Seagull flying over very rough seas, Sunday, 2/15.

It is cold! By any standard anyone wishes to apply, it is cold. It’s cold here on the Outer Banks; it’s cold in Pittsburgh where a friend sent a text saying it’s 4 degrees—and that’s not the wind chill. Or New York City were it’s 19 and falling.

The good news is spring really is just around the corner—and on the Outer Banks that means the Mike Kelly’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. . . Sunday, March 15, followed closely by the Outer Banks Taste of the Beach, Thursday through Sunday, March 19-22. 

If ever there was an excuse to take a week off in the spring, this is it—the whackiest most fun parade imaginable, followed by a four days of amazing food and events. 

For anyone going to the Taste of the Beach for the first time—there are so many events that it is not possible to go to all of them. Our Brindley Beach recommendation: pick three or four a day, give yourself adequate driving time between events and have a great time. 

Two events in particular that have been highlights of the weekend are the Annual Chowder Cook-off at the Marketplace in Southern Shores on Saturday, and the Taste of the Beach Grand Tasting at Pamlico Jack’s on Sunday evening.