Greetings from The Outer Banks on this Martin Luther King Holiday. It is a crisp and cool Monday morning here and many are enjoying a break from the grind that has returned to our lives this January.
1. It’s More Like A Home
When you leave home for vacation do you dread the hotel bed you may get? Do you want a kitchen so you can fix some meals? Do you search for a hotel with great amenities for your family?
A vacation rental will give you the comforts of home. Along with a television, sometimes you’ll get a DVD player, a BluRay player, or a streaming media device, such as Roku or Apple TV. Sometimes you’ll even get a pool table, Foosball table, theater rooms, private pools, hot tubs, etc.
While every lodging options will want you to enjoy your trip to the Outer Banks hotels, motels, and inns simply cannot give you the comforts of home like a vacation rental will.
2. Preparing Your Own Meals
By staying in a vacation rental you can take advantage of having a full kitchen. You can buy you own groceries and cook your own meals. Most vacation rentals also have a grill available.
One obvious advantage to this is how much money will be saved versus eating out. But this also can be an enjoyable experience for families that enjoy taking turns cooking.
3. Families Can Share The Cost
Vacation rentals are often mislabeled as more expensive, but if you like saving money sharing a vacation rental with other family members is a great way to cut costs. For instance, if you find a vacation rental for $2,000 for a week that might be too much a single family. But if you split that cost between two families, that’s only $1000 a week. When hotel rooms average a $125-$200 a night for one room you’re actually spending significantly less.
4. It’s Easier To Bring Your Dog
More vacationers are traveling with their dogs and sometimes hotels that allow pets are hard to find. While not all vacation rentals will allow pets, many do. Additional most hotels and vacation rentals will have additional fees and charges for allowing dogs, although if you stay with Outer Banks Blue dogs can stay at no additional fee.
A vacation rental will give your pet more room to run and play and you won’t have to worry about your pet barking and disturbing the neighbors during the night.
5. It Makes You Feel More Like A Local
Outer Banks Dog-Friendly Beaches and Sounds
Dogs love the beach, and in the Outer Banks you’ll find safe, wide-open stretches of land where your buddy can run to his heart’s content. Just be sure to adhere to the rules to ensure a fun and safe time. All municipalities require that pets wear a current rabies tag, so don’t leave home without it. Leashes are required on Corolla, Hatteras Island, Ocracoke, Southern Shores, Nags Head and Cape Hatteras National Seashore beaches at all times. The beach at Kitty Hawk is leash-free before 10 a.m. and after 6 p.m. Duck is a popular dog playground because it’s leash-free year round.
For a less crowded option, take your K-9 kid to the sound side of the Outer Banks. Roanoke, Croatan, Currituck, and Pamlico Sounds have gentle water and shallows that are fun for smaller dogs and breeds that love to play games of water catch. If your dog is shy or not well socialized, the public access between Avon and Salvo is rarely visited, giving them a quiet, safe place to explore without distraction.
All beaches require that you clean up after your pet and keep a watchful eye on their interactions with other visitors.
Beach Safety for Dogs
The sand can be hot enough to burn your dog’s paws during midday, so it’s best to visit the beach in the morning or late afternoon when the sand has cooled. Don’t forget to bring fresh water, a bowl, shade, and a towel — your buddy will be hot, thirsty, and wet after his romp.
If your dog is ready to burn off some energy, head to Nags Head Woods. The Roanoke Trail, the Town Trail, and any gravel roadway are dog-friendly as long as your pet is on a leash. Currituck Heritage Park and Fort Raleigh National Historic Park are both great dog walking and picnicking spots with plenty of things for both of you to explore.
For the canine with boundless energy, take a hike on the Duck Trail — a seven-mile path full of exciting wildlife smells. If you’ll be hiking on wooded trails, it’s a good idea to pick up a tick collar for your dog if he or she isn’t on monthly tick prevention.
Most restaurants with outdoor patios are dog-friendly as long as dogs are leashed and well behaved. In Kitty Hawk, dogs and their bipeds can visit BK Shuckers, Capt’n Franks, Jimmy’s Buffet, John’s Drive In, and Zen Pops for patio or sidewalk seating. American Pie in Kill Devil Hills welcomes pets on their patio, as do Aqua Restaurant in Duck and Bacchus Wine and Cheese in Corolla. Steamers Shellfish in Corolla is a great place to watch the sunset with your buddy.
Also in Southern Shores, Tropical Smoothies has sidewalk seating that’s perfect for a quick break. In Manteo, try Ortegaz Southwest Grill for delicious food on their beautiful patio. Nags Head has plenty of pet-friendly dining, including Surfin Spoon, Mulligans, Sooey’s BBQ and Sonic. You’ll likely find bowls of water for your dogs at these pup-friendly spots, but it’s a good idea to take your own just in case.
Shops and Services
The Outer Banks are truly paradise for dogs. There are even pet-friendly shops and bakeries where they can enjoy their own special vacation treats. Outer Barks, also known as “the dog store in Duck,” is a favorite stop for dog (and cat) treats, toys, beach toys, collars, leashes, and accessories. Pet parents will also find pet-themed gifts, art, and jewelry. In season, you won’t want to miss their famous Yappy Happy Hour where dogs get to party with doggie daiquiris, puppy pasta, and cake while enjoying baby pools and paw painting.
If you’ve forgotten a pet essential at home or just want to pick up a new beach toy for your friend, try Dog Nutz in Corolla, The Pet Gallery in Kill Devil Hills, or Puparazzi Pet Bow-tique in Manteo. Salty Paws Biscuits in Nags Head offers homemade biscuits and treats for dogs — without by-products, salt, or anything artificial.
Need a vet while you’re vacationing? No problem. The Animal Hospital in Nags Head, Coastal Animal Hospital in Kitty Hawk and Martins Point Veterinary Hospital in Southern Shores all see furry visitors who need medical attention.
The Outer Banks is one of the most enjoyable, pet-friendly destinations on the coast. Your baby can enjoy new adventures, open stretches of beach, interesting hikes and al fresco dining with the family. Grab your tennis ball and we’ll see you on the sand.
This week’s Memory Monday photo submission comes to us from Trisha Dunnavant of Victoria, Virginia who stayed with Outer Banks Blue in the property “D Sea 9” in Nags Head.
It has been hot, hot, hot lately on the Outer Banks, but you can tell from Trisha’s photo memories of her family’s visit that they had a great time at the beach!
Thanks Trisha….it looks like your family had a great time with Outer Banks Blue! We look forward to serving you again soon. All the best from the beach!
By Tim Cafferty, President, Outer Banks Blue Realty Services
Renee shares with us a photo of Claude and Wyatt who are Renee’s four legged family members who also enjoyed a stay with Blue at the beach!
This is a good time to remind you that your dogs stay free with Outer Banks Blue! That’s right there are no extra charges for pets on our select properties that allow dogs. Another differentiator for guests that stay with Outer Banks Blue!
Thanks Renee, we are glad that you Wyatt and Claude had a great stay on the OBX with Blue!
We look forward to serving you and your pets soon!
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
|The main attraction|
|Herd heading North|
|A Day at the Beach Brings a Smile to Almost Everyone|
|Sometimes you just need a cool place to take a nap|
The northern beach area of the Outer Banks is accessible to anyone with an appropriate vehicle. You can even catch a glimpse of the Corolla Wild Horses. Be aware however that you may not approach these magnificent animals or feed them. Thanks Loreal for sharing your great photos. We look forward to serving you soon at Outer Banks Blue Realty.All the best from the beach!By Tim Cafferty, President, Outer Banks Blue Realty Services