How to Plan a Topsail Pet-Friendly Vacation at the Beach

“Paws in the water, nose in the sand. Not a worry in the world, a cold drink in my owner’s hand. Life is good today!” You know that song, right? Okay, we’ve taken a little artistic license to change it to a dog’s perspective, but you get the idea.

Your dog will be happy, happy, happy during your Topsail beach vacation—and you will be too. Why? Because all of our Topsail Island beaches and towns are pet-friendly and welcoming to your four-legged family members. This makes it so easy to plan not only a family-friendly vacation but also a dog-friendly vacation where no one gets left behind.

So what do you need to know to plan a pet-friendly Topsail vacation? It’s easy! Here’s how to do it.

1. Book the perfect pet-friendly Topsail rental.

First thing you’ll want to do is find the perfect pet-friendly rental for you and your dog. You’ll want to ask yourself a few questions.

Where do you want to be?
What amenities matter most to you and your pet?
How much room do you need for everyone to be comfortable?

Next, peruse your pet-friendly accommodation options and narrow down the list to your favorites. Here at Access Realty, we have a really nice selection of pet-friendly Topsail vacation rentals to choose from, so you won’t feel limited. Take a look at what we have to offer, and go ahead and “favorite” your top picks for easy reference. You can even refine your search to include exactly what you’re looking for when it comes to amenities, location, type of rental and number of guests. We make it really easy!

Finally, once you’ve chosen the perfect rental for you and your family, go ahead and book it. Your Topsail pet-friendly rental is all yours and you can check that off your to-do list.

Are you looking for some pet-friendly rental recommendations? We can help. Take a look at these three featured pet-friendly vacation rentals available at Access Realty.

Sounds Right (click to view)
This is a new pet-friendly property on our program that is comfortable and spacious with breathtaking sunsets over the Intracoastal Waterway. You and your dog will love relaxing on the partially covered back deck while you watch the boats leisurely cruise by. It’s perfectly situated in the quiet family-friendly community of the Village of Stump Sound which features a beach access, community pool, tennis courts and small craft launch. It also offers a fenced soundfront backyard perfect for your pup.

Sundance (click to view)
This large three bedroom, two bathroom home has been one of our most popular rentals for many years. Sundance is a really affordable oceanfront pet-friendly property, boasting a large deck and a quiet location along with many other amenities making this oceanfront property a yearly vacation destination for many.

A Great Escape and Almost Heaven (click to view)
This side-by-side pet-friendly oceanfront duplex offers 8 bedrooms located on the quiet shores of North Topsail Beach. Sleeping up to 20 people, this home is ideal for large families or groups of friends. Just imagine sitting on the back deck listening to the ocean and having the convenience of walking to the beach on your semi-private beach access, which is really convenient when you are vacationing with your dog. We rent both sides separate or together to accommodate large groups.

2. Check out the pet-friendly things to do in Topsail.

Once your pet-friendly Topsail rental is booked, it’s time to start planning your vacation itinerary. Where do you want to go? What do you want to do? Will your dog be coming with you?

To help you with your planning, here are a few of the pet-friendly places on Topsail Island. From restaurants and cafes that allow dogs in their outdoor dining areas to doggy day spas and pet-friendly parks, you and your dog will feel right at home here on Topsail Island. We’ve also included local veterinary services nearby to your vacation rental, just in case you need them.

North Topsail Beach

Beach Bum’s Grill & Bar  – Offers outdoor seating, as well as live entertainment weekly!

North Topsail Beach Town Park

W. Rodney Knowles Park

Surf City

Camino Real Mexican Restaurant  – Offers outdoor seating in the breezeway for guests who enjoy the outdoors!

Daddy Mac’s Beach Grille – Bring your dog(s) upstairs from their oceanfront beach access to enjoy a meal on their spacious deck while watching the waves crash!

Fractured Prune Doughnuts

Kenneth D. Batts Family Park

Michaelangelo’s Pizza & Subs – Provides shaded outdoor seating in their courtyard.

Sear’s Landing Grill and Boat Docks – Spending the day on a boat or kayak?Swing by for a bite to eat in their outdoor screened porch and use their docks!

Soundside Park

Spoiled to the Bone Pet Grooming Salon

Sugar Island Bakery

Surf City Pawville Doggy Daycare & Spa

Surf City Bark Park – Features two tree-shaded play areas, one for smaller sized dogs and one for larger sized dogs. Tunnels, stairs, ramps, and plenty of space to run around – your dogs will love their time spent here!

Topsail Beach

Beach Shop and Grill – Outdoor lounge seating available for your furry friends to join you as you order To-Go!

Cora’s Isle-End Deli – Named after the owner’s dog, Cora, you and your fur family are sure to be greeted warmly at this fantastic sandwich shoppe!

Topsail Beach Town Center and Park

Topsail Island Veterinary Services

Surf City Pet Hospital 

Topsail Animal Hospital

3. Read up on Topsail’s dog-friendly beaches.

While all of Topsail Island’s beaches are pet-friendly, it’s always good to read up on what you need to know about dogs on the beach for each Topsail town. A common rule of thumb throughout all of the Topsail beaches is to keep your dog leashed and to clean up after your pet. Also, all dogs must display a current rabies vaccination tag and an identification tag. But depending on where you’re staying, it’s always best to read the pet-friendly rules, regulations and ordinances for that respective town and its beaches.

Dogs on the Beach in North Topsail Beach

Dogs must be on a leash and under the control of the owner at all times. While being walked or exercised off the premises or property of the owner or custodian, the dog must be restrained by a leash connected to a collar or harness, sufficient to restrain the dog from breaking loose. The leash is not to be longer than 25 feet in length (retractable). It is the owner’s responsibility to ensure that all excrement is immediately removed and placed in the proper receptacle. Please do not leave animals locked in unattended vehicles with no provisions or climate control, as it is detrimental to their health. Cruel and inhumane treatment of animals will result in the responsible party being charged with applicable violations. The fine for leash law violations and failure to pick up dog waste is $100. Please make the beach enjoyable for everyone—both people and pets.

Dogs on the Beach in Surf City

Dogs must be leashed and all pet waste must be cleaned up. You can find more details about local pet policies in the Town of Surf City’s ordinances.

Dogs on the Beach in Topsail Beach

Topsail Beach is the only beach that allows dogs to be off a leash during the off-season. Dogs must be on a leash 20 feet or less from May 15th through September 30th. At other times dogs must be under voice command of a responsible person, but do not have to be on a leash. Pet owners must always pick up after their pet. These regulations apply to the entire town including the beach.

4. Remember these dog-friendly beach tips.

The beach is a new and unfamiliar environment for your pup, so be sure to follow these tips when taking your dog to the beach. You want your furry, four-legged family member to have the best beach vacation possible!

Protect those paw pads. 

The sand, sidewalks and parking lots can get extremely hot so be mindful of your dog’s paws and avoid hot surfaces whenever possible or apply a protective product to help protect those vulnerable paw pads from the heat.

Provide shade. 

Everyone needs a break from the sun and dogs are no exception. Dogs get overheated too! Large shade umbrellas or even shade tents are worthwhile to bring with you to give both yourself and your dog a break from the natural elements. Not only do they provide a shady spot to escape to, but they also give added protection from the wind and blowing sand.

Bring fresh water.

Plenty of fresh water is a must-have for all beach goers. Dogs can get dehydrated pretty easily so fresh water is essential. Consider bringing a lightweight, collapsable bowl in your beach bag for ease and convenience. A good supply of fresh water is the best way to prevent your dog from lapping up too much salt water, which can be harmful.

Apply doggy suncreen.

You may not think about this one, but dogs have sensitive areas that need protection from the sun. Choose a product specifically made for pets, particularly ones that do not contain zinc oxide. You can consult your vet for recommendations on suitable dog-friendly sunscreens. Dogs with pink noses and skin, light-colored coats, and shortly-shaved coats are especially vulnerable to sunburn.

Bring several leashes.

As mentioned previously in this post, be sure you’re complying with the local pet ordinances by bringing the appropriate type and length leash. Bring extras just in case you need them and to use in different locations, situations, and as backup in case one breaks. Always make sure your dog has a collar with ID, too,  just in case.

Pack a doggy beach bag.

Just like you pack your own beach bag, you may want to consider bringing one for your dog. Bring a few toys that float, a frisbee, or whatever beach-friendly favorites your pup may like. You’ll also want to bring a towel to help wipe away sand from your pet’s eyes and muzzle area. Of course you’ll want to bring pooper scooper bags to clean up after your pet while you’re on the beach. You may also want to pack some pet shampoo for easy clean-up after your day at the beach. A quick rinse and shampoo can prevent skin irritation from a day in the sun, sand and salt. A few special treats are also a nice addition to your doggy beach bag. You never know when you’ll need them!

We hope you find these pet-friendly tips for Topsail Island, NC helpful! Are you ready to start planning your next dog-friendly Topsail beach vacation? Start right here by perusing Access Realty’s Pet-Friendly Topsail vacation rentals. Let us know how we can help!

Say Yes To A Topsail Island Destination Wedding!

Beautiful and picturesque Topsail Island, North Carolina, with its 26 miles of windswept shorelines and blue-green Atlantic waters sets the scene for a picture-perfect destination wedding. The tranquil coastal beauty and relaxed ambiance of this Carolina island paradise are unmatched, and all of the professional wedding resources you need to plan your big day are right nearby both on-island and off. From wedding venues and accommodations to photographers and florists to wedding officiants and equipment rentals and more—we have it all.

Let us help you make your destination wedding dream a very happy reality. This is one of the biggest days of your life, and you deserve the absolute best. Don’t settle for less!

Here’s what you need to know when planning your Topsail Island destination wedding.

Planning a North Carolina Beach Wedding

NC Marriage Licenses

There’s not a lot to do before you say “I do” in North Carolina. North Carolina law requires couples to obtain a marriage license prior to the wedding ceremony. Be sure to bring drivers’ licenses and Social Security cards for each person plus $60 in cash. No physical is required and there is no waiting period; the license is good immediately and is valid for 60 days. Soon-to-be brides and grooms ages 21 and above may apply for a marriage license online to save time in the Register of Deeds office, but they must come in to the Register of Deeds office within three days with licenses, Social Security cards and cash.

  • NC Marriage Licenses in Onslow County: Licenses are available at the Onslow County Register of Deeds office at 109 Old Bridge St. in Jacksonville, NC. Appointments may be made by calling 910-347-3451.
  • NC Marriage Licenses in Pender County: Licenses are available at the Pender County Register of Deeds office at 300 E. Fremont Street in Burgaw, NC. Contact them at 910-259-1225 for more information.


Topsail Wedding Officiants 

Marriage ceremonies in North Carolina can be either religious or civil. A religious ceremony is performed by an ordained minister; a civil ceremony is conducted by a magistrate. Both civil and religious ceremonies require two witnesses.


Topsail Area Wedding Planners

There is no need to stress about planning the details of your big day, particularly when you’re planning a Topsail, NC destination wedding from afar. We have professional and experienced wedding planners in the area who can take charge of managing and orchestrating every detail of your wedding day to perfection with as little or as much involvement as you prefer.

Where to Get Married on Topsail Island

On the Beach in North Topsail Beach, Surf City or Topsail Beach

  • Getting Married in North Topsail BeachA permit is not required to have a wedding on the public beach at North Topsail.  If you do have a wedding on the beach, the Town of NTB asks that you leave the beach in the condition that you found it.  Contact Kim Weaver at (910) 328-1349 if you would like to reserve the Town’s gazebo or picnic shelter for your event (click here for the reservation form). Marriage licenses are issued through the Onslow County Register of Deeds.
  • Topsail Manor: Newly constructed in late 2017, Topsail Manor is a grandiose, eight bedroom oceanfront manor that boasts luxurious amenities, spacious accommodations, and elegant coastal décor. Designed to accommodate large groups, Topsail Manor’s approximately 8,000 square feet provides the perfect venue for weddings, reunions, multi-family vacations, and corporate events.
  • Getting Married in Surf City: If the wedding is held within the town limits of Surf City a permit is not required; however, please take note of the following helpful information when planning your wedding. Check with the Parks & Recreation Department at (910)328-4887 to see if anything else will be happening at the location that you would like to use and please contact the Police Department to make them aware of the event at (910)328-7711. You may have a shade tent and chairs; however, you may not mark off an area of the beach and not allow others since it is public property. Also be sure not to block off any public beach access. Glass, open flames, candles or tiki torches are not allowed on the beach. Please ensure that there is adequate parking for your guests and that no one parks on the sidewalk and bike path. If you are going to have a band, DJ or a loud radio system you need to obtain a noise permit from town hall.
  • Getting Married in Topsail Beach: The Town of Topsail Beach welcomes anyone who would like to have a beach wedding. There is no charge and no permit is required unless you plan to use amplification equipment during your event, including ceremony and reception. Outdoor Entertainment Permits require approval by the Town Manager and the Chief of Police not less than one day in advance of the event date. During the tourist season, May through September, parking is limited. The wedding party and guests should be aware that the public’s access to the beach cannot be restricted for the wedding, cars must be parked completely off all paved streets, and walking on or disturbing the dunes is not allowed. Please contact the Topsail Beach Police Department at (910)328-4851 and advise them of your event date, location, and contact information in case of an emergency.


On the Water Aboard the Belle of Topsail

Have you dreamed of getting married on the open waters and sailing off into the sunset? Then getting married on the Belle of Topsail may be for you. Captain David Luther is an ordained minister and can perform your ceremony aboard The Belle of Topsail. With several different wedding packages to choose from, the Belle of Topsail can accommodate 49 of your closest friends and family to share in your special day. From pirate-themed weddings to traditional ceremonies on the water to weddings held at the Cove with views of the sound, there’s an option for every couple. It is your day and your way. The Belle of Topsail is available for rehearsal dinners, too. You can learn more about weddings aboard the Belle of Topsail here.


Historic Assembly Building in Topsail Beach

Do you want to get married where you have private access to the soundfront of Topsail Island? The unique and historic Assembly Building, with its beautiful island setting, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is located on the soundfront at Topsail Beach, NC. This historic building has a capacity of 250 people and provides a perfect setting for any occasion including bridal showers, wedding ceremonies, wedding receptions, and rehearsal dinners. The Topsail Assembly Building offers a catering kitchen, dance floor, serving counters, banquet tables and chairs, handicap ramp with 3300 square feet of space in the Main Area plus an additional 286 square feet in the smaller Soundside Room. The best amenity here is the beautiful view of the Topsail Island sunset each and every night. You can read more about weddings at the historic Assembly Building in Topsail Beach here.


North Shore Country Club in Sneads Ferry

Whether you are planning a wedding reception or rehearsal dinner or both, the North Shore Country Club provides the perfect venue. The beautiful clubhouse and golf club setting provides an exquisite backdrop for any event. Located adjacent to Topsail Island in nearby Sneads Ferry, NC, this venue is conveniently located for easy access. They are available to assist you in making all of the arrangements for your big day. Choose your own caterer or select from their professional list. Reception space is available for up to 150 guests and it’s a perfect venue for seated parties up to 70 guests, offering a beautiful private dining area with reasonable facility rental rates and all ABC permits. They are willing to customize your reception to satisfy your wishes. You can read more about weddings at North Shore Country Club in Sneads Ferry here.


Ocean’s Edge Restaurant and Event Center in North Topsail Beach

At Ocean’s Edge the ocean view is the just the beginning! They make your wedding day an unparalleled experience tailored to reflect your personal style. As the tallest point on Topsail Island, the panoramic view is unlike any other in North Carolina, setting the stage for the celebration of your dreams. Their creative layout allows for guests to enjoy the sunset as they dine on delicious food, sip creative cocktails and dance the night away. With multiple spaces to fit groups of 20-300, they have an option for almost every couple. As the only full service wedding venue on Topsail Island, you can let their team take care of the details. From linens to a rainy day plan, they have you covered. The onsite coordinator provides custom packages to help take the stress out of wedding planning allowing you and your guests to truly enjoy their experience on ‘the Edge’. Think outside of the ballroom box and remember that your wedding should be as unique as your love story. You can read more about weddings at Ocean’s Edge Restaurant and Event Center in North Topsail Beach here.


Soundside Park in Surf City

Scenic and spectacular Soundside Park in Surf City, NC, allows for soon-to-be brides and grooms to get married in the fresh coastal air where soundside waters and brilliant Topsail sunsets are all part of the package. This beautiful park overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway has picnic shelters available by reservation and an amphitheater available for wedding ceremonies. Also for your enjoyment, there are boardwalks around the sound’s edge, several viewing decks, and a fishing pier. For more information about weddings at Soundside Park, contact Surf City Parks & Recreation at (910) 328-4887.


Surfside Center at the Surf City Welcome Center

The Surfside Center located at the Surf City Welcome Center is an ideal setting for bridal showers, wedding receptions and rehearsal dinners with its oceanfront setting and convenient location right at the heart of the island. The venue offers 1,800 square feet of oceanfront meeting space plus an extra 650 square foot outside patio facing the ocean . The Surfside Center offers a long list of amenities with plenty of parking and access to the beach. Please note that the Surfside Center is not equipped with speakers or an audio system. You can read more about weddings at the Surfside Center at the Surf City Welcome Center here.

Topsail Wedding Vendors & Services

The greater Topsail area has a wealth of wedding professionals for every detail of your wedding day. We have the local vendor recommendations and links to the information you need including our favorite bakeries, caterers, DJs, event equipment rentals, florists, photographers and videographers, plus salons and spas. Visit Access Realty’s Weddings at Topsail page for our recommended list of Topsail wedding vendors and services.

Topsail Beach Rentals for Large Groups

Here at Access Realty we are happy to accommodate large groups and have the beautiful Topsail Island accommodations to do it. Your wedding party will feel right at home and be right nearby when you need them. We have several duplex properties in which we manage both sides and single family homes that are side-by-side and can accommodate up to 45 guests. We also have a number of condos, townhomes, and private homes within the same communities. We can help you explore your options and get everyone settled in and ready for your Topsail Island wedding. Take at look at Access Realty’s Large Group Topsail Vacation Rentals to get started.

Wedding Rental Spotlight on Topsail Manor

We’d like to introduce you to this unique jewel of a rental that is a grand and luxurious option which can serve as both a wedding venue and accommodation for you and your wedding party guests. Topsail Manor is a newly constructed oceanfront rental boasting over 8,000 square feet of beautifully furnished beachfront bliss. With 8 bedrooms and 8 full baths, Topsail Manor comfortably sleeps up to 26 guests. Along with all that spaciousness, there is a long list of amazing amenities both inside and out. With two levels of expansive oceanfront decks, an outdoor kitchen, a pool and a hot tub, the outdoor amenities are spectacular and make entertaining a breeze. There is also a Tiki Bar down by the pool for serving up cold drinks and an oceanfront gazebo providing shade when you need to get a break from the sun. You have to take a look at this premier Topsail property for yourself! You can view the photo slideshow for a bird’s eye view of all that Topsail Manor has to offer and read the full list of amenities here.


Let Access Realty be part of your big day. We’d be honored! Topsail Island is one of the most beautiful places on earth and we’d love to share it with you on your special day. Happy wedding planning! Let us know how we can help.


Book Direct & Save!

In today’s day and age, there are a multitude of online booking websites where you can shop thousands of properties in a wide range of areas around the world to find your perfect vacation rental in just one click

But did you know that many of these websites charge additional HIDDEN fees or inflate EXISTING prices?

We understand that your vacation is important and you only get to take a limited number of trips during the year. We simply want to make sure you are getting the most out of your vacation dollar when you visit Topsail Island and the only way to do that is by Booking Direct!

Everything You Need to Know About Booking Direct:

February 7th, 2018 marks the inaugural #BookDirect Day – a day created to educate Vacation Rental Guests on the benefits of booking directly through an owner or local Property Management Company versus using OTA’s (Online Travel Agencies), such as HomeAway, VRBO, AirBNB, or TripAdvisor (to name a few).  

These big name websites, sometimes unbeknownst to you until after you click “BOOK, make their money by charging you a service (or booking or “take rate”) fee. This fee ranges from 5% to as much as 15% of your TOTAL vacation rental cost!

(See how you can be saving a TON of money just by booking directly through our website?) 

For example, the average cost of a two bedroom Topsail Island Rental Home during Peak Rental Season is about $2,000 pre-tax. If you book through an OTA who charges a 15% booking fee, you will pay an additional $300 on top of your $2,000 rental cost!

And what special OTA service does this extra $200 provide you?
Nothing. It’s simply the cost of using their website to book your vacation rental.

The OTA’s don’t know the ins and outs of each individual property to answer specific questions you might have. They don’t send out repairmen when you run into a maintenance issue. They don’t give you suggestions on the best local restaurant for dinner or what there is to do on a rainy day…but Access Realty does! 

When you book directly with us, you speak one-on-one with a knowledgeable, LOCAL, professional who lives, works, and plays in the Topsail Island area. We know the details of each property because we have actually been inside of them! We can give personal recommendations on the best places to eat, shop, or visit because we love to frequent those businesses in our day-to-day lives! Our two conveniently located offices are within 15 minutes of each of our rental properties, so you can rest assure that we will respond to your issues quickly!

How Do I #BookDirect?

It’s simple! We encourage all of our guests to book their vacation directly through our safe and secure website,, or by calling us directly at 1-800-TOPSAIL (867-7245), (910)329-9800 for our Surf City Office, or (910) 327-2050 for our Sneads Ferry Office. We promise we will never charge you hidden fees and we will always provide you with the lowest available rate on our professionally managed accommodations.

Recap: Why Book Direct?

  • Properties are professionally managed by Access Realty, a local, reputable property management company with two office locations in the Topsail Island area.
  • Save up to 15% by avoiding online travel agency booking fees!
  • Secure and simple 24/7 online booking at
  • Helpful and knowledgeable local staff who know the properties and live, work, and play in the Topsail Island area!

Ready to plan your Vacation?

Make sure you #BookDirect with Access Realty!

Click here to Search our Vacation Rentals!