Blake Walsh

21 Best Things to Do in Surf City, NC

  • Published 2023/03/24

Surf City in North Carolina is one little town that is a popular spot for a vacation.

This town remains the commercial hub of the famous Topsail Island.

Surf City is famous for its majestic beaches with pristine waters and attracts a lot of travelers, especially in the summers.

The pristine blue waters of the beaches are calm to the soul.

Apart from the beaches, this beautiful town has many other places and fun things to do.

From a variety of water sports and amusement parks to shopping centers, Surf City has many offerings!

Interested to know more about this place?

Here are the 21 best things to do in Surf City, North Carolina:

Bring the Family toSoundside Park

Scenic view of Soundside Park

MichaelMiclatPhotography /

The Soundside Park is a fantastic place in Surf City.

This recreational park is family-friendly, with lots of slides, swings, and elaborate playgrounds for your kid to enjoy.

This park will also meet your urge to enjoy nature, as this park comes with beautiful views of the natural ground.

While strolling through the park’s lengthy boardwalk, you might encounter wildlife in its natural habitat!

Also, the view of the sunset from this park is simply unbeatable!

There are exclusive travel packages; you can also plan a stay in one of their beautiful resorts.

If you are interested in water sports, you should also try the kayaking, paddle boarding, and fishing sections.

Take the Kids to theKenneth D.Batts Family Park

Among the parks of Surf City, the Kenneth D. Batts Family Park is another attractive spot.

This extensive park has a large playground for your kids with other features like a basketball court, boardwalk, and many more!

While your kids enjoy it, you can share a cozy picnic with your family in their serene shelter!

Fish at the Surf City Ocean Pier

Sunset at Surf City Pier

Vickie Butner /

The first-ever ocean pier on Topsail Island, the Surf City Pier is an excellent fishing spot.

This is a major attraction for all tourists and offers excellent shopping opportunities to travelers.

It is worth a visit during the weekends if you wish to enjoy the lively crowd here.

Structure of Surf City Ocean Pier

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It comes with the advantage of excellent restaurants, which provides you with a portion of tasty lip-smacking food.

As you enjoy the food, you can hear the ocean waves crashing on the shore!

And it is worth mentioning that this pier is also an excellent spot for a photoshoot!

Side view of Surf City Ocean Pier

Huron Shores Photography /

Have Fun at theTiki Tours

The Tiki Tours are a perfect getaway for you if you want to experience the guided tours of this majestic island.

This tour comes in a paddlewheel or a pontoon and gives you the most relaxing experience on the cruise.

It will take you to tour the exclusive wildlife of the sea, including dolphins, pelicans, sea turtles, ospreys, and many other creatures!

This tour will also give you a view of the gorgeous sandbars of this island, and you will also be a spectator of the beautiful barrier islands!

You can choose from their wide range of package options and set sail!

Tee Off at Shipwreck Point Miniature Golf

For all lovers of golf, Shipwreck Point Miniature Golf is a must-visit.

The best way to spend an hour or two in Surf City is to visit this mini-golf center.

It has courteous staff to greet you and show you around the place.

VisitThe Gathering

The Gathering is an absolute delight to the eyes and is undoubtedly worth a visit.

Apart from the warm welcome at the entrance, its architecture is magnificent.

The atmosphere is so friendly and warm that you will be delighted and paired with the somber music, and this church is a treat for travelers.

You can visit this church at any time of the day, but they hold the leading service on Sundays at 10:00 am.

They also hold occasional events occasionally, and if you are lucky, you will surely be able to witness one!

Get Holistic Treatment atInis Spa

The Inis Spa is aptly called the spirit of this lovely island and is a perfect escape from your hectic day.

You can get a relaxing treatment at this spa after traveling all day.

They provide excellent services and outstanding hospitality.

Their top-notch holistic treatments ranging from Lomi Lomi to facials and body massages.

Their staff is highly talented and is worth paying a visit to.

You can schedule your spa day any day from Monday to Saturday.

The timings of this spa are from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.

All you need to do is book a schedule and enjoy relaxation!

Gear Up at Surf City Jet Ski Rentals

The Surf City Jet Ski Rentals are immensely popular for outdoor sports lovers and other allied activities.

When tired of the beach vibes, you can quickly come to this rental spot and hop on to jet ski!

This rental service is located precisely at the heart of this beautiful Topsail Island and is quite close to all the other tourist spots.

You can easily visit Wrightsville Beach & Wilmington, which is only half an hour’s distance from this spot.

If you get lucky, you will also spot some dolphins in the waterway, which come to this water body to play!

Apart from having courteous staff, they provide some of the best equipment for jet skis in Surf City.

Pick Your Thrill atEcological Marine Adventures

While you are visiting Surf City, why not try out the outdoor activities at Ecological Marine Adventures?

This is a top-rated center for all outdoor activities, especially for the kids.

From all outdoor games to playful learning scopes, your child can experience them all in EMA.

This fantastic center provides hands-on learning experiences; all the instructors are amiable to work with!

Shop at theBumblebee Market

A trip can never be complete without shopping, isn’t it?

The Bumblebee market is just the spot for that!

From all types of gifts to souvenirs, there is something for everyone!

This shop holds a massive collection of bags, jewelry, books, soaps, candles, and more eye-catching items.

For kids also, you will find many gift items, like chocolates, toys, and cute stuffed animals!

Listed at rank four on Tripadvisor, the Bumblebee market remains open from 9 to 8 in the evening.

This shop is a must-visit for all shopaholics, and this charming little boutique will not fail you!

You will surely be glad that you paid a visit to this cozy shop.

Visit Mia’s Marketplace

For all shopaholics, Mia’s Marketplace is another heaven that provides lots of options for you to shop from.

Here you will get to suffice all your food cravings because Mia’s marketplace brings you all the tasty snacks and pastries!

This charming boutique holds the second rank among all the shopping places in Surf City on Tripadvisor, and the reasons could not be more precise.

From delicious saltwater taffy to lip-smacking salsas, sauces, and dips, you will find everything to satisfy your taste buds!

This boutique also has a good collection of resort wear, decoration items for your home and office, and jewelry!

Isn’t this shop a must-visit?

See the Displays ofSeacoast Art Gallery

Seacoast Art Gallery is just a place to visit if you enjoy art.

This sophisticated art gallery is one of the most famous and attractive places in Surf City.

It is filled with beautiful works of art.

It portrays local artists’ work and includes paintings, pottery, photography, sculpture, and so much more.

This place must be on your bucket list, where you can enjoy many unique items like seashells or jewelry.

This cozy art gallery brilliantly intermingles talent, culture, and sophistication.

Check Out Tortuga’s Nest

If you’re going on a night out in Surf City, check out the nightclub Tortuga’s Nest on New River Driver.

It claims to have Topsail Island’s biggest bar and dance floor.

Tortuga’s Island is known for its live DJs and special shows like midget wrestling.

Recurring evening themes, such as Latin nights and Country nights, likewise bring fun to this nightclub.

Games of pool and poker add to the delight of a visit to Tortuga’s Nest.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Enjoy the Beach atTopsail Island

Sunset in Topsail Island

shawnc94 /

The beach is one of the best attractions in Surf City for all the water babies!

The beach is highly comfortable for you to take a long walk, and the water is always warm if you want to dip.

This laid-back beach is one of the top choices for travelers who like a serene atmosphere.

Fishing at Topsail Island

Jon Beyerle /

It is a quiet beach where you can relax with friends and family.

The perfect season for visiting this beach is from May to September, but you can also see it in the springtime.

You can watch the beautiful sunset and can also go for fun rides.

Driftwood on the dunes of Topsail Island

Anya Douglas /

Camp in Style at The Inlet at Lanier Pointe

The Inlet at Lanier Pointe is a significant upgrade from its former setup Lanier’s Campground.

This luxury campground is located waterfront on Spot Lane in Holly Ridge at the northern edge of Surf City.

The Inlet at Lanier Pointe boasts an array of 5-star amenities amid excellent waterfront views.

This campground provides a clubhouse with a beautiful pool, a private boat launch, and a community pier.

The Inlet at Lanier Pointe offers a choice of full-hookup RV sites, primitive tent sites, and four luxury cabins.

Celebrate Music at the Annual Ocean City Jazz Festival

Listen to nationally acclaimed artists at the Annual Ocean City Jazz Festival on North Topsail Beach.

This yearly jazzfest started in 2009 to celebrate the foundation of Ocean City, just some 4 miles northeast of Surf City.

The three-day Annual Ocean City Jazz Festival is typically held toward end-June, perfect for summer vacation plans.

At this jazzfest, smooth jazz, straight-ahead jazz, and big band dominate the music genre.

A silent auction and food vendors add to the festive vibe of this event.

Boat around the Permuda Island Reserve

The Permuda Island Reserve spreads over 63 acres on its 1.5-mile-long namesake island.

It is located in Stump Sound landward of Topsail Island, about 5 miles by boat from Surf City in the southwest.

The waters around the undeveloped Permuda Island Reserve is accessible only by shallow-draft boats, kayaks, and canoes.

Visitors of the island are encouraged to stay on their boats because of the thick vegetation and insects and snakes in the preserve.

While in the boat, you can enjoy the natural scenery and observe the island’s abundant marine and birdlife.

Stay Close to the Ocean at the Surf City Family Campground

The Surf City Family Campground is an affordable site for an extended stay in the city.

Located on Island Drive, this campground is steps away from the beach.

The campground provides full-service sites, tent sites, cable TV, and handicapped facilities.

There are plenty of spaces at the Surf City Family Campground for setups like pop-up campers.

Pets are allowed at the Surf City Family Campground, where helpful and friendly staff keep the showers and bathrooms clean.

Have Fun at Patio Playground

Patio playground is another amusement park that is absolutely fun for all ages!

It has the only facility for Putt-Putt golf in the entire Surf City and is highly family-friendly.

This playground comes with lots of other treats for you to enjoy.

These treats include bike rentals, ice cream parlors, family arcades for all the family members, and even DJ sessions!

You can have all the fun while dancing to the tunes of the DJ and might take part in the hula hoop contest as well!

The DJ here plays all your favorite tunes, from the 80s to the oldies.

They also take request songs on request nights!

Tour theMissiles and More Museum

Are you a lover of history?

Then the perfect stop for you will be the famous Missiles and More Museum.

It will offer a detailed history of Topsail Island’s military and naval activities.

This museum exhibits operation bumblebee, tells you about the contribution of the women’s air force, and will also retell the stories of the infamous pirate attacks.

This beautiful museum sports several displays, including pictures, local arts, movies, and short films.

These are exclusively made available to history lovers for viewing.

Take 1 or 2 hours from your trip schedule, and you are ready to set foot on historical adventures!

See Masterpieces at theThurston Art Gallery

Thurston Art Gallery is home to top-notch quality art and is a must-visit for art lovers.

This gallery is home to the works of art by the owner, Sherry Thurston herself.

This art gallery is a perfect inspiration for the residents and is an attractive tourist spot.

It is most often visited by students and art enthusiasts.

All you need is an hour or two, and you can witness this gallery’s grandeur.

Of recent, this art gallery had a grand opening, and it will be worth spending your time here.

Final Thoughts

A vacation in Surf City promises to be an exciting experience for the whole family.

Its superb location on Topsail Island offers many water-based recreational opportunities enjoyable for the young and old.

Amenities like shops, restaurants, and leisure centers are abundant in and around Surf City, adding to a beautiful stay.

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