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

Beach Week, July 1- July 9, 2022

Friday, July 1 -  It's the start of the weekend and we know some of  our visitors are coming in early for the July 4th holiday.

While some visitors will start thinking about packing the car, others are unpacking for a long weekend or perhaps a week's stay. 

We want you to live like a local and enjoy Island Time - a time zone where you are not hurried or rushed.

Whether it's your last night at the beach or your first evening of a vacation, we  want you to live like a local and enjoy Island Time - a time zone where you are not hurried or rushed. Check  out our restaurants and nightlife. Most of our establishments bring in live entertainment, especially on the weekend. For an updated list, click here.

Saturday, July 2   -   If today is your check-in day, WELCOME to Topsail Island, Pender County, NC! If you are checking out, we hope you enjoyed your time in Pender County!

For those who are arriving, 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, but you must make reservations! 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!

If you are away from home but you want to watch your home sports 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). 

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. 

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. JM's on the Water, a restaurant owned by a longtime fishing family, also offers live entertainment that's as fresh as their seafood. 

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, July 3    —  Tonight is the largest fireworks display on the island, so plan your day accordingly!

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.

Tonight is the Independence Day celebration at Soundside Park. The park opens at 5 p.m. The Embers will perform at 6 p.m. At sundown the fireworks display will be launched from the Intracoastal Waterway.  Soundside Park is located at 517 Roland Ave. in Surf City. Food trucks will be onsite (one of our favorites is Southern Roots Grill) and here's an insider tip: arrive early and grab a pizza from  Max's Pizza , across the street from Soundside Park. They have excellent subs and salads too. 

Monday, July 4  – Celebrate July 4th! 

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.

If the forecast looks like rain any day of your vacation, 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, July 5    - 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 up to NC Hwy 210 or NC Hwy 53 to 1814 Shaw Hwy in Rocky Point for a visit to the Pender County Training School South Pender High Museum. Before schools were integrated, Pender County Training School was a Black school. The school has some outstanding alumni, including a US Ambassador, a renowned physicist, and military personnel. Michael Jordan's mother attended Pender County Training School (she met Michael's dad at a basketball game, of course!). For this summer, for the first time, the museum is opening to the public from noon to 2 p.m. each Tuesday through the summer months only. 

Next, 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 in Good Behavior. 

Moores Creek National Battlefield is the site of the first Patriots' victory in North Carolina in the Revolutionary War.  Plan to visit today because Southeastern North Carolina's only national park will feature Professor Ben Sorensen, who will be speaking on Freemasons in the Battle of Moores Creek Bridge. Sorensen is a historian and a Freemason. The program is free and begins at 11 a.m.

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. One of our Mountains to Sea Trail through-hikers just posted a video of his experience at Moores Creek National Battlefield. Watch Lemon'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. 

Wednesday, July 6  – 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!

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 – July 7  - It gets hot mid-day on the beach. Take a break from the sun and visit our unique 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. 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!

While in Topsail Beach on Thursday, visit the Topsail Beach Craft Market from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Located at 802 S. Anderson Blvd. you can park at the Missiles and More Museum lot and walk about town. 

You have excellent choices for lunch in Topsail Beach. Cora's Isle-End Deli was voted one of the best in North Carolina. Nearby, Beach Shop and Grill is fabulous for lunch or dinner. Also near Missiles and More is Breezway Restaurant with delicious seafood and even something good for landlubbers. We love the hush puppies at Breezeway and you can buy the mix to take home to make them yourself too!

You're lucky because tonight in Topsail Beach is the ever-popular summer event Thursday Night BINGO! Doors open at 6 p.m.and early bird games start at 6:30 p.m. The main games begin at 7 p.m. Snacks and concessions are available and all the proceeds benefit the historical society. Winners take home cash prizes. This is a family-friendly event for all ages!

Friday, July 8  - It's your last beach day! Finish your tan and book next year’s vacation in Pender County!  

Join Pender County Parks and Recreation for Alive After Five at Kiwanis Park for a free concert. The Blackwater Band is featured. The concert begins from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Food trucks are available. Bring a lawn chair. The kids will love the playground. Enjoy! Kiwanis Park is located in Hampstead at 586 Sloop Point Loop Road.  

Saturday, July 9   -  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! 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, 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!

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 are 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 
tourism@pendercountync.go v.
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