I had the pleasure of visiting North Carolina for the first time a few years back & revisited this last week with my boyfriend & his family.  Tyler has been vacationing at Topsail Island, just south of the Outer Banks, ever since he was a baby so it’s a special place very near & dear to his heart.  I have loved getting to experience the area with him by my side.  It’s the perfect little summer getaway!

I thought I would put together a brief travel guide including some tips & suggestions I have thought of after having been there a couple of times now.






First, I want to say that the beginning of June is prime time for visiting vs the later weeks in summer, as we have done both.  When it gets later into summer you may face temps around 100 which means you need to be careful to avoid heat exhaustion & sand that’ll burn your feet!  However, you certainly won’t find me complaining about a vacation regardless!  Just giving you all the good insight. 😉


The main reason I love our time in Topsail so much is that there is absolutely no agenda for the duration that we are there besides beachin’, eatin’, & enjoyin’ southern hospitality.

We have driven down each time & if you are driving from the midwest, I suggest spending time in Nashville to do some honky- tonkin’ or in Asheville to visit the Biltmore Estate (both a must)!  This time we stopped in Nashville & stayed at The Hermitage which is without a doubt one of the most stunning hotels I’ve ever stayed at.  I could write up separate posts on both Nashville & the Biltmore as they are so much fun to visit but that is possibly for another time!  Also if you’re driving down, definitely consider creating your own BBQ trail map for the road trip.  BBQ is especially different in NC as they use a vinegar-base sauce & it’s so fun trying the different styles along the way.  I’m already craving it all over again…

As you can see, that water surrounding Topsail is crystal clear, teal-blue, with white sandy dunes on it’s beaches.  There are plenty of shark teeth to be found, turtle nests to discover, dolphins to watch, & beautiful sunrises/sunsets to be taken in.  We haven’t been lucky enough to see the turtles hatch but we did make a visit to the local turtle hospital this year which certainly had me tearing up, yet again, haha. People, please don’t liter! 🙁 Those turtles are just too dang cute & sweet to be having their stomachs pumped of plastic or permanently blinded/damaged from harmful chemicals.  Ugh, the heartbreak!!


I highly recommend renting a beachfront house as this is most convenient (many of the houses on the island are available to rent).  When located right on the beach, you don’t have to worry about lugging all of your beach equipment back & forth down the streets or have to worry about dealing with the public beach areas.  You have your own private spot & can easily go up & down if you forget something, need to grab a snack or some lunch, wash off, cool off, etc.  My favorite part, that most of these houses have, is the outdoor shower.  It doesn’t get better than showering outdoors, I don’t know why but it just doesn’t!  It also doesn’t hurt that you’re getting amazing views with the beachfront houses & the sound of the ocean to lull you right to sleep.  There are many different sized homes to chose from & many could be shared with family or large groups of friends, too.


There are a lot of restaurants that we have gone to on the island but I’ll highlight the two that always stick out to me.

The Beach Shop & Grill.  It sounds like a simple island/beach eatery but they really deliver with their food & cocktails which had us coming back for more this year.  We shared dishes & every bite was nothing short of delicious.   There’s also a cute shop attached to it where Tyler & I got matching turtle hats. 😛  When you’re called crazy turtle people, you embrace it & get matching turtle hats.

The Bistro.  I love this place especially because it’s a farm-to-table restaurant.  Literally everything on the menu is locally/naturally grown & so so fresh which feels great after eating a lot of fried southern food & of course…all that BBQ.  I also love their extensive wine list, awarded by Wine Spectator (which I actually love to read & highly regard because I’m a wino nerd — all wino nerds, let’s be friends)!  There are also pretty views of the sound side of the island which is the side where the sun sets (perfect view for dinner).


Ok, so I’m guilty of loving some of the 90 trends that are coming back.  I get to drink beer on the beach, no problem, while in a one piece & I get to feel 13 again while wearing a choker.  One piece swimsuits are also so easy to pair with bottoms when you don’t want the hassle of making an outfit change, say, if you’re going from the beach to the store or to lunch.  Whether or not you’re dressing 90s, I know you’re out there playing Pokemon Go, so don’t judge!

Quay Sunglasses
Forever 21 Choker
Forever 21 Onesie

Old Navy Shorts

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  • Andreea Birsan

    Great post! Love your lace up shoes. x

    Happy weekend,

    • inwisti

      Thanks, Andreea & I’ve added the espadrilles to the shopping widget!

  • Crystal Rings

    Fun times, great spot, sandy beaches….aim for early June 2018 next time! Loved your sunset picture. 😘

    • Mel Carr

      June 2018 sounds about right! 😘

  • Morgan

    It looks so relaxing!! I love the shark teeth picture, but I’m glad you didn’t stumble upon any real sharks 😉

    Morgan |

    • inwisti

      Thanks girl & I’m quite glad, too. 🙈 I’ve had enough run-ins with sharks that I’m worried my luck has run it’s course. 😅

  • Hannah Will

    Gorgeous photos! I LOVE those shoes! So pretty

    The Daily Delicacy

    • inwisti

      Thanks, Hannah! I’ve just added the shoes to my shopping widget. The brand is Soludos, which a lot of stores are carrying. I love mine, they’re super comfy!!

  • Uzo O

    I love that graphic T , and you look effort chic in this outfit. I will keep all these in mind when I travel to the USA and get to visit the place. Thanks for sharing dear.

  • Uzo O

    “Effortlessly ” chic forgive me for the errors. My phone is trying to tell me who owns the keyboard .lol

    • inwisti

      Hahah, I know exactly what you mean. 😆 Thank you for the kind compliment & I hope you get to make your trip someday soon!

  • Dolce Nina

    Amazing photos! xxo

  • Danyon Satterlee

    How awesome!! This is super helpful, and if I ever get to go I am remembering this blog! I love the picture of the laundry floating in the wind by the way. The words “Shark Bait” stand out so much. Awesome stuff!

    • inwisti

      Hi Danyon! Thank you, glad you enjoyed the post. 🙂 I think the shark bait tee is just too fun. Hope you get to visit someday!

  • Katherine

    What a beautiful place! <3

    x, Kat of Nested Thoughts

  • danielle

    i’ve been to north carolina before but i didn’t really get to see any of it, this place looks so gorgeous!

  • Rachael Burgess

    Makes me want to visit topsail and check out the bistro! Your outfit is adorable. Love the one piece + choker combo!!

    xoxo, ❤︎ rach ❤ | Instagram