Top 6 Tips For a Beach Day with a Baby

A day at the beach with a baby

Beach days before having a baby meant complete relaxation. Entire beach vacations were spent catching up on some reading while kicked back in a beach chair without a worry in the world and maybe even a drink in your hand to top it off. With a new little one in tow, planning a vacation in general is usually a much different story. It may not be quite as carefree as prior vacations, but it doesn’t have to be any less fun! Here are some tips on how to have an awesome beach day with your baby! READ MORE

Go Where the Locals Go: 5 Favorite Spots of Outer Banks Residents

Experiencing the wonder of the Wright Brothers National Memorial. Taking the kids to Pirate Adventures. Climbing the lighthouse steps for a bird’s eye view of the area. All these are part of the fun of the Outer Banks. Vacation tips frequently list these as popular things to do … and they are. Away from the tourism of this region, however, are a few little gems the locals truly cherish. If you want to live like a native in the Outer Banks, try these five local favorites during your next visit.

#1 – Corolla and Carova Beach

With the exception of a few million-dollar mansions and the homes of residents, the town of Corolla is the last glimpse of civilization before reaching Carova Beach. Truly a spot for locals, this area has unspoiled dunes, pristine beaches, wild Spanish mustangs roaming free and, well, that’s about all.No paved roads. No stores. No trash pickup. No gas stations. Just nature and locals.It’s a little slice of paradise that offers a view rarely seen by most and absolutely worth the trip. If you aren’t driving a four-wheel-drive vehicle during your stay, you’ll want to stop in Corolla and rent an ATV or two. Most two-wheel cars get stuck in the sand. Some goodhearted natives usually stop and pull visitors out, but this is not the way you want to spend your day.

#2 – Daredevils Baseball

While vacationing at the beach is a big draw for U.S. families, baseball is absolutely America’s favorite pastime. Here’s a great Outer Banks vacation tip: combine the two!The Outer Banks Daredevils play every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights at 7:05 p.m. (during season). In addition to a fabulous game, you and the family can also enjoy on-field kids’ games and exceptional concessions from popular restaurants such as Mulligan’s Raw Bar & Grill. Every game raises awareness and funds for local charities.

#3 – The Salt Box Café (and other local restaurants)

Nothing against the national food chains, but when you’re in the Outer Banks, there are so many exceptional local restaurants that it’s a shame not to try as many as possible. The Salt Box Café is a great example.Owned by classically trained chef Randolph Sprinkles, this charming cottage-style restaurant features local seafood, meat and other ingredients. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you’ll find five-star cuisine at very affordable prices for the adults and a fun menu for the kids.The Salt Box Café is just one of many local restaurants that do the Outer Banks proud. The Blue Point, Ocean Boulevard, High Cotton Barbecue, Awful Arthur’s Oyster Bar, The Colington Café (hailed by Southern Living magazine), Outer Banks Brewing Station and too many others to name all offer a delicious way to explore the region.

#4 – Festivals

Street fairs and festivals are as much fun for locals as they are for visitors. Plus these events offer a wonderful way to discover plants, people and food you might not otherwise have seen.Here’s a vacation tip for you: plan your stay around one of the fun festivals that happen practically year round.Just a few of the most popular events include the Food and Wine Festival (March), Outer Banks Beach Music Festival (May), Faire Days Festival (May – September), Ocrafolk Festival (June), Rogallo Kite Festival (June), Under the Oaks Art Festival (June), Watermelon Festival (August), Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival (September), Duck Jazz Festival (October) and Seafood Festival (October).

#5 – National Parks

In addition to national parks, the Outer Banks also has a national seashore at Cape Hatteras. According to the National Parks Service, “Cape Hatteras National Seashore is a major resting and feeding grounds for migratory birds.” Here you’ll find lots to do including surf-fishing, kiteboarding, surfing, swimming, windsurfing, crabbing, shell-collecting, sightseeing and more. There’s also Jockey’s Ridge State Park with some of the tallest sand dunes on the Atlantic coast. Sandboarding, kiteboarding, hang gliding and picnicking are popular pastimes for local families and visitors. What else do locals love? The beaches! An early morning jog, a leisurely breakfast overlooking the shore, an afternoon stroll and fishing/shrimping for your dinner… it’s a lifestyle everyone should experience. Even if you are only a temporary visitor who comes once a year, we invite you to enjoy everything we cherish about this area.

Memory Monday 5/12/14

Guard Dog!We here at Memory Monday see a lot of pet pictures.   Many times called “man’s best friend” we can’t help but smile at most of the photos we get as we see fido enjoying an Outer Banks vacation.   With that said we couldn’t help but say “Awwwww” when we saw this weeks Memory Monday photo submission.

Don’t you dare come any closer!

This week’s photo memory submission comes to us from Gail Hartsoe of Rockville, Virginia who stayed with Outer Banks Blue last September in the property “Kestrel’s Perch” in Duck.This photo is of Colton and Bernardus.    As Gail put it “Our family dog is guarding the youngest member of the family as he takes a rest.”Thanks Gail for sharing your photo with us.All the best from the beach!By Tim Cafferty, President, Outer Banks Blue Realty Services

Bridge is OUT!

Bridge is OUT!

We’ve all seen the signs in cartoons and comedies where signs go up saying “Bridge Out Ahead,” but in the case of the Alligator River Bridge on Rt. 64 on the way to the Outer Banks in Dare County it is no laughing matter for the next couple of weeks.

This past Tuesday, April 2nd the bridge that links the mainland to Dare County via U.S. Rt. 64 closed for a period of at least two weeks while the center draw on the bridge is repaired.  The bridge is scheduled to be re-opened at 12:01 PM on Sunday, April 14th.

View of bridge from Bridge’s Pilot House

Alternate routes from the west to the Outer Banks include Rt. 17 through Elizabeth City to Rt. 158 which will take traffic to the north of the bridge.   Another alternate route to the Outer Banks is to turn on to Rt. 94 South in Columbia, NC to Rt. 264 towards Manteo.  The southern alternate route will add approximately 90 miles to the trip to the Outer Banks.

The Center draw of the Alligator River Bridge

The bridge, originally built in 1960 is a two-laned center pivot draw bridge that sees heavy water traffic as it is part of the Intercoastal Waterway.  The bridge opens an average of 500 times in a one month period to allow boats to pass safely North and South.   During the construction process the draw of the bridge will remain in the open position to allow boats to pass safely.

The project is an engineer’s dream.  The work requires the center draw to be raised by 6 inches to allow crews to remove the center pivot, replace it and then put the draw back as it was.  The process of repair of the bridge sounds simple, but it is a highly orchestrated and complex process.  Here are the steps of the project:
-Swing bridge to open position.
-Jack the bridge up and and support it on both ends
-Pull the pivot out of the center.
-Replace the pivot.
-Replace all balance wheels on the pivot area.
-Replace gears and shafts.
-Lower the bridge onto the new pivot and balance wheels.
-Close the bridge.

Center pivot of draw bridge

Due to the tremendous number of openings each year the gears, and most mechanical components of the bridge are worn.  The purpose of this project is to perform rehabilitation work on the components in hopes of preventing future closures of the bridge.

For updates go to this link to the Department of Transportation site that has been established for this project.

The work on this project is being done by PCL Construction of Tampa, Florida at a cost of $498,500.  There is a penalty of $300 per hour for each hour past noon on April 14th that the project is due to be completed by and the bridge re-opened.  At the same time there is a $300 bonus per hour for any time that the bridge is opened before the hard deadline of noon, April 14th.

Keep in mind while the U.S. Rt. 64 access to the Outer Banks will be hampered by this project the majority of traffic that comes to the Outer Banks arrives via U.S. Rt. 158 and across the Wright Memorial Bridge in Kitty Hawk.  There is no affect expected on the Rt. 158 entry to the Outer Banks by this project.

All the best from the beach!
By Tim Cafferty, President, Outer Banks Blue Realty Services

Memory Monday 1/14/13Like my shades?This week’s Memory Monday photo submission comes to us from Heather Eddy of King George, Virginia who stayed with Outer Banks Blue last August in the property “Tranquility Base” in South Nags Head.We simply love this picture of her then 5 month old son Mason.

“What are you lookin’ at?”

Heather tells us that “this is Mason’s first beach vacation picture.   This photo captured his first trip to the Outer Banks.  He loved the beach and didn’t mind the water!  Thanks for having us 🙂 “Thanks to you Heather.   We will get other pictures this year, but we don’t think we will see any cuter ones!All the best from the beach!