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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.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Getting Here...

The first thing you have to realize is that the Outer Banks is a chain of barrier islands and unless you have a private plane- there is no way to fly directly into the Outer Banks.  The closest airport is in Norfolk, VA and that is about a 2 hour drive to the island.  The best way to get here is by car.  Check your GPS and maps to ensure that you have the best route that works for you.  From the north- you can take I-95 or Rte. 13.  From the west- you can come over I-64.  Since this is the eastern most part of North Carolina- there are no directions from east to west.  Once you research your route, realize that on weekends in the summer and holidays due to the traffic- you will have to add an additional 1-4 hours- depending on when you want to arrive.  Since most rental homes are Saturday to Saturday and check-in is not until about 4 pm- you want to include this in your travel time.

One hint that works- plan to arrive in OBX in the morning (about 8 am - 11 am) and spend the day shopping (Tanger Outlet Mall- MP 16.5) or visiting the public beaches in Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head or Corolla.  This will make the day go by quicker and bypass the incoming traffic on the Wright Brothers Memorial Bridge.
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