Surf City Pier | Detailed Guide

Surf City Pier is one of the most beloved attractions in North Carolina. It’s a great place to go for an afternoon or weekend getaway, and it has something to offer everyone.

In this article, I’m going to give you a detailed guide on everything Surf City Pier has to offer so that you can plan your perfect trip! From fishing charters and restaurants to souvenir shops and beaches, there’s plenty to do at Surf City Pier.

Whether you’re looking for adventure or just want some peace and quiet while taking in the beautiful views, this pier will provide all of that and more.

So let’s dive right into my detailed guide!

Location And Parking

Start by heading east on I-40 East towards Wilmington. The drive will take approximately 108 miles and you will need to stay on the highway until you reach Exit #408.

Once you reach Exit #408, take a left onto NC-Hwy 210 East towards Hampstead. This will take you towards the beach communities of Topsail Island.

Drive for approximately 13.3 miles on NC-Hwy 210 East until you come to the intersection with US-Hwy 17 North.

Take a left turn onto US-Hwy 17 North and continue driving for approximately 8.6 miles.

After driving for approximately 8.6 miles on US-Hwy 17 North, you will need to take a right turn onto NC-Hwy 210 East. This will take you toward the beach communities of Topsail Island.

Drive for approximately 2.8 miles on NC-Hwy 210 East until you come to the intersection with NC-Hwy 50/US-Hwy 210.

Take a right turn onto NC-Hwy 50/US-Hwy 210 and continue driving for approximately 1.8 miles. This stretch of road will take you over the Intracoastal Waterway via a swing bridge and through the only stop light on Topsail Island.

After driving for approximately 1.8 miles on NC-Hwy 50/US-Hwy 210, take a right turn onto South Shore Drive.

Drive for a short distance on South Shore Drive until you reach Surf City Ocean Pier, which will be on your left.

When you arrive, there are convenient parking options for everyone with rates depending on whether or not you’re a resident of the area – residents get free entry while nonresidents can pay $3/hour, $20/day, $60/week, or even $250 for a seasonal pass.

When it comes to amenities at Surf City Pier, they have all sorts of fun activities available in addition to access to some fantastic fishing spots. You can rent fishing rods and tackle boxes for your convenience, as well as purchase bait and other related items needed for angling success.

Yes, the pier is well-lighted at night. The pier is usually lit up with floodlights to ensure that visitors can see where they’re walking and to make the area more inviting. The lights also make the pier more visible to boaters who may be passing by.

Plus, if you happen to have time between catches, don’t forget about the beach which is located steps away!

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day out by the ocean or want to try your luck at catching dinner, Surf City Pier has something for everyone. With its location close to Topsail Island beach communities combined with its great selection of amenities – there’s no doubt that this pier will be a great destination for any vacationer! And with affordable parking rates available both daily and seasonally – why wait? Head over today and enjoy what Surf City Pier has to offer!


Ah, the Surf City Pier – our little slice of paradise! Where else can you find all your favorite amenities tucked away in one place?

From fish cleaning stations, a tackle shop, and even an ice cream stand – what more could any angler ask for?

What’s that you say? You want to know about the other amenities this magical place has to offer? Well then, let me tell you.

The pier is well lit so night fishing isn’t a problem. There’s plenty of parking available and if you don’t feel like bringing your own bait there’s an extensive selection for sale. And should you need a break from catching dinner there’s also a souvenir shop and outdoor dining area where you can grab some grub.

So come on down and experience all the fun of the Surf City Pier yourself! With its diverse array of features, it’s sure to make your day out on the water unforgettable.

Fishing At Surf City Pier

Now that we know what amenities are available at Surf City Pier, let’s explore the experience of fishing here. Whether you’re an experienced angler or a beginner just dipping your toes into the world of fishing, there is something for everyone to enjoy!

With its wide variety of fish species and exhilarating fights with each catch, it’s no wonder why so many people come back time and again to this spot.

The most common fish that can be found at Surf City Pier includes, the Atlantic croaker, spot, sea mullet, black drum, flounder, bluefish, pompano, red drum, Spanish mackerel, and whiting.

The most important thing about fishing here is having the right equipment. From rods and reels to bait and tackle, make sure you have everything ready before heading out on your adventure. If you don’t feel comfortable buying all these items by yourself, there are plenty of rental services nearby offering them for a competitive price.

When you finally get out in the water, take your time and savor every moment! Enjoy being surrounded by nature as you wait patiently for a bite – even when nothing bites, it can be an incredibly calming experience.

As soon as you feel that tugging sensation from your line, brace yourself for the fight – some of these fish may put up quite a struggle! When it’s all over though, take great pride in knowing that you caught dinner with your own two hands.

With endless opportunities for fun activities like fishing (and eating!) at Surf City Pier, it’s easy to see why kids and families love spending their days here.

Kids And Family

Have you ever been to Surf City Pier? It’s the perfect place for kids and families, with a variety of activities that everyone can enjoy! From Fish Hunt competitions for kids between 6-10 and 11-16 years old to teaching them about fishing responsibly and conservation efforts, this pier has something for all ages.

Here are three great ways to have fun here:

  1. Take part in the Fish Hunt competition – winners receive rods and reels as prizes, plus they get to learn more about responsible fishing practices.
  2. Enjoy some delicious snacks from one of the many food stalls at the pier – it’s always nice to indulge after a long day out on the water.
  3. Explore the area around the pier – take a stroll along the beach or visit nearby attractions such as lighthouses and historic buildings. There is plenty of history waiting to be discovered here!

From exciting competitions to tasty treats, there’s no shortage of things for kids and families alike to do on their trip to Surf City Pier.

Moving onto events and festivals…

Events And Festivals

As kids and families enjoy the attractions at Surf City Pier, there’s always something new to experience. From special events and festivals to contests like ‘Who Caught It First’, visitors can be sure of a fun day out!

The ‘Who Caught it First’ event is an exciting way for anglers to show off their skills. Prizes will be awarded for almost every fish that’s caught from the pier – as long as they’re in season and legal, of course! A running list is kept online so those taking part know what still needs to be caught.

At Surf City Pier, there are plenty of opportunities to go fishing too – no matter what time of year you visit. So whether you’re hoping to join in with a festival or simply fancy some quiet solace on the water, this pier has got all your angling needs covered.

Best Time And Season For Fishing At Surf City Pier

Surf City Pier is a great spot for fishing all year round! From spring to fall, you can find gray trout in The Deeper section of the pier. MirrOlure plastic grub baits and shrimp on speck rigs are some recommended bait options with a 12-inch minimum size limit and just one per day allowed to be caught.

In the summer months from July to September, tarpon can also be found in The Deeper section with live bluefish, menhaden, and pinfish recommended as bait. It’s important to remember that it’s unlawful to possess any king mackerel here.

From May to October, anglers should head out into The Deeper zone of Surf City Pier if they’re looking for king mackerel. A King rig along with live bluefish, spot menhaden, or cigar minnows will do the trick – but make sure your catch is at least 24 inches long (fork length) with only three per day allowed.

Lastly, pompano can be found between April and September near Suds up through the Sandbar (100 yards away). Use a two-hook bottom rig loaded with fresh shrimp, sand fleas, or gold hooks for best results – no size limits enforced for this species though!

The following items are essential when navigating Surf City Pier:

  • An experienced guide
  • Fishing license/permit
  • Appropriate tackle
  • Bait buckets
  • Sun protection gear

Being well prepared pays off big time when taking advantage of all that Surf City Pier has to offer its visitors! With the right guidance and equipment handy, there’s an opportunity to land some truly impressive catches throughout most of the year – something that every fisherman dreams about!

Time now than to look into what accommodation options are available nearby…


When looking for a place to stay near Surf City Pier, there are several great options.

Loggerhead Inn offers charming rooms at an affordable price, as well as easy access to the pier – just hop on their complimentary shuttle service! Additionally, they have plenty of amenities like free parking, Wi-Fi and a heated pool.

If you’re looking for something more upscale, Tiffany’s Motel is right down the road with comfortable accommodations that come fully equipped with everything you need. And if you want to be right on the beach, Island Inn in Topsail Beach has amazing views of the ocean and private balconies so you can enjoy them all day long.

If your budget doesn’t allow for luxury lodgings but still want to be close to the action, Breezeway Motel in Topsail Beach has some great deals on basic rooms. They also offer convenient amenities such as laundry facilities and cable TV.

For those seeking a fun atmosphere with lots of activities nearby, Jolly Roger is perfect—they even have a pirate-themed restaurant!

No matter what type of accommodation you’re looking for—luxury or budget-friendly—Surf City Pier area has it all. Whether you’re here for business or pleasure, these motels will make sure your stay is one to remember!

Tips For Visiting Surf City Pier

Visiting the Surf City Pier is an amazing experience. It’s North Carolina’s longest pier, stretching over 800 feet into the Atlantic Ocean! That makes it a great place to take in some stunning oceanic views and catch some of that famed NC coastal breeze.

Here are a few tips for making your visit even better:

  • First off, be sure to bring sun protection! The sunshine reflecting off the water can make for a very bright day out on the pier, so wear sunscreen and/or bring an umbrella or hat if you plan on being there during peak hours.
  • Additionally, since fishing is allowed from 7am-6pm everyday, visitors should familiarize themselves with regulations before attempting to cast their lines.
  • Finally, don’t forget about all the entertainment options available at Surf City Pier! Live music events occur throughout the year alongside special holiday celebrations like Memorial Day Weekend fireworks show. All these activities help make this destination truly unique – plus they’re free and open to everyone!


Surf City Pier is a great place to spend quality time with your family while fishing and enjoying the amenities that come along.

Whether you’re looking for an eventful day in the sun or a peaceful afternoon by the pier, Surf City Pier has something for everyone!

I can personally attest that it’s been one of my favorite places to go when I need to destress from life.

The alluring sea breeze and serene atmosphere brings me back again and again – like a siren song!

So if you’ve got some free time on your hands, take a trip down south and experience what this iconic landmark has to offer.

You won’t regret it!