Driving the Outer Banks

Duck Road NC12Now that the summer season is officially here and our roads, businesses and beach accesses are once again filled with out-of-state license plates, just about everyone who lives on the Outer Banks is exhaling a huge sigh of relief. This may seem contradictory to people who don’t live here; why look forward to slow moving highways and busy stores?

The answer is simple: living on the Outer Banks, the relationship between summer crowds and employment opportunities is a close one.

So in the interest of hospitality and giving our guests a more relaxing vacation, we have put together some helpful hints for using the Outer Banks transportation network.

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Running the Outer Banks

Running Events Outer BanksLocated off the northeast coast of North Carolina, the Outer Banks (or OBX) features a scenic expanse of coastal beauty and has become a haven for runners and host to numerous annual racing events. The 120 miles of barrier islands provides a variety of diverse running terrain ranging from sand and dirt paths to pavement with long stretches of flat land interspersed with rolling hills. Simply spoken, there is something for Outer Banks runners of all skill sets, so the most difficult part of running the Outer Banks is deciding where to run.

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The Lighthouses of the Outer Banks

Hatteras LightThere is, perhaps, no more treacherous stretch of shoreline than the coast of the Outer Banks. Flanked by shifting shoals that extend as far as 14 miles off shore, the Atlantic Ocean along the northeastern North Carolina coast has rightfully been termed the Graveyard of the Atlantic.

There is no record of when the first European ship sank in these waters, but the most likely candidate would have been a Spanish galleon in the mid 1500s.

Although the dangers of the Outer Banks coast were well-known, the area was–and still is–the equivalent of a seagoing highway. In the days of sail power, prevailing winds allowed ships heading south to take advantage of winds and currents to speed their journey. Heading north, the land mass provided captains with sure visual references.

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Spring and Summer Fishing on the Outer Banks

Outer Banks FishingThe Outer Banks is a 200-mile-long string of what are called “barrier islands.” Lying off the coast of North Carolina and a very small portion of Virginia, the Outer Banks offer stunning natural beauty, a temperate climate, and some of the best fishing opportunities in the country. After a long winter spent with fishing gear put away, many avid sport fishing fans are all too eager to once again take up the challenge of landing fish of all types, and they often head to the Outer Banks to do so. Spring and summer fishing in the Outer Banks appeals to fisherman from all over the country, and for good reason.

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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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Wild Horses of Corolla

Wild Horses CorollaIt’s June of 1561, and the fleet of Ángel de Villafañe is searching the coast of North Carolina for a suitable location to establish a colony when a hurricane strikes. Two of the ships flounder and sink to the depths.

In the panic on deck, horses break free. They are stronger swimmers than their human handlers and they make it to shore, finding solid footing on a narrow strip of sand and scrub grass on what is now the Currituck Banks.

This scenario is all speculation. Ángel de Villafañe was a Spanish explorer who was off the Outer Banks when a hurricane struck his fleet in 1561, and we know two of his ships did indeed sink. But there is no way to verify if there were horses on those ships. If so, there is no way of knowing if they survived or if our wild horses came ashore at an earlier or later date.

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Little Known Outer Banks Facts

It may seem as though the Outer Banks simply sprang into existence one day, yet this strip of sand actually has a long and fascinating history. In my continuing series of “Five things you may not know about the Outer Banks,” I bring you five more interesting facts.

Nags Head was one of the very first tourist destinations in the United States.
When Perquimons County plantation owner, Francis Nixon, began sending his family to Nags Head to avoid the summer heat and malaria found in the coastal plains of North Carolina, other families took note. Soon Nags Head was the summer destination of choice for the plantation class of eastern North Carolina. By the beginning of the Civil War, the Nags Head Hotel, providing 100 rooms and located at the foot of Jockey’s Ridge, was catering to the tourism trade.

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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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