The Best Things To Do on Topsail Island

Want something to do while you're vacationing here?

The Best Things To Do on Topsail Island

While the majority of your vacation will be spent somewhere along our 26 miles of sandy beach, there will certainly be times when you’ll want to explore more of the island. Fortunately, Topsail Island features a healthy array of activities for the young and young at heart!

This barrier island off the coast of North Carolina, just under an hour from Wilmington, is full of fun things to do, on and off the beach. Keep in mind, Topsail Island is divided into 3 areas: Topsail Beach, Surf City, and North Topsail Beach. It’s easy to go back and forth between areas as the island is relatively small.

The best part of Topsail is the tranquility of the island. You’ll love the Carolina vibes, fresh seafood, and relatively laid-back atmosphere. While Topsail isn’t the place to go if you need a vibrant nightlife, jam-packed boardwalk, and endless entertainment, it is the ideal place to go for fantastic ocean views, affordable vacation rentals, and a relaxing getaway.

While it’s easy to visit Topsail Island as a quick day trip from Wilmington or Jacksonville, we highly recommend you stay awhile. You and your family will love splashing in the saltwater, building sandcastles, and enjoying the best things to do on the island. To make your vacation extra comfortable and memorable, rent a Topsail Island beach house. With so many great ones to choose from, you’ll be able to find the perfect spot!

Don’t miss our travel guide for some inspirations on what to do while you are vacationing here on Topsail Island!


Take a romantic stroll on or under the 850 ft pier or visit a tackle shop and try to catch the next big catch: it's all possible at one of the island's premier piers! Fishing tickets for children aged 13 and younger are half-price! Get your weekly fishing permits here. Fishing rods allowed!


The Missiles and More Museum came to life when a group of citizens were concerned for the future of the historical Assembly Building. The building, constructed 1946, was used by the government to assemble missiles for a secret missile operation being conducted on Topsail Island. A great museum that hosts an array of exhibits of history and nature.


Take a half day fishing trip, kid's fishing adventure, or enjoy an evening cruise around the island. Queen Jean, has you covered for whatever type of boat tour you and your family are interested in. Another option for tours is with Tuck’s Water Shuttle. For some added exercise, opt for a paddle boarding tour through the intercoastal waterway.


A throwback to the olden days, this wholesome hangout has had the same DJ, Miss Doris, for over 40 years! Going for a skate is a unique way to have some family fun on your beach vacation.


Fun for all ages awaits at this original 1955 retro putt-putt course! Enjoy 18 holes at this mini-golf course and afterwards cool down at Topsail’s best ice cream shop. While much more than just miniature golf, Patio Playground also has 2 arcades, bike rentals, and plenty of photo opps.


Learn about the ecological impact and efforts involved in preserving these majestic sea creatures at the Sea Turtle Hospital. The mission of the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center is the conservation and preservation of all species of marine turtles, both in the water and on the beach. They accomplish this through the rescue, care, and release of sick and injured sea turtles.


The pier is located on North Topsail Beach off of New River Inlet Road at 124 Fishing Pier Lane. It is over 1,000 feet long and is one of the longest piers on the North Carolina coast. Old timers will remember that it was once called Salty’s Pier.


This is a great town park with loads of activities including: Soundside Gazebo (available for rent), a kayak launch, nature trail, tot lot, volleyball court, basketball court, tennis courts, picnic shelters and charcoal-ready grills.

The park is open from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily during the summer months.


Built and rebuilt since 1948, the Surf City Pier has delighted locals and vacationers for generations. With a restaurant and gift shop on site, this centrally located pier has provided endless relaxation for fishermen and sightseers alike.