Want to know the best places to eat? Ask the natives. That’s true wherever you go. And it’s especially true in the NC Outer Banks, with their rich tradition of coastal Southern cuisine.
If you’re going on vacation, why not eat where the locals eat? You can find chain restaurants everywhere you go, but for these 6 “mom and pop” restaurants, you won’t find their delicious recipes or one-of-a-kind atmospheres anywhere other than the Outer Banks.
Enjoy a Unique Natural Environment
Natural beauty is undoubtedly one of the biggest draws of the Outer Banks. If you’re a nature lover, rent a kayak and spend the day taking in quiet water trails that wind through the islands, along the shore, through maritime forests, salt marsh canals, and estuaries. Floating in the bay for sunset is an unforgettable experience, as is paddling through a sound as birds and river otters play around you. Of course, no Outer Banks tourism guide would be complete without a mention of the area’s pristine wildlife refuges. Visit Nags Head Woods Ecological Preserve,
Currituck National Wildlife Refuge
A Girl Time Escape to the Outer Banks
Whether it’s you and your daughters, multiple generations, or multiple families sharing a vacation property for the week, the Outer Banks is the perfect spot for the girls to relax and create memories together. Here are a few ideas to help you plan your special “girls-only” time.=&0=&=&1=&
|Sunset in Penny’s Hill|
One of the favorite things for folks to do is to head north of Corolla in the 4 wheel drive territory of the Outer Banks. This is the area of the beach with no paved roads, but with lots of adventures. Beautiful wide beaches await visitors and this is the home of the Corolla Wild Horses.
|Wild Horses roaming in Carova|
We recommend a day trip to Carova when you come to the Outer Banks. There are several touring companies that can take you to this area with their comfortable vehicles and expert guides. Corolla Outback Adventures is one of the best.Thanks again to Bobbie for passing along her photo memories. We look forward to serving you again soon.All the best from the beach!By Tim Cafferty, President, Outer Banks Blue Realty Services
|Mulligan’s Fish Tacos|
When a trip to the coast is on your calendar, visions of seafood and other local fare always fill your mind. The Outer Banks of NC boasts some of the longest-standing and exceptional restaurants from down-home bakeries to seafood shacks and five-star dining that will keep you coming back morning, noon and night.
Tullios Bakery & Pastries – “Hometown” describes this breakfast hotspot that the locals flock to. Located on Duck Road in the town of Duck, you can grab melt-in-your-mouth cinnamon buns, fresh-fruit turnovers, croissants, muffins, apple harvest rings, assorted scones, donuts and other yummy delights that are made fresh daily. Coffee House on Roanoke Island – The Coffee House is simply charming, located in a converted house. You can enjoy your breakfast indoors or out on the expansive porch. Choose from fresh-baked pastries, breads and bagels or cereals. There are also smoothies, specialty coffees, lattes, frappes and loose teas. You’ll find them on Sir Walter Raleigh St. in Manteo.
Dune Burger – Located in Nags Head, across from the ocean, this local lunch shack gives you a quick place for good food fast. As the name suggests, you get burgers as well as hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, fries and other popular favorites. Waveriders Coffee & Deli – On the Bypass in Nags Head, Waveriders features Boar’s Head deli meat piled high on mouthwatering sandwiches. The casual atmosphere and affordable prices make it a great place to grab a quick bite with the family to eat there or take to the beach.
Sugar Creek Seafood – Gorgeous scenery, local flair and scrumptious seafood are what you’ll find here. From steam pots to their award-winning shrimp and grits, you’ll discover several choices in both the “surf” and “turf” categories.
Mulligan’s Raw Bar & Grille
10 Tips for Enjoying Your Vacation Without Gaining 10 Pounds
#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.