We’re coming up on Thanksgiving weekend which has become one of the biggest weekends of the year—sort of a last gasp before the doldrums of winter. A lot of our visitors are homeowners coming down for the Turkey Day feast with their families, but whether it’s owners or visitors taking advantage of offseason rates, our Outer Banks roads are busy and business is booming.

After Thanksgiving things slow down pretty dramatically. Yes, there’s a nice little bump around Christmas, but as December rolls around businesses begin to close up until spring.

That’s especially true in Corolla where the permanent population drops to somewhere around 500-600 and a lot of those residents are retired and take a month or so to visit family or travel.

So there’s not much happening in Corolla as the winter comes on. For anyone looking for a relaxing week away from the maddening crowd December, January and February are the perfect time to book with Brindley Beach Vacations.

Of course with so few people in residence, there’s not much reason for businesses to be open, but there are a few that don’t close in the winter, so we made a quick list of a some of the restaurants that should be serving throughout the year. Fair warning though: they’re all locally owned and if an owner decides it’s just not worth it, they may close up shop till March or April.

Also, the two major grocery stores, Harris Teeter and Food Lion are open year round.

Sundogs ((252) 453-4263) is a great neighborhood feeling bar in Monterrey Plaza. Good bar food, lots of TVs with sports always playing—a great place to stop in and have a couple of drinks.

Getting pizza north of Duck should not be a problem with Tomato Patch ((252) 453-4500), Cosmos Pizza ((252) 453-4666) and Pizzazz Pizza ((252)-261-1111) all planning on staying open year round. Hours do get restricted so be sure to check their websites or call ahead.

A favorite restaurant may also be open so don’t take our list as the final word. Check out their website or call and see what their planning. We’ve also found a restaurant’s Facebook page is great resource.