Beach Week May 21 - 28, 2022

Saturday, May 21 — Welcome to Topsail Island, Pender County, NC! Unpack the car and get settled into your home away from home. We’ve got a week’s worth of ideas for you to explore!

The sea turtle hospital is open. Go online and book a visit to the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center.  Whatever you do, don't leave without a visit to the largest sea turtle hospital on the Eastern Seaboard.  Click here for details.

While you're here, we want you to feel welcomed. Please join in the program offerings from Pender County Parks and Recreation as well as the Surf City Parks and Recreation.

We ask you, please take care of our natural resources. Keep glass bottles off the beach (ouch!) and fill in the holes on the beach to keep a turtle from getting stranded. It's nesting season and the mamas are slipping in at night. Click here for more information. Taking care of our beaches is important to the health of our endangered sea turtles. 

We have several wonderful locally owned and operated dining venues such as  Beach Shop and GrillDaddy Mac's, and many more. If you're hungry for steak, remember to try Low Tide Steakhouse and Sandbar. 

For a coastal dining experience in the comfort of your vacation home, try a low country boil from Topsail Steamer. They do all of the prep work. You just turn up the heat! Check out their menu and order ahead!

For a complete listing of local restaurants, be sure to pick up the 2022 Visitor Guide, Find Your Treasure, available free from your realtor, the Topsail Chamber office, or the Surf City Welcome Center. If you are away from home but you want to watch your home team, visit High Waters Bar and Grill, formerly called Gallagher's. You won't miss a sporting event and you have a delicious meal (hint, try the Irish Egg Rolls). 

On the weekends, you will find numerous places for live entertainment. From the Trailer Bar (yes, it looks like a doublewide) to Salty Turtle Brewing Company, you will find nightlife. For a list of upcoming events and sites for live entertainment throughout the week, read our "locals' event newsletter."  You can also check out our Pender County Facebook page for the latest news and events.

Another helpful tool in finding local businesses is the Topsail App. Download it today from Google Play or the Apple Store on your smartphone. It's free, courtesy of the Greater Topsail Area Chamber of Commerce. 

Sunday, May 22 — Start your day with a cup of hot coffee from The Daily Grind or any one of our many coffee shops. Sit back, and relax. You’re on island time.

If you want to attend church, there are only two churches on the island – Emma Anderson Chapel in Topsail Beach or The Gathering in Surf City. On the mainland are several churches, the closest being Faith Harbor United Methodist Church

The water is warming, but don't let the chill stop you from trying your hand at surfing or another water sport. Refer to our 2022 Visitor Guide for options. We suggest 50 South Surf ShopOnshore Surf Shop, and Surf City Surf School, just to name a few. Wetsuits are available for rent. Just ask our shops!

The Surf City Ocean Pier and Jolly Roger Pier are open for an experience the entire family can enjoy. You can rent gear and drop a line at either one of these family-owned piers. Be sure to grab a snack at the grill!

In the evening, relax on the deck of Quarter Moon Books, Gifts, and Wine Bar. They often offer free music on the deck. Check out the schedule here. For any night of the week, there's music and nightlife in the area. Check out these locations starting on page 38 of our visitor guide.

Monday, May 23 – Take advantage of the Turtle Talks to learn about sea turtles that nest on Topsail Island. Turtle Talks are free and presented by the Topsail Turtle Project of the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center. The talks are conducted on Mondays outside the Assembly Building, 720 Channel Blvd. in Topsail Beach. If you can't attend on Monday, the same program will be presented on Tuesday, at the North Topsail Beach Town Hall, located at 2008 Loggerhead Court. 

Depending on the weather, take a boat ride down the Intracoastal Waterway. There’s no better view of the island than from the water! Check out Tiki ToursTucks Water Shuttle, and Topsail Island Tours on Queen Jean. If you want to captain your boat, check out Aquaholics Boat Rentals, Topsail Boat Rentals, or Surf City Boat Rentals. If you want to try a jet ski, visit Surf City Jet Ski Rentals. Information about these businesses can be found in our visitor guide. However, the forecast looks like rain for Monday. Scroll down and view our fun things to do on a rainy day at the beach.

If you are looking for something for the kids that is educational (shh, don't tell them it's educational) and fun, book a class at Ecological Marine Adventures or Funky Fins. These classes will get the kids into the water where they will discover what really lives under the sea. If the children want to learn to surf, take a lesson from Surf City Surf School. But we will warn you, you will see the kids having so much fun, you'll join them too for a lesson!

Tuesday, May 24 - It’s Tuesday. Shake the sand from your feet and head inland to explore the land of history and blueberries. Let's start with a drive to Moores Creek National Battlefield. This is the site of the first Patriots' victory in North Carolina in the Revolutionary War. Start in the visitors' center and watch the short film that details the battle and then take the .9-mile trail around the battlefield and across the Moores Creek Bridge. One of our Mountains to Sea Trail through-hikers just posted a video of his experience at Moores Creek National Battlefield. Watch Lemoni's video and share the experience!

Here's a little insider tip. Just past Moores Creek National Battlefield is Canetuck Road (on the left). If you don't mind a little side trip, there's an unpublicized house you may want to drive by - the home where The Conjuring was filmed. It's located at 405 Canetuck Road. You can gawk at the house, but please, don't trespass. For more movie locations around the county click here.

There are a couple of eateries in the vicinity, including Johnson's Corner Grocery & Grill. On NC Hwy 133 and US 117 is Paul's Place Famous Hot DogsPaul's Place has been used as a backdrop for numerous movies, a favorite stop for actors such as Arnold Swartzennegger, Buddy Hacket, and Ben Affleck. 

If you don't opt for lunch there, move on to Burgaw, the Pender County seat of government. Burgaw is the Town Hollywood Loves. Take the Hometown Hollywood walking tour on our app. Be sure to visit the shops and photograph our historic courthouse - which has been featured in television shows such as Under the Dome and movies such as Silver Bullet.

In Burgaw are several diners and restaurants. Olde Carolina Eatery has been used recently for a television series, Welcome to Flatch. They have homemade desserts and ice cream in addition to daily specials. Bandana's is a local favorite offering a wide variety of dishes. MeMa's Chick'n & Ribs is an award-winning restaurant with delicious smoked ribs, BBQ, and more - just like Grandma's kitchen. Please note, that MeMa's Chick'n & Ribs is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

Pender County is crisscrossed by trails - the Mountains to Sea Trail, the East Coast Greenway, the NC Oyster Trail, the NC Birding Trail, Pender County's African American Heritage Trail, the Blueberry Trail, the Gullah Geechee National Corridor, the Seafood Trail, and the Sweet Tooth Trail certainly will please the interest of an entire family. 

Live music! Once a month, in the summer, the Town of Topsail Beach and Pender County Parks and Recreation features a free concert in the Town Center. Topsail Sounds is back, starting tonight! The first concert will feature the Cruise Brothers Band, starting at 6:30 p.m. The band plays #1 hits from Nashville to Motown and many classics too! Bring your beach blanket or beach chair. Grab a meal while you're in town

Wednesday, May 25 – Today, let's visit the Hampstead and Scotts Hill areas of Pender County. Head south on US Hwy 17 and explore the shops along the way, such as Coastal Home Store. Travel southward on US Hwy 17 to visit Poplar Grove Plantation.  On Wednesdays only, Poplar Grove features a wonderful Farmer's Market, open from 8 a.m. - to 1 p.m. This market offers locally grown produce and products. This historic plantation was once the largest peanut farm in the state. Take a tour of the grounds and the manor house. The kids will love the animal rescue on the grounds too.

Next door to Poplar Grove is a cute shop called Porch & Nest. Locally owned and operated, the shop features home decor, jewelry, and more. 

Let's talk about lunch options. Heading north from Poplar Grove and Porch & Nest, on Country Club Road, is Olde Point Golf Course and Country Club. Their 19th hole is Nineteen, a nice place to dine along the golf course and pool area. In the Lowe's Food Plaza, you'll find delicious pizza and economical lunch specials at Big Al's. Just a few doors down from Big Al's, stop by the Fancy Flamingo for some fun shopping. Take a selfie at the You're Flamazing lights!

It's strawberry season and we are gearing up for early blueberries. On your way back to the island, stop at Carol Sue Farm for fresh produce and field fresh strawberries, located on US Hwy. 17.
One more stop on your way home! Be sure to sample the chocolates at Burry Chocolates. Their chocolates are made right there in the store. You can't leave without purchasing their fresh chocolate-covered fruits or the bourbon-soaked, chocolate-covered cherries! Burry Chocolates also offers a line of sugar-free chocolates that are delicious.

Thursday – May 26 - Shake the sand from your feet and head into our shops and boutiques. Some of our favs include Sandy ToesMia’s Marketplace, Coral Cottage BoutiqueCarolina Décor and More, the Gift BasketTopsail Island Trading CompanyMegabella TreasuresBumblebee, and Surfside. These are just a few. Be sure to read our 2022 Visitor Guide, which is available from several locations and online.

If history piques your interest, be sure to check out the Missiles and More Museum in Topsail Beach. Check out their website for spring hours. Few know that Topsail Island was the site of a top-secret mission to develop guided rockets and missiles. If it weren't for the technology developed here, there would have been no rockets in space! In Burgaw, visit the Pender County Museum. What was life like in Pender, before it was Pender County? Visit to learn more!

Friday, May 27 - It's your last beach day! Finish your tan and book next year’s vacation in Pender County!

Saturday, May 28-  It’s time to check out from your vacation home away from home. 

Wait! What if there's a day of rain? What can we do? Here are a few suggested activities to do when it rains on your Topsail Island Vacation:
Go directly to Topsail Island Trading Company and purchase Topsail-Opoly, a new take on an old favorite. This game board features all things Topsail! Pick up some fudge while you’re at the Trading Company!
Topsail Island Skating Rink is located above the Topsail Beach Post Office. This throwback rink is typically open 7-10 p.m. Visit their Facebook page for the spring schedule. 

In Surf City is the Topsail Escape Room. This is a fun activity for the entire family. Choose your challenge!
Visit Poplar Grove Plantation and learn about peanut farming, Civil War, Civil Rights, and Gullah Geechee Heritage. Take a tour of the manor house.

Why not visit Board and Brush where you can make and take home a personalized piece of art. This is fun for the entire family. Board and Brush is located at 201 Alston Ave. in the Harris Teeter shopping plaza along with a terrific wing eatery called Topsea Wingz
Adults at Play
Adults will enjoy the activities suggested for children, but you may just want to explore without the children.  Visit The Trailer Bar. They have a billiards table and entertainment in the evenings. We have a lot of places for fun nightlife. Check out the Salty Turtle, Peak, unWined, and more. Click here for a listing.
Shop! We have wonderful shops and boutiques to explore.
Dine at one of our locally-owned restaurants. Visit with the locals. We love it.
When visiting, if you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 910-259-1278 or email us at