Things to do (besides swim, sun, surf, snorkel, and surf fish)
Click on picture for a better view!
Spinnaker's Surf Shop on 111 N. Shore Dr. near the pier. This is my favorite surf shop although there are several good ones on the island.
This surf shop rents surf boards & wet suits, gives surfing lessons, and has great clothes for the teens. They also give surf reports.
You will love this place. It my favorite store on the island.
If regular surfing is too tame for you, try kite surfing. This guy got about 15 feet of air right after this shot and before I could click again.
There is a kite surfing shop on New River Dr. near Dolphin called Wind Toys LLC that gives lessons. Go ahead and do it. They also sell some of the most outrageous kites I've seen as well as windmills, windsocks, flags as well as surf boards, boogie boards and the like.
Call them at 910-328-KITE (910-328-5483)
Herrings is the best outdoor outfitter on the island.
Rent a kayak and go on the sound, or get really good and kayak-surf the waves. You can also rent beach cruisers (bikes) and utilize the bike lane which runs from the county line (about the 9 mile mark) to the south of the island.
They also carry a full line of rods and reels and all types of bait. The girls will love the "Life is Good" clothes line they carry. My wife went in there and spent more than an hour trying on "cute little things". I found a great pair of reef walker shoes at a good price.
MaknWaves rents jet skis for your enjoyment. I have never used them but I have jet skied in the sound and it is fun. The water is warmer than the ocean and generally smooth as glass. Their rates are $85/hour.
Call them at 910-340-5151 or check their web site.
What would an island vacation be without a putt-putt style golf course. Come play in this shipwreck and pirate haven on the main road to the bridge (50/210) on the mainland about a half mile before the Surf City bridge.
It's got curvy links for all your scurvy crew!
Shipwreck Point Golf
14418 NC Hwy. 50,
There are a number of golf courses in the area. One of the best is North Shore Country Club located in Sneads Ferry just after you cross back to the mainland over the "high bridge" on the north side of the island (not the swing bridge in Surf City).
Golf Digest has rated this course a 4-star course. Visitors are welcome.
101 N Shore Dr Sneads Ferry, NC 28460 (910) 327-2410
Is this the largest alligator you've ever seen? Walk through it at Waves about a mile before the Surf City bridge
The Surf City Wine and Cheese Shop is a MUST VISIT! I love this place. It has great ambience, smells delightful, and has a good variety of cheeses and wines. They also do wine tastings. You should try some wine from the nearby Duplin Wineries. The wine is made from muscatine grapes. Chilled, it is a great summer beach wine.
Even if you don't drink wine, you should stop by and enjoy this wonderful shop.
Located at 602 N New River Dr Surf City, NC 28445 (910) 328-4111.
Surf fishing - what a way to spend the day. Sand sharks, drum, and other fun fish mix well with sitting in the sun, enjoying a brew or your favorite libation, and letting the surf lap your feet.
You can rent gear at East Coast Sports or buy gear at Herrings.
You need a license.
Docksider Family Fun Center is great for little kids with their video games, candy and taffy. It's fun and near the putt-putt, but a sophisticated pre-teen (10 or older with a playstation 3) will not be entertained, but take your 3 to 7 year olds there and they'll like it, and then you can go play mini-golf at Shipwreck Putt-putt next door.
Pirates & Missles
The Missiles & More Museum at the Assembly Building in Topsail Beach on the south side of the island is a definite rainy day (or too much sun day) trip. The Museum highlights pirates who roamed these waters and gave the name to the island "Topsail" because they would hide their boats in the sound until a tresure ship went by and they'd come out and pillage it. The sailors on those ships would look hard above the trees to se if they could find any "Topsails" of pirate ships, so they could scram if they were there.
The museum also looks at the very secret missile project which was started here at the end of WWII. It is so secret, that many government documents about it are still classified.
Call the museum at 910-328-2488 to see when they are open, but generally it is 2 - 4 pm M-F with Saturdays during the summer.
Get all your diving needs at Carolina Divers across the parking lot from the Food Lion on the main road to the bridge (50/210) into Surf City. I haven't been diving here yet, but they tell me there are a number of wrecks in the area. From history in this area, they could be 1) merchant ships sunk by pirates; 2) colonial era ships; 3) Confederate war blockade runners; 4) WWII era supply ships sunk by German U-boats; or 5) boats sunk during hurricanes.
Carolina Divers 13567-B NC Highway 50 Surf City, NC 28445-6555
Work: 910-329-9912 Toll Free: 866-913-1653
You can also schedule a dive with these boats: Littlefeet Charters at 910-471-5077 and Bad Attitude at 910-389-0740
Pier fishing - from either the Surf City Pier (at Roland and Shore Dr.) or the Jolly Roger Pier at the south side of the island.
Besides drum, flounder, sharks, etc., you can also catch tarpon. It's quite exciting when someone gets a tarpon or a mackerel on the line and they let it run. Then there is a mad dash to the beach to hand off the rod to a friend who takes off down the beach to keep the tarpon or mackerel from running under the pier and cutting the line.
If you are Catholic - or not - you can attend services at this wonderful outdoor chapel located on N. Shore Dr.
If you'd rather go to another church, there are several Baptist churches, a United Methodist, etc.
If you just want to go to a home bible study, give me a call. A good friend of mine runs one in his home on Wednesday nights and Sunday morning.
How about cooking your own fresh fish? I mean fresh - right off the boat. This seafood market is located in the parking lot of the Crab Pot (which I don't like that well) and it has what they are catching. Shrimp, flounder, sometimes shark, and more.
If you're not good with preparing fresh fish, try this. Get some shrimp and skewers. Boil the shrimp until white. Rinse and place on the skewers - kabob style - with sliced green peppers and some quartered onions. Braise with butter and put on the grill. Take off the grill when they have grill marks and enjoy with a "sundowner"
If you old enough to remember Gillian's Island with Gilligan, the Skipper, Mary Ann, Ginger and the SS Minow, then your old enough to go to Giligan's and sing karaoke.
This place is like Cheers. The locals are friendly, the bartender (bartendress?) is a hoot. There are a couple of TVs and a pool table.
You can strike up a conversation with anyone on any subject. You'll like it.
The Sand Bar, on Island Dr (210) near the city line between Surf City and North Topsail Beach, has an arcade below it. This is a place that seems to hop with the 20 and 30 year old set starting about 10pm at night. My 20 something waitress at Daddy Mac said it is the most popular bar on the island at the present.
There is often live music and they have advertised the Chairman of the Board, a beach music band, as appearing on a regular basis.
There is a cool arcade underneath that the kids can use during the day. They have a mini-bus to take home patrons that have partied too much to drive home.
There is horseback riding available on trails behind a farm near Surf City. I think it's called Desperado Horse Farms. The number is 910-675-0487. I've never been but one of our guests report that you need to have some experience riding but that she enjoyed the trails. She said it cost her and her two granddaughters $75.
Tennis anyone? There are two tennis courts at the Surf City Community Center, as well as a gym, indoor basketball court, and walking track. The Community Center is located off J.H. Batts Rd half way between Food Lion and the Surf City bridge. Call to see court availability. 910-328-4887
Deep Sea fishing on the Vonda Kay. You can fish for black sea bass, a variety of snapper, grouper, triggerfish, mahi mahi (also known as atlantic dolphin or dorado), amberjack, mackerel, cobia, tarpon and others. Call 910-328-FISH (910-328-3474).
If the Vonda Kay is full, you can also try Littlefeet Charters at 910-471-5077 and Bad Attitude at 910-389-0740
Soundside Park is just on the island after you cross the Surf City bridge.
It has a wonderful kids swing set and play area.
There are pier style walkways to fish from.
And there is a ramp to launch daddy's boat or jet ski's.
No swimming is allowed here
The Bumblebee Market - just on island by the Surf City bridge.
This place has the only island cappuccino maker and is a gourmet candy and food market. It is named after the secret missile project that was house here on Topsail Island after WWII. It has chocolate to die for.