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.
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.
There is something magical about walking into a bookstore, the shelves packed with every imaginable topic and title, just waiting to be explored. One of the best on the Outer Banks is The Island Bookstore, a place that allows us to step back in time before the world became addicted to online and electronic reading.
There’s something in the coastal Outer Banks air that inspires the artistic and creative. The OBX is home to an exceptional lot of artists, and we have a collection of fine local galleries that proudly exhibit their work. It’s difficult to highlight all of these galleries, but in the interest of assisting visitors in navigating options, here’s a list of five wonderful galleries to get you started.
On the east side of Croatan Highway (the Bypass) in Kitty Hawk, the Dunes Shops is a strip mall that looks like a snapshot from the late 1960s or early 70s. It was the first Outer Banks strip mall, and it was a pretty big deal when it opened. But, time passes quickly, and until three to four years ago, it was fading with the signs of age.