This past week I spent spring break at Topsail Island, North Carolina. I struggle with the idea of sharing this hidden gem, but it’s one of my favorite places, and I couldn’t resist.
Topsail Island is surrounded by largely populated beaches like Myrtle Beach and Wrightsville Beach that draw crazy spring breakers away from the less populated and hidden beaches of Topsail. The string of beaches in Topsail is less of a tourist destination and more of a second home to return visitors and locals. With beautiful views, unique shops and great local restaurants, Topsail Island has everything needed for a perfect vacation.
The island is broken up into three main sectors: North Topsail Beach, South Topsail Beach and Surf City (in the middle). Each beach has various beachfront properties rented out year-round with multiple ocean views and a deck leading right out to the beach. Both north and south beaches and Surf City all have fishing piers where vacationers can walk out and get a better view of the island.
Surf City is where many of the shops are located and is a great way to spend a less-sunny or chilly day. A few of my favorite shopping spots are Herring’s Outdoor Sports, Topsail Island Trading Co, BumbleBee Market, Mia’s Marketplace, Tsunami Surf Shop and Sandy Toes Boutique.
Among the several beachy shops there are local restaurants and coffee shops that make fast-food chains seem completely overrated. My family never wants to cook when we are on vacation, so we have several places we rotate during the week. Our favorites are New York Corner Deli (not beach themed but super good), Max’s Pizza, Batson’s Galley Family Restaurant, Sears Landing and Sisters Organic Market (for minor grocery shopping).
You won’t find a Starbucks anywhere near; however, there is great coffee right on the island! My favorite two coffee spots are Hunga Bunga Java and The Daily Grind. Both of these coffee destinations are located in Surf City and have perfect study areas (if necessary on vacation) and also sell beachy decor around the shops.
Surf City is also home to Soundside Park where kids can come and play and visitors can walk on the docks. Soundside Park is located next to the swing bridge and has the best view of the sunset over the sound. The park also has an amphitheater stage that gets extravagantly decorated during the holidays.
My family has been vacationing here for 10 years, and Topsail Island has become a second home to me. If you visit, expect to fall in love with the charming city, the great local stores, food and coffee, the beautiful and peaceful beach (home to many sea creatures) and expect to never want to leave.