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And That's a Wrap-2017 Taste of the Beach Spectacular
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Sunday, March 26, 2017

Great weather and a large, happy crowd made for the best Chowder Cook-off yet.

The 2017 Outer Banks Taste of the Beach is now history and all we can say is this may have been the best one yet. It was certainly helped along by some great weather, but the food that was available and the level of participation really made this a special time.

There were so many of the smaller events that we cannot possibly report on all of them, so rather than leave anyone out, we’ll just report on the three major events—the BBQ & Wings Cookoff, Chowder Cook-off and Grand Tasting.

 BBQ & Wings Cook-off

Serving up pulled pork at the BBQ & Wings Cook-off.

Great weather sure helped things along this year. With affair at the Nags Head Event Site, there was plenty of room to move around and with temperatures in the upper 60s or low 70s folks were taking advantage of early spring to sit outside and enjoy.

Jonny Waters & Company was back for a third year with his country and blues tunes, creating a wonderful backdrop to the day.

But it’s really all about the food and there was a lot of it. It’s dangerous to review likes and dislikes in something like this, because everyone’s taste is unique. 

However, the ribs from Simply Southern were absolutely fantastic. Since that was the Judge’s Choice and People’s Choice, it looks it’s unanimous. 

Chowder Cook-off

If the weather on Friday was wonderful the weather Saturday was spectacular, and that brought out the biggest crowd yet at the Chowder Cook-off at Southern Shores Crossing. The event sold out and it was packed…but in a good way.

The big winner this year was Stripers, but we’re going to go out on a limb and say we really enjoyed the smoked corn and clam chowder from Metropolis in Corolla. They did get second place in the People’s Choice award, so evidently we weren’t the only ones who felt that way.

Local band Aquarium had the perfect mix of songs for the day. Great harmonies, tight musically and wide selection of classic rock.

Grand Tasting & Bartenders Bubbly Bash

At the Ocean Boulevard booth at the Grand Tasting. NC shrimp on a spicy cornbread.

Wrapping everything up a Port O’ Call in Kill Devil Hills, the Grand Tasting says it all. 

This is the time when chefs pull out all of the stops and the creativity goes to a whole new level.

There was a wonderful seafood chowder from Cafe Lachine that was just a bit spicy, full and rich. The rockfish ceviche taco from Coastal Cravings was very nice…there were so many selections, trying to even write about all of them is near impossible.

The event also includes champagne cocktails. We were working so we didn’t get to try too many of those, but the reports were universally positive.

Music in two rooms with Natalie Wolfe playing acoustic guitar in one room and Soul One kicking out jams in the main bar.


Plan now to be on hand next year for the Outer Banks Taste of the Beach. It will be worth the trip.

The Winners
Chowder Cook-off

People's Choice: 
3rd Place - Cravings
2nd Place - Goombays
1st Place - Stripers

Judges Awards;
3rd Place - Dirty Dick's Crab House
2nd Place - Metropolis
1st Place - Stripers

BBQ & Wings Cookoff

Judges Award for Best Pork BBQ - Pamlico Jack's
Judges Award for Best Ribs - Simply Southern Kitchen
Judges Award for Best Wings - Cafe Lachine
People's Choice Award for Best BBQ - Frogman's BBQ
People's Choice Award for Best Ribs - Simply Southern Kitchen
People's Choice Award fir Best Wings - New York Pizza Pub


Bbq Cravings Goombays Kill Devil Hills Metropolis Nags Head Outer Banks Stripers Taste Of The Beach

Great Theatre at OBX Schools
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Friday, March 24, 2017

Scene from Manteo High School's production of Phantom of the Opera.

Every once in a while it feels good to brag about your hometown—call out for everyone to see something that is being done particularly well locally.

In this case, it’s time to give a shout out to the schools, especially in this case, two of the Outer Banks high schools, Manteo and First Flight in Kill Devil Hills.

It’s the theatre departments that are doing it. These kids are putting on some plays that would challenge professionals and they’re doing a really good job at it.

Last weekend it was 9-5 at First Flight. Based on the movie, and with music by Dolly Parton, it takes a hard look at the workplace and a woman’s roll in it. Some of the issues the play—and movie—addressed don’t seem as acute as when the movie came out in 1980, but the play still resonates. 

What really brought it alive the performances by the kids that made of a great evening of entertainment.

Then this weekend Manteo High is presenting Phantom of the Opera. The vocals in that play are known to challenge even seasoned professionals but the kids really pulled it off. The lead characters were especially strong.

Sometimes we get so caught up in the day to day challenges of life that we forget how important community is—especially the kids and schools. But that’s where the future likes and watching them take the stage with so much self-confidence and talent, is very reassuring.

95 First Flight High School Manteo High School Outer Banks Phantom Of The Opera

Best Days Feature Best Weather at OBX Taste of the Beach
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Handing out chowder at the Taste of the Beach Chowder Cook-off.

Now that the 2017 Outer Banks Taste of the Beach is almost here, we can safely report that the weather is looking spectacular for the two busiest days.

Things kickoff tomorrow, Thursday, and honestly the weather isn’t looking all that good. Now rain in sight, but a jacket and sweater would be very helpful. All of the events are inside tomorrow, so the weather should not be that much of a factor.

But Friday and Saturday are looking absolutely spectacular and the forecast has been improving all week. Those are the two days with outdoor events and it looks as though the weather gods have really cooperated this year.

Friday its the BBQ and Wings Showdown at the Event Site in Nags Head. Lots and lots of wings and barbecue to sample, live music from local band Jonny Waters & Company. 

It was a great event last year and the year before and all signs point to it being a great time again. 

Sort of the grandfather of the outdoor competitions for the TOB is the Chowder Cook-off sponsored by Coastal Provisions at Southern Shores Crossing in Southern Shores on Saturday. With a dozen or so local restaurants and chefs competing with their special chowder recipes, the food is amazing and fun factor is pretty high. 

The weather forecast for Saturday calls for temperatures to be the warmest we’ve seen in about three weeks with the mercury forecast reach the mid 60s. Nonetheless, the Chowder Cook-off is an outdoor event, so take a light jacket just in case.

Sunday is the Grand Finale and Chef’s Champagne Cocktail at Port O’ Call in Kill Devil Hills. That’s always a good time as well and taking home the grand prize is really a feather in the cap, so chefs go all out to present their finest creations.

There are, in addition to the major events, 50 or 60 other happening over the next four days. Be sure to plan the day out and see what’s out there. It’s a great way to tour the Outer Banks and learn about our local restaurants.

Bbq Wings Showdown Chowder Cookoff Coastal Provisions Nags Head Southern Shores Taste Of The Beach

Outer Banks Tops Southern Living List
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Sunday, March 19, 2017

Colonial Spanish Mustangs on the Carova beach. One of the Outer Banks features Southern Living liked.

Southern Living certainly got this one right—the Outer Banks tops their Best Island list for 2017.

Ok…they got it mostly right. We won’t tell them the northern Outer Banks is not an island and is connected to Virginia at Sandbridge. Because they certainly hit the nail on the head with everything else.

Here’s what the editors liked. They really liked that the Outer Banks is family-friendly, mentioning that a couple of times.

The natural beauty was important to them, and what seemed to be particularly significant is how diverse the environment is. 

And then there’s the history that seems to surround us. There’s the Wright Brothers Memorial and Fort Raleigh. The editors put a little extra time into talking about the Colonial Spanish Mustangs in Carova, noting that they have been roaming the beaches for at least 500 years.

They also liked what the Outer Banks doesn’t have; although there is commercial development, it favors smaller mom and pop businesses, something Southern Living clearly enjoyed. They also enjoyed the custom feature of create your own topping at Duck Donuts.

So—Southern Living…a little bit off on the island description, but they get a full pass because they got everything else right.

Duck Donuts Outer Banks Southern Living Spanish Mustangs Wright Brothers

OBX Taste of the Beach Preview
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Friday, March 17, 2017

The Outer Banks Taste of the Beach is coming up fast. Just five days from now the annual celebration of Outer Banks food and culture kicks off on Thursday. 

The four days of culinary magic spread across the northern Outer Banks has become a springtime tradition and a great way to kickoff he spring season.

There is something for everyone in this event. There’s a couple of tapas crawls, wine tastings and wine pairings; beer tastings and beer pairings; and with North Carolina oysters making a comeback, oysters are definitely on the menu.

Something that looks different and interesting is the North Carolina Coastal Federation NC Coast Oyster Eco-Tour. There are a couple of oyster farms in the area and the tour includes sampling oysters at the source and something to wash it down. The NC Coastal Federation has been a champion of bringing oysters back into commercial production in the state. That’s on March 25 and reservations are needed.

Two event that no one should miss—the Chowder Cook-off on Saturday, March 25 at Southern Shores Crossing. Coastal Provisions has sponsored the event since the first one eight years ago and it’s always a great time with some wonderful chowder.

The other don’t miss event is the Grand Tasting & Bartenders Bubbly Bash on Sunday at Port o’ Call in Kill Devil Hills. The event has become so popular that there are two sessions beginning at noon.

Great food, the bubbly cocktails are amazing and it’s a great way to wrap things up.

Chowder Cookoff Coastal Provisions Kill Devil Hills North Carolina Coastal Federation Outer Banks Port O Call Taste Of The Beach

March Roar Balances OBX February
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Angry surf. Strong northwest wind blows the crest off 6' waves.

We seem to be paying the price for an early spring in February. Admittedly the Outer Banks isn’t buried under 20” of snow, but if there is such a thing for nostalgia after just two weeks, we’re probably experiencing it now.

Daytime temperatures never did quite get out of the 30s today and it looks as though we’ll be below freezing tonight. And that’s with a good strong wind from the northwest to make it feel just a bit colder.

By the calendar February is only two weeks ago. But the way we think about the weather…it’a distant memory that calls to us.

Luckily things are going to be improving. It’s doubtful that we’ll be seeing any 70 degree days between now and the end of March, but the temperatures are certainly rising and the wind is calming down a bit.

We don’t have a full forecast yet for Taste of the Beach long weekend—March 23-26—but early indications are it won’t be bad at all.

Taste of the Beach isn’t like any of the various “Tastes of…” in cities. The Outer Banks version is as much a journey of the northern Outer Banks as it is a culinary tour of the best chefs and restaurants.

Three events in particular worth checking out—the Wings and BBQ Cook-off on Friday,  the Chowder Cook-off on Saturday and the Grand Tasting on Sunday.


Chowder Cookoff Outer Banks Taste Of The Beach

Kelly's St. Patrick's Day Parade-A Cold Day But Fun
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Sunday, March 12, 2017

Leading the parade and bundled up for the cold. The 28th Annual Kelly’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade begins.

The show must go on. That seemed to be the mantra for the 28th Annual Kelly’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Nags Head.

Yes, it was cold. Yes, the wind was off the ocean out of the northeast; and yes, the sun didn’t peep out until the parade was almost done. But at least it didn’t snow—which the forecast was calling for up until three days ago.

As Kelly’s St. Patrick’s Day Parades go it was a pretty low-key affair. The crowd was pretty small. At the beginning of the parade, Mike surveyed what he was seeing and mentioned it might be the smallest crowd since his first.

But all of the elements of a great St. Patty’s Day parade were there…the marching dogs, the marching bands, lots and lots of floats, some antique cars and just about every business on the Outer Banks.

The sun did come out although it waited until the parade was almost over. Not that it made much difference. It was still pretty cold.

But as parades go, Kelly’s Parade is pretty special. A little bit of craziness, a lot of green and then everyone gets to head over to Kelly’s Outer Banks Tavern for free hotdogs and some entertainment. Not a bad way to spend a day at all.

Kellys Outer Banks Tavern Kellys St Patricks Day Nags Head Outer Banks

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