Willard is home to a destination that sings in color. That’s how David Johnson describes the gardens and nursery at Johnson Nursery, “will be singing in color.” The business is growing at 985 Johnson Nursery Rd., just off Interstate 40. One of the largest commercial growers in the state, Johnson Nursery opened a retail garden center with a beautiful variety of 1,400 varieties of annuals, perennials,...

Sea Turtle Hospital News Nesting season officially ended on Aug. 31, but even though your chances of seeing a mama nesting are pretty much gone there is another component of the circle of life that’s just as interesting and done early in the evening – a nest analysis. A minimum of seventy-two hours after the main hatch Topsail Turtle Project volunteers gently begin excavating the nest and removing the...

The Gardens of Southeastern North Carolina is a non-profit company dedicated to improving lives, cultivating inspiration, offering a variety of experiences, creating jobs, and generating income for the community. The public is invited to join us on October 22nd, 2022 at the Gardens of Southeastern North Carolina for our first annual Fall Festival! Doors open at 10 a.m. and the cost of admission is FREE! The Gardens...

It all started with a cup of coffee. On Memorial Weekend in 2010, Tracey Shugarts and her husband, Jeremy, opened a little coffee shop in Surf City called The Daily Grind. “Originally, we thought this would be a seasonal, May through August, business,” said Tracey. “We never closed after the first summer – except on Christmas Day.” In a time when it seems coffee shops are sprouting...

HAMPSTEAD – True Blue Butcher and Baker opened two weeks ago in Hampstead, in the former Pretzel Man bakery, 13865 US 17. The True Blue Butcher and Baker location is another of the growing and highly successful endeavors by Chef Bobby Zimmerman, a former Landfall chef. In 2016, Zimmerman started True Blue Butcher and Table on Military Cutoff Road. Next, he opened True Blue Butcher and Barrel on Greenfield...

We enjoy all aspects of our work at our hospital. We’re intimately involved with every turtle that comes through our building, whether they’re with us a few days or several years. But the best part of our work is the day we get to send them home. On an overcast, humid morning three of our fully rehabilitated patients got their second chance at a long and happy turtle life. Kemp’s “Turtledove”...

Pender County residents and visitors have an additional travel option. It’s called RideMICRO. And it is perfect for a resident who needs to get to a doctor’s appointment, college classes, or shopping. It’s perfect for tourists who aren’t certain where they are going, or don’t have a rental car large enough for the multi-generational vacation. “RideMICRO is a WAVE Transit service,”...

Brandy Wians and Garrett Shaver had a fresh idea. On Jan. 7, the couple opened Salt Marsh Market, offering unique and delicious foods, beer, wines, and more to our local retail landscape. “The store turned out better than we envisioned,” said Brandy. “In the last seven months, we have added to our selections.” Salt Marsh Market offers a wide variety of local products. They have added shelving...

Henderson Field Airport, FAA identifier ACZ, is located in northern Pender County. Visitors to Pender County/Topsail Island are discovering this hidden treasure. Corporate jets, government agencies, and the flying public utilize Henderson Field Airport daily. Vacationers traveling from up north to Florida have discovered Henderson Field Airport offers a 24-hour pilot lounge and more competitive fuel prices than...

There’s a place where Pender County meets Bladen and Sampson counties. It’s a quiet place along the Black River. It’s a place for primitive camping. It’s a place to fish or launch a kayak. The place is Black River Camping Ventures, located on the sandy banks of the Black River. With 12 primitive camping sites, it is the perfect place to kick back and enjoy nature. “We opened in 2020,”...

By the time you read this most of our senior interns will have left us, each taking a different path in their future. The good news for our regular staff is that two of them will be staying on for a bit to help us through the next few months. Of course nobody, other than our turtles, gets to walk out of our doors with just a wave of their flipper. When they were chosen for our program they were told that successful completion...

SEA TURTLE HOSPITAL NEWS It’s been a busy summer with patients of various sizes and species cycling through our hospital. Many of them have been incidental catches from coastal waters and depending on where, or how many hooks were involved they’ve been short-timers ready to go home after a few days of TLC and breakfast. When a small Kemp’s arrived from Oak Island with a hook in her mouth we thought,...

Tuesday, June 14, was homecoming, or more accurately, home-going for 10 rehabilitated sea turtles: one loggerhead, two Kemp’s, and seven greens. Nine of these critters were victims of cold stunning, Kemp’s “Magic Potion” being the exception. His decision to choose a quick snack on a baited hook landed him in our hospital for a month. This was our first public release for the year and sea turtles...

BURGAW – With the rising cost of gasoline, it’s time to explore our Pender County backyard for things to do and see. Recently we examined the free activities available. This week we are going to explore the more inexpensive activities that abound in Pender County. Let’s start with Topsail Beach. At the south end of Topsail Island is Serenity Point. It’s a great place to go shelling. The south...

Nesting turtles are coming ashore - how you can help The ladies are in the house – or actually on the beach. After a bit of a late start those turtle moms are finally here and our Topsail Turtle Project volunteers are out at dawn looking for signs of nests. As of this writing we have nineteen verified nests on the island. Topsail is pretty much loggerhead territory, but the past few years have seen a green...

By Tammy Proctor, Pender County Tourism Director This may show my age, but I remember my father grumbling when gasoline went above $1 per gallon. Dad didn’t grumble much, but our family station wagon was a guzzler. It’s my turn to complain. With gasoline inching closer to $5 per gallon in our region, I think twice about extra trips in the car. For summer fun and entertainment, you do not have to travel...

Friday, June 3 - It's Memorial Weekend and we know some of our visitors are coming in early. While some visitors will start thinking about packing the car, others are unpacking for a long weekend or perhaps a week's stay. Either way, we want you to feel welcome. We want you to live like a local and enjoy Island Time - a time zone where you are not hurried or rushed. Whether it's your last night at the beach...

We’ve got the pot. You pick the spot. That’s the dinner bell ringing from Topsail Steamer in Surf City. With six locations and shipping nationwide, Topsail Steamer was once upon a time Topsail Island’s best-kept secret. The first location opened in Surf City in March 2017. The freshness of its food and the manner in which it is delivered has set Topsail Steamer apart. They clean, chop, and prep...

We talk to our turtles all the time, and they generally respond to the sound of our voices. In all honesty, they’re probably only paying attention to us because they think we’re there to deliver a meal. But what can turtles really hear, especially underwater where they do most of their hearing? Since last year some of our patients have been participating in non-invasive research to find answers to that...

May on Topsail has always been a busy sea turtle month. Nesting season officially began on the first, so those turtle mamas are just offshore getting ready to deliver the first clutches of babies. But it’s not just the mamas that enjoy our Carolina coast. Loggerheads, greens, Kemp’s, and leatherbacks of all sizes are fairly common to our waters and some of them can’t resist the lure of a free lunch at...

Topsail Pie Company opened today with a celebratory ribbon cutting with the Greater Topsail Area Chamber of Commerce, the Town of Surf City, and Pender County Tourism. The Topsail Pie Company, a bakery offering pies, brownies, cookies, and more. The bakery is located at 328 N. Topsail Dr. in Surf City. For hours and more check out their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/TopsailPieCompany

Topsail Island's newest luxury hotel, Saltwater Suites, will open its doors this Memorial Day weekend, on May 27. "We are extremely proud of what our team has accomplished over the past 15 months of construction," said Richard Stroupe, developer of Saltwater Suites. "The Topsail Island community has been nothing but supportive. We're grateful for the opportunity to introduce Saltwater Suites...

Saturday, May 21 — Welcome to Topsail Island, Pender County, NC! Unpack the car and get settled into your home away from home. We’ve got a week’s worth of ideas for you to explore! The sea turtle hospital is open. Go online and book a visit to the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center. Whatever you do, don't leave without a visit to the largest sea turtle hospital on the Eastern...

A full kitchen, a large screen television, a comfy bed, and an ocean view – it sounds like the perfect vacation accommodation, right? Saltwater Suites is set to open by Memorial Weekend and they are ready to offer the perfect vacation accommodation. Each of Saltwater Suites’ 24 units features an ocean view. Each suite offers a king-size bed or two queen beds in approximately 680-sq. ft. of modern, open...

NEW PROGRAM! You asked and we are delivering!! Calling all future marine biologists, conservationists, and ocean stewards of all ages! Are you ready for a fun and engaging family adventure? Funky Fins is all about exploration and discovery, using the coastline of Topsail Island as our classroom. Roll up your sleeves and get ready to dive into our 90-minute family-friendly programs with your parents, grandparents,...