It’s not often that I take a vacation – I know, it sounds crazy coming from a travel blogger. However, I’m talking about a relaxing, no-schedule vacation. It’s very different from traveling, where I plan out every hour of the day and I’m always on the move. This week I took a road trip to a gorgeous little island on the coast of North Carolina and I just relaxed. It was much needed!
This little island is a collection of three small towns: Surf City, Topsail Beach & North Topsail. We rented a beach house right on the ocean so every morning I could wake up and see the beautiful sunrise over the pier, extending out into the ocean.
Here is the best daily itinerary for a trip to Topsail Beach:
- Walk along the beach
Then start over the next day.
Travel Trip: Bring a book along – or 5 if you’re like me! This is a great time to catch up on your To Be Read pile.
What I liked most about this charming little island was the beach cottages that lined the ocean front. I loved seeing all of the pastels and the witty names people gave their houses. And the palm trees!
Where to Eat
Surf City has some incredible restaurants. One of my favorite parts of vacationing on the East Coast is eating incredible sea food. From fish tacos to all-you-can-eat crab legs, North Carolina has it all. I’m going to list a few of my favorites, but there are just so many restaurants it’s impossible to go to them all.
Sears Landing is a great restaurant right on the water. It’s a tight-knit community where the bar tenders are personable and the staff return every summer. They have great crab cakes, sea food platters and appetizers.
Shaka Tacos was my absolute favorite restaurant in Surf City! This small taco stand has incredible fish, shrimp, chicken, pork, carne asada and veggies tacos. They also have quesadillas, tacos bowls, nachos, etc. The two men who run the restaurant are extremely fun. Seriously, everything I tried on the menu was delicious. I always ended up ordering seconds because it was so tasty!
New York Corner Deli is a fun sandwich shop. I tried their New York Steak Sandwich and it had peppers and onions on top. It was to die for! The bagels and lox here are also delicious – it’s true to its word in that it’s authentic. Top it off with a cannoli for dessert and you’re set.
Island Delights is a unique 50’s style diner that has a cheap menu and good ice cream. They serve something called a hot hamburger, where they take a piece of bread and place a hamburger on top (sometimes with cheese) then top it with french fries and gravy. I had to ask because I’d never heard of it before!
Fractured Prune is a donut shop, and this is definitely in the Top 3 donut shops I’ve been to. They have a pretty extensive menu with flavors like key lime, chocolate chip cookie, blackberry pie, and regular plain glaze. All the donuts are made to order, so they fry them fresh in front of you. They’re warm when you bite into them, and they’re best enjoyed with a glass of chocolate milk.
Not even an hour away is Wilmington, North Carolina. It’s a charming city on the water. It’s perfect for a day trip away from the beach.
There are endless little shops, like handmade art and art galleries as well as the touristy shops. There is an indoor market downtown with different shops like a yarn store, a coffee shop and a country store.
My favorite part of a the day was a trip to the Museum of the Bizarre. It’s only $3 and it has tons of fun movie replicas and “artifacts” of the mystical and rare. They had a replica of the Annabell doll from the famous movie, but you have to be careful because it will suddenly turns its head!
There are also endless delicious restaurants here to enjoy, but I recommend one that’s right on the water because then you have a great view too.
Overall it was such a lovely and relaxing week of sun, sand and suf. I need to take more time for relaxing vacations.