Greetings from a warm and wonderful Outer Banks . We hope you are sitting down when we tell you that this weekend we had temperatures in the 70’s both days, and indeed we are expecting another day in the 70 degree range on this Memory Monday. This Monday we are calling our post Winter time – Family Time.
While you’re in a beachy winter wonderland for the holidays with your loved ones and away from the monotony of home, here are some annual activities for the whole family to enjoy alongside the locals:
Annual Holiday Tour of Homes
December 1 @ 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm – $20 admission
Enjoy a holiday home tour of historic homes, inns and more on Roanoke Island in Manteo. Light refreshments and check-in are at The Outer Banks Distillery where the owners offer afternoon tastings for tour goers and a tour of the distillery. Your group will receive a brochure with a map of the tour route to help you navigate as you walk or bike through this historic area of Manteo. This tour marks the beginning of a day filled with holiday festivities, making it a full-day of fun-filled shopping, dining, and sightseeing.
Winter Lights at Elizabethan Gardens
November 24 – January 19, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm – Adults $11, Youth (ages 6-17) $9, Child (5 and under) $6.
The Outer Banks offer a variety of Christmas activities throughout the month of December. Events range from nostalgic to whimsical, and are fun for the whole family. One of the best parts of spending Christmas in the Outer Banks is the ability to become a temporary local. Join in the holiday fun at traditional seaside celebrations, and you’ll truly feel that you’re part of the community.
Ready to head for the islands at Christmas? Here are some annual favorite holiday events the locals love:
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Holiday Climb
The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse in the United States. Climbing the lighthouse when it’s open has become a rite of passage for Outer Banks guests. This year the lighthouse will be open for a self-guided winter climb from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, December 9. The lighthouse has 268 steps that span the 208 feet from foundation to light, but the panoramic views from the top of the lighthouse are unforgettable and well worth the effort. The climb is free, but climbers must be at least 42 inches tall, able to climb all steps on their own, and must be 16 or older or accompanied by an adult.
Make an Elizabethan Ornament
Stop over at the Roanoke Island Festival Park any Friday in December at 11 a.m. and learn to make a 16th century Elizabethan-style Christmas ornament. Roanoke Island settlers in period costume will help kids (and adults) of all ages make a lovely Christmas keepsake. This family-friendly activity is included in the price of park admission.
Manteo Christmas Tree Lighting
Take part in a long-standing family tradition as Manteo residents and visitors get together on the first Friday night in December for the Lighting of the Town Tree. This event takes place downtown on the Manteo Waterfront on Queen Elizabeth Street in front of the courthouse. The evening is festive and convivial, and the lighting is topped off with traditional Christmas carols and free hot chocolate for everyone.
Dare County Annual Holiday Small Works Show
From December 1 through January 10, the Dare County Arts Council hosts the Annual Holiday Small Works Show at the DCAC Gallery in downtown Manteo. If you’re looking for the perfect gift for the art lover in your life, or for yourself, this event offers small original works of art created by local Outer Banks artists.
Winter Lights at Elizabeth Gardens
Please forgive me as today we are putting a twist on Memory Monday. Today I am paying tribute to a man who helped shape my life and has provided me many great memories.
This week’s Memory Monday Photo submission comes to us from Julie Ann Morris who stayed with us at Outer Banks Blue in the Duck vacation rental property “Am-Di-Lar.” Today she shares with us pictures from her family vacation in the summer of 2014.
As we start this first full week of 2015 it is time to resolve to spend more time with our families and enjoy ourselves more this year! What better place to do it than the Outer Banks as these photos remind us.
Thanks Julie Ann. We look forward to serving you and your family on your 2015 vacation plans!
All the best from the beach!
By Tim Cafferty, President, Outer Banks Blue Realty Services
Day 1: December 14
Welcome to the Outer Banks! Settle into your rental house in the afternoon, where you will find all of the comforts of home and much more. Treat yourself to a mouthwatering dinner at one of the many local seafood establishments, such as The Dunes Restaurant in Nags Head or The Blue Point Bar and Grill in Duck. From shellfish bars to traditional North Carolina barbecue, the Outer Banks offer dining experiences to satisfy every taste.
Day 2: December 15
See the wild horses of Corolla. The island of Corolla is home to one of the few remaining herds of wild horses on the East Coast. Seeing the beautiful Spanish mustangs in the wild is an experience you will not want to miss. Book a tour through one of several local companies and enjoy a ride across the beaches, sand dunes and forested areas in search of these majestic Outer Banks residents. Most companies guarantee a sighting, and you will learn about the history of the horses as well as current efforts to protect them.
Day 3: December 16
Take a boat tour. Explore the waterways of the Outer Banks with one of the many first-class boat rental experiences. Choose from a variety of options, including private cruises, boat tours, and even a Pirate Adventure. If you prefer a more individualized experience, consider renting a kayak or sailboat for your day on the water. You can also rent a skiff or charter boat to explore the coastal waters on your own. The Outer Banks offer excellent fishing for those with a fishing license, so be sure to bring your rods and reels if you enjoy catching your own seafood.
Day 4: December 17
Attend the annual First Flight Celebration. Celebrate the Wright Brothers’ first flight in Kill Devil Hills on the exact site where modern aviation originated. Reflect and remember with other aviation aficionados in this annual celebration, where you will hear an engaging account of Orville and Wilbur Wright’s historic accomplishment. Stick around until dusk to enjoy the First in Flight Holiday Lights featuring a 20-foot Christmas tree in Aviation Park.
Day 5: December 18
Visit the North Carolina Aquarium. The North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island is home to many of the species native to this area as well as the largest shark collection you will find in North Carolina. Learn about sea turtle rescues, wetlands conservation and coastal freshwater animals as you observe the living treasures of the Outer Banks. Enjoy watching animal feedings and live dives as well as taking part in animal encounters and aquatic-themed games. The aquarium supports conservation efforts for native animals and also actively participates in research devoted to supporting biodiversity in the coastal waterways.
Day 6: December 19
Visit the five lighthouses of the Outer Banks. Lighthouse lovers will enjoy visiting each of the five lighthouses scattered throughout the Outer Banks: Currituck Beach Lighthouse in Corolla, Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse in Manteo, Bodie Island Lighthouse just south of Nags Head, Cape Hatteras Lighthouse on Hatteras Island, and the Ocracoke Island Lighthouse on Ocracoke Island. Enjoy Christmas lights at the Currituck Beach Lighthouse and the Christmas ambience of Hatteras village as you take in the sight of these well-known coastal landmarks.
Day 7: December 20
Compete in the Festivus Road Race and Jingle Jog. Engage in some friendly competition and fun for the whole family with the annual Festivus Road Race. Serious runners will enjoy participating in the 10K or 5K through the town of Southern Shores, while young runners can join in the Little Elf ¼-mile race or the 1-mile Jingle Jog. Santa will make an appearance on race day as well, so be sure to bring your camera for some special photos.
Day 8: December 21
Visit the Island Gallery and Christmas Shop. Celebrate the first day of winter with a visit to the Island Gallery and Christmas Shop in Manteo. Browse through 12,000 square feet of Christmas wonder and fine art in five connected buildings. Pick out some last-minute gifts from the toy or jewelry sections or purchase some special decorations and ornaments to make your vacation home feel more festive. The Christmas Shop has been a winter wonderland destination since 1967, and it offers a fabulous Christmas shopping experience for all ages.
Day 9: December 22
Finish your Christmas shopping. Plan a shopping day to fill those Christmas stockings and discover some must-have treasures for yourself. Visit Hatteras Island’s fabulous local shops where you will find everything from souvenirs and T-shirts to jewelry, clothing and artwork. If you are looking for more traditional shopping, the Tanger Outlets in Nags Head offer more than 30 stores where you will find something for everyone on your Christmas list.
Day 10: December 23
Celebrate With Holiday Activities For The Whole Family
The Outer Banks is known for its miles of beautiful ocean scenery, which makes taking a drive on Highway 12 the perfect way to explore the area. It’s not Route 66 … it’s better! Route 12 links the peninsulas and islands of the northern Outer Banks. A National Scenic Byway, Route 12 will take you to (or near) the Buxton Woods Coastal Reserve, Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, and Bodie Island Lighthouse, and point you in the direction of Corolla. There is plenty to see and do, specifically during the holidays when special events and seasonal festivals abound.
Twinkling Lights, Decorations And Crab Pots
|Another Beautiful Outer Banks Sunrise
Regardless of when the picture was taken we love the picture and it reminds us of yet another reason why we love to call the Outer Banks “Home.”
Thanks Stacey for your photo memories and we look forward to serving you and your family again soon!
All the best from the beach!