Turek - MeditationOne of the most remarkable features of life on the Outer Banks is how dynamic the arts scene is here, and these are truly world class artists. For proof of that, look no farther than Eve Turek, photographer and owner, with her husband Pete, of the Yellow House Gallery in Nags Head.

A few months ago, Eve took home the gold medal for her photo Meditation at the first annual World Photography Cup held in Phoenix, AZ.

This is a huge, big deal. There were 22 nations represented with three entries in each category, meaning Eve’s photo was the best of 66 entries that were already judged the best in their countries. The judging was blind, meaning no country of origin was indicated, the photographer was not named, and there were no titles on the pieces. The judges considered only what they saw before them.

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2014 Outer Banks Economic Forecast

Oregon Inlet Bridge 2014No one can say with any certainty what the future holds, but it doesn’t hurt to make an educated guess, which seems to be what came out of an Economic Forecast breakfast held by the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce sponsored in March.

For property management especially, the indicators for 2014 are positive. In reviewing data presented by Kurt Canning of Hutchins Canning & Company, the co-sponsors of this event, all signs show continued growth and profitability for the Outer Banks vacation rental industry.

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Top 5 Outer Banks Beach Burgers

OBX Burger from Brew StationCourage comes in many forms but there may be nothing as courageous (or foolhardy) as trying to select “The best Outer Banks burger!” Nonetheless, in the interests of journalistic integrity I will publicly declare that these are the five finest burgers on the Outer Banks beaches.

But first, a quick note about what makes a great hamburger. Let me start by saying that a hamburger is not a health food, although some burgers may be healthier than others. For those seeking a healthy burger, many of our restaurants offer a variety of veggie, turkey and shrimp burgers that are a wonderful alternative.

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Glenn Eure, Outer Banks Living Legend

Glenn Eure OBX ArtOne of the best things about living on the Outer Banks is its active and creative art scene. It spans all ages and genres and filters into every aspect of our way of life.

And here’s the most remarkable thing about it–almost everyone who’s involved in the local arts scene can trace at least part of their success back to the same person, Glenn Eure. He’s in his 80s now, and he might have slowed down a bit, but he remains in many ways the heart and soul of the creative Outer Banks spirit.

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Outer Banks Weddings and Events

Red Sky Cafe DuckThe 2014 Outer Banks Wedding Expo came and went over the Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend. It’s a popular event because destination weddings have become such a large part of the Outer Banks scene. Actually, it’s not just weddings any more. Increasingly local businesses that started in the wedding business are branching out to include event planning for large family reunions, team building seminars and corporate retreats. The real story here is what keeps bringing couples, families and businesses to our area, but first a few highlights about this year’s expo.

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Outer Banks Winter Lunch Counters

blue moon grillSince we live here and can’t imagine a better place to be, as far as we’re concerned any season is a good time to visit the Outer Banks. That being said, we must admit that a quick getaway, long weekend or weeklong vacation during the winter months does come with a challenge that other seasons don’t have … where to go for a bite to eat?

Things do slow down during the winter on the Outer Banks. Not as much as it did 10 to 15 years ago, but there are a number of business owners who close up shop in January or February for scheduled vacations or to head out of the country in search of good surf. Nonetheless, with a bit of direction and effort, finding a good meal during the slowest time of the year is definitely possible on the Outer Banks.

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2014 Outer Banks Predictions

Bonner Bridge HatterasWith 2013 wrapped up and 2014 in its infancy, it’s the perfect time to bravely predict 2014 happenings on the Outer Banks. This is all simply guesswork and speculation, but as each year winds down, it’s always interesting to think of milestones that will highlight the year ahead.

Bridges Dominate the News
The replacement of the Bonner Bridge is tied up in court, although the state did win the first round. A contract was just awarded for a bridge to replace the temporary bridge at the Irene breach, and construction is scheduled to begin almost immediately. The renovation and repairs to the outbound Wright Memorial Bridge appear to be on schedule and should be completed by May 15th, although winter storms could throw a monkey wrench in those plans. Next fall it will be the inbound span’s turn. Who knows, with all the activity around bridges, maybe the Mid-Currituck Bridge will arise from its moribund state and again become a possibility?

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Hatteras and Ocracoke Island Day Trips

ocracoke, nc silver lakeExisting as it does on the edge of a continent, more than an hour’s drive from any major airport, the Outer Banks has a well-deserved reputation for being just a little bit isolated and refreshingly remote. Depending on where our visitors live, the Outer Banks may be a day trip on its own, but once here there are some really neat day trips that can be taken on the Outer Banks. The first of our day trip series focuses on the pristine beauty and activities that draw guests to our southern beaches.

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Alive and Well from the Outer Banks

Outer Banks ChristmasMark Twain once famously observed, “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” This may be reminiscent of how many people feel about the Outer Banks during the winter months but, in fact, that’s far from the truth.

Yes, it’s true that activities have decreased and seasonal crowds have slowed to a trickle, and the title of a popular song, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” has recently come to the forefront of my mind. Okay, it’s not cold like in Montana, but for the Outer Banks it’s definitely gotten chilly.

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Outer Banks Community Parks

OBX_ParksIt’s easy to talk about the variety of recreation available on the Outer Banks. The list of obvious activities include the beach, our ocean and sounds, hiking, shopping … it’s a list that seems endless, and a good reason why we love living here and vacationers return year after year.

Aside from the obvious, there are also special little things that make this such a special place. So, I thought it would be interesting to write a blog series highlighting some of these little things that greatly add to Outer Banks enjoyment, the first being about our wonderful community parks.

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