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, September 23- Oct. 1, 2022

Friday, September 23 -  Welcome! We know some of  our visitors are arriving for a beach long weekend getaway and some are arriving for the week. We want you to enjoy your experience in Pender County, regardless of how long your stay may be.  We want you to enjoy every hour of your stay.  

Whether it's your last night at the beach or your first evening of your vacation, we  want you to live like a local and enjoy Island Time - a time zone where you are not hurried or rushed. 

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.  Check out these locations starting on page 38 of our visitor guide.

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 , 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 have a delicious meal (hint, try the Irish Egg Rolls). You can bet the large-screen TVs will have college and NFL games at every angle. 

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. 

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.  



Saturday, September 24   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!

If you are planning your drive onto the island, you may want to consider a tour to Gregory Farms and Vineyard from 12 - 5 p.m. for food, music, and wine. (They're also open on Sunday, 1-5 p.m.)

Another stop on your way to the island is Bear Ridge Farms for fresh produce, locally sourced jelly and jams, cheeses, and more. 

For those who are arriving, unpack the car and get settled into your home away from home.

The sea turtle hospital is open until mid-October. 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 welcome. 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. Taking care of our beaches is important to the health of our endangered sea turtles. Click here for more information

Sunday, September 25    —  Start your day with a cup of hot coffee from The Daily Grind or any of our many coffee shops. We have several shops that serve nutrition drinks, including Diver Surfside Cafe.   Sit back, and relax this morning. 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!

Once again 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. Check out these locations starting on page 38 of our visitor guide.

Monday, September 26  –  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 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!

Tuesday, September 27  - It’s Tuesday. Shake the sand from your feet and head inland to explore the land of history and blueberries. 

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. 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. (Watch out for Welcome to Flatch production crews. They're filming this week.) 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. 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 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. 

When you return to the island, you may want to kick back for a free concert in the Town of Topsail Beach's Town Center. This is the last of the summer concert series. The concert begins at 6:30 p.m. and will feature a 2-hour performance by The Mango Band. Bring a lawn chair or a beach blanket and enjoy.


Wednesday, September 28  – Today, let's 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. 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. (Just and FYI, starting this Saturday, Oct. 1, Poplar Grove will feature a Saturday Farmers Market 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. 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 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 – September 29   - Today offers a unique opportunity to take a kayaking and shelling adventure on Masonboro Island. The cost is $50 per person and is open to participants ages 14 and older. This program is through the Pender County Parks and Recreation. Register NOW. Fore more information and to sign up go to penderpr.recdesk.com/Community/Program or call 910-259-1330. Space is limited.
 
Take a mid-day break from the sun and sand to 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!

You have excellent choices for lunch in Topsail Beach. Cora's Isle-End Deli was voted one of the best delis in North Carolina. Nearby, Beach Shop and Grill is fabulous for lunch or dinner. 

Also near Missiles and More is Breezway Restaurant,  a wonderful dinner choice. They offer delicious seafood and even something good for landlubbers. This is a spectacular place to watch the sunset over the Intracoastal Waterway (we believe there is no more beautiful sunset than in Pender County). We love the hush puppies at Breezeway and you can buy the mix to take home to make them yourself too!


Friday, September 30     - It may be your last beach day! Finish with a day on the beach while darkening your tan and book next year’s vacation in Pender County!

Saturday, October 1     -  It may be time to check out from your vacation home away from home.  We hope you enjoyed your stay and that you will visit again with us next year!

On your way home (or if you are arriving for your weekend or week's stay) you may enjoy a visit to Gregory Farms and Vineyard Fall Festival today, from 12-5 p.m. They will feature live music by John Toppings as well as a food truck. Sample their wine (we love their blueberry wine) and enjoy life on the farm and vineyard. 

Another option for a local experience is a visit to the Burgaw Farmers Market on the town square. The market runs from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Purchase fresh produce and locally made items. 


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 Brewing Company, The Peak and Taphouse and Kitchen, unWINEd, and more. Click here for a listing.

Shop! We have beautiful 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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