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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Bunnies, Beaches and Beginnings

Easter in OBX is a bustling time.  It is the "official" start of the season- stores and restaurants are open, owners come down to prepare for the season and there is a smell of spring in the air.  We come down every Easter and enjoy the sun, sand and surf- as well as the new businesses and a cupcake or two from Tullio's in Duck.

We spent Easter at brunch in the Sanderling's new pavilion on the sound.  It is a brand new pavilion with wonderful views of the sound- great for weddings and large events.  The weather was a bit cooler that last year- but it was sunny and there was still a large number of people biking and walking.  The new boardwalk extension to Wings Superstore should be completed by the end of May- just in time for the summer rush.

There are some new stores in Scarborough Shoppes and Salty Paws has a second location in Loblolly Pines in Duck- right next to Tullio's!

We helped the OBX SPCA run a two day event at the Waterfront Shoppes through Life's a Beach- there is a picture below of gang with puppies from that event!

The event gave me an excuse to indulge in my favorite concoctions (Peep in a Cup and CoCo Duck) from Duck Cottage and Coffee Shoppe.  They have now opened up a second location in Manteo by the waterfront! We can not leave without a pound of Coconut Crunch coffee- and yes they ship (www.duckscottage.com).

We had a great dinner at 1587 on the waterfront in Manteo and the best margaritas on the beach at the Blue Moon Grill in Nags Head at MP 13.

We connected with our OBX friends and watched the moon rise over the ocean by a fire pit on the beach.  Life is a beach in OBX.


Taste of the Beach- OBX Style

Every March during the week of St. Patrick's Day- the Outer Banks restaurants open their doors and invite locals and visitors to their annual Taste of the Beach!  This 4 day event (Thursday to Sunday) includes special menus, restaurant tours and of course- the grand finale- the Sunday evening Award Banquet and Tasting.  This year is was held at Palmico Jack's on the Bypass in Nags Head at MP 16.

This was the second year I have traveled down to OBX for this event.  It is one definitely worth the trip for.  I brought my friend and besides the great food- the weather was absolutely fabulous.  Temperatures in the 80's and that beautiful sunshine.  We walked the beaches, ate outside and traveled on the Duck boardwalk.  We hit The Lifesaving Station for their Thursday Burger night with specialty burgers with a side order of "duck fries"- yes- they are fried in duck fat.

As we traveled from Duck to Manteo- through Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head- we stopped by my "usual" stops.  Beach Essentials, Outer Barks, Salty Paws, Daniels' Homeport,  High Cotton BBQ, The Good Life Gourmet, and the OBX SPCA.

Businesses open up during this week and it gave me a chance to see what new businesses were getting ready to open in April.  We could not ask for better weather and as always-I was happy to see OBX and OBX was happy to see me.   

OBX SPCA

As an avid animal lover and advocate- I want to take this opportunity to tell you about a wonderful place in OBX.  The Outer Banks SPCA is located on Driftwood Dr. in Manteo- off of the main road (Rte. 64).

 They are open Monday through Saturday (11 am -  5 pm) and they are open late on Wednesdays (until 7 pm) and from 11 - 2 pm on Saturdays.  They have an amazing staff and they are always looking for donations, volunteers and of course- potential adopters!

You can check out their web site at www.obxspca.org 

When you visit OBX- you may see Corrie running an event.  They have events up and down the barrier islands of Dare County.

We always bring pet food and donations to them- especially after Hurricane Irene.  We have also adopted three great animals from them- 2 dogs and 1 blind cat.  They do out of state adoptions and would love for you to come by and adopt one of their kittens, puppies, dogs or cats that they have. 

We were able to partner with a NY SPCA and bring up some kittens after our visit in January.  we transported 8 wonderful kittens who were spayed/neutered and adopted out in NY.

Won't you visit them and see if you can find your fur-ever friend?  All animals and spayed/neutered, micro-chipped and up to date on vaccines. For a small fee- $85 for dogs/puppies and $70 for cats/kittens- you can open your heart and home to a wonderful OBX pet!  Think of it as a memento of your trip that keeps on giving!

And don't forget- spay or neuter your pet!

Christmas and New Year's in OBX

What better way to spend the remainder of the year than to spend it by the beach?  The beautiful sand- the quiet walks on the beach and the final hooray before many businesses close for January and February.
There is something very serene about being in OBX in the winter.  There is still lots to do the week between Christmas and New Years.  Businesses and restaurants are open- with great specials for New Year's Eve.  We spent New Year's Eve at Aqua and had a wonderful dinner with a great view.  We have spent previous years at Ocean Boulevard and the Sanderling.  Each year- we always have at least one or two warm days where we can enjoy the outdoors.  This year we had the whole week!  The weather was beautiful.  And don't forget those end of the year sales at local businesses as they make way for their new lines for the spring  Until next time- keep dreaming of the beach!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving in OBX

What better place to spend Thanksgiving then in the Outer Banks?  The weather is great, the shopping is fabulous and the restaurants have fantastic Thanksgiving offerings.  The weather can range from 55- 70 degrees and the options for Thanksgiving dinner are endless!  If you want to "eat at home", you can "take out" complete Thanksgiving dinners complete with turkey, dressing, ham, gravy, and all the sundries.  If you want to eat out- there are many options- Basnight's Lone Cedar Cafe in Nags Head has a wonderful buffet, as well as Kelly's and Palmico Jacks in Nags Head.    In Duck, the Life Saving Station and the Left Bank at the Sanderling, as well as Elizabeth's Cafe, all have a "sit down" dinner.  Ocean Boulevard in Kitty Hawk also has a Thanksgiving menu.  There are many options- BUT you need to make a reservation.  The earlier in the month, the better.  The worst thing in the world is waiting in line as you watch others walk by with plates of delicious, hot food.   After dinner- you can go for a walk on the beach or sit and relax by the sound.  The Tanger Outlets in Nags Head open this year at 6 am with "door busting" sales- as well as a raffle for a 51 inch TV at 8 am.  You can find many Black Friday sales that will help "stimulate" the Outer Banks ecomony.  Aqua Restaurant in Duck is offering $5 Friday drinks (martinis and wine) at 5 pm for those who need a break from shopping.  Aqua also has a great spa to help you melt those stresses away.  Be sure to visit Beach Essentials in Duck for some great shopping deals!  Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks and to enjoy time with family and friends.  I am thankful for the wonderful people and the beautiful beaches! 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Beach Road vs. The Bypass

There are 2 main roads in the Outer Banks.  The "Bypass" or Rte 158 and the "Beach Road" or Rte. 12.  These roads are the heart of the Outer Banks.  This 2 lane road (Rte. 12) goes up to Corolla (in Currituck County) and all the way down to Cape Hatteras along the ocean or beach.  Rte. 12 was the focal point after Hurricane Irene in August of 2011 due to the fact that the road was closed preventing all traffic from traveling in and out of the Hatteras area.  The other part of Rte. 12 goes from Southern Shores, through Duck and up to Corolla where the road "ends" and the 4x4 area begins.  There is a great bike path / walking path that goes from Southern Shores up to Corolla.  This is a great way to travel in the summer months when traffic is at a stand still on the weekend. 
The "Bypass" goes from Currituck County (Barco) and goes all the way down to the Nags Head area.  Most stores and restaurants are located on this main road that goes through Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head.  This is a 4 lane highway that becomes the main artery in the summer months. 
Knowing these roads and the restaurants and stores that are located on them will make your stay easier and help you determine where you want to stay.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Where Do I Stay?

   There are many options as far as lodging is concerned on the Outer Banks.  You can rent a house, stay at a bed and breakfast, stay in a hotel rent a townhouse.  The height of the season runs from May until September with July and August being the busiest.  Be sure to investigate where in the Outer Banks you want to stay- Duck, Corolla, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head, Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Hatteras or Manteo.  Depending on your needs- that will help you determine which location works for you. You need to research what works the  best for you- do you want to be on the beach, on the sound, do you want to bring your pets, do you want a community pool or private pool, do  you want to be able to walk to many shopping and restaurant destinations?  These are all items that need to be discussed before you start looking.  When you find out what type of lodging you need- you can research realty companies, hotels and B&B's.  Most rentals run Saturday to Saturday for a week.  If you need a partial stay (less than the full week)- be sure to check with the rental companies to see if this is an option.  Some of the popular rental companies include: Carolina Designs, Sun Realty, Joe Lamb Realty, Kitty Hawk Rentals, and Seaside Realty.  If you are planning to stay in the summer- be sure to book early.  Here is a great  tip- if you are staying in a house that you love and want to book again for the following year- if you do so while you are there- you get first choice.  You can look online at the brochures and book online.