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!

Beach Week is a suggested itinerary of things to see, things to do, places to dine, and places to shop. If you have questions about attractions or events, or, if you're just plain lost, don't hesitate to call us at 910-259-1278 or 910-789-2971.

November 17 - December 2

Noteworthy things to do on your way here or on your way home. Read our suggestions here.

When visiting, if you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 910-259-1278 or email us at 

Here is some important information before you start planning your week.

N.Sea Oyster Co. announced Weekends at the Barn, every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Enjoy Tide-to-Table seafood in a casual setting. This company provides oysters to some of the best restaurants statewide. Click here for details. 

Missiles and More Museum, located at Channel Blvd. in Topsail Beach, explores the Top Secret Mission Operation Bumblebee, pirates, and more. The museum is open off-season on select days, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free. We recommend you check the website or their Facebook page for updates. You may be surprised to learn the technology developed on Topsail Island made the NASA program feasible.   

This is the link to our 2023 Visitor Guide. The Greater Topsail Area Chamber of Commerce has an app that you can download on your smartphone via Google Play or Apple. 

Friday, November 17 -  You've arrived for a long weekend or the entire Thanksgiving week, you're on island time, so kick back. 

Saturday, November 18 -  Today, plan on attending the Surf City Tree Lighting with music and fun for the entire family. The fun starts at 3 p.m. and concludes by 6 p.m. Watch Soundside Park sparkle with holiday lights.

Here's an insider's tip: Saturdays are an excellent time to visit the hospital because other visitors are busy checking into their rentals. The 
Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center is open.  Tickets must be purchased in advance through their website  www.seaturtlehospital.org . You can visit the gift shop during those hours without taking the tour.  Their adoption desk is always open.

Funky Fins, a family-fun and educational program, hosts programs in the area. Tickets and reservations are necessary.  Click here  for details. Throughout the week Ecological Marine Adventures hosts programs for children of all ages. But, ssshhhh. Don't tell the kids it's educational

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

We ask you, to 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. Be sure to support our Beach Clean program. Taking care of our beaches is important to our health and the health of our endangered sea turtles. 
Click here for more information

Sunday, November 19If 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

Start your day with a cup of hot coffee from The Daily Grind (Daily Grind features weekly entertainment on the deck) or any of our many coffee shops. We have several shops that serve nutritious drinks, including 
Diver Surfside CafeSit back, and relax this morning. You’re on island time.

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!

Monday, November 20 - While you're here be sure to shop our local 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. Apricot Lane Boutique recently opened near the Harris Teeter in Surf City. These are just a few. Be sure to read our 2023 Visitor Guide, which is available from several locations and online.

While you're visiting, try your hand at surfing or another water sport. Refer to our 2023 Visitor Guide for options. We suggest 50 South Surf ShopOnshore Surf Shop, and Surf City Surf School, just to name a few. 

Enjoy live music at many of our favorite nightlife spots. 
From the  Trailer Bar (yes, it looks like a doublewide) to  Salty Turtle Brewing Company, you will find nightlife.  JM's on the Water , a restaurant owned by a longtime fishing family, also offers live entertainment as fresh as their seafood. In the evening, relax on 
Quarter Moon Books, Gifts, and Wine Bar deck. 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.  

For a list of upcoming events and sites for live entertainment throughout the week, read our 
"locals' event newsletter."  
We have several wonderful locally owned and operated dining venues such as  Beach Shop and Grill,  Daddy Mac's, Breezeway, 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!

If you are away from home but want to watch your favorite hometown college sports, NBA or NFL games, visit  High Waters Bar and Grill,  formerly called Gallagher's. You won't miss a sporting event and have a delicious meal (hint, try the Irish Egg Rolls).  

For a complete listing of local restaurants, be sure to pick up the 2023 Visitor Guide, Find Your
, available free from your realtor, the Topsail Chamber office, or the Surf City Welcome Center. 

You can also check out our  Pender County Facebook page for the latest news and events. We also have a Facebook page called Pender County Calendar which will give you a listing of fun happenings.  Another helpful tool for 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.  

Tuesday, November 21 If you love oysters or if you are just curious about oyster farming, call Ghost Fleet Oyster Company and book a tour of an oyster farm in the Sound. It's a fun experience.

Set sail today on 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 - all if weather and tide permit!

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.

If you are looking for something for the kids that is fun (shh, don't tell them it's educational), book a class at 
Ecological Marine Adventures or Funky Fins. These classes will get the kids into the water to discover what lives under the sea.

If the children want 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! Our local surfing instructors stress safety first, so don't be afraid to experience something new!

Wednesday, November 22-  Today explore 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. 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. 

Adjunct to Poplar Grove is the Abbey Nature Preserve. Take a hike into the woods, see the lake, and get a glimpse of what the area was like before development. 

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

At the very point of Scotts Hill Loop Road is a marina, Marsh Creek Marina. At the marina is The Sailfish, a local's favorite for drinks and seafood, and a fabulous view of the pristine marsh, the inlet, and the ocean. Sit on the deck, kick back, and enjoy good food with a view. If you recently watched the Netflix series The Florida Man The Sailfish might look a little familiar to you. It was Anthony LaPaglia's bar, Sonny's. For more film locations, click here

Let's talk about additional 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. Just a note of interest, Jordan Speith's grandfather lived on the Olde Point Golf Course and the youngster golfed at the club often with his grandpa. 

In the Lowe's Food Plaza, you'll find the Fancy Flamingo for some fun shopping. Take a selfie at the You're Flamazing lights!

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. If you're hungry for ice cream, Burry Chocolates creates its own ice cream using its homemade chocolates such as triple fudge, peppermint patty, and more. 

Thursday, November 23-  Take some time to explore inland. Follow NC 210 to Moores Creek National Battlefield. On the way, you will pass a large white house behind a picket fence. This house was a backdrop for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie as well as the home of                     
Michelle Dockery's fictional character in Good Behavior. 

Moores Creek National Battlefield is the site of the first Patriots' victory in North Carolina in the Revolutionary War. When you visit Moores Creek National Battlefield, 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. The Mountains to Sea Trail travels through Moores Creek National Battlefield. (If there is a government shutdown, the park's visitor center will be closed.)

Here's a little insider tip. Just past Moores Creek National Battlefield is Canetuck Road (on the left) where you will find an unpublicized house you may want to drive by -  it's 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

If you want to explore the Black River, one of the nation's most pristine rivers, or the Northeast Cape Fear River, take a paddling adventure with Cape Fear Paddle Company.  They will deliver the equipment to your destination or select from one of their hourly or daily rental options and locations, including Millers Pond Park, Holly Shelter Boating Access, Shelter Creek, and more. 

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. Olde Carolina Eatery features homemade desserts and ice cream in addition to daily specials. Bandana's is a local favorite offering a wide variety of dishes. 

Burgaw Brewing opened on St. Paddy's Day. Everyone raves about their burgers and brews. Stop by and enjoy this new brewery.

Pender County is crisscrossed by trails - the Mountains to Sea Trail, the East Coast Greenway, the NC Oyster Trail, the NC Birding TrailPender 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. 

Friday, November 24- Today is Black Friday. Our shops are having fantastic sales and discounts offered only once a year. Take home gifts for family and friends that you will find only on Topsail Island. 

Take the time to book next year's vacation. Our vacation agencies are here to help. 

Saturday, November 25- It's time to check out, but remember to catch the many attractions on your way out of town. If you don't have to leave early, stay for the Topsail Beach Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting. The lighted parade begins at 4:30 p.m. and then everyone gathers in the Town Center Park for the tree lighting, games, songs, and more. 

Sunday, November 26 - December 2 - Enjoy the holiday season with us. Lake Linda Christmas Lights (you may remember them from the ABC television hit Christmas Light Fight) will flip the switch over Thanksgiving weekend. Poplar Grove kicks off A Merry Little Christmas light display and family event. And The Gardens of Southeastern North Carolina will showcase a light display called Southern Lights. Go online for event details.

On Friday night, Dec. 1, join the community of Hampstead at Hampstead Kiwanis Park. Mr. and Mrs. Claus, music, and more will celebrate with a tree-lighting event. 

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! The fudge is made at the store before your eyes and there are many varieties to select and sample!

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 summer schedule.  

In Surf City is the Topsail Escape Room. This is a fun activity for the entire family. Choose your challenge!

Next door to the Escape Room is 
Topsail Pie Company. If you don't want an entire pie, there are cookies, brownies, and more. 
Visit Poplar Grove Plantation and learn about peanut farming, the Civil War, Civil Rights, and
Gullah Geechee Heritage.

Take a tour of the manor house.

If you enjoy history and it's a rainy day, take in Burgaw and visit the Pender County Museum. What was life like in Pender, before it was Pender County? Visit to learn more!

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 Brewing Company, The Peak and Taphouse and Kitchen, unWINEd, and more. Click here for a listing on Page 35 of our visitor guide. 

Shop! We have beautiful shops and boutiques to explore.

Dine at one of our locally-owned restaurants. Visit with the locals. We love it.