The ramp, also known as Buch Marina, is located on South Anderson Boulevard just past Town Hall in downtown Topsail Beach and is set up as a self-pay, self-use ramp. 



Plan your Intracoastal Waterway adventures.

Okay, your geography lesson is done and now it’s time for on-the-water fun! Your ICW adventures are only limited to your imagination because there are so many ways to enjoy the local soundside waters.

Cruising & Sightseeing

When it comes to cruising the local Topsail waters, we highly recommend The Belle of Topsail. It’s a 55-foot replica of an 1880’s turn of the century riverboat that cruises the scenic waters of the North Carolina Intracoastal waterway and sounds. Enjoy a lower salon or an open air deck on top with a terrific view of the island and the sounds. Experience the beauty of a North Carolina sunset from the waters aboard the scenic own riverboat. This peaceful, picturesque cruise along the waters of Topsail Island is the perfect ending to a hectic day, or it could be the beginning of an exciting night! Either way, it’s a quintessential Topsail cruising experience that’s guaranteed to please.

Topsail Tiki Tours is another local favorite. The Tiki Queen Paddlewheel takes you on a 2-hour nature and history tour along the Intracoastal Waterway and the back of Topsail Island. You’ll learn about the history of the island’s lookout towers, pirates and so much more. See the gorgeous waterway areas that only those with boats typically get to enjoy and along the way keep an eye out for Topsail Island’s spectacular wildlife including sea turtles, dolphins, ospreys and pelicans, just to name a few. They also offer sunset party cruises, shelling tours on a pontoon boat, and private charters.


If you brought your own boat to Topsail Island, then you can explore the local waters at your own pace and see the sights whenever you please. Savor the coastal beauty and make time to watch the breathtaking coastal sunset as it sinks slowly into the soundside horizon. Be sure to motor on over to the Breezeway Restaurant and Sears Landing where you can pull right up and dock for your dinner.

Guided Ecotours

Paddle your way along the island on a Topsail Ecotour either on a kayak or a stand-up paddleboard. Paddle NC offers personalized guided tours for all  ages and abilities on the calm, flat waters of the sound. Their tours leave from the sound side of Topsail’s Beach Access #2. The launch area is easy to use, and surrounding water is sheltered from wind and boat traffic for an relaxing, stress-free paddling adventure.

You can also take a guided ecotour by boat with an experienced local captain who can show you around and get you comfortable on the water. Topsail Boat Rentals and Lost Treasure Eco Tours are two great options.


Fishing and Topsail Island go hand-in-hand. Spring and Fall are optimal fishing times but you can drop a line anytime you’re here. It’s especially easy to do when you choose a soundside Topsail rental with its own dock.

Alternatively, Soundside Park in Surf City offers public piers for your fishing pleasure. It’s also a great place for crabbing, too. Just don’t forget your NC fishing license!

Kayaking, Paddleboarding/SUP Rentals 

The ICW waters just beckon for you to get out and explore them. Kayaking, paddleboarding and stand-up paddleboarding are best experienced on the calm soundside waters off Topsail Island.

If you didn’t bring your own water equipment, we have some awesome local sports outfitters that will take care of everything you need for your paddling adventures. 50 South Surf Shop and Herrings Outdoor Sports are two places to rent kayaks, paddleboards, find guided tours and more.

Jet Ski Rentals

Jet skiing is a fun and exhilarating on-the-water activity. A&B Saltwater Adventures can make your Topsail Island vacation extraordinary with the ride of a lifetime on their Yamaha jet skis (they also offer pontoons, our SUP boards and kayaks). Located at Bush Marina, A&B Saltwater Adventures is a family owned and operated business with more than 20 years of experience on the water. Explore Topsail Island from the beautiful waterways and see it for yourself.




Soundfront Topsail rentals offer the best access.

So with all of the ICW fun and adventure available to you on Topsail Island, now is the time to find the perfect rental for you and your family. Soundfront and soundside Topsail rentals are the way to go if you want ICW access that’s right outside your doorstep.

Need some help? Here are three Topsail rentals right on the Intracoastal Waterway that come equipped for adventure.

Heron House  

(equipped with private boat dock and canoe)

Heron House sits proudly on the sound with large sweeping views of the Intracoastal Waterway in the Village of Stump Sound. The home provides a private dock, two large garages, five total bedrooms, (four of which contain private baths) very large sound front decks on the top and bottom floors, cozy backyard, canoes and much more. Heron House sits on a very private lot, just a few yards away from the community tennis courts and the small boat launch.

Sounds Right

(equipped with private boat dock, 2 kayaks and a paddleboard)

Sounds Right is comfortable and spacious with breath taking sunsets over the ICWW. You will love relaxing on the partially covered back deck while you watch the boats leisurely cruise by. Perfectly situated in the quiet family friendly community of the Village of Stump Sound which features a beach access, community pool, tennis courts and small craft launch. Take a short stroll past the fire pit to the private dock, which allows you to bring your boat and leave it right at your back door. There are also two kayaks and a paddleboard for your use during your stay.

Waterway Hideaway

(equipped with private dock on deep water ICW, canoes and kayaks)

Tucked back in the quiet community of Chadwick Shores, this home sits directly on the sound front with wonderful views of Topsail Island and the ICWW. Privacy, seclusion, plenty of space and direct access to the sound are just a few of the things you will find at Waterway Hideaway. Guests are welcome to use the canoes and kayak at the home. Have a boat? Bring it! This home is perfect for you. With its own private dock, you can fish until your heart’s content. A large raised deck at the end of the dock allows for sweeping views of the sound as well.


More About the NC Intracoastal Waterway…

Do you want to learn more more about an Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway adventure along the North Carolina Coast?


Have you had an Intracoastal Waterway adventure around Topsail Island? We want to hear about it! Our comment section is always open.