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Weather No Problem for OBX Thanksgiving

Admittedly today is not the greatest day here on the Outer Banks—winds from the NE at 30 mph, occasional gusts to 40 and a lot of rain. If there is such a thing as a silver lining to the endless stream of clouds, it's that we’re at the southern end of a nor’easter that’s going to track up the coast tonight into tomorrow.

It’s cold, wet and all around not the best weather, but compared what is forecast for our neighbors to the north, we’re getting off easy.

The Weather Channel has even given this storm a name: Winter Storm Cato. Not sure what the A and B names were, but evidently this is the third winter storm of the year.

Tomorrow—Thanksgiving—is looking a lot better for the Outer Banks. The northern end around Corolla may have a little bit of spitting rain left into the early morning, but for most of us, it looks like a cool and windy day with lots of sunshine. A good day for being inside with family and friends, eating too much, maybe watching some football and generally remembering there is much to be thankful for in our lives.

OBX Thanksgiving

It’s Thanksgiving week here on the Outer Banks and it’s a great time to visit.

No, it’s not summer time warm, not even close to that, but this is a week when homeowners and their families seem to leave their cares at home and fill our stores and businesses. That’s really nice for our stores, businesses  and restaurants, but what it’s really all about is what make the Outer Banks so special.

The Outer Banks is all about family. It is something that as a community we take a lot of pride in. That’s why our schools are so good; why we have such extensive activities through our parks and rec departments; and it’s why so many people enjoy living here.

Seeing families come to our home to spend time together makes the weekend a little better. Yes, we know the pumpkin pie may not turn out just right, or the stuffing isn’t up to standards, but somehow the turkey is always perfect and the company memorable  . . . and isn’t that what the holidays are all about?

It does look as though Wednesday is going to be a not very nice day. There seems to be a coastal storm forming that is forecast to track up the East Coast. Look for significant winds and a lot rain, followed by clearing on Thanksgiving and a great day.

Outer Banks Fishing-Should Improve with the Weather

Red Drum. Good catches being reported this year with a number of citiation size landed.

The weather has turned pretty cold and windy on the Outer Banks this past week. Nothing like the rest of the country it seems, but still, standing at the edge of the ocean with a north wind blowing . . . it’s cold.

And that’s about the only thing that has slowed the fishing down this fall. 

The red drum, especially, have been running, but there’ve been a lot of reports of blue fish running, some puppy drum and of course sea mullet.  Even inshore it seems as things have improved with some reports of rockfish being caught.

The weather is forecast to moderate over the next few days and that should get fishermen back out there. Hopefully, the fish will come back with the warmer temperatures—although it’s entirely possible that they never went away. It may be that it’s just too cold to go fishing.

The seas have  been too rough for anyone to get out on the ocean this past week, but up until now the offshore fishing has been really strong this year. A lot of reports of yellowfin tuna and king mackerel being landed, with some scattered wahoo. 

It looks as though the seas are going to calm down over the next week so anyone thinking of heading offshore to try their luck should have good conditions.

Outer Banks Holiday Things to Do

We mentioned how much there is to do on the Outer Banks over the Christmas holidays and then we started looking at event calendars and Wow! it was even more than we thought.

Rather than confuse everyone splashing all there is to do into one big and endless listing, we’ll take our time and look at a couple of interesting activities on the horizon. 

The Whalehead Club always does something special at Christmas, and this year is no exception. In fact, it’s possible to spend an entire day and evening in Corolla just taking in the sights of that magnificent art deco house and grounds.

Starting Thursday, 11/20, Christmas in Corolla will kick off the holiday season in grand stylee, filling the 21,000 square foot house with decorations reminiscent of the 1920s when Knights occupied the home. 

The Legacy Tour is a wonderful introduction to the mansion, its history and as well as the story of the Knights and subsequent owners.

Then come back in the evening to see the place lit up with thousands of lights and take the Corolla Candlelight tour. It’s a whole day immersion in a different time and place.

Across the Currituck Sound from the Whalehead Club at the Cotton Gin, Sanctuary Vineyards will be hosting its annual the Big Curri-Shuck on Saturday, November 29. All you can eat steamed oysters, some crabs, NC BBQ and of course wine from the winery and some beer for those have to have beer. Live music, lots of food, beautiful setting, good wine . . . it doesn’t get much better than that.

Christmas Is Coming to the Outer Banks

It’s certainly cold enough outside to get everyone thinking about the holidays, although we have to admit the Outer Banks is not as cold as the rest of the nation, so even though it’s 40 degrees outside, we should count our blessings.

It is going to get warmer soon enough, but in the meantime, now that we’ve mentioned the holiday season, we should probably talk a bit about all the activities scheduled for the holiday season . . . well, not quite everything because there is so much happening that we can’t report on all of it. 

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and the holiday as become one of the busiest weeks of the year—especially for the stores and restaurants. It’s a weekend that lot of our owners take some time to celebrate with family and friends. Santa Claus does make a lot of appearances over the weekend, so keep an eye out for the kids.

The weekend after Thanksgiving is when things really get going with tree lightings in Manteo and the Whalehead Club on Friday, December 5. 

Manteo is like a picture from a Norman Rockwell painting with Santa making an appearance, high school choirs singing and churches handing out hot chocolate.

The Whalehead Club lights the night sky in tribute to all the books Currituck County School children read over the course of the year. Last year they illuminated the sky with over 28,000 lights.

If a somewhat standard tree lighting sound . . . blah—check out the Duck Crabpot Christmas Tree that will be lit the following night on the Duck Town Green. Santa will make an appearance on a fire truck, stores and restaurants stay open and it’s a great time.

That will get things started. We’ll be back with more to do things for Christmas later.

 

Nu-Blu Wows on Outer Banks

Nu-Blu at the Soundstage. (LtoR) Austin Koerner, Carolyn Routh, Daniel Routh, Levi Austin

 

A couple of weeks  ago we wrote about how much there still is to do on the Outer Banks, and even looking beyond November there is still a lot to do.

But before we look too far into the future, quick review of Nu-Blu who lit up the stage at the Lost Colony on Roanoke Island last night seems in order.

Part of the Veteran’s Writing Weekend the Dare County Arts Council has sponsored for the past two years, the group performed at the Soundstage Theatre, the one time prop storage for the Lost Colony.

Nu-Blu is part of a wave of newer, younger performers who are taking bluegrass into new directions. Much of what they play are the traditional sounds of the music, but from time to time, they suddenly go in different and wonderful directions.

Their instrumental breaks between the amazing vocals of Carolyn Routh especially range take side trips into jazz riffs with some rhythm patterns that sound a lot like rock’n’roll. 

It was a great night of music last night, but beyond that there was a reminder that the weekend is about helping veterans heal through the wiring process.

Ron Capps, who runs the Veterans Writing Workshop took the stage to read from his book “Seriously Not All Right.”

The book describes his experiences in war and what he read was chilling, horrific and a reminder that the scars our veterans carry are not always visible.

OBX Fall Visitation Looks Strong

The view from Aqua Restaurant and Spa in Duck.

Maybe it’s something in the water, or something in the air or maybe it’s all the shoulder season promotional activity that has come to the Outer Banks, but it looks as though September was the best September for visitation that we’ve ever had.

The statement does come with a cautionary note, since the numbers we’re reviewing are  from the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau and they report for Dare County only. Currituck County is much slower in reporting visitation numbers.

That being said, the perception that there was a lot of traffic on our roads in September was not our collective imaginations. The northern beaches especially posted very strong growth, with the towns north of Oregon Inlet showing a 10.3% increase over 2013.

What seems to be happening is the cumulative effort of a number of organizations and businesses to create reasons to visit the Outer Banks in the fall are starting to create results. 

Is strong visitation in the shoulder seasons here to stay? It’s hard to say. There has been some fluctuation over the past few years, but the overall trend is clearly to sustained growth.

To our Brindley Beach property owners—it would seem there is opportunity here to take advantage of the increased interest in the Outer Banks in September and October. Give us a call and let’s see what we can do together to be more successful.

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