There aren’t many large shopping centers on the Outer Banks. For the most part, local businesses are found in the small strip centers that dot our local landscape. There’s a number of reasons for this fact. In earlier days there was a scarcity of large land parcels available for development and not a clear vision for business growth. Regardless, these strip centers add to the charm and character of the Outer Banks and have allowed for unique small shops and restaurants to thrive.
It’s Wednesday evening at Jolley Roger in Kill Devil Hills, NC. Two young women are well into belting out a hip hop song, the karaoke beat is booming, and they haven’t missed a word yet. Friends are cheering them on and when they’re finished the people sitting around the bar let out a cheer and clap for their performance.
The Outer Banks has always been known as a place of consistent winds with regional sounds and estuaries providing a vast palette of protected waters. Yet for some reason, sailing has never been a large part of the Outer Banks experience.
This may be changing thanks in part to SailNC, a local organization that has been promoting the Outer Banks as a sailing destination for the past three years. It all began with our rich history of being home to a skilled boatbuilding workforce. Working with area businesses and sailors, as well as the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau, SailNC became a part of the local scene in 2013. What the organization has been able to accomplish in a few years is pretty remarkable; there have already been four regattas held in Outer Banks waters since 2014.
Musicians walking into Ronnie Swaim’s Jubilee Music Store will feel a sense of homecoming. Located in the Seagate North Shopping Center in Kill Devil Hills, Ronnie’s corner of music delights is reminiscent of an age-old country store filled with an assortment of guitars, mandolins, ukuleles and other instruments.
Away from the sporty fishing boats with teak decks and sportsman fishing chairs, and hidden from view from head boats that charter hopeful fishermen offshore, lies the village of Wanchese. Located on the south end of Roanoke Island, this village appears as a sliver of Outer Banks lifestyle that froze in time over 50 years ago.