5 Bridges MUCH SCARIER to Drive Than The OBX Bonner Bridge

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Over the past few months, posts have been circulating the interwebs about the “most scenic” as well as “most terrifying” bridges to drive in the United States.  One of which, the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge (a.k.a. Oregon Inlet Bridge), was posted in a scenic article and I was shocked to see all the people commenting that they were scared speechless driving over the beautiful, landscape-sweeping structure.  I personally find it one of the most picturesque bits of driving in the country, so I was determined to start a “shock and awe” campaign to enlighten the good people of Earth (namely those that follow our OBX blog) about truly terrifying feats of human engineering that put any fear you may have, into large, enormous perspective.

 

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The Local Makers of Kill Devil Rum

 

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Let us take you back in time to the early 1700s, a time when pirates sailed the open seas.  One popular pirate, named Blackbeard, terrorized many ships on the Atlantic Ocean.   Most of the ships he stole from carried grain, molasses, and kegs of rum.   Blackbeard loved his favorite hideaway on Ocracoke Island on the Outer Banks.  This is where he had his get-togethers of bonfires and plenty of rum drinking.  With much rant, the poor locals were fed up with Blackbeard’s plundering so they sought help from Governor Spotswood of Virginia.  The governor sent Lieutenant Robert Maynard to Ocracoke to hunt Blackbeard down.  He was successful at capturing and killing Blackbeard, and Blackbeard’s life came to an end by a beheading.  It was hung on the bow of Lieutenant Maynard’s ship as they set sail back home.

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Blackbeard had a huge influence on this land!  Thanks to him, there is no shortage of pirate merchandise in retail shops on the Outer Banks.  OBX Distilling was one business that fed off the idea of pirates and rum.  Back in the pirate days rum was called Kill Devil in Barbados.  The rum was so strong that it would “kill the devil inside you”.   Four local guys: Adam Ball, Kelly Bray, Matt Newsome, and Scott Smith had the idea of brewing their own product called Kill Devil Rum.   They all had experience either working in a brewery or bar tending.   With much research on a location they finally decided on a historic brick building in downtown Manteo on Budleigh Street.  Each member had major parts in the renovation of the building, installing the equipment, searching for the finest ingredients, and making the rum.

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Outer Banks Distilling offers tours for guests 21 years and older for a small fee of $5.00.  At the end of the tour you get to enjoy a sample tasting of their rum and a locally-made rum ball, made with the very same rum.  As of now they have clear rum but in the near future they plan on making other types.  You can buy Kill Devil Rum in the local ABC Stores from Corolla to Buxton and even Grandy.   If you need a quick fix then you can also try the rum in many of the restaurants here.  The next shipment of Kill Devil Rum should hit the ABC shelves right after Memorial Day.  Here is a sneak peak video of OBX Distilling!  If you want to check out the distillery and meet the owners for a tour then check out their website www.outerbanksdistilling.com for details.

Outer Banks Beach Report | May 13, 2015

What a beautiful week we’ve been having on the Outer Banks…. the sun’s been out, only scattered rain, and plenty of warm days to kick back at the beach!  Today’s shoot is at the Kitty Hawk Pier, just a stone’s throw away from the Southern Shores Realty office.

The weather forecast is looking fantastic and the fish are biting.  What more could you ask for?  The surf to pick up, perhaps?  Well, Crystal breaks that down as well.  Thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to share with your friends!  If you are in need for a good OBX vacation fix, start searching our wide selection of homes that you can book online or right over the phone @ (800)-334-1000.   See you all next time!

June 2015 OBX Events & Activities

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June is one of my FAVORITE months on the Outer Banks!  The summer state of mind is in full swing and there are many events and activities going on up and down the beach.  The “don’t miss” event of the month is definitely Dare Day, taking place on Saturday, June 6 in downtown Manteo.  There are dozens of vendors, dozens of photo-ops, and a really great time for all ages.  Check out our list for everything else fun taking place in June on the Outer Banks!

first-friday-roanoke-islandFirst Fridays in Manteo

April – December l Manteo Waterfront l Manteo, NC
Manteo truly comes alive every first Friday of the month from April to December!  Stores are open late, restaurants beckon you with exciting food, and there’s a bevy of activity taking place outside including various small concerts, farmers markets, and crafter/artisan displays.

the-lost-colony-obxThe Lost Colony

May 29 – Aug. 22 l Waterside Theatre Manteo, NC
There’s a lot more to the Outer Banks than just beautiful beaches.  Bring the whole family out to the longest-running outdoor drama in America: The Lost Colony!  A true story about the Roanoke Colony and their mysterious disappearance.  A must-see for any visitor!

faire-daysFaire Days Festival

June 3 – Aug. 26 l Scarborough Faire l Duck, NC
When shopping at Scarborough Faire in Duck, NC this year, make sure to bring the kids with you!  On Wednesdays this summer, Faire Days are full of music performances, face painting, crafts, games, prizes, and more!

national-running-dayNational Running Day 5K

June 3 l The Marketplace l Southern Shores, NC
Sponsored by the Town of Southern Shores, join-in with runners from around the country on this annual celebration!  This 5K is taking place at the Marketplace shopping plaza, has a field of 250, and registration is $12.  More information can be found on the event website.

windmill-point-art-fairWindmill Point Art Fair

June 4 l Outer Banks Event Site | Nags Head, NC
Get some fresh air, walk about at the new Outer Banks Event Site, and enjoy shopping the wares of local artisans!  This is the 3rd annual event and takes place the first Thursday of June, July, and August.  Over 40 artists and crafters will be present from all over the region.  The fair is open from 10am to 6pm.

movies-on-the-soundMovies on the Sound

June 5, 12, 17, & 26 l Location Varies
Enjoy great company, the great outdoors, and a great flick to benefit the Outer Banks Children at Play Museum.  Movies at the Duck Town Green: June 5 – Frozen, June 12 – Back to the Future 2, and June 19 – Despicable Me 2.  Movies at the C.O.A. Ballfield in Manteo: June 26 – The Lego Movie.  Click here for a summer-long list of showings.

dare-day-festivalDare Day Festival

June 6 l Waterfront Manteo l Manteo, NC
As mentioned above, this is the “can’t miss” event of June.  Originating in 1976 (as a 2-day festival) Dare Day has been one of the biggest events on the Outer Banks all year long.  Over 100 vendors varying from food, arts, crafts, music, and more! There is a large area specifically for kids’ activities and games as well.  Bring the whole family and the camera.  Starts at 10am!

kitty-hawk-kites-obx-fun_1Rogallo Kite Festival

June 5 – 7 l Jockey’s Ridge l Nags Head, NC
A free annual event celebrating Francis Rogallo and his invention of the flexible wing.  Thanks to his wit and drive the sport of hang gliding was created and transitioned into the many types of kites flown today.  Join in on the fun to see larger-than-life kites flying on the dunes and even learn how to build your own kites!

storm-the-beach-obx-2015-logoStorm The Beach

June 14 l Jennette’s Pier l Nags Head, NC
Run, Crawl, Jump, Carry, Endure!  Storm the beach is one of the most demanding races on the Outer Banks.  Forget the pavement as you stomp, crawl, and battle your way through the merciless course of beach.  Your medal from here will be one to proudly display!

free-outer-banks-yoga-town-of-duck_1Free Yoga in Duck

June 16 – Sep. 8 l Town Green Duck, NC
Like Yoga?  Like free things?  Get on out to the town green every Tuesday morning at 7:30 from June 16 through September 8 for a free class!  Participants are asked to bring their own mat/towel and water.

duck-childrens-interactive-theater-obxChildren’s Interactive Theater

June 23 – Aug. 11 l Town Green Duck, NC
Here’s another great activity in the town of Duck, NC… educational and fun theater shows for the kids every Tuesday morning at 9:45am.  Presented by The NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island, The Lost Colony, and Roanoke Island Festival Park, these shows are designed to get everyone involved as you’re entertained and educated on various topics.  This is another free event and seating is limited so make sure to get there on time!  Duck, NC also offers morning storytelling every Thursday From July 9 – Aug. 13 at 10am on the amphitheater stage.

OBX Beach Report – May 5, 2015

It’s a warm, sunny Cinco de Mayo and we’re reporting from the Lillian Street beach access in Kitty Hawk, NC.  Last week’s Nor’ Easter blew surf up and took out a small patch of the beach road just south of our shoot, but NCDOT will have it up and running in no time!

The tourism season is starting up, and for good reason!  The waves are pumping, the sun is shining, and the fish are biting!  Last weekend was full of activities both surf wise and on the fishing side.  Local piers are reporting runs of Bluefish and plenty of Sea Mullet.  The surf is still in the upper 50’s but there should be a little choppy swell by week’s end.

Mid-Currituck Bridge Finally Dies, High Speed Hovercrafts on the Way

outer-banks-hovercraft-ferry-april-fools-jokeIt is a very exciting time for Outer Banks visitors and residents alike.  Yesterday, Tom Jenkins, a spokesperson for the North Carolina Department of Coastal Transportation (NCDOCT) announced a decision has finally been made regarding the much needed alternate route to the northern Outer Banks.  Beginning June 6, 2015, the very first high-speed car-carrying hovercraft ferry service will begin for the Outer Banks.

The decision comes after years of debate and speculation over a potential 7 mile bridge connecting mainland and coastal Currituck county.  Jenkins mentioned several key elements helped the board arrive at their decision.  “The main concern was cost.”  He stated.  “We were able to negotiate a rate with the craft manufacturer so that we could build a fleet sized to meet 150% of the anticipated demand for 75% of the proposed bridge budget…  this will allow us spare units for emergency runs and overflow while keeping the toll rates lower.”

hovercraft-mapJenkins also cites that compared to traditional ferries, hovercrafts are a bullet-proof solution for the shallow waters and shifting sandbars in the Currituck Sound.  “Since hovercrafts do not displace water, channel depths are a non-issue.  Our high-speed ferries can stay on a fuel and time efficient route without worrying about getting stuck when running aground.”

How much time will the new hovercrafts cut?  The hovercrafts are powered by twin turbo-prop engines that promise a 12 minute voyage after all vehicles have boarded.  Disembarkation will be equally as expedited.  Plans include a three acre, paved landing zone where vehicles will be offloaded immediately after the hovercrafts come to a complete stop. The vessels will be able to hold a maximum of 35 passenger cars and will include an air conditioned lounge/gift shop.  Toll prices are not yet released but are expected to be below $20 for a two axle vehicle.

Speeding up access to the northern Outer Banks is only one of the potential benefits of this new deal.  Pending public release of the state’s contract terms, the technology could be deemed affordable enough for other area businesses to take advantage of hover technology.  Those currently topping the list in interest are… golf courses.

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According to a recent exit survey conducted by the Coastal Carolina Golf Federation, 74% of golfers surveyed in area courses indicated they’d prefer driving over water hazards if they could.  “Hovercarts” are not only green and fairway friendly, they would also provide excellent maneuverability over most bodies of water and are capable of speeds much higher than traditional carts.  This could increase rate-of-play by 30% and turn into more revenue per day for local courses.

Many more details are anticipated in the coming weeks.  Stay tuned to The Outer Banks Current as we’ll keep updating this story as soon as information is released.  For more information regarding the legitimacy, authenticity, and outright truthfulness of this story please read the next sentence.  This story is ninety nine percent satirical.  That remaining one percent is probably that the bridge is really being debated and that hovercrafts are really cool.  We congratulate all who have successfully read this article in it’s entirety.  Making it to the bottom of the page is rare these days and quick-fire social media comments are really the intention of all these posts you’ll read about today.  Heck, you deserve some sort of reward for even clicking on the story and reading it!  I know a place nearby that makes really good cookies but we’ll have to work something out as far as getting it to you.  Here’s one more boring sentence to fill in a paragraph 51% of people will not make it to.  Thanks for stopping by, please share with a friend!

Still in the market for an Outer Banks vacation rental?  Get searching by clicking the button below!

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2015 Lighthouse Climbing Schedules

Bodie Island Lighthouse Get ready to get steppin’!  The Bodie Island Lighthouse and Hatteras Lighthouses will be open to tours and climbs starting April 17, 2015 and continue through October 14, 2015, according to the National Park Service.

The opening day is also free admission.   Free tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis and can only be obtained in-person, that day, on-site.

This year, the Bodie Island Lighthouse will be open as a self-guided tour, similar to how the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is operated.  For the past two years, the Bodie Island Lighthouse was a guided tour operation.  According to the National Park Service, visitors expressed frustration at the wait time for tours to start and at the 45-minute long tour schedule.  By switching to a self-guided experience, the wait time will be significantly reduced and the amount of time spent experiencing the lighthouse will be self-determined.  This change should allow more visitors to have an opportunity climb the lighthouse each day.

BODIE ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE:

Climbing Hours Ticket Sales
9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. 8:45 a.m. – 4:25 p.m.

CAPE HATTERAS LIGHTHOUSE:

Climbing Hours Ticket Sales
9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Spring and Fall) 8:15 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Spring and Fall)
9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. (May 22 – Sep. 7) 8:15 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. (May 22 – Sep. 7)

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Climbing tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for senior citizens (62 or older), children 11 years of age and under, and those holding a National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Access Pass.  Tickets are available on a first come/first served basis and can only be purchased in-person at the site the day of the climb.  There are no advance ticket sales.  Children must be at least 42” tall, and children under 12 must be escorted by a person at least 16 years old.

You can read more about the Body Island Lighthouse interior and tour in our opening day blog from 2013.