20 of the Best Ways to Get Active on Vacation

20 of the Best Ways to Get Active on Vacation

You're on vacation and you want to relax, but you also want to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle. Can you really do both? Yes you can! One of the best things about a Topsail beach vacation is that it is so incredibly easy to get active and stay fit during your time here. Topsail Island offers plenty of ways to get exercise and have fun while you're doing it. Walk right out of your Topsail Island rental and into a healthy lifestyle. We've highlighted 20 of the best ways to get active on your Topsail vacation. Get out there and see what island life has to offer. Enjoy your favorite healthy activity or try something totally new.


1. Walk every day.walk on the beach


In addition to the health benefits of daily walking, it's a great way to take in the beauty of your surroundings and explore where you're vacationing. Physical activity doesn't need to be complicated. Something as simple as a daily brisk walk can help you live a healthier life. The beach is prime real estate for walkers of every level from casual to high intensity and is one of the easiest and efficient ways to get active on vacation. Surf City, NC happens to be an incredibly walkable town with shops, restaurants, cafes and plenty of places to get better acquainted with the heart of Topsail Island—while you get your exercise in, all at the same time. Try a new walking adventure every day and see where your footsteps take you. 

2. Go fishing.

Topsail Island is synonymous with fishing. It's an art, a science and a wonderful way to stay active on a beach vacation. Surf fishing requires you to walk to the beach, set up your rod and reel on the sand, and continuously cast your lines and reel them back in. You'd be surprised how much it can get your heart pumping. The same is true for deep sea and sportfishing adventures. You're going to need to use your strength and stamina to keep up with the big biters you're chasing in the open waters. Don't discount a few sore muscles from a day of pier fishing either. Fishing adventures and excursions on Topsail Island are not sedentary activities.

3. Do a beach workout.beach workout

Beach workouts are the best! Beautiful scenery, feeling the sun on your skin, ocean waters to cool off in. What's not to love? Whether you're an avid runner, a HIIT enthusiast, a yogi (see #7) or a walking enthusiast (refer to #1), your beach workout can be whatever you want it to be. Looking for some workout inspiration? Here are some of the some of the best beach workouts for strength and conditioning.

4. Rent a bike.

Don't worry about bringing all of your exercise or recreational equipment with you on vacation. Topsail Island has some awesome outfitters for every activity. Bike rentals abound on the island and the terrain is very welcoming to all levels. Pedal your way around our Topsail towns and be sure to take in the Intracoastal waterway views and the Atlantic Ocean views as you go. Biking is the perfect family-friendly fitness activity for all ages. You can find Topsail Island bike rentals at Herring's Outdoor Sports, 50 South Surf Shop and On Shore Surf Shop just to name a few. 

5. Take a surf lesson.surfing lesson

Grab a board and hit the waves with the help of those who know them best. A local surf lesson is a fun and family-friendly way to get out on the water. Surf City Surf School offers daily shred lessons in a group setting, private beginner's lessons, and more. Half day, full day and weekly board rentals are available to you with convenient pickup or delivery. Get in touch with your inner surfer and challenge yourself to a new skill set.

6. Try stand-up paddleboarding (SUP).

Paddleboarding is one of the fastest growing coastal sports in the world. It's also a great way to explore Topsail Island. Along with the some of the surf shops and outfitters mentioned in #5, you can find paddleboard rentals easy and convenient on Topsail. Ohana Paddle Sports offers SUP lessons, rentals and even yoga right on your board!

7. Do yoga.yoga

Along with doing yoga on a paddleboard, you can also find other types of Topsail Island yoga classes offered through Surf City Parks and Recreation. Highlights include yoga on the beach, yoga under the stars, full moon yoga, sunrise and sunset yoga, vinyasa yoga and more. Check out the Surf City Parks and Recreation page for more information on dates, times and fees. Namaste!

8. Go kayaking.

Take a kayaking adventure of your very own or paddle your way around with a tour guide as you get to know Topsail's waterways, ocean waters, sounds and canals on a more personal level. Paddling Pirate Kayaking Adventures, South End Outfitters and some of the previously mentioned surf shops and sports outfitters can get you out on the water with paddles in hand. Kayaking is suitable for most age and skill levels and the perfect combination of activity and relaxation. 

9. Explore the area.pier

Get to know North Topsail Beach, Surf City and Topsail Beach by visiting each town. Check out the Topsail Island events and festivals. Talk to the locals. Explore the history, culture, arts and landmarks that make Topsail the uniquely beautiful, quintessential beach destination that it is. You can read more in our previous post The Best Ways to Explore the Great Outdoors on Topsail Island.

10. Try something new.

A wonderful way to stay active on vacation is to just do something you've never done before. It's the perfect time to expand your horizons, push your boundaries and learn something new. Pick anything off this list and go for it!

11. Go to the gym.

If you don't want to miss a day at the gym, even on vacation, you don't have to. The Surf City Parks and Recreation Center offers a weight room, fitness classes, yoga on the beach, and tennis courts. You only need to pay a small fee to access everything you need for your workouts at the rec center.

12. Play a round of golf.

There are a lot of places to hit the links during your Topsail vacation. In fact, the Topsail area has some premier courses often frequented by the pros. Check out the local golf courses and play a round or two while you're here. You can read more about How to Get from Your Topsail Rental to Tee Time right here.


13. Embark on a family adventure.family pool

Spend quality time with your family and stay active while doing so. Topsail Island is known for its family-friendly atmosphere  combined with its plethora of kid-friendly activities and things to do. Get inspired to have a family adventure of your very own by taking a look at The Most Popular Family-Friendly Places in Topsail

14. Take a swim.

Cool off with a refreshing swim in the wide open Atlantic Ocean or do a few laps each morning in the community pool. Swimming is one of the best ways to stay fit and active whether you're on vacation or not and is suitable for any age or fitness level. It feels good, too!

15. Challenge the ocean waves.

Try boogie boarding, skim boarding or just body surf the waves as they roll in. Even wading in the ocean is a workout and helps you to hone in on your balance and stability while strengthening your leg muscles. 

16. Visit a park.

Topsail Island has several parks, playgrounds and facilities that families will want to know about when they're here. Let the kids run free, enjoy a picnic lunch, toss a frisbee, fly a kite or just explore what each has to offer. You can find dog parks for the four-legged family member, too.


  • North Topsail Beach Town Park, 465 New River Inlet Road 
  • Soundside Park, 517 Roland Avenue, Surf City
  • Nelva R. Albury Recreation Area, 101 Broad Street, Surf City
  • Kenneth D. Batts Family Park, 911 S. Topsail Drive, Surf City
  • Surf City Bark Park, 201 Community Center Drive
  • Topsail Beach Town Center, 624 S. Anderson Boulevard


17. Play volleyball.volleyball

North Topsail Beach Town Park has volleyball nets for community use. Surf City Recreation has indoor volleyball you can sign-up for. And then of course, you can always play beach volleyball with friends and family. 

18. Take a guided tour.

Stay active and get to know Topsail Island better by doing a guided kayak tour of the area or a stand-up paddleboard guided tour. Paddle NC in Topsail Beach offers personalized tours of Permuda Island Nature Preserve, which is only accessible by watercraft so it's a guided adventure worth exploring. These guided tours are ideal for families or small groups and all skill levels. Enjoy the calm soundside waters, watch the shorebirds and meet some of the resident coastal wildlife on your travels. 

19. Go rollerskating.

Go a little retro and strap on some wheels for a rollerskating adventure at the Topsail Beach Skating Rink located at 714 S. Anderson Boulevard. Family owned and operated for over 50 years, rollerskate the old fashioned way while listening to music from the record player (you might have to explain what that is to your kids). Come see this historic and happening time capsule, have some family fun and get active together. They're open every night during the season.

20. Workout in your Topsail rental.home workout


Exercise in the privacy and convenience of your Topsail Island vacation rental. You don't need to bring any equipment with you on vacation to get your daily workout in. Use your body weight and get busy. Here are 25 exercises you can do anywhere that are challenging and effective. No equipment needed!


Well, there you have it. See how easy it is to stay active while on a Topsail beach vacation? Who knows, you may come home in the best shape of your life! Vacations are good for the mind, body and spirit. Time to start planning your next one. 

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How to Buy Property on Topsail Island  

Whether it was your first visit or if you return year after year, there's a good chance you are smitten with Topsail Island. Why not become a full or part time resident? Let Ward Realty help you! Want it to be a vacation home for your family? An investment property? Or a place to retire? Schedule a no pressure appointment with one of our agents during your next stay on Topsail Island. We can answer all of your Topsail real estate questions. Own a piece of paradise! We've been helping people make their beach dreams come true since 1947. Contact Ward Realty's Sales Department to learn more.

Click below to see just a few of the wonderful properties available on Topsail Island.



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