4 Really Good Reasons to Plan Your Topsail Island Vacation Now

4 Really Good Reasons to Plan Your Topsail Island Vacation Now

Planning your next vacation may not be on your mind right now—but it should be! Here are some compelling reasons to start planning your next Topsail Island, North Carolina beach vacation today. ‘Tis the season to book your summer vacay!

1.  Vacations and vacation planning are good for you.

“We know that taking a break is extremely good for one’s mental health,” says Susan Krauss Whitbourne, an adjunct professor of gerontology at the University of Massachusetts Boston, who frequently writes about the benefits of vacation. “It puts you in a different frame of mind, gets you out of your standard patterns and can give you time with family.”

The type of vacation (and how you plan it) matters, too. If planned poorly, a vacation can actually lead to more stress. Taking the time to plan the trip can help ensure things run smoothly. According to a 2010 report, 28% of people who said they had a bad vacation also said they left planning to the last minute.

Don’t be that person! Take your well-earned vacation time and plan ahead for it to reap the most benefits from it. You deserve it!

2. Get the best selection of Topsail vacation rentals.

It makes sense that the earlier you book your accommodations, the better selection of vacation rentals you will have. If you wait too long, you’re definitely going to have less options and a more narrow selection of properties left from which to choose.

Start browsing our wide selection of homes here!

3. Planning your vacation early saves you money.

Speaking of saving money, planning your Topsail Island vacation early saves you in the long run by giving you the time you need to research the best deals, discounts, savings and specials. This holds true not only for your accommodations, but also the other big ticket vacation items you’re saving money for including transportation, vacation adventures, local attractions, and meals.

Draw up a vacation itinerary in advance of your trip and start penciling in the places you want to go, the things you want to do, and the experiences you plan to have. Check online for discounts and specials, follow social media accounts, and sign up for newsletters and emails from the places that are on your vacation to-do list. That way you’ll be informed of what’s happening, where to find savings and what you’ll need to know before you arrive.

If you missed it, you definitely want to read our previous post on the 20 Best Budget-Friendly Vacation Tips guaranteed to save you money.

4. You will have something to look forward to.

Last but not least, you are giving yourself and your family the gift of anticipation, knowing that you have an awesome family vacation planned for the coming year.

The satisfaction and excitement that you get every time you mark off the days on your calendar are priceless—especially when each day brings you closer to the moment when your toes are in the sand, you have a cold drink in your hand,  and your watch can be set to island time. Cheers to that!

Start planning your Topsail, North Carolina beach vacation today! You’ll be oh so glad that you did. Let us know if we can help you get started. 

Shelling on Topsail Island: How to Find the Best and Most Beautiful Seashells

Collecting seashells is popular for beachgoers, and Topsail Island remains a great place to find them. Whether you’re a seasoned shell collector or a beginner, these tips will help you make the most of your shelling adventures.

Hunting for shells is a beach activity that anyone can do, and everyone will love. It requires no special equipment, doesn’t cost a thing, and provides new excitement every time you embark on a shelling adventure.

So where are the best shelling spots on Topsail Island? Where should you go to find the most shells? What else do you need to know before you hit the sand? The good news is that any ocean-facing beach is a beautiful place to find seashells, so you’re already off to a good start just by being in Topsail, NC.

Take seashell hunting to the next level by checking out these Topsail shelling tips.

1. Check the tide level and beach conditions.

Before heading out, check the weather conditions and tide schedule. Low tide is still the best time for shelling, as it provides more beach area to search and reveals what high tide left behind. After storms, keep an eye out for newly washed-up shells. You can easily access the Topsail Island Tide Chart to know when you should be out on the sand searching for treasures.

  • Go shelling near low tide. The hour on both sides of low tide is the best time for finding shells, with more beach space available to search and the best opportunity to see what high tide left behind.
  • Scour the beach for shells after storms. After storms, especially those with strong easterly winds, many seashells are churned up and brought ashore. Shells wash ashore most frequently after major winter and tropical storms in summer and fall. The volume and variety of shells washed ashore after storms can be astounding. Immediately after a storm, the beach may be clean, but in a few days, seashells often begin to wash ashore on gentler waves. Stay vigilant!
  • Know the daily Topsail tide schedule. You can check this Topsail Island Tide Chart to know when you should be out on the sand searching for shells.

2. Go shelling as early and as often as you can.

As with any endeavor, you want to make sure you get the best results. Shelling can be a lesson in patience and endurance, but rest assured that the payoff is well worth your time and effort.

  • Get out on the beach early. You know how the saying goes: The early bird gets worm. Well the same applies to sea shells. Get out there early to avoid the crowds and up your odds of finding coastal treasures. You also want to get out there before others have had the opportunity to give the beach a once over. You’ll have less competition and a better chance of finding the good ones.
  • Be ready to go at the prime shelling times. Use that Topsail tide chart we referenced earlier to your advantage and be prepared to be on the beach on those hours that flank low tide. As the waters recede, you’ll be right where you need to be. Keep a close watch both on the sand and in the shallow waters for shells and other visible (sometimes buried) treasures.
  • If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Shelling requires dedication and a sharp eye.  Get out there as often as you can to increase your odds of finding the best and the most seashells. Don’t be dismayed if you don’t find anything your first time out. Shelling does involve time and chance—as well as being at the right place at the right time. The more you’re out there the better your chances will be!

3. Visit Topsail’s best shelling spots.

While opinions vary, there are a few shelling hot spots on Topsail Island where seashells are plentiful. Look for shells in tidal pools, near piers, and at the island’s extreme ends. These places often have less traffic and offer better conditions for finding shells..

  • In tidal pools. When the tide recedes, those little pools of water on the beach are a fantastic place to find hidden treasures. Take notice of them on your search for shells, and be bold and put your hands in there (and get a bit wet and sandy) to see what you might find.
  • Near the piers. Some locals and vacationers have had great shelling success near the piers (three are on Topsail Island—one in each town). Check around the pilings and under the pier to see what you might discover. The docks are busy, so try to go before the fishing crowds arrive for the best chance of success.
  • At the extreme ends of the Topsail Island.  You want to check out the northernmost tip of Topsail Island and the southern end of this island (known as The Point), where there are fewer people in general and good conditions to find those coveted seashells.

4. Know your North Carolina shells.

Brushing up on your North Carolina seashell identification skills is still a good idea. Knowing what to look for and what you might find before you head out on the beach can help you identify shells more quickly. Some of the most popular NC shells include auger shells, conch shells, sand dollars, and tulip shells. The ncshellclub.com website is still an excellent resource for shell identification.

Here are some of the most popular NC shells that you might come across in your seashell hunt.

  • Auger Shells
  • Conch Shells
  • Coquina Clam Shells
  • Lightning and Channeled Whelks
  • Moon Snail Shells
  • Oyster Shells
  • Pen Shells
  • Sand Dollars
  • Scallop Shells
  • Scotch Bonnets
  • Slipper Shells
  • Tulip Shells

We also recommend you spend some time on this website, ncshellclub.com, if you want to brush up on your shell identification. It provides information, professional photographs, scientific names, and more! It has all the information you need to learn about the most common North Carolina shells and how to identify them. It’s an incredible resource you’ll want to bookmark on your browser and return to after you’ve gone shell collecting to determine what you’ve found if you don’t already know.

Pop Quiz: Do you know what the state shell of North Carolina is? It’s the Scotch Bonnet! It’s a beautiful shell, and you will be fortunate if you find one. It’s a cherished treasure, for sure.

5. Keep an eye out for shark teeth.

Shark teeth are still a common find on Topsail Island. Keep an eye out for bull shark teeth, tiger shark teeth, and sand shark teeth. Tom’s Teeth on Facebook is an excellent resource for learning more about shark teeth.

The most common shark teeth finds on Topsail Island are:

  • Bull Shark Teeth
  • Tiger Shark Teeth
  • Sand Shark Teeth

6. Don’t forget about sea glass hunting.

Sea glass is still a beautiful and unique find on Topsail Island. Keep your eyes open for different sea glass colors while walking on the sand. Island Girl Glass is a great website to learn about local sea glass and its location.

If you’re in search of ready-made sea glass treasures to take home with you, check out these local Topsail businesses that sell sea glass jewelry.

7. Stay in an oceanfront Topsail rental.

Staying in an oceanfront Topsail beach vacation rental still provides the most convenient and direct access to the beach for shelling, shark teeth, and sea glass hunting. Choose a rental that suits your needs and preferences, and make the most of your Topsail beach vacation.

Peruse our favorite Topsail Island, NC, oceanfront and oceanside vacation rentals right here.

Topsail Island remains a treasure trove of seashells, shark teeth, and sea glass for beach lovers and shell collectors. Following these tips will increase your chances of finding the best shells and other coastal treasures.

The best way to ensure you have the most convenient and direct access to the beach is by staying in an oceanfront Topsail Island rental. Whether you’re planning a family vacation or a romantic getaway, many rental options are available to suit your needs and preferences. So why not book a Topsail Island rental today and start your shelling adventure right at your doorstep?

Happy shelling, and enjoy your stay on Topsail Island! And don’t forget to search for the perfect rental using the keyword “Topsail Island rentals” to make your trip even more special.

Let us know if we can help you find the perfect fit for you and your family. Happy Shelling!

When is your next Topsail shelling adventure? We’d love to see your best Topsail Island seashell finds. Drop us a picture in our comment section!

Get Inspired for the Beach: Fresh Collection of Inspiring Beach Quotes and Vacation Rentals on Topsail Island

Inspiring Beach Quotes That Will Make Your Day | Access Realty

Looking for some inspiration to kick-start your day and get you in the mood for the beach? We’ve covered you with a fresh collection of inspiring beach quotes. Whether you’re a seasoned beachgoer or a newcomer to the coast, these quotes will remind you of the ocean’s beauty, power, and tranquility.

Add Color to Your Sunset

“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.” –Rabindranath Tagore

Draw Lessons from the Storm

“Storms draw something out of us that calm seas don’t.” –Bill Hybels

The Heart of Man is Like the Sea

“The heart of man is very much like the sea, it has its storms, it has its tides, and in its depths it has its pearls too.” –Vincent Van Gogh

Find Yourself in the Sea

“For whatever we lose (like a you or a me) it’s always ourselves we find in the sea.” –e.e.cummings

Follow the Sun

“At the beach, life is different. Time doesn’t move hour to hour but mood to moment. We live by the currents, plan by the tides, and follow the sun.” –Sandy Gringas

The Power of the Sea

“Why do we love the sea? It is because it has some potent power to make us think things we like to think.” –Robert Henri

Nature’s Simple Treasures

“Every time I stand before a beautiful beach, its waves seem to whisper to me: If you choose the simple things and find joy in nature’s simple treasures, life and living need not be so hard.” –Psyche Roxas-Mendoza

Tied to the Ocean

“We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch – we are going back from whence we came.” –John F. Kennedy

Embracing Solitude

“To go out with the setting sun on an empty beach is to truly embrace your solitude.” –Jeanne Moreau

Young at Heart

“Don’t grow up too quickly, lest you forget how much you love the beach.” –Michelle Held

Ocean Memories Linger On

“Our memories of the ocean will linger on, long after our footprints in the sand are gone.” –Anonymous

On Beach Time

“Isn’t it strange, the way time moves? I could stand here and watch the sea crash beneath me for hours and it would feel like only minutes had passed.” –Sjana Elise Earp

Worth a Thousand Words

“A walk on the beach is worth a thousand words.” –Anonymous

A Cool, Quieting Thought

“I could never stay long enough on the shore; the tang of the untainted, fresh, and free sea air was like a cool, quieting thought.”” –Helen Keller

The Dreams of Time

“Ocean is more ancient than the mountains, and freighted with the memories and the dreams of time.” –H.P. Lovecraft

Life by the Sea

“Those who live by the sea can hardly form a single thought of which the sea would not be part.” –Hermann Broch

So next time you feel stressed or overwhelmed, take a deep breath and remember these inspiring beach quotes. Let them transport you to the coast, where the ocean and its wonders await to soothe your soul.

If you’re ready to make your beach dreams a reality, consider booking a vacation rental with Access Realty on Topsail Island. Our rentals offer the perfect home base for your beach adventures, whether you’re looking for a cozy condo for a romantic getaway or a spacious house for a family vacation.

We have various options, and our team is dedicated to helping you find the perfect rental to fit your needs and budget. So why wait? Book your Topsail Island vacation rental with Access Realty today and plan your beach escape!

What is your favorite inspiring beach quote? Please share it with us!

Your Visitor’s Guide to the Best of Topsail Island

We’re preparing for the best year ever here on Topsail Island! If you haven’t planned your North Carolina beach vacation yet, this post will help you get started. We’re giving you a quick preview of the best of Topsail NC in 2023 with the highlights of what to expect around our Topsail towns, on our Topsail beaches, and what you need to know about our fabulous Topsail Island rentals. Best of all, it’s all in one place—right here— and easy to view at a glance.

Let’s begin, shall we?

Best Annual Topsail NC Events

Topsail Island and the greater Topsail NC area has fun, family-friendly events all year long. This is not a comprehensive list but it’s a great start on planning your Topsail beach vacation fun. We love our local festivities, activities and special events—and you will too!

(Event dates are accurate at the time of this blog post but are subject to change. It’s always best to confirm on the event site by following the links provided.) 

January 1: Dolphin Dip in Surf City

March: Surf City Business Expo

April: Easter Egg Hunt at Soundside Park in Surf City

Memorial Day-Labor Day: Movies in the Park at Soundside Park

Memorial Day-Labor Day: Summer Concert Series at Soundside Park

July 3: Independence Day Fireworks & Celebration in Surf City

July: Ocean City Jazz Festival North Topsail Beach

August: Sneads Ferry Shrimp Festival

September: Topsail Island Jeep Week

October: Autumn with Topsail

November: NC Spot Festival in Hampstead

November: Surf City Christmas Tree Lighting

November: Topsail Beach Christmas Tree Lighting

You can find more annual events as they are added to our Topsail event calendar here.

Best Local Topsail Attractions

Family-friendly fun abounds on Topsail Island all year long. Here are a few of our favorite things to do while you’re here. Be sure to check with each Topsail attraction for their seasonal availability and hours of operation.

Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue & Rehabilitation Center

Missiles and More Museum

Topsail Beach Skating Rink

Shipwreck Point Miniature Golf

Patio Playground

Soundside Park

Seaview Pier

Surf City Ocean Pier

Jolly Roger Pier

Find more information about our favorite things to do on Topsail Island here.

Best Topsail Island Rentals

Access Realty has Topsail Island rentals to suit your every need and desire with the amenities that matter most to you. We also make it incredibly easy to find what you’re looking for with our vacation rental search options. Of course you can select available rentals by date and availability, but you can also narrow down your search in various other ways. Here are some of the most popular ways to search Topsail vacation rentals on Access Realty’s site.

Search Topsail Rentals By Location:

North Topsail Beach

Surf City

Topsail Beach



Search Topsail Rentals By Popular Amenities:

Wedding Friendly

Large Group Rentals

Interactive Floor Plans

Pet Friendly

Pool Access

Elevator Access

Hot Tub Access

Boat Access

Linens Included

Search Topsail Rentals By Community:

Queen’s Grant

St. Regis Resort

Summer Winds Townhomes

Surf Condos

Turtle Cove

Villa Capriani

Village of Stump Sound

Okay, so now that you have an overview of all things Topsail Island, it’s time to plan your next visit. We hope this helps you get started. We’re also here to answer any questions you may have. Hope to see you soon!

The Autumn With Topsail Festival

When you visit the Autumn With Topsail Festival, you’ll discover that it’s much more than just a festival. It’s an experience! The festival was started in 1988 by the Historical Society of Topsail Island and the Assembly Building, which houses the Missiles & More Museum. Today, it’s still held on those grounds, attracting hundreds of artisans from across the region who display and sell their work at the juried Artists’ and Crafts Court.

What is the Autumn With Topsail Festival?

Enjoy exciting live musical entertainment, delicious food with beer and wine, inflatables for kids, and even more. The Autumn With Topsail Festival is a great way to spend a day or weekend on the beach and enjoy all that Topsail Island offers. It’s also a fantastic opportunity for you to support local artists and artisans who have worked hard to create unique, beautiful pieces.

You’ll find everything from handmade jewelry and pottery to woodworking and stained glass creations. You’ll also find many unique gifts for yourself and your loved ones. The Autumn With Topsail Festival is a fun, family-friendly event that everyone will enjoy!

What dates are the Autumn With Topsail Festival?

The Autumn With Topsail Festival is held on the first weekend in October each year. The festival kicks off on Friday night at 5:00 pm. The food vendors and the beer and wine garden will be available, but the craft vendors won’t be open until Saturday. The festival will be open from 10 am until 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday, so you have plenty of time to browse through all the different vendors and artists’ booths!

The official Autumn With Topsail website has the entire schedule of events on its website. The live music begins Friday night at 6:00 pm and will continue on Saturday and Sunday evenings. Their website has the entire band lineup and performance times.

The festival will be offering a FREE shuttle bus service that will make stops along Anderson Boulevard. Click here to see the full route map for the shuttle bus service.

Visit Topsail Island for an Unforgettable Fall Vacation!

If you’re planning a trip to Topsail Island this fall, chances are you’ve heard rumors about the Autumn With Topsail Festival. But what is it? How can you learn more about it? That’s precisely why we’ve compiled this guide: to answer all your questions about this inviting event and maybe even convince you to attend. In the end, we hope we’ve given you everything you need to know about one of the best October events on Topsail Island.

To maximize the enjoyment of your Fall vacation to Topsail Island book one of our relaxing and luxurious vacation rentals here on Topsail Island.

Topsail Fourth of July Fireworks You Need to Know About

The Fourth of July holiday is quickly approaching! What are you doing? Where are you going to watch the fireworks? If you’ll be spending Independence Day here with us on Topsail Island, North Carolina then we have the best places to go for July 4th fireworks—and more. Check our local favorites and make your plans to join us. Bring your family, bring your friends!

Book your Topsail Island oceanfront rental today.

Surf City Independence Day Fireworks

July 3rd: Surf City fireworks always happen the evening before so you can get an early start to the holiday festivities. This celebration happens each year on July 3rd right on the island so it’s not far from your Topsail Island rental.

Click here for details on this year’s Surf City Fireworks & Celebration at Soundside Park.

Other Topsail Island Fourth of July Events

We have a few more July 4th events you’ll want to know about during your Topsail beach vacation. Take a look at these!

Ocean City Jazz Fest

Ocean City Jazz Fest is held over the July 4th weekend beginning at 5pm. The Ocean City Jazz Festival is held in historic Ocean City in North Topsail Beach. Event details here.

More Annual Topsail NC Events

You can find all of the best and most popular Topsail area annual events all year long on Access Realty’s Events and Activities page. Check them out!

What are you doing this Fourth of July? We want to know! Share this post if you’ll be here celebrating Independence Day with us this year. Happy Fourth of July from us to you!

10 of the Best Things About an Oceanfront Topsail Island Rental

We love talking about our oceanfront rentals here on Topsail Island, North Carolina. Why? Because they are amazing! With so many beautiful accommodations right on the beach, the hardest part is choosing which one is best for you and your family. But before we get to that part, let’s talk about the 10 best things about an oceanfront Topsail rental and why it might be the right choice for you and your family.

1. Access

Front row access to Topsail’s beaches.

Not only does our company name reflect how much we value offering the best access to the beach, but we also know it matters to you as a vacationer, too. Whether you stay right on the oceanfront of Topsail or not, quick and easy access to the beach is important.

It goes without saying that choosing a vacation rental right on the ocean front or ocean side pretty much guarantees you VIP access to the beach and all it has to offer. Knowing that you can walk out your door and be on the beach within minutes is a really great perk during a beach vacation. And isn’t being at the beach what you’re here to enjoy the most?

Make it easy. Make it quick. Make it convenient. Book an oceanfront Topsail rental.


Spectacular oceanfront views from inside your Topsail Island rental.

Along with the best access to Topsail beach, you also get breathtaking views from an oceanfront rental—both from the inside and out. Looking out the window and gazing at all of that blue sparkling Atlantic Ocean water, sunny blue skies, and pristine sandy shoreline is good for the soul.

Step outside onto the oceanfront deck and immerse yourself in the coastal elements while you deeply breathe in the salty air. It doesn’t get any better than that! Ocean views 24/7 don’t get old. Ever!

3. Amenities

Amazing Topsail vacation rental amenities.

The most compelling reason for choosing a beach vacation rental over a hotel/motel stay is the freedom to customize and personalize your stay by choosing the amenities that matter most to you and your family. Which amenities are must-haves? Which vacation rental amenities will you use most? These are the questions to ask before you book a rental.

Popular Topsail vacation rental amenities include, but are not limited to, pet-friendly rentals, beachfront homes with pools or pool access, boat access, hot tub, fenced-in yard, outdoor shower, and charcoal or gas grill just to name a few.

You can go to our Vacation Rentals heading at the top of Access Realty’s homepage, hover over it, and then slide your cursor down to hover over the By Amenities option to search our Topsail Island rentals by the amenities they offer. Alternatively, you can go right to our Oceanfront/Oceanside Rentals page and refine your search to include the amenities you’re looking for in that group of rentals. It’s that easy! Let us know if we can help you in your search or answer any questions you may have.

4. Spaciousness

Spacious and roomy for extended family and friends.

Many of our oceanfront Topsail rentals are large and spacious enough for your to bring your extended family or your friends—and share the cost. Think about the memories you can make with those you love the most. This is a really special way to share quality time together in a very beautiful place. Get those plans underway today!

We have several Large Group Topsail Vacation Rentals that are also right on the oceanfront. Check them out and start planning your next family vacation or reunion.

5. Decks

Oceanfront decks that showcase the best of the beach.

We’ve already touched on this point and it definitely relates back to #2 of this post, but it’s worth elaborating upon. Having an oceanfront deck is a pretty sweet Topsail rental amenity that you are and your family are sure to get a lot of use out of and enjoy to its fullest.

First, you can’t beat the views. Then there’s the luxury of waking up, staying in your pajamas (if you please), and sipping your morning cup of coffee out on the deck each and every morning of your Topsail beach vacation. It is a very enticing thought, isn’t it? Almost as much as the evening glass of wine or beach cocktail to indulge in each evening in that very same spot.

Sunbathe with a little more privacy, sit out there and read a book, or do absolutely nothing but relax. However you spend your time, you’ll definitely be spending a lot of it on the oceanfront deck of your Topsail rental.

view from Ocean Song’s deck

6. Sunrises & Sunsets

Bird’s eye view of Topsail Island sunrises and sunsets.

Then there are the coastal sunsets that you can view right from your beachfront rental that you absolutely won’t want to miss! Topsail Island is perfectly positioned to give you stunning sunrises over the ocean to start the day and magnificent sunsets over the sound to end your day.

While we’re on the topic of sunsets, don’t miss our previous post on where to dine on Topsail Island while taking in the best sunset views.

7. Shelling

More opportunities for shelling and beachcombing.

Do you know what two of the top shelling tips are?

1. Get out on the beach early.

2. Get out on the beach often.

You have to increase your odds! Well, that’s really easy to do when you’re staying right on the Topsail oceanfront. No extra time needed to get to your shelling spot, no need to find parking, and no extra preparation required. Just get out there as often as you can and before others get first dibs on the seashells. Those are your best shelling strategies!

You can find some more helpful Topsail shelling tips here on where and how to find the best shells on the island.

8. Fishing

Easy and accessible fishing right outside your doorstep.

When you choose an oceanfront rental on Topsail beach, you’re also gaining access to surf fishing right outside your door. Walk to the water and cast your line (just make sure you have an NC fishing license first), and fish all day if you choose.

Depending on where your oceanfront rental is located, you may also be really close to one of Topsail’s three fishing piers (there’s one in each town) giving you another easy option to fish until your heart’s content. It’s a great way to have a family fishing experience, too. The Topsail fishing piers have a blanket fishing license so you don’t need one—and all the fishing gear necessary for a great day of pier fishing, so you don’t have to worry about a thing.

Read more about Topsail fishing and other things to do during your NC beach vacation here.

9. Playing

Kids have a coastal playground in their front yard.

Every parent knows that the beach is one nature’s best playgrounds. With so many ways for kids to play (and learn), you don’t need much for your kids to be occupied for hours on end at the beach.

From shelling and sandcastle building to tidal pool exploring and wave splashing, the beach offers an endless array of activities for all ages and interests from toddlers to teens.

Do you want some additional fun family beach games, ideas and activities for the kids and kids-at-heart? Read this.

10. Strolling

Stroll the beach anytime you please.

One of the most loved beach vacation activities of all time is the simple but beautiful beach stroll. Walk the beach whenever you want by just heading out of your oceanfront rental and onto the beach. Stroll hand-in-hand with your sweetheart at sunset or take the whole family for a walking adventure to get your daily dose of exercise.

Walks on the beach are a quintessential beach activity and one that’s easy to do from your Topsail Island oceanfront rental.

So what are you waiting for? Take the next step and find your place in the sand today. You won’t regret it! Book your Topsail oceanfront rental and look forward to all of this and more.

Have you rented an oceanfront rental on Topsail Island? If so, what did you love most about being right on the beach?

All You Need to Know About the New Surf City Bridge

As you drive over the bridge onto Topsail Island, NC for your beach vacation, you’re going to notice that things have changed quite a bit from last summer. The old historic swing bridge lives on in our memories but not in its usual location.

(You can watch a short video clip of some of the final stages of the Surf City swing bridge demolition here.)

Instead, you’ll be driving over the new Surf City high-rise bridge—and taking in some pretty fabulous views as you do. Here’s what you need to know about the new bridge and what it means for your Topsail, NC beach vacation and how it affects you getting to your Topsail Island rental.

The Surf City Bridge opened ahead of schedule late last year, which is really good news for you (and for those who of us who live here and drive over it every day). The new 65-foot-high, $53 million Surf City Bridge represents an improvement over the old swing bridge it replaces, as the swing bridge forced motorists to wait numerous times each day so the bridge could be opened to allow boats to pass. Traffic now can move continuously over the bridge as boats pass underneath. Faster, more efficient access to Topsail Island and its beaches? Oh yeah! We approve.

The bridge was originally scheduled to open in September 2019. But crews with NCDOT and Balfour Beatty Construction worked with the local community to accelerate the construction of the much-anticipated bridge so it could serve the community sooner. So that’s exactly what happened, with the new bridge opening 9 months ahead of schedule—which is pretty impressive (not to mention unheard of) when it comes to a massive construction project such as this.

After the opening ceremony, the Surf City Bridge became open to the public at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, December, 2018. Local officials led a vehicle procession across the 3,773-foot span between Topsail Island and the mainland for its inaugural run.

The new bridge also boasts 7.5-foot bike lanes and a 10-foot wide multi-use path, so there is a lot to love about the new Surf City Bridge and its user-friendly upgrades.

As they say, the rest is history. Oh and did we mention the panoramic views? Get your camera ready!

You can read more about the Surf City Bridge project on the NCDOT page.

Have you driven over the new highrise bridge in Surf City? What did you think? We want to know! Our comment section is always open and we love hearing from our readers.

The Ultimate Guide to the Best of Memorial Day on Topsail Island

The Ultimate Guide to the Best of Memorial Day on Topsail Island

It’s hard to believe that another Memorial Day holiday is quickly approaching. It’s the symbolic start of summer in most places, including on Topsail Island, NC. Although the beach spirit is alive and well here all year long, now’s the time when the summer fun and festivities begin. Set your watch to island time—Topsail Island time, that is—and come spend the Memorial Day holiday with us. You won’t be disappointed!

Your Topsail Island oceanfront rental (or whichever location you love most) is the place to soak up the Carolina sunshine, splash around in the blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean, take a deep breath of the salty air, and find your place in the sand.

Here are the local highlights and what things you may want to consider during your Memorial Day getaway to Topsail. Enjoy!

Why Memorial Day on Topsail Island

So you may be wondering if Topsail Island is the place for you and your family. If you haven’t already been here to experience it for yourself, here are few things you should know about, including why families love vacationing at the Topsail Beaches.

Here’s the short list:

  • Affordable. Families don’t have to break their budget or their bank account when vacationing on Topsail Island. While we are quickly being “discovered” by travelers who typically frequent other nearby beaches, we are still a much more affordable option when compared to our neighboring local vacation hot spots!
  • Family friendly. Yes, we cater to families here on Topsail Island and value a family-friendly beach atmosphere. Skip the overcrowded, bigger beach destinations along the East Coast and come spend some time here with the ones you love the most. Once you visit Topsail Island, it’s hard to go back to any of those other beaches. Fair warning!
  • Safe and community centered. We are a community-centered island and each of our towns has its own unique offerings. So no matter which place you choose to call your home-away-from-home for a week or more, you and your family will feel safe, secure and right at home. North Topsail Beach, Surf City, and Topsail Beach eagerly await your arrival.
  • Not overly commercialized. The beautiful beaches and gorgeous Eastern Carolina coastline are the stars of the show here, but there’s also enough other family-friendly activities and things to do to keep your family busy—but not too busy. Skip the loud and crowded summer spots and choose one that is a little more relaxed, a lot more laid back, and focus on what you really want from a beach vacation.
  • Topsail, NC offers a quintessential beach vacation experience. Visitors and vacationers come here looking to enjoy a beach vacation experience that’s not like the rest. Topsail towns and beaches give you exactly that. With a focus on spending quality time together, making memories that last a lifetime, and capturing the moments that matter most—all in a beautiful place—that’s what you can expect from your Topsail beach vacation. And that’s what keeps families coming back year after year to spend this most precious time together here on our island. We consider that a privilege and an honor.

Best of Topsail’s Beaches

If you follow Access Realty’s blog (and we hope you do!) you know that we love sharing our little piece of paradise with you and all it has to offer. We want you to have the best NC beach vacation ever, so we strive to share the things we love most about the area from an insider’s perspective. If you ever have any questions, please let us know. We’d be happy to be of service.

Here are a few of the many highlights of Topsail’s beaches:

  • Nestled between ocean and sound. Topsail Island is a barrier island perfectly placed between Atlantic Ocean waters on one side and calm soundside waters on the other. It really is the best of both worlds. Did we mention that the coastal sunrises and sunsets on Topsail Island are incredible? Well, they are!
  • Beach fun for everyone. Whatever you love to do on the beach, from reading and relaxing to fun and family-friendly beach games and activities (and more), you can do it here. No wall-to-wall beach towels for you to wade through. Claim your space then spread out, relax and enjoy it to the fullest—and however you please.
  • Plenty of on-the-water-fun. Choose your water adventure whether it’s calm and quiet on the soundside of the island or where you can find more wave action on the ocean side. You choose the aquatic adventure and then go for it! We have plenty of local sports outfitters and surf shops to give you what you need, if you don’t already have it in your Topsail Island rental. Read more about the most popular Intracoastal Waterway activities on Topsail Island here.
  • Beachcombing for shells, shark teeth and sea glass. Beachcombers absolutely love Topsail Island and for good reason. Whatever your beachcombing pleasure, you can start out on your shelling, shark tooth hunting or sea glass finding adventure. Who knows what the ocean will wash up on any given day? Megalodon teeth have been found on Topsail beaches, you know…
  • Picnics and cookouts. Memorial Day is a one of those holidays where we tend to want to gather together with family and friends and make it a little extra special with a picnic-style meal or cookout on the grill. Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice that. Pack up a picnic and bring it right to the beach. Or take advantage of the grills you can find locally. Maybe your Topsail rental has one included or go ahead and use the free charcoal grills available in some of our local Topsail parks. You may also want to check out our previous post for recipe ideas and cool treats perfect for a beach picnic or lunch.
  • Topsail events & attractions. Topsail’s annual events, local festivals, and area attractions offer something for everyone of every age and interest. See what’s happening during your stay and check out some of the most popular things to do on the island and off. Visit our local recommendations of the best things to do in Topsail here.

Topsail Military History

Let’s not forget the true meaning and significance of the Memorial Day holiday. It honors those who have given the ultimate sacrifice so that we can enjoy the freedoms we currently have on this day and every day. So what can you do to bring that meaningfulness to life during your Topsail beach vacation?

We have a few ideas for you:

  • Experience living history on the island. The local history of Topsail Island is rich in military history and significance. From the Missiles and More Museum to the Topsail Missile Towers, and all of the fascinating military history that is part of Topsail’s past, there are always stories to be told and new things to learn.
  • Venture off the island for a day trip. The nearby towns of Jacksonville and Wilmington are also quite rich in military history. From the Battleship North Carolina to the National Cemetery and Battlefield, as well as the historic forts and sites that are also nearby, you’ll find plenty of ways to fill your days with history, learning and remembrance.
  • Ask a local. They probably have a few additional suggestions for you depending on your interests. We have a wealth of local resources in our residents and area businesses, so go ahead and strike up a conversation. The Topsail Historical Society is another wonderful resource for you to explore.

What’s your favorite way of remembering the true meaning of Memorial Day when you’re here on Topsail Island?

Where to Stay on Topsail Island

Alright, now it’s time to make your plans to be here! Whether it’s Memorial Day or any day, there is always plenty of culture, history, natural beauty, events and festivals, and so much more for you to discover on Topsail Island.

Book your oceanfront Topsail Island rental for the best front-row access to Topsail beach and all the coastal beauty found right outside your doorstep.

What are you doing this Memorial Day? Wherever you are spending it, we wish you a safe, meaningful and relaxing holiday weekend.

From all of us at Access Realty, THANK YOU to all of our past and present military service men and women. Thank you for your service and your sacrifice for our FREEDOM! Happy Memorial Day to you and yours!

The Most Popular Places To Go Out on the Town in Topsail

A fun night out on the town during your Topsail, NC beach vacation is easy to find with all of the options that are available to you—and all right near your Topsail Island rental. The hardest part is deciding what you want to do most! Whether it’s date night, a special occasion or just a regular part of your beach vacation, nights out on (or off) the island are always a hit. Check out some of the best ways to go out and experience what the area has to offer.

Drinks, Dinner & Live Music

The first thing that comes to mind when we’re talking about going out on the town are the local favorites in Topsail that are the perfect spots to enjoy a bite to eat, sip an adult beverage, and listen to live music.

Topsail Bars & Breweries Offering Live Music:

  • Brass Pelican, Surf City: Known for its laid-back atmosphere and dive bar status, you can enjoy a cold drink, tasty bar food, live music, the outdoor area and a come-as-you-are atmosphere here.
  • Hopsail Island, Surf City: This full service bottle shop and tap room serves up some of the best and most unique beer (and wine) on this island—and all with a smile coupled with friendly service. Check out their event schedule, too.
  • Lo-re-lei’s Pub & Grill, Sneads Ferry: Go off island for this one and enjoy a full menu and some really cold beer. Lo-re-lei’s also offers live music, karaoke contests, dance parties, as well as pool and darts tournaments.
  • Quarter Moon Wine Bar, Topsail Beach: The Quarter Moon is not just for coffee and books! They have a wine bar complete with live entertainment. Check out their event schedule and see who’s playing.
  • Salty Turtle Beer Company, Surf City: Locals love the Salty Turtle and you will too. Enjoy this brewery and taproom complete with a beer garden. You can even bring your own food in with you, if you please.
  • Second Row, Surf City: It’s all about beer, wine and music here. It’s open mic all the time and they’ll even provide the instruments. It’s casual and totally captivating.
  • Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar, Surf City: You can’t really have a quintessential Topsail beach vacation without fresh local seafood. You also can’t have romance without fresh local oysters—and they serve them up daily at Shuckin’ Shack. They also host “Sundays At The Shack” with live music on their pet-friendly patio every Sunday in June-August from 4-6pm.
  • Swingbridge Cork & Brew, Surf City: Enjoy unique wines, craft brews, kegs for order and a lot of live entertainment in a fun, friendly atmosphere. Try a flight or a wine tasting while you’re here.

Romantic Restaurants Topsail Island:

  • Beach Shop & Grille, Topsail Beach: The Beach Shop and Grill was founded in 1952 and is an historic landmark in Topsail Beach serving fresh local seafood, NC pork and the freshest produce. Enjoy this upscale casual bistro near the beach, where the seafood is freshly caught and prepared, the shrimp and grits are infamous, and the house-made desserts are to-die-for. There’s an amazing wine list and craft beer list, too, making it a wonderful place to spend the evening.
  • Beauchaine’s 211, Surf City: Beauchaine’s casual fine dining and full service bar is a great place for drinks and dinner. It’s the perfect spot for date night, family dinners, special occasions and other celebrations. Outdoor seating is available, too. Reservations recommended.
  • Daddy Mac’s Beach Grille, Surf City: Daddy Mac’s is located right on the beach offering awesome views of the Atlantic Ocean and Surf City Pier. They have a separate lunch and dinner menu that include the freshest seafood, great burgers, sandwiches and salads for lunch, quality steaks, excellent pasta dishes, as well as many other local favorites. No reservations are taken unless you have a large group.

These are only a select few of the many places available for your evenings out. We also recommend you check out TripAdvisor’s top picks for Topsail restaurants that give you even more great date-night dinner and drink destinations.

Outdoor Adventures

Perhaps you’re looking for something a little more active and adventurous for you and your date. We’ve got some wonderful suggestions for that, too! Whatever your interests, you’re sure to find a few fun ways to get out and enjoy your time together. Here are a few of our favorites.

  • 18-Hole Golf Courses:If you’re an avid golfer, you’re in the right place. Topsail has some fabulous golf courses to tee it up and get your game on. You can read up on our Ultimate Guide to the Best Topsail Golf Outings right here.
  • Water Sport Adventures: Kayaks, paddle boards, jet skis, charter boats and surf board lessons and rentals are available to you on Topsail Island. Get out there and paddle the local waters or set out on a sightseeing cruise or chartered fishing boat. However you like to get out on the water, you can find it here. Visit our Things To Do page for local recommendations and businesses to get you where you need to go.
  • Romantic Walks on Topsail Beaches & Piers: With three separate but equally beautiful towns on Topsail Island, you can stroll your way around hand-in-hand with your sweetheart while taking in all of the breathtaking coastal scenery and gorgeous views that the island has to offer. Each town has a fishing pier where you can walk and talk. Each of our beaches also offers romantic walks to be shared each and every day. Read more about each of our Topsail towns and visit them all if you can.

Unique Topsail Experiences

If you’re looking for some suggestions for out on the town experiences that are truly unique to Topsail Island, then these are for you. They promise to give you a memorable time that will bring you fond memories of your Topsail beach vacation for years to come.

  • Sneads Ferry Community Theatre: Come on out and enjoy a show! The Sneads Ferry Community Theatre is a fun and entertaining place for an evening out. These local productions are crowd favorites. Check out their upcoming performances and get your tickets.
  • Topsail Skating Rink, Topsail Beach: Lace up your rollerskates and get ready to roll at this family-owned Topsail landmark that’s been in business for over 50 years. Rollerskate to 70’s and 80’s music every night from 7pm to 10pm. Ice cream, snoballs, smoothies and other snack options complete this classic date night experience.
  • Topsail Escape Room, Surf City: Did you know that Topsail Island has an escape room experience? It does! It’s good clean fun for everyone. From families and couples to friends and coworkers, the Topsail Escape Room challenges you to get your mental game on! Work together and work out your escape. Will you succeed? There’s only one way to find out. Do it!
  • Topsail Moose Lodge, Holly Ridge: The local lodge offers special events, dance classes, and one-of-kind local fun. See what’s happening here next time you’re in town.
  • Turtle Factory Wine and Design, Sneads Ferry: Come to The Turtle Factory and paint a masterpiece while you snack and sip some wine. It’s a unique way to spend your time with your loved one or with a group of family and friends, and you’ll take a piece of Topsail home with you.

Well, these are our top suggestions for popular places to go out on the town and have a good time during your Topsail, NC beach vacation. Now that you know ours, we want to know yours!

Oh and one more thing….

Need a Babysitter During Your Topsail Vacation?

Topsail Childcare Solutions, Nanny/Babysitting Placement Agency: Need childcare while you’re on your Topsail, NC vacation? No problem! Topsail Childcare Solutions specialize in vacation babysitting. If you are vacationing in the Topsail area and would like a date night, or just some time to do activities that are not child-friendly, they can provide a babysitter for you for a $20 sign-up fee. You will get a sitter that has been interviewed, passed a background check, has references checked, and is CPR/First Aid certified. Find them on Facebook at the link above; or call/text (910) 789-4701 for more information.

Where do you go for a fun night out when you’re here? We want to add to our list of local favorites by hearing from you!