Topsail Beach is a quiet stretch of land located at the south end of Topsail Island. This remote getaway is ideal for families that want to enjoy the ocean without battling crowds. Vacation rentals on Topsail Beach include large ocean-front homes with swimming pools, small kid-friendly cottages, and private condominiums with beautiful views. Most homes are within walking distance of unique shops, the general store, a large fishing pier, and a small marina. Plan your itinerary with these 12 fun family activities.

1. Fish From the Pier

Located on Topsail Beach, the SeaView fishing pier is the perfect place to go to catch flounder, mackerel, and mullet. You could also go there to simply relax and people watch. The pier measures over 1,000 feet long, which makes it one of the longest piers along the coast of North Carolina. Purchase drinks, snacks, and fishing equipment at the fully-stocked pier store, or take a break from fishing and enjoy lunch at the nearby restaurant.

2. Visit Southside Park

Pack a picnic lunch and a good book, and spend the day at Southside Park. Let the kids play on the playground while you relax and read. The playground has a climbing wall, slides, and swings. Take a quiet walk along the boardwalk that borders the sound, or brings a boat from your vacation rental and docks it at the Topsail Beach fishing pier. The park overlooks the picturesque Intracoastal Waterway, so bring a camera and take pictures.

3. Take a Boat Cruise

Relax and take an enjoyable cruise with the family along the Intracoastal Waterway at Topsail Island. Listen as the guide gives details about some of the top landmarks visible from the water. Some spots on the tour are only accessible by water, so you’ll get to view parts of the coast you wouldn’t otherwise see. At night, you can take a romantic sunset cruise and enjoy the warm summer breeze.

4. Go Roller Skating

Strap on a pair of roller skates, and boogie to the music as you roll around at the Topsail Beach Skating Rink. Take a rest on one of the bench seats when you need a break, or grab a snack at the snack bar. The roller rink is ideal for birthday parties and other special events, so don’t hesitate to celebrate if your child’s birthday falls during your vacation week.

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5. Rent a Kayak

The Intracoastal Waterway offers a calm location for kayaking, canoeing, and enjoying nature. Topsail Kayak Rentals provides guided tours and lessons to those just starting out. If you prefer to traverse the waters with your family, rent a few tandem kayaks for you and the kids, and head out on the open waters.

6. Learn How to Surf

Sign up for a surfing lesson on Topsail Beach. The Surf City Surf School is located to the south of Topsail Beach. Take a group or private lessons, as they’re available for people of all skill levels. During a lesson you’‘ll learn about tides, winds, types of boards, techniques, and safety. Experienced surfers can take daily shred lessons to hone their skills and learn new tricks. Once you learn new tricks, practice them on the waters right by your ocean-front vacation rental on Topsail.

7. Help the Turtles at the Karen Beasley Turtle Hospital

The Karen Beasley Turtle Hospital rescues, treats, and releases turtles that have been hurt. Learn what is involved in saving the life of a turtle, and learn about their nesting habits. There is a small gift shop on the premises where all proceeds go to helping the turtles. Kids have the opportunity to ask questions and even feed some of the creatures.

8. Encounter Pirates on the Belle of Topsail

Designed to look like a turn of the century riverboat, the Belle of Topsail offers several different cruises for families. The pirate tour remains the most popular tour among guests. The tour begins on board the Belle in the Intracoastal Waterway, where the captain begins a narrative of how to react if pirates take over. Pirates do board the ship, and guests get the chance to interact and watch the performance.

9. Play a Round of Mini Golf

Challenge family members to a friendly game of mini golf at one of two miniature golf venues on Topsail. The Shipwreck Point has two different 18-hole courses that are ideal for all ages. This venue is decorated in pirate and ocean themes and has a snack bar on-site. Patio Playground is a smaller putt-putt course that is located across the street from the beach. Indoors, you’‘ll find a variety of video games and you can also grab an ice cream cone before heading back to your vacation rental on Topsail Beach.

10. Tour the Missiles and More Museum

Learn about the history of Topsail Beach and the surrounding island at the Missiles and More Museum. View the exhibits, learn about the city‘s landmarks, and read up the history test missiles and how they were first made. The museum is free to the public.

11. Take a Bike Tour

Rent bikes for the family at the 50 South Surf Shop, and take a tour of the island. Rent helmets and other equipment to make your trip as safe and enjoyable as possible. The shop also has maps of the island, making it easy to plan your route. Topsail has a variety of bike paths, so you can explore the area and enjoy all of the sites.

12. Relax at the Nelva R. Albury Recreation Area

Dry your feet and spend some time on shore at the Nelva R. Albury Recreation Area. Located across the street from a beach access area on Topsail Island, this park has something for everyone. You can let your children play on the playground while you take advantage of the free-to-use exercise equipment. The recreation area has a firetruck climber, swings, slides, and a large gazebo, where you can enjoy a picnic lunch with your family.

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