The Most Popular Family-Friendly Places in Topsail
Families love Topsail Island and for good reason. Beyond the wide open beaches, the sparkling Atlantic waters and the warm Carolina sunshine, the Southern hospitality welcomes you and the beach vibes bring happiness to your soul. Topsail Island offers the quintessential beach vacation where the focus is on sand, sun and surf, but along with that comes plenty of family-friendly activities and things to do for all ages and interests. From history and culture to sports and recreation, from dining and shopping to sightseeing cruises and charter fishing, you'll find it all here.
We're highlighting the most popular family-friendly places on Topsail Island. We'd love to know how many you and your family have been to! And would you add anything to this list?
Here are our favorite places on Topsail Island that families love and you will, too. We have them divided into each Topsail Island town for your convenience.
North Topsail Beach Family Favorites
Located at the northernmost end of the island, quiet beaches, pristine sands and beautiful ocean waters are the hallmarks of North Topsail Beach. Families love the safe, uncrowded beaches and friendly, welcoming atmosphere that provide the foundation for plenty of fun in the sun and unending coastal beauty as far as the eye can see.
North Topsail Beach Town Park
Located at 465 New River Inlet Road, the North Topsail Beach Town Park is right across from the Onslow Beach Access #4. The park is open from 8a.m. to 10p.m. daily during the summer. The family-friendly park features a picturesque gazebo, a tot lot, as well as sports facilities including basketball, volleyball and horseshoes. Have a family picnic at the park and make a day of it.
Permuda Island Coastal Reserve
Permuda Island is situated in Stump Sound off of Topsail Island and features 63 acres and is 1.5 miles in length. The calm estuarine waters are teeming with life and protect Topsail Island from the more active and dynamic ocean waters. Permuda Island can be reached only by shallow-draft boat and, due to the presence of thick vegetation and abundance of snakes and insects, visitors are encouraged to enjoy Permuda from the water. Spend a day on the water with the family and paddle your way around to enjoy the natural site by kayak, canoe or stand-up paddleboard. Various public and private boat ramps are found along the soundside of Topsail Island as well as the mainland shoreline for easy access.
Visit one of the longest piers in North Carolina right here in North Topsail Beach. Seaview Fishing Pier has a well-stocked bait and tackle shop for all of your fishing needs as well as a restaurant right on site. Bring in your catch of the day and they'll cook it up for you! This family-oriented fishing pier is the perfect place to drop a line or just sit back, relax and enjoy the views.
Learn more about what North Topsail Beach, NC has to offer you and your family by visiting the town's website.
Surf City Family Favorites
Centrally located on Topsail Island, the beaches of Surf City are at the center of family fun for everyone. Surf City is the largest community on the island and offers up a host of family-friendly activities. Pier fishing, shelling, surfing and sunbathing are some of the best ways to spend your time on the beach. Surf City has plenty of restaurants and shops located close and convenient to the beach anytime you want to step off the sand for a while.
Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center
Let the family learn more about Topsail Island sea turtles at the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle hospital and rehabilitation center, or as locals refer to it, The Turtle Hospital. It has some of the cutest patients around! Get eye-to-eye with these amphibious reptiles and get to know them on a more personal level. This all-volunteer-run facility offers seasonal tours and leaves you with an experience not soon forgotten. The Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Center opens for the season in April.
Surf City Ocean Pier
The Surf City Ocean Pier is another family favorite destination. Topsail Island's first and oldest fishing pier was built in 1948 has been family owned and operated by the same family since 1973. Families enjoy access to a large assortment of bait, a fully stocked tackle shop, an eclectic collection of souvenirs, and delicious freshly ground burgers from the grill. There's also an outdoor covered dining area for families to relax, eat and take in the spectacular views.
Shipwreck Point Mini Golf
What's a beach vacation without some putt putt golf? Shipwreck Point, located just across the bridge, gives families the chance to test their putting skills and have a little friendly competition at the same time. Have some piratical fun in true Topsail style with caves, waterfalls and more for your golfing pleasure. Save room for ice cream after the game!
Soundside Park is wide open with room to roam. Walk the park, stroll the docks, go fishing, catch a sunset and enjoy the soundside views. Soundside Park is family-friendly and pet-friendly. It's also the place to find some of the best family fun on Topsail with seasonal events, festivals and special activities for all ages.
Surf City Summer Market
Speaking of Soundside Park, it's also the location for the Surf City Summer Market. Shop and buy locally made and produced goods and find some of the friendliest artisans around. From fresh local produce to unique coastal crafts and artwork, and everything in between, you'll love what the vendors bring to the table. Take a few things back home with you as a reminder of Topsail Island. Buy for yourself and your friends! The Surf City Summer Market happens every Tuesday from 9a.m. to 2p.m. from May 23- August 31. You might also want to find out why the Surf City Summer Market is a local obsession.
Learn more about what Surf City, North Carolina has to offer you and your family by visiting the town's website.
Topsail Beach Family Favorites
Topsail Beach is located at the southern end of Topsail Island and features the smallest of the three communities found on the 26-mile island. Topsail Inlet is only a few minutes away by boat. High-rise development is not permitted and beautification and conservation are a high priority, which translates into more natural beach beauty and less of everything else that takes away from it. From the breathtaking coastal sunrises and sunsets to the family-oriented atmosphere, Topsail Beach is a locally loved favorite for family vacations.
Jolly Roger Fishing Pier
The Jolly Roger Fishing Pier is a Topsail Beach landmark and favorite attraction for all ages. The pier extends 850 feet into the Atlantic Ocean and is wonderful not only for fishing but for strolling, nature watching and seeing some of the best sunrises on the island. The pier is fully lit in the evenings so the fun doesn't end when the sun sets. The tackle shop has everything you need for a day of fishing and carries other beach necessities. The staff is friendly and knowledgable, so go ahead and strike up a conversation.
Missiles and More Museum
History abounds on Topsail Island and there's no better place to learn more about it than at the Missiles and More Museum, located in the historic Assembly Building on 720 Channel Boulevard. From secret missile testing to pirate lore to the first women air service pilots, there is so much you'll want to know about and take home with you to share with others. The Missiles and More Museum opens in April and is open seasonally through mid-October.
This retro 1950s miniature golf and activity center is a family favorite with ice cream, movie rentals, bike rentals and an air-conditioned arcade. Get your beach vibe on and step back in time for a bit to enjoy the simpler things in life. The Patio Playground has a DJ on select evenings, and gift shop too. Hours are seasonal and it's best to call before you go to find out the current hours of operation, activities and special events.
Topsail Beach Craft Market
Summer Plunder Days are your opportunity to explore what Topsail Beach's best artisan and crafters have for you. Shop for yourself, and for your family and friends. The Topsail Beach Craft Market happens every Thursday from 10a.m. to 3p.m. starting on Memorial Day and running through Labor Day. See what treasures await you!
Topsail Beach Skating Rink
Give your kids a taste of old school family fun at the Topsail Roller Skating Rink, which is open nightly from 7-10p.m. Spend some quality time together and test out your skating skills, all while sharing a few laughs with the ones you love the most. Family owned for over 50 years, this time capsule is a one-of-a-kind adventure and experience. Show your kids what a record player looks like and skate the night away.
Find out more about Topsail Beach, NC on the town's website and start planning your family adventures.
So which Topsail Island town are you planning your next beach vacation in? North Topsail Beach? Surf City? Topsail Beach? Get started by choosing your Topsail Island vacation rental right here.
For even more family-friendly things to see and do on Topsail Island, check out these links:
What's your family's favorite place to go on Topsail Island? Let us know!