Milepost 6 Shopping Center

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.

One of the smallest and most popular of those small strip centers is MP6 in Kill Devil Hills. Located on the west side of the bypass at milepost 6, this center is easy to locate by looking for its dominant green sign with white lettering.

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Jubilee Music Store on the Outer Banks

Ronnie Swaim Jubilee Music StoreMusicians 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.

When you talk to Ronnie, there is logic to the evolution of him owning a music store that mimics days gone by in the old South. This is a casual place where folks gather to discuss this and that. “I was born and learned to play music in the hills of North Carolina, back in Elkin,” he says. “I can play most anything with a string on it, starting with a guitar ‘bout the time I was nine years old and then moved on to the banjo and mandolin. I don’t read music but I have a lot of fun playing it.”

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The Island Bookstore – Outer Banks

Island Book Store on the OBX

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.

The Corolla, Duck and Kitty Hawk locations are all a bit different, no cookie cutter retail space, so these stores have grown organically from their locations.

The Kitty Hawk store, located in a strip mall at Milepost 4.5 on the Bypass, is open year round and frequented by locals. It is the smallest of the stores, and in the summer the shelves become so overwhelmed that there are overflow books piled on the floor too. Continue reading “The Island Bookstore – Outer Banks”

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Outer Banks Art Galleries

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.

Seagreen Gallery
Seagreen Gallery in Nags Head.

Dare County Arts Council – Manteo
Featuring artwork from Outer Banks artists from Ocracoke to Corolla, the DCAC gallery is the perfect introduction to the wide range and skill of local artists. Located in the historic Dare County Courthouse, this gallery provides multiple rooms filled with original art. A great time to visit is the first Friday of the month when downtown Manteo comes alive with their First Friday Celebration starting at 6:00 p.m.

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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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The Cotton Gin

Cotton Gin Currituck ShopJust about everyone who has driven to the Outer Banks from the north knows about the Cottin Gin in Jarvisburg, or has at least passed by and noticed it.

It is to many vacationers an iconic welcome to the Outer Banks. Surrounded by grape vines-it’s home to Sanctuary Vineyards; the store is like no other retail environment we have ever seen.

Spanning across multiple floors and several loft areas, it can only be described as an eclectic blend of just about everything. There is women’s clothing and accessories, collectibles, men’s clothing, candles, food items, a small book collection of local titles, linens, a Christmas shop, garden décor and several other departments.

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