Surfing for Autism 2014


They say you will never forget doing something your first time and I will never forget riding my first wave. I will also never forget my first time attending Surfing for Autism. The day was filled with a crazy mixture of emotions from happy, sad, laughter, gratefulness, hurt, determination and more. The chills I felt all day, the happiness I felt all day, also the sadness I felt all day knowing I couldn’t do more for these kids, is a combination of emotions I will always remember. What led me to push aside my sadness was witnessing the happiness surfing brought to every child.

jennettespierThe weekend kicks off August 22. Friday night a meet and greet gathering along with dinner will be held at Jennette’s Pier from 5:30 – 7P.M. This event is for all individuals with Autism and their families. After dinner, the siblings of the child with Autism will get a fishing lesson off the beautiful pier while the individuals with Autism will head down to the beach and practice some surf fishing skills in the sand. Throughout the evening event merchandise will be available for purchase. Photo:

The surfing gets under way Saturday morning, August 23. From 9A.M to 1P.M individuals with Autism go surfing. Each individual will have an assigned heat time, 2 surfer volunteers, a skilled therapist/teacher who is well educated on the special needs, along with many other volunteers along the shore line. Soft top longboards will be provided along with lunch from 1:15 – 2:15. If you aren’t volunteering or don’t have a commitment to this event, I still recommend stopping by Jennette’s to witness how amazing this event truly is.

surfingforautismParents are cheering on their children from the beach, volunteers and participants celebrating every paddle, every ride, every wave. Strangers at the beginning of the heat, turning into special bond and a life long friendship. The energy on the beach that day will bring you chills. I remember standing there, in what some may think was chaos, and just looking around feeling amazed. I had one of those moments in the movies where the sounds of the environment fade, and the camera moves to slow motion. It was amazing to see the smiles on these kids faces, to see them jumping with excitement at catching their first wave. The parents in tears of joy as they watch their child loving every minute of it. Volunteers are riding the boards with them, high fives all around, and what was most important was the fun these kids were having. Photo:

If you are available, swing by and check this event out. This is meant to bring awareness in Asperger’s and Autism. I couldn’t think of a better event to do than this one. The people that put this event together, the volunteers that make their vision come true, and all the participants are what make it every year.

Interested in volunteering to work on land? To volunteer in the water is by invite-only. If you are interested, here is the appropriate contact information.

5 Romantic Beach Proposal Ideas

So you’re thinking about proposing at the beach, who can blame you?  It’s one of the most beautiful settings and a place where so many couples have spent countless romantic times together.  If you’re in a little bit of a rut for creative ways to propose on the beach, I’ve got a couple for you.  They range in degrees of difficulty, complexity, and originality, but nonetheless they should give you inspiration for a romantic beach proposal that will never be forgotten!

Sunrise at the Beach Proposal



Depending on what beach you are at, the sun may be rising or setting over the ocean… but here on the Outer Banks, there is no finer scene on the beach than the morning sunrise peeking over the Atlantic Ocean.  Surprise your special someone with a romantic beach proposal during the sun’s first kisses of the morning.  You could start things off with a cup of coffee on the deck, or head straight to the beach for a stroll.

There are fewer people up when the sun is rising and this makes for a more secluded and private moment for the both of you.  Rehearse your thoughts the night before and eat a little bit of food before you head out to ease your nerves.  Doing this proposal in the morning will keep you from being anxious all day and you can spend more time celebrating!

Airplane Banner Message Aerial Proposal



Dozens of airplanes fly over the beaches everyday in the summer; most of which carry some sort of advertising banner.  How cool would it be for one of the messages to be made specifically for the love of your life?  The time and location of the flyby would be coordinated by you and the advertisers, and the two of you could be splashing around in the waves or relaxing the day away in a beach chair.  She’ll be so caught off guard by the text on the banner that the first thing she sees when she looks back down is you and a shiny token of your forever love proposal.

Don’t be afraid to get creative!  Use her special nickname or see if they can run images along with your text.  The whole beach will be buzzing about how awesome your proposal was.  Free drinks are on the way!  This is also one of the better ideas if you’d like family/friends around, as well as someone to photograph the moment.

Hidden Ring Proposal


Man and woman, couple, enjoying the romantic sunset on a beach by the ocean in their vacation, they searching shells

Feeling gutsy?  Why not hide the engagement ring under a really neat shell on the beach?  The two of you can go on a romantic walk on the oceanside, perusing the sand and wash for treasures.  Little will she know that the shell she can’t resist contains a ring from the person she can’t resist!  You could also just use messaging on an object for her to find as well.  This way you can keep the ring with you and present it traditionally.

Make sure your target is noticeable!  Don’t go too over the top where it’s obviously something out of its environment… but the perfect looking shell or large piece of seaglass would make irresistible targets and will guarantee to surprise!  If you’re thinking about placing it close to the wash, take a look at the tide charts and try to go about an hour before low tide.  This way you’re planning won’t be swept right away and you’ll still sweep her off her feet!

Beach Sand Writing Proposal



A classic!  Imagine your sweetheart finding a proposal spelled out to her in the sand on the beach… oh the emotions that will pour out!  You could try huge letters outside of your oceanfront vacation rental home so that the first thing she sees in the morning is your loved, spelled out on the beach.  You may need some assistance on this one and make sure to look at the tides and aim for a receding tide morning.  You could also do a classic, smaller message that the two of you stumble upon on a walk.

Bust out a piece of driftwood and use it to scribe out exactly what works best.  There’s nothing wrong with putting a BIG heart around it either!  Early in the morning or late afternoon are your best times for this.  Too late in the evening and unsuspecting beach goers could accidentally tramp on your creation.  You could also try using some shells to decorate it in an effort for people (including your sweetie) not to miss it!

Message In a Bottle Proposal

Message with letter inside the bottle on a beach in sunset


This one worked for me fellas!  For this message in a bottle proposal idea, you’re going to need some authentic looking merchandise.  Most gift shops at the beach may have some message in a bottle kits, but you should “go for the gold” and try an antique store first.  Get authenticity points by using parchment paper or at the very least lightly burning the edges of the paper before writing on it.  Do this with the edge of paper you’re working on straight up, lightly burn then blow out, small inch-by-inch, and rotate and repeat till it’s done.  You can start beforehand by tearing bits off the four edges.  Remember, she’ll want to keep this bottle forever so take your time personalizing it all!

Once you have your message set and corked inside you have a couple of ways to go about it.  I made it so my wife found it on the beach while we were walking and she legitimately thought it was real!  You should separate yourself temporarily from her to toss it or have someone place it on the beach beforehand for you.  Again, early morning and late afternoon are probably best.  This way no stranger end up finding your bottle as well as the two of you will have a little more intimate setting.

more-obx-beach-wedding-posts book-an-outer-banks-rental-home

Southern Shores Realty wants all of your vacations to be perfect… especially the one where you propose on the beach!  We represent over 600 Outer Banks rentals spanning Corolla, NC to Nags Head, NC.  That’s plenty of places to profess your love to your lucky lady!



The Outer Banks is one of the most beautiful places in the world… the most beautiful in my opinion.  If you haven’t considered it for your beach proposal you absolutely must.  We have nearly 100 oceanfront obx rentals that would make for the perfect beach morning proposal, a selection of wonderful soundfront rental homes for perfect sunsets all week, and hundreds of other rental homes that can be found using our advanced search.

Thanks for taking the time to read this list of beach proposal ideas.  It’s not complete, but it’s a great starter guide to get your creativity going.  Feel free to drop us a line in the comments below or call us at 800.334.1000 for any questions you may have regarding beach weddings on the Outer Banks and our wedding rental homes.  Don’t forget to share this to someone in need!

Things to do on the Outer Banks This Week: Aug 15 – 21

August is in full swing and there’s plenty to do on the OBX this weekend and coming week.  My top picks are below, but feel free to check out the entire August Outer Banks Event blog that Katlyn put together.

Courtesy of Kitty Hawk Kites

Outer Banks Pirate Festival

Arrgh ye maties yo ho!  Well, that’s my pirate talk… anywho, it’s once again that time of year to shiver in your timbers and get your plank walking on down at Jockey’s Ridge Crossing.  The good peeps at Kitty Hawk Kites are blasting cannonballs full of fun off this Friday.  It’s an event not to be missed.  There’s fun for all ages!

first-flightNational Aviation Day

It’s time to fly!  Tuesday, August 19th is the National Aviation Day celebration at the Wright Brother’s National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, NC.  If you haven’t been to the memorial before there’s no better excuse.  There will be kites flying, book signings, and a whole bunch of aviation talk!

martyMarty Stuart Concert

Enjoy the amazing views of the Waterside Theater in Manteo, NC. this Sunday and relax to the sounds of country music superstar Marty Stuart.  You can buy tickets and get directions here.  This is one of the last big concerts for the summer on the Outer Banks.  Keep checking back on our blog for more concert info this fall.

phideaux-001Outer Banks Charter Fishing

In honor of the Wicked Tuna Outer Banks premier this Sunday, I highly recommend setting sail on the high seas and taking a chance at some big game fish of your own.  Southern Shores Realty has negotiated an exclusive offer to our rental guests on OBX deep sea fishing charters.  Step aboard the Phideaux and target fish like Blue Marlin or Yellowfin Tuna.  Read more about the deal here.

That’s not everything!  Don’t forget to get your whole annual OBX events and things to do calendar as well as check up on our other current events on the blog.  Make sure to give Southern Shores Realty a call for booking your Outer Banks rentals.  We have over 600 rental homes all over the Outer Banks and would love to host your next vacation!

QUIZ: How Much Do You REALLY KNOW About The Outer Banks?


Think you know everything about the Outer Banks?  OK, take this QUIZ!  From history to geography, this will find what you REALLY KNOW about the OBX.  Includes fun facts, trivia, and more!


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Things to do on the Outer Banks August 8 – 14

As Summer on the Outer Banks begins to wind down, that doesn’t mean the fun has to! There are still some great events going on for you and the family. Most of the events going on this week and free and open to the public. From outdoor concerts to outdoor movies, there is sure to be something everyone will enjoy.

movies-on-the-soundMovies on the Sound

August 8 l Manteo, NC
Movies on the Sound is an outdoor movie series showing family friendly movies. This month Movies on the Sound will be held at the College of the Albemarle Campus. This week’s movie is one of my all time favorites, Despicable Me!

roanoke-island-powwow-august-obx11th Annual Roanoke Island American Indian Cultural Festival & Powwow

August 9 l Manteo, NC
Come join the tribes as they gather together on ancestral sounds to celebrate and share their culture. This event brings American Indian tribes together from all over the nation dressed in their tribal regalia. Native drummers, dancers, traders and food vendors are all welcome.


August 11 – 15 l Hatteras 
Yes, its a bit of a drive but it is also 5 nights of live music on the waterfront stage at REAL Watersports and Waterman’s Bar and Grill. With a beautiful sunset kicking off every night of music, along with delicious food, it will be worth the drive. Mix Master Mike of the Beastie Boys will be the headline act this year.

faire-daysFaire Days

August 13 l Duck, NC
Every Wednesday until September 10 you’ll discover food, art, and entertainment. There will be DIY crafts for the kids such as sand art and sun catchers. On top of that there will be magicians, juggling, puppets live music and much more! This is free and open to the public along the tree covered walkways of Scarborough Faire.

duck-summer-concert-seriesConcert on the Duck Town Green: Violent Mae

August 14 l Duck, NC
Every Thursday evening throughout the Summer there will be a free concert in the Town of Duck either on the Duck Town Green or at the amphitheater. Tonight’s performance by the Violent Mae will be on the green. Blankets and chairs are welcomed. Family friendly and free.

If you can’t make it this week in August, don’t worry we will publish a list of hand picked to-dos on the Outer Banks every week. If you are visiting us for a peaceful Fall getaway, be sure to check out our September events and our Annual events to plan some activities for your vacation.

Things to do on the Outer Banks Aug. 1 – 7, 2014

This Summer is going too fast!  Don’t worry though, it’s not over yet.  There are plenty of fun activities and events to go to this week on the OBX.  Make sure you visit our entire August event blog but here are my top picks for this week:

jars-of-clay-august-eventsJars of Clay Concert

Grammy award winning Christian rock band Jars of Clay will be performing LIVE at the Waterside Theater on Roanoke Island on Sunday, August 3, 2014.  The band has been together over 18 years and have written over 100 songs.  This should be a very family friendly event and a great way to enjoy the beautiful theater in Manteo.  Tickets are available online here.

faire-daysFaire Days Festival

Every Wednesday this summer is the Faire Days Summer Festival Series presented by Scarborough Faire Shopping Village.  This is another great family friendly event that features live music, fun and games, plus tons of great shopping all rolled into one.  This is completely FREE and and the music goes on rain or shine.  Featured performers include: DJ Magic Mike, Mojo Collins & Triple Vision Band, Tim the Juggler, NC Marionette Theater, and horseback riding.

first-friday-roanoke-islandFirst Fridays in Manteo

You know it’s summer when the town of Manteo, NC comes alive on the First Friday night of the month!  Stores and boutiques stay open late, live music and artists perform, and the whole town comes alive with entertainers and outdoor booths.  There’s no charge whatsoever and this is a favorite activity for many vacationers on the Outer Banks!  There are more details here.

obx-kayak-adventureOuter Banks Kayak Tour

One of the coolest activities to try on your Outer Banks vacation is a guided kayak tour.  We’ve teamed up with Coastal Kayak Touring Company to give our guests an exclusive and unlimited 15% off any tour with them!  Coastal Kayak operates not only kayak tours, but also stand up paddleboarding (SUP) tours all over the OBX.  Check out our guest rewards page here for more information.

watermelon-festival-outer-banksOBX Watermelon Festival

If you like watermelon, this day was made for you!  Kitty Hawk Kites officially sponsors this event each year at their location in Jockey’s Ridge Crossing in Nags Head, NC.  This year’s watermelon festival takes place on Thursday, August 7, 2014 from 10am-4pm.  The event is unique and has plenty of fun things to do like a splash tank, moon bounce, inflatable obstacle course, juggling instruction, balance boards, music, raffles, ice cream eating contest, watermelon seed spitting contests, face painting, and tons of watermelon to eat!  Admission is free and activities range from $1-$10.  All proceeds benefit Wright Flight of NC, a benefit that uses the motivation of flight to help youngsters in school.
Like I said earlier, the fun doesn’t stop here.  We have a full lineup of annual OBX events, an entire August Outer Banks events blog, and a Vacation Planner built right into our website.  Thanks for stopping by.  See you all next time!

Outer Banks Events l September 2014


September is one of my favorite months on the Outer Banks. Low to no humidity, cooler temperatures, warm ocean waters, less crowds, and seashells line the shore for days! There are great events and festivals for the whole family to enjoy. From live music, to fresh Outer Banks seafood, September has it all.

magnolia-market-outerbanks_august-eventsMagnolia Art Market

September 1 l Manteo, NC
Transformed from a popular Manteo restaurant called the Magnolia Grill. After the restaurant closed due to a stalled economy, the Town of Manteo officials searched for ideas on what to do with the building. Now, the town is testing out the idea of the Magnolia Art Market. One show a month, free of charge to the public.

obxartfestlogoOBX Arts & Craft Festival

September 3 & 4 l Kitty Hawk, NC
This two day event is located at the Hilton Garden Inn in Kitty Hawk, NC. There will be 25 local Outer Banks artists displaying the best of their work. From specialties in painting, jewelry and photography to basketry, glasswork & more. Portion of the proceeds benefits 2 local charities.

faire-daysFaire Days Festival

September 3 & 10 l Duck, NC
Besides offering exciting boutique shopping and delicious dining year round, each week your family can enjoy Faire Days. There is free live music in the cool shade of our magnificent tree-lined courtyard commons in the heart of Duck NC. You’ll also be dazzled by our magician, juggler, face painting, DIY arts and crafts and more!

all-out-pink-road-race5th Annual All Out Pink Road Race

September 6 l Elizabethan Gardens
This road race offers the 10-mile bridge run and a 5K. This is an out and back course that is challenging and crosses the Old Manns Harbor Bridge. They have designed one of a kind trophies for the events top male and female 1st – 3rd. On top of that there will be finisher medals handed out to all participants by local breast cancer survivors.

free-outer-banks-yoga-town-of-duck_1Yoga on the Duck Town Green

September 2 & 9 l Duck, NC
Start your day off right with the ladies from Duck Village Yoga. What better way to begin your day than by stretching every muscle while you listen to the sounds of the birds chirping and feel the morning sun on your back. Bring a towel or your mat and meet other yogis from beginners to experts and stretch out your stress.

outer-banks-triathlonOuter Banks Triathlon

September 13 – 14 l Map
One of the biggest races the Outer Banks offers. The OBX TRI is a USAT Sanctioned event featuring three different distances. Sprint distance being the shortest race all the way up to the half distance being 1.2 mile swim, 56 miles biking, and 13.1 miles running. If you aren’t participating, come cheer these brave men and women on!

easternsESA Easterns Surfing Championship

September 14 – 21 l Nags Head, NC 
Witness some of the best in amateur surfing on the East Coast. Jennette’s Pier hosts the ESA Easterns Championship where surfers have battled it out all year, up and down the East Coast to earn a spot at this surfing competition, ESA Easterns. This is a 6 day long event. free and open to the public!

outer-banks-blue-grass-festivalOuter Banks Bluegrass Island Festival

September 25 – 28 l Roanoke Island Festival Park
The beautiful Roanoke Island Festival Park hosts the 3rd annual Bluegrass Island Festival. Popular artist like Ricky Skaggs and Rhonda Vincent will be playing along with Bluegrass breakfast, food vendors, and much more. Each day kicks off music around 10AM. Tickets available online.

kitty-hawk-kites-obx-fun_129th Annual Outer Banks Stunt Kite Competition

September 27 – 28 l Nags Head, NC
Presented by Kitty Hawk Kites. A must see! This is two days of competitive kite flying, team performances, and kites dancing to music. You will be amazed at what they can make these kites do, and do it all synchronized. Free to public and spectators are encouraged to take part in the free kite stunt lessons.

aks-national-conventionAKA National Convention

September 29 – October 4
Throughout the week there will be flying exhibits of 100 or more of the style of kite and sport kite competitions. This event is free and open to the public. Kites will be judged on creativity and construction. The largest kite in the sky could reach up to 20 feet wide and stretch 100 feet long. Keep your eyes on the sky, you can’t miss it!

ESA Easterns Surfing Championship 2014


Have you ever wished you could see a surfing competition in person? Well, this could be another reason why the Outer Banks is awesome in the Fall. The best of the best in amateur surfing meet here, on the Outer Banks to battle it out. They have traveled up and down the East Coast claiming victory for this weekend and this weekend only. From short boards to long boards to stand up paddle boards there is a division for all competitors.

surfer-easternsatjennettespierThis event will be held at the beautiful Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head. Six days of competitive surfing? Count me in! This event is free and open to the public.The adult division kicks off the competition on September 14th – 16th with the open short board, body board, and stand up paddle divisions going down September 17th. After the open division, the youth division will battle it out in the water the 18th – 20th. With so many age groups, board divisions, it will be worth stopping by at least one of the 7 days. Photo: Mickey McCarthy

Outer Banks Beach Report July 25, 2014

We couldn’t ask for a more beautiful day on the Outer Banks. Clear blue skies, cool breeze, and water temperatures in the 70s. We hopped around a bit today and shot some near Hayman Street and Kitty Hawk Pier. Enjoy our little piece of paradise 🙂