Hidden Gems of Topsail Island: Our Readers' Top Picks


Hidden Gems of Topsail Island: Our Readers' Top Picks | Ward Realty

The secret is out! 

Topsail Island holds a special place in the hearts and minds of its residents and visitors alike. Everyone has their favorite "hidden gem" on Topsail Island. We asked our Facebook followers to share their favorite spots on Topsail. We are excited to share their answers with you!

If you are looking to reserve a vacation rental on Topsail Island, please contact us at Ward Realty. We can help! 

Shops & Restaurants

Sugar Island | Ward Realty

Sugar Island is a great little cafe/shop. Some of the best pastries you'l find anywhere, amazing selection of new and used books, local beer and art. Plus, the staff is super friendly.

-  Ward Realty. Photo by Sonja A. Redmon

Sandy's Sea Coast Art Gallery!! We always visit her when we come. She's a special part of the island for us.  

-  Olivia Marshall

We loved Topsail Steamer last year when we did one of their bucket boils. So good.

-  Tracy Myer

The Topsail Island Trading Company fudge.

-  Sterling Hamilton

My favorite go-to place while there is Island Delights. I love seeing all of the vintage items they've collected in there.

-  Lisa Dixon Hernandez

Our favorite eatery is the Shuckin' Shack, and we make it a point to always eat there. Another favorite (don't laugh) is Red Pepper Chinese up at Sneads Ferry. We consider Topsail to beat out Disneyland as the Happiest Place on Earth. At least for us it is."

-  Beth Krajewski 

Another spot for great Chinese and sushi is right on the island, Fancy Sushi Surf City. They also have a really cool Thai Ice Cream window.

-  Ward Realty

Cool Stuff to See & Do

Topsail Island Shipwreck | Ward Realty
Topsail Island Shipwreck | Ward Realty
Topsail Island Shipwreck | Ward Realty

The old shipwreck that is sometimes uncovered after huge storms! It's a literal hidden gem and an interesting part of Topsail's history.

-  Alanna Crummie

** The shipwreck can be spotted on the beach near N Shore and Dolphin St. if you go at just the right time! 


Surf City Bark Park

It’s right off the island and has a large and small dog area, lots of shade and fresh water! Our dog loves to be able to get out and run for a little while when we stay at Topsail! 

We always end up meeting new people whether they are locals or other people from out of town it’s always fun!

-  Kaitlyn Joanne Moore
Surf City Bark Park | Ward Realty

Shark Tooth Hunt | Ward Realty

We like to look for sharks teeth on the northern tip of the island. 

This is my daughter and grandkids during spring break.

-  Sonja A. Redmon

Surf City Pier! Surf City Pier Grill & Ice Cream! Fantastic Views, Hershey's Ice Cream, and some great food!

-  Debbie Mitchell

Favorite Vacation Rentals

Changes in Attitude Vacation Rental | Ward Realty

Favorite house - Changes In Attitudes - I wish I was there now! I left my heart in Topsail!

-  Yvette Barber

Raindrops On Roses. It's a lovely house, pet friendly, well, actually it's a duplex but you don't know it once you're inside. My husband has bad knees and steps are always a challenge. The elevator made it possible for him to join us on more treks because he didn't wear himself getting up and down a bunch of steps. The oceanfront view is breathtaking.

-  Beth Krajewski

Four years and counting this place has been our summer vacation spot. I love how clean the beach is and how wonderful all the locals are.

-  Rebecca Morris Tomana

We were staying in The Sugar Shak when we found out we would be first time grandparents. For their next baby’s announcement, we were in Carolina Palms.

-  Linda Gronberg-Quinn

Beautiful Sunsets & Memories

"We’ve been going to Topsail for 9 years and every year has been truly amazing but 2016 was the best. We arrived on 8/20; five days after my last chemotherapy treatment. 

To say Topsail has healing qualities is an understatement. I spent the week playing with my son, walking up and down the beach and enjoying really good food. 

The sea air was intoxicating; almost as if the island was welcoming me after a very long journey. I’m 3 years cancer-free and just booked our week for this summer. I can’t wait to get back to my favorite place in the world." ❤️🌎❤️  -  Ellyn Miller Latona

Enjoying Topsail Island | Ward Realty

"I have been vacationing in Topsail Beach for almost 50 years. My dad "discovered" the island waiting to be discharged from the USMC at Camp Lejeune after coming back from the Korean War. My parents, grandparents, sister and I vacationed for two weeks over several summers at "The Beach Place," a small, 6 unit, oceanfront apartment building across from the Anderson Chapel. (It was wiped out by Hurricane Fran and replaced by two single family homes, The Beach Place and The Beach Place, Too, which are still there).

My dad and I would walk around the southern tip of the island almost every day to explore the tidal pools, watch and wave at the boats coming in and out of the inlet, and just talk. We attended church at the Anderson Chapel. The south end was always his favorite, so it became mine. 

I brought my husband to TB for our 1st wedding anniversary in 1986. He fell in love with the island too, so we started vacationing in TB with our growing family. I described to our children that the Jolly Roger Pier, Patio Playground, and roller rink were the same as when I was their age. 

We walked kids and dogs around the tip of the island. We discussed our future plans to retire there. Unfortunately, my husband passed several years ago, but I continued vacationing there with friends and family, sharing my peace and happiness on TI. Last summer, I took a step toward making our dream a reality by purchasing my perfect vacation and future retirement home in TB. I am so blessed to know that my children and (hopefully) grandchildren will continue to visit me at my happiest place on earth. The walk around the southern tip is still my favorite tradition."  -  Lisa Heckathorn

Boston Beach Buddies on Topsail Island | Ward Realty

Lisa's "Boston Beach Buddies" hanging out on Topsail Island


Sunset on Topsail Island | Ward Realty

My family has been coming since 1981. That's 37 years! 

Our first rentals were little houses on stilts rented from Mr. Hines, a name I’m sure someone is familiar with:) 

I remember the water slide, Barnacle Bills (my favorite) and The Scotch Bonnet piers. 

My favorite memories were made there. ❤️ 

  -  Emily Lau Donovan


So many places to shoot sunsets from! Everyone keeps an eye on the time in the evenings when we are there - each sunset is a unique gift!.

-  Roxanne Lark
Sunset on Topsail Island | Ward Realty

Sunset on Topsail Island | Ward Realty

This is what my family and fiancé calls “my spot” because I always come here every time we visit Topsail. 

It’s so peaceful just to sit and relax and watch the sun set.

Savannah Mabe


Any day at Topsail is a good day! Most favorite part is the beautiful sunrises and sunsets! It is truly a little slice of heaven!

-  Kim Howard

We've been going to Topsail since 1980. Best family beach around. Would love to retire there someday.

-  Cindy Burke Thompson

Fun on Topsail Island | Ward Realty



"25 years and looking forward to June 💕"

 - Christine Holmgren


We have traveled to Topsail for the last 20 years. This was taken about 5 years ago on the very north end of the island. 

The most relaxing vacation spot I have found.

-  Steve Lower
Fun on Topsail Island | Ward Realty

Used to come to the island every year when a church member let me use their place at Serenity Point and fell in love with the island. Several years passed after I moved to FL. Then, my mom and I booked a beautiful home on the south end of the island last September and had 2 1/2 days to enjoy it before having to evacuate for the hurricane. Everyone was so kind and helpful to us as we tried to figure out what to do. We’ve booked the same place in May (before hurricane season) and hope to get to enjoy it for the whole week this time and to repay the kind folks of the island by frequenting all the establishments. 😄💕

-  Deb Zuercher

Fun on Topsail Island | Ward Realty



"We love Topsail"

 - Debbie Lynn


Topsail Island IS the "hidden gem"

After reading through all of the comments we came to the realization that actually, Topsail Island itself is the hidden gem for most of you. Sure, it's not as well-known (and commercialized) as other beach destinations like Myrtle Beach, but it's obvious that Topsail has been the perfect place to create memories and traditions for generations. Thank you to everyone for contributing to this fun and informative blog post! 


Hidden Gems of Topsail Island: Our Readers' Top Picks | Ward Realty

What is your favorite hidden gem on Topsail Island? 

Please share it in the comments.



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