One of North Carolina’s top destinations is Topsail Island. This 26-mile barrier island encompasses Surf City, North Topsail Beach, and Topsail Beach. Thanks to its balmy temperatures and temperate climate, many people come to the island throughout the year.
But, when is the best time to visit Topsail? Let’s break down the month season by season so that you can plan your trip to this vacation spot accordingly.
Spring Months – March 21st to June 21st
As the weather gets warmer, crowds will start flocking to Topsail Island for a beach vacation. The area has lots of oceanfront vacation rental homes available, making it an ideal choice for families or groups of friends.
During this time of year, the highs are in the mid-60s to the low-70s, making Topsail an ideal getaway since you won’t be roasting yourself. These months also don’t see many more rainy days than other parts of the year, so you should be able to enjoy the outdoors easily.
Since children are still in school, the beaches on Topsail are not too crowded this time of year. Although the water temperature is a bit on the colder side, you can enjoy the sand and surf during your entire Topsail Island vacation.
Keep in mind that weekends and the week of Spring Break will be pretty crowded, as will Memorial Day Weekend. Then, once the kids are out of school, the beaches will start to get their annual summer crowds.
Top Spring Activities on Topsail Island
Annual Herb and Garden Fair – Beginning of April
This fair shows off the natural beauty of Topsail and allows you to take a piece of the scenery with you. If you love fresh food and seasoning, you have to stroll through the stalls to find the best options for your next dish. The smells are also pretty amazing.
Farmer’s Market at Poplar Grove – Starts Mid-April
If the garden fair helped whet your appetite, the farmer’s market will surely be a treat. The market runs from April to October, with vendors selling local produce, meats, preserves, and more. It’s like a culinary taste test of the island.
Surf City Ocean Pier
If you love to fish, you have to check out this fishing pier. Even if you didn’t bring your own equipment, you can find everything you need at the local bait and tackle shop. Fishing is plentiful all year round, but spring is the best time to catch albacore, black drum, bluefish, and croaker.
The beaches at Topsail Island are open the whole year, but now is an excellent time to enjoy them before the crowds come. Since the average temperature is in the low-70s, you can splash in the water without getting burnt to a crisp.
Summer Months – June 21st to September 21st
Most people plan their beach vacation to Topsail during the summer. Now that kids are out of school, beaches will be filled with families trying to enjoy the sun. There are plenty of beachside activities available, from bike-riding to paddleboarding to surfing.
Since these months can get pretty packed, you have to book your reservations well in advance. Vacation homes can sell out quickly, so you might want to check with local realty companies to see what’s available.
If you love hot beach weather, summer is the best time to visit Topsail. Even during the hottest months, the average temperature doesn’t exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Plus, since you’re in a beach town, everywhere you go is more than accommodating to hot weather enthusiasts.
Top Summer Activities on Topsail Island
Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue & Rehabilitation Center
Between May and August, sea turtles will come to Topsail Island to lay their eggs. Then, from July to October, hatching season sees hundreds of baby turtles try to make their way to the sea. If you want to partake in this joyous occasion, the best place to see sea turtles is the Rescue & Rehabilitation Center.
If you really want to see what Topsail Island can offer for fish, you should charter a boat and hit the high seas. The summer months bring barracuda, cobia, flounder, and mackerel. You can also fish from Soundside Park, which has its own fishing pier.
Technically, you can visit this park any time of the year, but summer is when most people like to experience Soundside. The park has a pirate ship playground, plenty of walking trails, and it borders the Intracoastal Waterway. As we mentioned, you can try your luck at the fishing pier to see what catch you might find.
Fall Months – September 21st to December 21st
As the weather gets colder, the beaches start to get less crowded. However, Topsail Island is always a top vacation destination, no matter the time of year. The fact that fewer people come to the island during this season is both a pro and a con. On the one hand, you don’t have to fight crowds wherever you go. On the other hand, there are fewer activities and some places close because of the lack of business.
Overall, if you can plan your trip accordingly, you should be able to have as much fun during the fall as you could any other time of year. Best of all, Topsail Island never really has too many rainy days, so you can do a mix of indoor and outdoor activities.
Hitting the beach is fun, but it can get old after a while. Fall is when you can start to enjoy some of Topsail Island’s indoor attractions. Better yet, prices are better because there are fewer crowds everywhere.
Top Fall Activities on Topsail Island
This museum helps illustrate Topsail Island’s past as a research and development site for the military during World War II. Scientists were trying to figure out how to develop a supersonic bomb in secret.
This museum talks about these experiments and other highlights from the island’s history. For example, pirates would dock on the island and launch attacks on merchant ships passing by. In fact, the island got its name from these pirates, who learned to identify the highest topsails to plunder.
Autumn With Topsail – Mid-October
This annual festival highlights everything great about Topsail Island and its cities. You can buy from local vendors, experience local bands, and sample some local beers during the two-day event.
Start of Holiday Season – End of November
Once Thanksgiving ends, the fun begins! First, you can catch the flotilla of lighted boats, then watch the Christmas tree lighting in Topsail Beach on the last day of the month. Once December starts, you can enjoy lots of holiday activities and celebrations.
Winter Months – December 21st to March 21st
During the winter, the average temperature tops off in the mid-50s during the day and the low-30s at night. However, despite the chill factor, Topsail Island is still a fun vacation destination.
This time of year is excellent for beachcombing because there are significantly fewer crowds. As long as you dress appropriately and avoid the water, you should be able to enjoy the sand and surf.
With fewer people on the beach and in the restaurants, you can pretty much pick your activities. While Topsail Island rentals may not be as appealing, you can find lots of shells, rocks, and other treasures on the beach. If you have a metal detector, you can see what else lays beneath the surface.
Top Winter Activities on Topsail Island
Escape rooms are much more popular these days than in years past. They allow you to test your skills and knowledge in a fun and challenging environment. Some rooms work well for families, while others are best for friend groups. Topsail Escape Room is one of the best in the area.
Topsail Skating Rink
Who doesn’t love skating? This fun activity is perfect as a rainy day or winter activity. The rink leans heavily on its retro roots, as most of the music is from the 70s and 80s. Little kids may not appreciate the tunes, but adults should get a kick out of the throwback vibe.
If you’re going to take a winter beach vacation, you should sample some of the best seafood in the region. Fortunately, there are quite a few high-quality seafood restaurants on the island, including Sears Landing, Topsail Steamer, or the Shuckin’ Shack. If you really want to kick things up a notch, Beauchaines 211 is one of the nicest restaurants on the whole island.
Overall, no matter what time of year you go to Topsail Island, you’re sure to have a blast. The island has tons of activities to keep you and your family entertained.