How to Have the Most Wonderful Value Season Vacation in Topsail

Value Season Vacation in TopsailWe all think about the beach during the traditional summer months of late May through August. However, another excellent time of the year to vacation on Topsail Island is late summer and early fall. With the ocean warmed by hot summer days, fewer crowds, and beautiful weather...plan time to make some late summer memories with a trip to our slice of paradise. A Topsail Island Beach Vacation brings family and friends together on one the Atlantic Coasts hidden treasures. 

Our beautiful island is full of simple pleasures: walks on the beach, surf casting, fishing from one of the three fishing piers, or from your own Sound Side dock. Take long wandering bike rides and try several of the wonderful restaurants. This isn't to say Topsail Island doesn't have some heart pumping activities for the more adventurous spirit: paddle boarding, surfing, or kayaking, are all available on our beautiful waters. You can read more in our previous post 20 of the Best Ways to Get Active on Vacation.

No matter whether you choose the slow side of the beach life, or the the more adventurous side, with your choice of oceanfront, oceanview, sound front or interior vacation homes, your Topsail Island Beach Rental will put you in the thick of the action.

Each of the three main communities that make up Topsail Island has its own unique flavor. Whether visiting North Topsail Beach, Surf City, or Topsail Beach, you're going to enjoy the warmth and charm of the locals during your Topsail Island vacation. In this post we will explore many of the things you can do and see while visiting. We are sure you will agree this is the best place to be as summer winds down and our beautiful North Carolina fall begins. We warn you, this post is going to be long, but we know you'll love all the information as you plan your value season vacation on Topsail Island. 


Where to Stay 

Where to Stay 

The Northern Tip of Topsail Island is home to North Topsail Beach. A small town with only about 1,000 year-round residents, this is a charming and beautiful part of the island to make your home base. The northern most point of the 25 mile long island is where the New River Inlet is located. If you are looking to take your vehicle on the beach, this is one of the best access points, and is a great place for you surf fishing fanatics.

Looking for the heart of the action? Surf City, the largest of the three municipalities on the island, is also the one with the most shops and restaurants. There is something for everyone here. With a lot of beautiful waterfront locations, great beaches, and plenty to do, this is a favorite spot for many visitors. No matter where you stay on the island, at some point you'll make your way to Surf City to enjoy some of the best local eats on the island, including The Bistro at Topsail with its nationally recognized, award-winning chef.

Head to the southern tip of the island and you'll find Topsail Beach, the smallest of the three towns with approximately 500 year-round residents. With less commercial development than other parts of the island, this is a beautiful place to get away from it all while still enjoying a few great restaurants, shops and the world famous old-school-roller rink. With so many beautiful Topsail Island Beach Accommodations to choose from, it is an ideal vacation spot for you and your family.

From slow idyllic walks along the beach, to the convenience of having everything at your fingertips, Topsail Island offers a vacation option for everyone.  


Where to Eat 

Where to Eat

Vacation is synonymous with great food. Let's get you fueled up for your vacation so you can enjoy all Topsail Island has to offer. With fewer crowds and shorter wait times, this is the ideal time of year to do a culinary tour of the local restaurants.  

To get the morning started, stop in to the meet the friendly folks at The Daily Grind Coffee, Donuts and Ice Cream. Serving up great cups of coffee and delicious pastries, you'll ease right into your day.  If you want to throw the diet to the wind early on, try the Milky Way Frappe. With enough calories to fuel an Olympic track team, it is sure to get you up and going. Looking for something a little more traditional? Try the Beachin Kitchen's breakfast. Eggs, pancakes, and sausage are all served up with a self-proclaimed "Island Attitude" which is just what the doctor ordered to kick off your day on Topsail Island.

Time to refuel in the afternoon. Well the biggest problem you're going to have is narrowing down what great restaurant to try first. The New York Corner Deli is a great place to pick up a sandwich. Try the pastrami on rye to keep the energy going...or try something a little closer to home. North Carolina is famous for a few things. We already know we have the best basketball, but let us introduce you to our secret culinary weapon: North Carolina pulled pork BBQ. The folks at the Surf City BBQ serve up everything you need to "go local" with NC BBQ. Pulled pork sandwiches, hush puppies, and an amazing shrimp burger are sure to make this one of your regular stops. Now for the seafood you crave hit Topsail Steamer, with dozens of menu options and combinations, this place puts a fun twist on the traditional beach seafood. You'll love their incredible Low Country Shrimp Bay Bucket. With lots of steamed specialties, this is a great place to indulge in the local seafood while staying healthy.

From casual to fine dining, dinner is a special part of vacation. The very best moments of a vacation are often found at a table filled with great food, surrounded by family and friends. Here are some of the best places for dinner on Topsail Island.  First head up to North Topsail to Inlet 790 Grill and Bar. Executive Chef Dave Gargett has put together an incredible menu, showcasing the local seafood and cuisine. This is a wonderful place to have that special beach dinner. Another option for those a little further south on the island, is the Breezeway Restaurant. Since 1949, this family friendly, casual dining spot has been serving up local seafood and making memories for visitors year after year. Run by the Cherry family, this is truly an institution here on Topsail Island, and one you won't want to miss. Since 1952, the Beach Shop & Grille has been serving up simple, but delicious food here on Topsail Island. Stop in to see what Executive Chef Chris Gates has been dreaming up this season.  Known perhaps best for their gourmet burgers, you can't go wrong with any of the wonderful food at the Beach Shop & Grill. Surf City is home to Daddy Mac's a great place to get your shrimp and grits fix all while enjoying a beautiful ocean view. Interested in cooking at home, or firing up the grill, read our previous post on What You Need to Know About Fresh Seafood. 

Local Tip: We love our beautiful beaches, and hope you do to. Help us make sure the beaches stay beautiful for years to come. Participate in the Skip the Straw Pledge, and consider not using straws while visiting our beautiful Island. This small sacrifice has a major impact on our pristine environment. 


Outdoor Life 

Outdoor Life

It may be getting cold where you are, but here on Topsail Island we still have plenty of beautiful weather to enjoy. With long warm days, filled with Carolina blue skies, you'll want to get outside as much as possible during your late summer vacation. Grab some sunscreen, and head out on one of the many outdoor adventures the island has to offer. Land or sea, there is something for everyone. Here are a few of our favorite outdoor activities. 

Kayaking and Paddle Boarding

For many, the gentle slap of water against the oar or paddle is the sweet sound of relaxation. Feeling the stresses of the work week swirl in your wake as you wander the beautiful waters off of Topsail Island is like no other vacation experience anywhere. Take an adventure on the open Atlantic waters or paddle gentle inland waterways. With plenty of access to the water, you'll love the ease of exploring our H2O. Topsail Beach Access #2 offers easy access, and is a local favorite place to begin a day on the water.  

One highlight is kayaking or paddle boarding the waters around the Permuda Island Nature Preserve. First occupied as early as 300 BC, you'll love the breathtaking beauty of this natural treasure. Looking for a more guided experience? You can hook up with the folks at Paddle NC  who offer a wide variety of tours and rentals.

Local Tip: When out paddle boarding or kayaking, take the opportunity to help keep our beautiful waters clean by leaving no trace. Pack out any trash you have, and if you see any trash floating...grab it and bring it to shore. 


"Bring an extra cooler", is all we can say. You're going home with some fresh fish after this vacation. We won't even compare Topsail Island fishing to other places on the Atlantic Coast. Frankly, it just isn't fair to compare. If fishing is your life's passion, there is no better place to be then on a Topsail Island vacation. A novice to fishing? Looking to get into this fun and relaxing sport? You've come to the right place. With tons of friendly and passionate locals to help you get equipped and offer advice, you'll love fishing on Topsail Island. You will need a North Carolina Fishing License to fish the local waters. Have a great fishing story or favorite spot? We would love to hear about it.  


Enjoying the beautiful fresh ocean air is just more fun on a bike. Let's face it, we all have fond memories of our childhood on two wheels. The care free ability to find adventure around the next corner is one of the best parts of cycling. Take some time to jump on a bike and explore the island. Unlike many busier places, Topsail Island is an easy and bike friendly place to get around. With flat ground and miles of bike lanes, you are guaranteed to enjoy your ride around Topsail Island. Don't take our word for it though, see what USA Today has to say about our amazing bicycle friendly atmosphere. 

If you didn't bring a bike that is no problem, there are plenty of great vendors on Topsail Island who rent bikes. Herring's Outdoor Sports, for example, has rentals with daily, weekly and hourly rates.  



Museums and History

Your Topsail beach vacation rental will be located in the heart of some of North Carolina's most interesting historical places and events. Exploring the local areas historical sites and museums is a great way to learn more about our beautiful island and surrounding area. Here are a couple of favorite fun and educational places to visit. Some are local spots, and some are great for a day trip. 

Missiles and More Museum is a great place to learn about some of Topsail Islands unique history. From secret missile programs, to learning about how women pilots were trained nearby during World War II, you're sure to leave the museum impressed with all our small island has contributed to history. 

Plan a day to head over to Wilmington and explore USS North Carolina Battleship. History comes alive as you wander the decks of the this incredible warship. Listen to the crew explain the history of the ship and her service in the United States Navy. Currently, the museum is offering a 10% off admission coupon from September 8th through September 10th, making this a wonderful time to experience this piece of North Carolina history. Kids will be talking about this trip for days. 

We hope this sample of what awaits you on our beautiful island and surrounding area gives you an idea of why we think it is the best place to take a late summer or early fall vacation. The fun and adventure doesn't set with the summer sun here on Topsail Island. Take advantage of our value season deals.  We look forward to helping you bring your Topsail Island Vacation to life. On behalf of all of the staff at Ward Realty, we hope you have a wonderful and fun filled vacation on Topsail Island.

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