After counting down the months, weeks, and days to vacation, the day has finally arrived! Your much earned and eagerly anticipated vacation officially begins. You're more than likely checking in on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, as that's generally when most rental turnovers occur.
Since your check-in day is someone else's check-out day, there's a lot happening behind the scenes. Housekeepers, maintenance technicians, pool and spa cleaners, linen drivers, and so many other crews are hard at work. They're "resetting" rentals to prepare for the next week of lucky vacationers AKA you!
During this period of time when the rentals are being turned over, vacationers are eagerly arriving on the beach.
We love our crews who make the magic happen behind the scenes, and as such, it's best to give them their time and space to do just that. However, we do understand the anticipation of check-in.
With that being said, we've compiled a list of the best things to do while waiting for check-in.
- Go to the beach!
- Refuel yourself & fill your bellies.
- Ice cream:
- Get your adrenaline pumping.
- Secure rentals and reservations.
- Family portraits.
- Go beyond the beach & take a hike.
- Shop 'til ya drop.
- Drop a line.
- Learn something new.
- Take to the skies.
Is this one too obvious? Maybe but it's seriously the #1 thing to do. After a long drive, you can get out, stretch your legs, refresh yourself with a dip in the ocean, get the kids' energy out, and soak up the best part of vacation. Besides, time flies when you're on the beach, so it'll be check-in time before you even know it.
Whether that's with food at a local restaurant, coffee from a beachside cafe, ice cream from one of our many sweet spots, or a locally brewed beer from one of the OBX's very own breweries.
Local restaurants open on turn days that we recommend include: TRIO (conveniently located on the bypass, away from Duck Rd traffic), Mahi Mahi's (great dinner and desserts), Black Pelican (open for lunch, located semi-oceanfront on the beach road), The Village Table & Tavern (open for dinner on the weekend, located waterfront with live music in Duck beyond the traffic), Barefoot Bernies (large menu means there is something for absolutely everyone).
Ashley's Espresso Parlour garners a lot of local love, you'll want to check this one out! Outer Bean Cafe is so delicious and popular that they opened a second location. In addition to their Kitty Hawk digs, they also have a semi-waterfront location in Duck.
Right behind our office, just at the junction of HWY 12 and 158 is the newest ice cream shop: BLVD. Grab a treat for the road or to enjoy across the street at Kitty Hawk Pier.
Outer Banks Brewing Station is a long standing favorite for local brews. Weeping Radish is located just over the bridge, and Swells'a Brewing is in Nags Head.
Nothing will kill the time faster than a little action & adventure. Go parasailing, tubing, or jet skiing with one of the many rental companies on the OBX. We recommend Nor'Banks Sailing & Watersports in Duck.
Challenge the family to an unforgettable obstacle at one of the many local ropes courses. We recommend First Flight Adventure Park, they have amazing views from their location.
Planning on renting bikes or a paddle board for the week? Take this time to pick them up or, if you haven't already, schedule delivery. Been dying to get into that uber popular restaurant this time around? Call your reservations in ASAP. Restaurants are filling up fast so you'll thank yourself for booking your dinner for later in the week in advanced.
Waiting for check-in is the perfect time to round up the family for photos. There's no excuse for anyone to get out of it ;) Remember, when you stay with Southern Shores Realty, you get a free portrait sitting with a professional photographer.
If you're looking to stretch your legs and exert some energy, but aren't quite ready to bust out all the beach gear. Stay in the shade of our gorgeous maritime forests and go for a walk. While we know the beach is the main attraction, the nature trails are truly gorgeous and well worth the hike.
Get your souvenirs and t-shirts right when you get into town. Downtown Duck is especially great for shopping, as there are so many shops, restaurants and cafes tucked into walkable spaces.
If you're a brave soul, this is also a great time to knock out grocery shopping (just bare in mind you'll want to hold off on frozen/cold items). Grab your essentials, non-perishable and non-food items. We say "if you're a brave soul" because the grocery stores can be pretty crowded on turn over days. But hey, if you're going to be waiting for check-in anyhow, might as well be productive about it, right? (PS: We recommend only sending 1 or 2 members of your party into the store. Perhaps the others, who may be waiting in the car, could use this time to knock out tip #4 of calling in dinner reservations ;) )
Our local fishing piers have plenty to offer! They have bait shops, snack bars, restrooms, and some even have live music and fishing classes! Don't want to do any extra driving to get the piers? That's okay! There are plenty of great fish to be caught from the shore, too!
Always wanted to take surf lessons? How about visit historical markers, like the Wright Brothers Memorial? Well, this is the perfect excuse! Learn how to shred while others are stuck in traffic instead ;).
Fly a kite on Jockey's Ridge, try hang gliding with Kitty Hawk Kites, or take an aerial tour of the sand bar. We have a fun list of ways you can get a bird's eye view of the OBX.
Hopefully some of these suggestions come in handy for your next check-in day. It's well worth the wait ;)