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Topsail Island FAQs

Topsail Island is nestled on the North Carolina coast between the barrier islands of the Cape Fear Region and South Carolina’s Crystal Coast.  This peaceful paradise is only a short twenty-minute drive from Jacksonville, NC, home of USMC Camp Lejeune and about thirty minutes from the port city of Wilmington, NC, home of the USS North Carolina and New Hanover International Airport.

It is a common misconception that Topsail Island is part of the Outer Banks, but we are slightly further south. Our neighbors to the north on Emerald Island find themselves at the southernmost portion of the Outer Banks 200 mile stretch.

The island is divided into three separate townships: North Topsail Beach, Surf City, and Topsail Beach. No town is necessarily better than another, but ultimately guests have their preferences as to where they will stay due to some differences in the areas.

North Topsail Beach is located on the northern side of the island, and is where visitors will find houses to be more spaced out, quieter streets, less beach crowding, and more of the newer homes. This end of the island is mostly residential, so vacationers will have to drive a short distance north into Sneads Ferry or south into Surf City in order to find shopping, restaurants, and nightlife. For town information, including beach regulations, please visit


Surf City is the central town on the island, often referred to as the “heart” of Topsail Island. This area has the majority of the shops, restaurants, and nightlife. This is the primary area for activities and attractions, and encompasses a portion of the mainland in addition to the island. For town information, including beach regulations, please visit


Topsail Beach is the southern end of the island, and exemplifies our theme of “Topsail Time.” This area has a more laid back atmosphere, and you are more likely to encounter visitors walking the streets, riding bikes, and spending time outdoors with pets. There are a select few restaurants and shops in this area, but each provide unique foods and goods that are special to this area. The shoreline is the widest in Topsail Beach, providing plenty of beach space even during higher tides. The far southern tip of the island provides a scenic walk, and some of the most illustrative sunset views over both the sound and ocean. For town information, including beach regulations, please visit

Due to business on the island being on a seasonal schedule, many of our shops and restaurants will close for Fall and Winter. The exact times each business may close will vary, but generally, many shops and restaurants will close for the season by the beginning of November, and will not reopen until March. Those that remain open year round may reduce their operating hours in the off season.

Like true North Carolina weather, it fluctuates every day. We generally begin experiencing warmer temperatures of the upper 70’s and low 80’s in the Spring. Temperatures are typically higher during the peak summer months, usually being in the 90’s. The most pleasant weather is in the late summer and early fall during the months of September-October. The weather is warm enough for t-shirts, shorts, and flip flops, but not overbearingly hot. Winter weather varies each year, but does not get near as cold as northern winters.

The crux of the vacation season is between Memorial Day through Labor Day. The island usually begins to see most vacationers by mid-June, and does not begin slacking until close to mid-September. July and August are generally the busiest months of the season, with the most people vacationing during this time.

There are three piers located on the island:

The Sea View Pier is located at 124 Fishing Pier Ln in North Topsail Beach. For hours of operations and other information please visit their website at

The Surf City Pier is located at 112 S Shore Drive in the center of Surf City, and tends to be the most popular among our visitors.  For hours of operations and other information please visit their website at

The Jolly Roger Pier is located at 803 Ocean Blvd in Topsail Beach. For hours of operations and other information please visit their website at

On most given summer days, when the skies are clear and blue, visitors are able to see the Surf City Pier from Topsail Beach, as well as see the Jolly Roger Pier from Surf City.

Topsail Island does not have any public pools or water parks in the immediate area. You are welcome to visit the Jungle Rapids Family Fun Park in Wilmington for those attractions. All pools on the Island are associated with a community HOA or a private residence and are subject to seasonal availability. Lewis Realty unfortunately does not have any control over the pool schedules. The majority of pools are open between Memorial Day and Labor Day, though some may elect to open earlier and close later depending on the weather.

A Coastal Recreational Fishing License for saltwater fishing is required. Please visit the NC Wildlife website for information about this license. Several local retailers offer this license for purchase.


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