Another year has come and gone on the Outer Banks and looking back some of it was great—most of it actually.

And then there was Hurricane Matthew, which wasn’t so great.

But mostly, it was a very good year.

Here are four highlights with a little bit of what we wrote.

Bonner Bridge-March

Twenty-three years after it was supposed to be replaced, construction on a new Bonner Bridge is finally on the way. If all goes as the planners and engineers for NCDOT hope it will, three years from now a new bridge will be in place and the old one will come down. The only part of the old bridge that will be left standing, will be the walkway and fishing pier on the south end.

The groundbreaking for the new span brought out the local political heavyweights with Governor Pat McCrory and US Representative Walter B. Jones standing at a platform on in the parking lot on the south end of the bridge and telling the 200 or so in attendance what a great day it was for transportation on the Outer Banks.

Redesigned Aquarium-August

The official completion and grand re-opening of the Roanoke Island Aquarium won’t be until August 10, but the doors are open now and Wow! It is worth a visit completed or not.

Just walking into the lobby it’s obvious things are different. A cameras capture everyone’s image and projects the image in giant high def screen high overhead. The backdrop is an ocean environment and just to give it a touch of realism, hammerhead sharks swim by every once in a while.

Really worth a visit and great for the whole family.


Mike Kelly Announces Pending Sale-September

No one has signed on a dotted line et, and there is still a way to go before a sale is finalized, but restauranteur Mike Kelly confirmed last week that he is in negotiations to sell the five acre lot that is home to his signature restaurant.

Kelly’s Outer Banks Tavern in Nags Head has been a part of Outer Banks life since 1985 and Mike built his restaurant into a center of entertainment and good food. When Brindley Beach Vacations needed a larger venue for our Womanless Beauty Pageant, Mike came through for us and we had two wonderful and very successful years using his tavern.

Hurricane Matthew-October

Hurricane Matthew was an unpleasant and unexpected surprise. 

Matthew decided to confound everyone and track ENE almost parallel to Hatteras Island and instead of losing its strength it became an extratropical system and, although far out to sea, it still has hurricane force winds in its core. 

The result was, the Outer Banks got even more rain than expected and much stronger winds–winds approaching hurricane force. We’re still trying to figure out just what those winds were, but somewhere around 65-70 seems about right and there were certainly some gusts higher than that.