The Dune Shops Kitty Hawk

Josephines Kitchen Kitty HawkOn 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.

At that time, Josephine Caggese and her husband, Cosmo, owners of Cosmo’s Pizza in the Marketplace in Southern Shores, took over management of the mall and opened Josephine’s Sicilian Kitchen, and the crowds followed. Josephine is an excellent chef and the food is outstanding. But along with the new restaurant, the new management gave the mall a much needed facelift.Poks_art_Kitty_Hawk

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Outer Banks Wedding Venues

The Outer Banks has become one of the most popular wedding destinations in the United States and for many reasons; the main one being its beautiful natural setting. Perhaps our location is a bit remote, but the Outer Banks is centrally located on the east coast, and there are literally hundreds of professionals who reside in our area who specialize in creating memorable and personalized destination weddings.

Selecting a site to say your vows is an essential part of any wedding, and the Outer Banks offers many unique locations to accommodate your event. A tip for couples planning an outdoor ceremony is to always include an alternate indoor location in the event of unforeseen weather events.

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Outer Banks National Park Service History

Hatteras Point DrivingFrank Stick, one of the original real estate developers on the Outer Banks, became concerned that without protection of the natural landscape the beauty that made the Outer Banks a natural tourist draw would be lost to development. A strong case could be made that Stick was considerably ahead of his time since he began advocating for Cape Hatteras to become a national park in the 1920s. He was an interesting character, a world-renowned illustrator who turned his back on his profession and moved to the Outer Banks at the height of his creative powers.

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Monkey Island Outer Banks

The view from the top of the Currituck Beach Lighthouse is extraordinary. To the east the Atlantic Ocean crashes into Corolla beach in channels of white-crested waves; to the south on the clearest days, the water tower in Duck, 13 miles south, is barely visible. Looking west, the Currituck Sound is dotted with islands near the shoreline, and then open water until it reaches the mainland.

Looking north and slightly to the west, there is an island that sits alone in the sound, and someone with binoculars, or particularly acute eyesight, may notice the structures that dot the island.

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9th Annual Duck Jazz Festival

Jazz Festival Duck NCThe 9th Annual Duck Jazz Festival will be held on October 11th this year, the Sunday before Columbus Day, and the lineup for this popular event is off the charts! Held on the manicured grounds of the Duck Town Park, people attend for the beautiful waterfront setting as much as they do for their love of great Jazz music.

The Festival is one of those rare events that is free to the public, allows attendees to bring their own wine and beer selections and is a wonderful family friendly activity. This year’s event continues with the tradition of great music performed by outstanding musicians and vocalists.

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Five Bike Rides: Outer Banks Trails

Bike Riding Outer BanksWorking with the NCDOT, local governments and the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau, the Outer Banks has done a remarkable job of creating multi-use trails ideal for cycling, walking and running. Although it’s likely you’ll have to ride on the shoulder of a major road at some point during your rides, these distances are relatively short and easily managed for most riders. Here are five suggestions for memorable rides:

Great Family Bike Ride – The Woods Road, Kitty Hawk
The Woods Road is where the Outer Banks Marathon begins, and it’s a beautifully shaded road located in the heart of Kitty Hawk Woods. This multi-use path has a couple of minor hills which any determined youngster should be able to navigate.

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Outer Banks Must See Destinations

USA Today just came out with their “Road Trip USA: 50 States, 50 Unique Stops,” an article highlighting one unique stop in each of our 50 states. As often as the Outer Banks finds itself in the news, it was no surprise to find that the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse was listed for the state of North Carolina. This article got us thinking about other “must see” destinations we hope our guests will experience.

Bodie Island LighthouseBodie Island Lighthouse: 
The last of Outer Bank’s lighthouses to be repaired and brought up to climbing standards, the 170’ Bodie Island Lighthouse is a slightly smaller version of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. It’s made by the same builder from the same materials, and it offers what may be the most spectacular view of the Outer Banks marshes and wetlands. It’s a bit difficult climbing all the steps to the top, but WOW is the view worth it!

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Outer Banks Ice Cream Shops

OBX Ice Cream ShopLuckily the Outer Banks has a lot of places to indulge that summertime fantasy, so here’s our Carolina Designs’ list of ice cream parlors, yogurt stops and frozen custard stands. It’s by no means complete. No preferences. . . we just listed everything alphabetically.

Big Buck’s
Timbuck II Shopping Center, 794F Sunset Boulevard, Corolla, NC
Buccaneers Walk Shopping Center, 3810 N. Croatan Highway, Kitty Hawk
Offering up to 57 ice cream flavors (some are seasonal) made from scratch daily with premium ingredients. In addition to cones, specialties include milkshakes, sundaes, banana splits, ice cream cakes, fresh fruit smoothies, frozen tea lattes, espresso bar with hot, iced and frozen options, homemade chocolates and more!

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Roanoke Island Festival Park

Roanoke Island Festival ParkFor an area with a permanent population of less than 40,000 people who are scattered across 90 miles of barrier islands, the Outer Banks has a remarkable diversity of activities. Much of that is a result of our tourist driven economy, but once the vacationers leave our area, the off-season months continue to offer very worthwhile events.

Some events are a direct result of institutions that evolved around the desire to provide visitors with a better vacation experience, and one outstanding example is Roanoke Island Festival Park in Manteo.

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The Paper Canoe – Duck, NC

Paper Canoe DuckWhen you meet Tommy Karole, the owner of Paper Canoe in Duck, it’s obvious he’s not a laid back southerner. He never lost his New Jersey mannerisms, has strong opinions on most topics and he understands how to create an outstanding dining experience.

What might be most remarkable about the Paper Canoe is when Tommy admits that while he was pulling all the restaurant components together he wasn’t sure just what kind of dining experience he was going to create. Over the years he had owned and managed restaurants, and he had consulted with a number of successful Outer Banks restaurant owners, but while he was building the dining room he still wasn’t sure about the direction of his own restaurant. “I knew I had a beautiful location, which I built from the ground up,” he says. “I didn’t think of food until I saw how the restaurant was coming together.”

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