17 Things To Do In Surf City, NC On Your Next Beach Trip

Explore 17 must do activities, from beachfront fun to local delights, for an unforgettable beach trip!

17 Things To Do In Surf City, NC On Your Next Beach Trip

Planning a visit to Surf City, North Carolina? Surf City is a small town on Topsail Island, just about 30 minutes outside of Wilmington. Although a relatively small barrier island, Topsail is divided into 3 parts: North Topsail Beach, Surf City, and Topsail Beach. All 3 areas are easily accessible to one another and make great family-friendly vacation destinations. If you're looking to stay in the heart of the island's action, Surf City is the spot for you. With so many fun things to do and great vacation rentals to choose from, you'll love your time in Surf City. 

So, without further ado, let's dive into 17 best things to do in Surf City, NC.

1. Relax on Topsail Beach

Of course, one of the best activities during your visit is to simply relax on Topsail Beach. You can rent a kayak, try some fishing, build a sandcastle, and take a dip in the warm water. It is a laid-back location that is perfect for those who are looking for a serene, quiet, and relaxing vacation. This is also the perfect place to go with friends and family members. 

The water is usually warm enough to swim in from May to September, but it is also a great escape from the cold weather during the winter.

2. Check Out The Seacoast Art Gallery

Even though there are plenty of fun activities outside, don't miss out on the art and cultural opportunities available in the local area. This art museum is one of the top locations to go to in Surf City, and the exhibits rotate from time to time. 

You can check out sculptures, photography, pottery, paintings, and more. Check back often to see if they have any new exhibits on display. They might even have some special events going on while you are there. 

3. Swing By Kenneth D. Batts Family Park 

This is one of the best parks in Surfside City. It has a large playground for children, and it has some picnic tables to enjoy a nice meal. It features a wide variety of fields, a basketball court, and a long boardwalk. You might even want to bring a picnic basket so you can enjoy everything the park has to offer.

Rain or shine, this is a fun place to go, as there is a picnic shelter available as well!

4. Take A Walk On Surf City Pier

You cannot go to Surf City without visiting the Surf City Pier. This is the very first ocean pier to open on Topsail Island, and it is one of the best fishing spots on the entire Atlantic coast. Many people spend all day on the ocean pier, as there is always something fun to do. 

Even if you don't like to fish, there are plenty of shops along the fishing pier for you to check out. This is a great spot to purchase a souvenir, and you will have some amazing ocean views along the way.

If you do like to fish, then you will want to bring your tackle box and fishing pole. You can visit a nearby tackle shop if you forgot something. You might even catch some dinner for that evening, but even if you do not, you should check out some of the restaurants! There is always something delicious on the menu, and you may want to ask for the special. Then, as you enjoy your meal, listen to the ocean waves crashing against the pier. 

5. Visit The Missles And More Museum

If you are a fan of history, this is a fun place to check out. This is an opportunity for you to learn about the naval and military activities that used to take place on Topsail Island.

There are plenty of exhibits that focus on the Civil War, you can learn about the contributions of women to the Air Force, and you also have an opportunity to learn about pirate attacks that used to take place in the local area.

You can watch a few short movies, check out some pictures, and learn from the amazing exhibits. 

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6. Visit Soundside Park

If you are looking for some amazing photography opportunities, check out Soundside Park. This is one of the best locations to go to if you want to watch the sunset or sunrise, and this is a great opportunity for families with children as well. 

This is a recreational park that has a lot of playgrounds, swings, slides, and more. The park also comes with a long boardwalk, so don't hesitate to go for a walk and take in the vibes. You might even see a few animals along the way, so make sure to keep your eyes open!

7. Thurston Art Gallery

This is another amazing spot for people who love art. Many of the pieces have been inspired by local residents, and the owner, Sherry Thurston, also puts a lot of her work on display. It is also a popular location among students who want to become artists themselves.

It only takes a few hours to take in everything this amazing art museum has to offer, so don’t miss out on this opportunity. It is also a great location to go if the weather is not that great outside.

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8. Try Your Hand At Some Water Sports

If you are up for trying something new, you may want to try your hand at some amazing watersports. There are plenty of great rental services on the island that allow you to try surfing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and numerous other activities. When you rent your equipment, if this is your first time, you might want to also ask if they have teachers available to give you a few lessons.

If you are comfortable enough going off on your own, you can even rent a paddleboard, kayak, bike, or surfboard. You might even want to try racing your family members and friends!

9. Sign Up For Tiki Tours

Are you in the mood for a guided tour? If so, you will want to sign up for one of the numerous Tiki Tours. During the tour, you get to ride on a paddlewheel or pontoon boat. Then, you can explore some of the hidden nooks and crannies of Topsail and Surf City. You can snap a few pictures of sea turtles, dolphins, ospreys, pelicans, and numerous other animals who live in the area.

You will also get a beautiful view of the barrier islands, which represent some of the best photo opportunities in the area. They have numerous packages available, so this is an activity that you can do again and again.

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10. Relax At The Inis Spa

If you come to Surf City to relax, you will want to visit The Inis Spa. It perfectly encapsulates what the island stands for, and it is a great way to escape from the hustle and bustle of your everyday life.

After spending all day in the salt and sand, you might be in the mood for a relaxing spa treatment. This is the place to go. They have body massages, facials, and numerous other treatments and packages from which to choose.

They are open from Monday to Saturday, but they tend to book early. Take a look at their availability, and don't miss out on this opportunity.

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11. Check Out The Patio Playground

This is a fun amusement park for people of all ages! If you love mini-golf and putt-putt, this is the place to go. This is a family-friendly attraction, and it gives you an opportunity to kick the rust off of some of those carnival skills!

There are plenty of other fun attractions in the playground as well. You should consider renting a bike, checking out one of the ice cream parlors, or swinging by one of the family arcades. There are lots of fun DJ sessions as well, so don't pass up on this opportunity to check out some live music! Don't forget to swallow your pride and try the hula hoop contest as well!

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12. Rent A Jet Ski From Surf City Jet Ski & Watersports

If you are looking for an adrenaline rush, you might want to rent a jet ski. There are plenty of locations in Surf City to rent a jet ski, so consider trying one out for yourself! You can take a jet ski to visit Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach, and numerous other locations. Just remember to keep your eyes open, as you may see a few dolphins along the way.

If you haven’t ridden one before, have no fear! One of the staff members would be happy to teach you how to use a jet ski.

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13. Check Out Bumblebee Market

You cannot leave Surf City without going to a surf shop, so swing by Bumblebee Market to take a look at everything they have to offer. If you are looking for a souvenir, this is the place to go. If you are looking for some fresh snacks, you can find them here as well. You might even find a few candles, books, jewelry, and even a few stuffed animals.

It is open all day, and it is the perfect location for those who love to go shopping. You will certainly be glad you visited.

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14. Play A Round Of Golf At Shipwreck Point Golf

If you are looking for a miniature golf course, Shipwreck Point Golf is the place to go. They have a wide variety of holes available, and you can customize your experience to meet your needs. Regardless of how old you might be, everyone can fall in love with some mini-golf!

This is a great way to spend an hour or two, and the staff is always there to help you out.

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15. Sign Up For An Ecological Marine Adventure

Ecological Marine Adventures is one of the most popular outdoor activities available. In particular, this is a great location for families with children. There are plenty of educational exhibits, outdoor games, and hands-on activities with instructors who would be happy to show you the ropes. The activities can change from day to day, so take a look at the calendar to figure out what you might be interested in.

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16. Swing By Mia's Marketplace

This is another amazing shopping opportunity for people who are looking for everything from souvenirs to food. If you get lucky, you might be able to sample some of their homemade stuff. For example, you might want to dive into some dip, sauce, or salsa. 

There are also plenty of clothing stores available, allowing you to customize your look to appropriately meet the atmosphere of Surf City.

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17. Visit The Gathering Church

This is an old Baptist Church that is an amazing work of architecture. Regardless of your religious background, this is a place to go. Everyone is welcome, you can take some pictures of the beautiful architecture, and there is always some appropriate music playing in the background.

If you want to try a service, the main service always starts at 10 a.m. on Sunday, on the dot. They also have a variety of special events throughout the year, so don’t forget to take a look at the calendar to see what is coming up soon.

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