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Town of North Topsail Beach

North Carolina
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Beach Activities & Rules  (click here for printable brochure)


Unattended Beach Equipment

New Unattended Beach Equipment Ordinance


Glass bottles or glass containers of any type are prohibited on the beach.



Camping overnight on the beach or otherwise using the beach as a domicile is prohibited.



Click here for the Topsail Island Surf Report & Forecast.


Holes on the Beach

Please be mindful that unattended holes left on the beach strand can cause injury to others, especially as night falls. Please be sure you fill in any holes before you leave them unattended and please follow the Town's ordinance as follows:


To help prevent personal injury and damage to property, it shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation within the corporate limits of the Town of North Topsail Beach to dig into the sand on any part of the beach strand greater than twelve (12) inches deep, without having a responsible person attending the area to prevent any person or persons from walking into any existing hole and risking personal injury, and to allow public safety vehicles the ability to respond to emergencies without risk of damage to equipment or personal property.  Prior to leaving the area and thirty (30) minutes prior to sunset, any hole greater than twelve (12) inches deep shall be filled to level with the surrounding area, leaving the area in the same general condition which it was found.

Dangers of Digging Holes on the Beach


Dogs on the Beach

Dogs must be on a leash and under the control of the owner at all times. While being walked or exercised off the premises or property of the owner or custodian, the dog must be restrained by a leash connected to a collar or harness, sufficient to restrain the dog from breaking loose. The leash is not to be longer than twenty-five (25) feet in length (retractable).

It is the owner’s responsibility to ensure that all excrement is immediately removed and placed in the proper receptacle. Please do not leave animals locked in unattended vehicles with no provisions or climate control, as it is detrimental to their health. Cruel and inhumane treatment of animals will result in the responsible party being charged with applicable violations.

Please make the beach enjoyable for all - both people and your pets!



Beach Vitex


Discussion regarding the Resolution to Eradicate "Beach Vitex" can be found in the Board of Aldermen Minutes of July 2006.


Concerned about sharks?

Read this brochure sponsored by NOAA and Sea Grant.



Weddings on the Beach 

A permit is not required to have a wedding on the public beach at North Topsail.  We ask that if you do have a wedding, that you leave the beach in the condition that you found it.  Contact Kim Weaver at (910) 328-1349 if you would like to reserve the Town's gazebo or picnic shelter for your event (click here for the reservation form). Marriage licenses are issued through the Onslow County Register of Deeds for more information click here.



No open fires are allowed on the beach.  All fires must be contained in a small gas grill.  Charcoal grills are not allowed.



Fireworks that detonate or explode, make a loud report, propel themselves through the air, or are not otherwise authorized by G.S. 14-414 of the North Carolina criminal code are illegal and are not allowed on North Topsail Beach regardless of where they are purchased. There are several professional fireworks displays located in the surrounding communities a short drive away from North Topsail Beach

during the Independence Day holiday.



Please stay off all dunes.  Use existing beach access points and crosswalks to enter the beach strand.  There is a $500 fine for walking on dunes.


Why Stay Off the Dunes?

Walking on the dunes causes deterioration of beach grass and other vegetation that helps to trap and hold the sand in place.  Although beach grass is a hardy plant, and is tolerant to high salinity conditions, direct sun, heat, lack of fertile soil and a fluctuating water supply, it can not survive being trampled by vehicle or man. As part of its resistance to salinity and drying conditions the plant has developed a thick brittle stalk which snaps easily when trampled or driven upon. The passage of only one vehicle or a few people over the dune at the same point will kill a strip of grass.  Without vegetation, the dune is exposed to wind erosion resulting in blowouts or breaches in the dunes.  These breaches or low spots not only create a weak spot in the dune but, become channels for floodwaters to move inland during storm events.  As a result, inland areas become more vulnerable during coastal storms.  Protecting dunes helps prevent loss of life and property during storms and protects the sand supply that slows shoreline erosion.



It shall be unlawful for any person to walk, run, swim, surf, or boat within 10 feet of any sandbag revetments, including any geotextile tubes located within or adjacent to the Town of North Topsail Beach.  It shall be unlawful for any member of the public to walk on private property located landward of any sandbag revetments constructed by or at the behest of the Town of North Topsail beach.  All violators will be assessed a $100 fine per occurrence.  This section shall not apply to any authorized, marked crossover or designated beach access or any property owners adjacent to the sandbag revetment and/or their lawful guests. 

An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 2015-2 Regulating Activities Near Sand Bag Revetments and Geotextile Tubes (March 5, 2015)