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.


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


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)


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.

Southern Shores Realty Announces Revitalization of Shopping Center

Southern Shores Realty is proud to announce its new management and revitalization of the Southern Shores Crossing Shopping Center. The number one goal for these improvements is to have a positive impact on area residents, visitors, and businesses.  Another objective has been to make the plaza a place where both business owners and customers want to be. Major excavation occurred including clearing the grounds for enhanced road visibility.



This clearing was extremely vital to take full advantage of Southern Shores Crossing’s prime location near the intersection of N Croatan Highway and Ocean Boulevard.  With a vast number of visitors traveling North to the towns of Duck and Corolla, these shops will be seen by thousands of people every weekend. Aside from the improvements in landscaping, many of the shops in the plaza have also been renovated.

Current businesses located at Southern Shores Crossing are:

Newly re-opened Barr-ee Station Outlet: A retail shop offering discounted prices on name brand clothing and housewares. Barr-ee Station Outlet has a little bit of everything from vintage home decor to today’s men’s and women’s fashions.

Barr-ee Station Southern Shores


Maggie Cox, owner of Barr-ee Station, states, ” We’re back! We want people to know about the great opportunity Southern Shores Realty has offered to this shopping center. We can’t wait for the shops to fill up!”

Coastal Provisions Wine Bar & Cafe: Part of the Coastal trio of restaurants. They offer a full bar, lunch and dinner menu, sit down or to-go, event catering, and more. Known for their crab cakes, this stop will leave you coming back for more.

Clearview Wellness Chiropractor: Offering natural pain relief treatment under the caring hands of Dr. Casey Titus. Voted “Best Chiropractor on the Beach” for 2013 and 2014. Dr. Titus and her staff welcome local residents as well as visitors to the Outer Banks.

Aside from the current businesses, Southern Shores Realty is excited to announce a newly signed lease with “By the Sea Wedding Boutique”. They will offer tux rentals, female wedding attire, event planning and more. Pair By The Sea Wedding Boutique with Coastal Provisions Market and you could have your wedding planned all in one shopping center.

Southern Shores Realty is the longest operating vacation rental and management company on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We represent over 700 Outer Banks rental properties including: long-term rentals, commercial properties, and hundreds of weekly vacation rental homes.  Browse our vacation rental homes selection today to start making your own Outer Banks vacation memories!

Outer Banks Vacationer’s Gift Guide


It’s that time of year again!  Holiday get-togethers aren’t far away and soon gift giving will abound!  For those of you seeking to delight an Outer Banks Vacationer/Traveler I have done some window shopping already for you.  These gift ideas are for the Outer Banks and vacation enthusiast, sorted by category and most are from local businesses, so know your purchase supports the area you love.  Enjoy – feel free to share!

blue-seaglass-jewelry-outer-banks-gift-for-herFOR HER:

Seaglass & Copper Earrings – Out of the Blue Seaglass Jewelry

Returning to my list again is sea glass jewelry!  Even though a woman may claim she has too much jewelry, it’s always appreciated.  Take a gander at these deep blue pieces of sea glass adorned by hand detailed copper suns.  They are simple, elegant, and multi-season appropriate!  Pick up this one-of-a-kind pair (literally) for $88 at Out of the Blue Seaglass Jewelry.

cape-hatteras-spyce-cologne-gift-for-himFOR HIM:

Cologne for Him – Cape Hatteras Spyce

A gift for the manly man, Cape Hatteras Spyce is an earthy, musky, seafaring scent that is spicy enough to engage the senses while remaining refreshing.  It is an exceptional product that can be used as an after-shave, cologne or just a “splash”. The amber bottle has a lighthouse on the pewter cap.  $30 at CapeHatterasSpyce.com.

canvas-beach-tote-bag-shelling-outer-banksTHE BEACHCOMBER:

Personalized Canvas Beach Tote – theAtlanticOcean Etsy

How chic!  A perfect day at the beach doesn’t require much, but bringing along a few necessities plus room for discovered treasures is a plus.   Ditch the glitz and glam for this understated yet functional canvas beach bag.  The beach goer and sheller you’re shopping for will be thrilled to see the personalization as well.  There’s a few of these left for $98 at theAtlanticOcean Etsy shop.

built-to-last-adirondak-chairs-giftTHE LOUNGER:

Recycled Plastic Adirondack Chairs – Built to Last

Who doesn’t love sitting back and relaxing in a sturdy, comfortable Adirondack chair on a deck?  Check out these chairs by Built to Last, in Moyock, NC, that  I can personally attest are extremely rugged and very well built… my family has many of them and they’re in incredible shape after nearly 10+ years of Pennsylvania weather.  It’s a worthwhile investment for their durability and quality.  $289 at Built-to-Last.com.

obx-book-lovers-gift-ideaTHE BOOKWORM:

Outer Banks Tales to Remember – Charles Harry Whedbee

Any Outer Banks enthusiast would love this, but here’s a special pick for the book lover: Outer Banks Tales to Remember by Charles Harry Whedbee.  This is a classic collection of folklore and tales of old about the Outer Banks!  Pirates, merchants, Indians, and more.  $14.95 from the Island Bookstore.

obx-coffee-gift-for-travelersTHE JAVA JUNKIE:

House Roasted Coffee Blends – Front Porch Cafe

Know someone serious about coffee?  Get them a gift from the folks who are just as serious!  The crew at the Front Porch Cafe know their beans… and they carefully select and roast only the finest varieties from around the world.  The best part is your gift is coming from the good ol’ OB of X, so consider this imported from the beach!  Flavors and blends vary, $12.99 – $14.99 from Front Porch Cafe.

old-world-beer-mugs-gift_0THE BREWMEISTER:

Old World Style Wooden Mugs – GoodMoodInWood Etsy

Check these out!  No, Blackbeard never drank from them… but these beer mugs have an awesome “old world” look to them and I’m sure that adds some flavor points.  The inside is made of stainless steel, so these can hold hot drinks as well.  $67.99 for set of 4 at GoodMoodInWood Etsy shop.

anchor-bottle-stopper-wino-giftTHE WINE CONNOISSEUR:

Nautical Anchor Wine Stop – 11Main

The gift that pairs well with all wines!  Satisfy even the pickiest wine lover with this nautical bottle stop that’s sure to delight.  It’s stylish, elegant, and made of Zinc Alloy for durability.  This is a sure bet to please even the most savvy sippers.  $14.95 on 11Main.com.

bushnell-nature-spotting-scope-nature-lover-giftTHE NATURE LOVER:

Water/Fogproof Spotting Scope – Amazon.com

Shopping for a nature and wildlife lover?  Help them get up close and personal with the next pod of dolphins or flock of shorebirds they find!  This Bushnell spotting scope offers 36x magnification with the added benefits of a tabletop tripod and being 100% water & fogproof.  $117 at Amazon.com (40% off).

outer-banks-and-you-coverTHE MUSIC LOVER:

“The Outer Banks and You” Song – iTunes & Amazon

Give the gift of beach music this year with the most famous song about the Outer Banks, “The Outer Banks and You” by Jamie Trent and Southern Shores Realty!  This song is as peaceful as the lapping waves on the shore… and only $0.99 on iTunes or Amazon.com.

oru-folding-kayak-obx-gift-guideTHE ADVENTURER:

Folding Portable Kayak – Oru Kayak

It can’t hurt to gift big, right?  A few months ago I saw this being presented on the hit television show Shark Tank, and instantly realized the potential of it.  Get the outdoor enthusiast on your list one of the most revolutionary products on the market.  Endless possibilities await when you can fold up and transport a kayak like a piece of luggage.  $1,195 on OruKayak.com.

ladies-fishing-tackle-bag-gift-ideaTHE FISHERLADY:

Ladies Fishing Tackle Bag – Cabela’s

She can show off her organized gear in style!  Set up the fisherlady in your life with this 7″x16″x9″ tackle bag, dressed up with just the right amount of girl power.  Includes multiple compartments and built-in tool retractor.  Comes highly rated and recommended online.  On sale now for $14.99 on Cabelas.com.

hatteras-salt-life-obx-gift-fishermanTHE FISHERMAN:

“Hatteras” Polarized Sunglasses – SaltLife.com

Well looky here!  Get your fisherdude a new set of shades – all set to an Outer Banks tune!  They even have all the fancy treatments to them (polarization is key) “These Salt Life Hatteras mens sunglasses feature polarized polycarbonate lenses with Ri-pel front and AR5 back of lens treatments, a Salt Life logo on the side of the frames.”  $149 at SaltLife.com, you can get 10% off by signing up for their email list.

kdh-salt-rocks-foodie-gift-guideTHE CHEF:

Sea Salt from the Outer Banks – KDH Salt Rocks

Delight the cook on your holiday shopping list with a unique treat from the seas.  My recommendation is a tasty sampling of natural sea salt, all harvested from the Atlantic Ocean in Kill Devil Hills, NC!  While KDH Salt Rocks offers a wide variety of salts and rubs, I think the safest bet is to gift the sampler pack and let your foodie decide which ones to order in bulk next round.  $19.99 at KDHSaltRocks.com

eve-turek-obx-print-gift-ideaTHE PHOTOGRAPHER:

“Sunset Dunes” Landscape Photography Print – Yellowhouse Gallery

Share along some OBX inspiration with this beautiful print by local photographer and gallery owner, Eve Turek.  The Outer Banks is special for many people for many reasons, and it’s easy to get lost in this scene of beautiful sea oats contrasting the vivid sky colors.  Comes 10″x20″ matted in house.  $60 YellowhouseGallery.com

outer-banks-book-giftKID FRIENDLY:

Captain Stumpy the Pirate Cat – Paperback Book by Jeremy Bliven

Treat the little buccaneers to this tale of Captain Stumpy’s encounters with his enemy, Fluff Bucket!  This story of cooperation was created by locals Jeremy Bliven and his father Herbert.  There are other books in the series that the kiddos can add to their Captain Stumpy collection, all the while supporting the local OBX economy!  $14.95 on OBXStore.com.

outer-banks-dog-treats-giftPET FRIENDLY:

Homemade & Wholesome Local Treats – Salty Paws Biscuits

Who can forget about our beloved furbabies?  When I’m making a trip home or just need a special gift for a four-legged loved one I always turn to this local store for their fantastic, safe, healthy, homemade treats!  1lb assorted bag for $10.50 at SaltyPawsBiscuits.com.


OBX Lighthouse Christmas Ornaments – Seashell Shack

Give the gift of light this Christmas with a set of lighthouse ornaments made on the Outer Banks.  Bodie Island, Cape Hatteras, Currituck, Ocracoke Island, and Cape Lookout included.  Measure 3″ in height.  What a wonderful addition to the tree these would be!  $32.50 on SeashellShack.com.


Outer Banks Vacation Gift Card – Southern Shores Realty

Share the joy of an Outer Banks vacation with the ones you love!  Using Giftly.com, you can send a special gift to family and friends for any denomination that may be used for a Southern Shores Realty Outer Banks Vacation!  You can’t get any closer to the Outer Banks than actually being here.  Giftly.com is not affiliated with Southern Shores Realty and you should carefully read the terms and conditions when using this service.  Any amount at Giftly.com.

Done Reading?  Make Sure you check out our other Christmas articles here:  Outer Banks Christmas Traditions & Outer Banks December Events.

Outer Banks Beach Report October 10, 2014

It has been absolutely breathtaking this fall on the Outer Banks.  This October is no exception!  We’ve missed making our beach report videos ever so dearly, and couldn’t contain ourselves any longer.  Take in the sights and sounds from Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head, NC and the Avalon Pier in Kill Devil Hills, NC.

Before you hit the play button, check out our Early Bird discounts for 2015.  They are limited time offers but a great chance to save hundreds of dollars off your vacation rental and have everything all set before the holidays.  Thanks for stopping by, don’t forget to share!  Take care.  – Bob.

Why we love the off-season on the Outer Banks

Off Season on the Outer Banks

duckroad_0Before I became a resident of the beautiful Outer Banks, I lived in a town outside of Richmond, VA. Every Summer I couldn’t wait to get here. We have always stayed, and continue to stay in Duck. The only adjustment my family has made over the years is when we come. We switched from 4th of July week to early June when it’s not as hot. Once we arrived, we were so over-the-moon with excitement we didn’t know what to do first. By the time Thursday arrived during our Sunday-to-Sunday rental, reality started setting in. My vacation was soon coming to an end.

Thankfully, my grandparents and I think alike. One week on the Outer Banks out of the entire year just isn’t enough. They started coming 3 times a year; one week in February, one week in July, and one week in November. Before I transferred to my now alma mater University of Hawai’i, I attended Old Dominion University. This worked out perfect.  I was close enough to the Outer Banks that I was able to visit them all 3 times they came. This was my first time visiting the Outer Banks in the “off-season”. I then realized the year-round beauty this place offers. Before moving to Hawai’i, I knew the Outer Banks was where I would return someday.

The off season is technically defined from Labor Day to Memorial Day. The Outer Banks doesn’t have steady traffic year round. We are a vacation destination so it’s either full swing all day every day or it’s what we call our “off season”. Outer Banks residents look forward to the off-season as much as we look forward to Summer time. We love the warm weather, business, and meeting people from all over the world during our busy Summer months. Here are some things to look forward to in the off-season:


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