It’s been a little over three weeks since I’ve gotten back from vacation. I managed to finally unpack my suitcase last week, and I swear I still feel like I’m in vacation mode. I’d much rather be enjoying the beach at the moment, but instead, I’m sitting in Kentucky on a dark and dreary Monday, writing this post. But anyhow, I’m happy to recap my wonderful vacation!
When booking this trip months ago, we didn’t take hurricane season into account at all. Which in the end, was no big deal, as we had beautiful, sunny weather all throughout our trip! Luckily for us, Topsail is pretty chill during these months. There weren’t many tourists, and most of the time we only had to share the beach with a few others.
This beach is 100% dog friendly. Like, I’ve never seen so many dogs in one place, at one time! It was like heaven for us. As bittersweet as it was to be vacationing without our sweet Diesel and Boston, we loved every single wagging tail that passed! We even contemplated hanging signs on our beach chairs that read, “Let us pet your dogs!”, just in case we somehow missed one passing by. We’re crazy dog people, we’re aware…
We booked a three bedroom beach house, on the second row, through SeaShore Realty, on Topsail Island. The house we stayed in was called “Good Karma” It was such a pleasant experience, and the house was perfectly stocked! We were able to cook full meals using all the provided essentials! Check-in and check-out were both super quick and easy. I would definitely recommend renting through them for your Topsail vacation!
We visited during the off season, so unfortunately there weren’t many options open. However, we did walk down to the Jolly Roger Fishing Pier one morning, and enjoyed a simple breakfast out on the pier. It was the perfect start to our lazy beach day.
Quite possibly one of our favorite spots on the island was in Surf City. It was the cutest coffee shop called Hunga Bunga Java. I devoured the Iced Toasted Coconut Latte two days in a row, and the cherry tart was AMAZING!
The Dirty South Bar & Grill was our go-to dinner spot the entire trip! Their burgers were piled high, the nachos were served on a plate larger than my head, and the chicken and waffles hit the spot! They’re known for their homemade sangria, and have over 45 beers in stock. Each time was better than the last, and I would 100% recommend, or insist rather, that you visit this place if you’re in the Topsail/Holly Ridge area!
We cooked probably 70% of our meals. We had a group of 6, who all had different eating habits. We opted for easy-to-pack beach lunches, like sub sandwiches, protein bars, fruit, and trail mix. Dinners were usually pretty simple. We had tacos, grilled chicken, and brunch burgers (MY FAV). We stocked up on plenty of snacks to throw in our beach bags or for a day out shopping.
Funny story… Our rental house was next to the cutest little beach house, which was home to three of the CUTEST bulldogs any of us have ever seen. They left each morning, and hopped in the truck to head off to work with their humans. So on one of our mid-day shopping adventures, we made a pit stop at Southend Outfitters. And what did we see? The same bulldog who was leaving each morning to head off to work, was curled up in the back just snoozing away. We got to see him hard at work, keeping the floor warm. Look how precious!
Anyhow, Southend Outfitters had all your favorite beach brands, including Southern Tide, Vineyard Vines, Yeti, Costa, and many others! They also rent out bikes, surf and paddle boards, and kayaks. They also offer guided fishing excursions.
Another great stop was Quarter Moon Books, Gifts, & Wine Bar. We got great latte’s, and explored around the shop. There were tons of adorable beachy décor items, as well as cute boutique style gifts and accessories. The wine bar area was pretty unique, and although we didn’t get a chance to sample any, it will definitely be on my to-do list on our next trip!
There’s also all your typical beach stores, our favorite being Tsunami Surf Shop! They had lots of trendy tshirts, sweatshirts, and other souvenirs. We visited this one twice, finding something new both times!
We spent 5 out of our 6 days on the beach. We lounged around, took boogie boarding lessons from some local pro’s, dug around for hours catching live mussels, searched for shells and shark teeth up and down the beach, and *attempted* to fly a kite. We took plenty of beach walks, and even watched some dolphins frolic along the coast one evening. The vibe on Topsail is super laid-back. So, if a quiet, dog friendly, natural beach is your thing, Topsail is the place for you.
We walked across the way to the sound area to watch the sunset, and it was beautiful! You might consider renting bikes one evening, order dinner to go, and take an evening ride to a quiet part of the sound for a sunset picnic. Talk about stunning!
We did take a trip into Surf City to visit Soundside Park, which has a boardwalk over the Sound area. It was a very nice little area, with a park area for the kiddos, great walking paths for the exercise fanatic, and we saw tons of wildlife! It was convenient to many area shops and restaurants.
During the main season on the island, there is much more to do. Part of me wishes that we would’ve checked into this a little further, but we still had a blast regardless! I would 100% recommend Topsail Island, NC to anyone looking for a quiet, coastal town to spend their hard earned vacation time!
Where is your favorite vacation spot? Comment below!