Category Archives: North Carolina


4 Things to Do On Your Cape Hatteras Memorial Day Vacation


Spring has arrived and families are gearing up for the kickoff to summer 2015: Memorial Day! Families use this extended weekend to enjoy fun in the sun as well as spend quality time with the family. For families who are planning a Cape Hatteras vacation, Memorial Day weekend on the Outer Banks offers a wide variety of activities and fun. Plan a fun-filled weekend by trying out some of these great things to do while on Hatteras!

Climb the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

Memorial Day kicks off the 2015 season for the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and many of the surrounding lighthouses. Starting the Friday before Memorial Day, the Hatteras Island Visitor Center near the lighthouse will be open to the public. Visit the center and learn about the history of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and pick up some souvenirs from your journey. After visiting the center, join a guided tour of the lighthouse grounds and finish by climbing to the top for spectacular views!

Attend the Shallowbag Bay Beach Music Festival

Drive up to Roanoke Island Festival Park in Manteo and enjoy an afternoon of fun shag music! Take a step back in time and dance away the afternoon with some of the country’s best shag bands. Bring along a lawn chair or blanket and relax while listening to music of years past. Make a day trip out of the event and explore Roanoke Island’s history, shopping and dining!

Run in the Cupcake 5k

Another great event to attend while in Manteo is the Cupcake 5k! This charity event focuses on raising money for cancer research and assistance to cancer patients. Whether you are an avid runner or just want to walk for someone, the Cupcake 5k will surely be an event not to miss!

Enjoy a New Watersport

Try out a new activity that you have been wanting to attempt! Whether it is surfing, kayaking, SUP or any other watersport make this trip to Hatteras Island the year you try it. Memorial Day offers warmer waters for water activities for the entire family to try. No Outer Banks vacation is complete without some time enjoying the beach and the Atlantic waves! Rent a few surfboards or paddleboards for the family and let everyone have a turn conquering a new sport!

These are just a few activities you can try during your next OBX vacation! Don’t see your favorite? Tell us about your favorite OBX activities that families can try during Memorial Day weekend!

Best Beaches in the South

best beaches in the southThe southern states of the U.S. are known for their delicious barbeque, love of football, and country music. However, that is not all they have to offer. Many of the most wonderful beaches in the entire country are located in the south. Check out our list of some must-visit southern beaches!

Outer Banks of North Carolina

A favorite vacation destination for visitors along the eastern seaboard of the United States, the Outer Banks is a great place to visit with the entire family as it has a laid back feel with plenty to do at the same time. Local seafood, watersports, and a bit of history are some of the things that make this area special. After a fantastic morning on the beach, visitors can spend the afternoon learning about the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island or visit the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills.

Carolina Beach, North Carolina

This is a favorite beach for many Carolinians living in the middle or western region of the state due to is accessibility via Interstate 40. Carolina Beach boasts the same southern North Carolina charm as its Wrightsville Beach neighbor to the north but is much less crowded. Sink your feet into the sand in your own personal space at Carolina Beach. The time you save looking for a parking spot will make the trip well worth it!

North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

For those looking for an upbeat and exciting atmosphere with a bit of nightlife, North Myrtle Beach is the place for you! The vacationer with the resort lifestyle in mind will find what he or she is looking for in North Myrtle Beach. North Myrtle’s family friendly beaches will make you and your loved ones feel right home with their southern charm. The beach’s historic night life is known for being the home of “shag” dancing and that fun loving vibe has rubbed off on the entire area.

St. Augustine, Florida

This historic Floridian beach town really has it all. A bit of history, uncrowded beaches, culture, and sports galore. You could spend a week in St. Augustine and still not even come close to being able to say that you “did it all.” The variety of restaurants, shopping, and golf courses available to those in the area is truly unmatched.

There are hundreds of beautiful beaches in the south. Use this list as a guide, but don’t let it stop you from checking out all of the awesome beaches and beach towns the southern United States has to offer!

st. augustine vacation rentals

Live Music is Alive and Well on Hatteras Island

When I spent some time on Hatteras Island in mid-June, I was struck by how many local restaurants offered live music at varying times during the day and week.  We found this to be true in all of the towns that we visited on Hatteras, including Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo (the tri-villages), Avon and Hatteras Village itself.

So, I started to wonder if this was a trend, or if like most homeowners down there, I just don’t get to see my house much during the rental season.  If it’s the latter, I’m going to have to change my rental calendar to accommodate more visits in-season to check up on the local music scene, because it was fun.

Just the places we visited that seem to be pretty active in promoting local music down there included StingWray’s (Rodanthe), Watermen’s Bar & Grill (attached to Real in Waves) and the Hatteras Sol Deli and Cafe (Hatteras Village).  What was great about these venues was that their entertainment was spread out during the week, for example StingWray’s had several bands on a Wednesday night, Watermen’s had music on Monday, Thursday and Saturday (during check-in rush) and Hatteras Sol had a very pleasant outdoor acoustic show for Sunday brunch. This started me on a search to find and publish what I can regarding the upcoming live music schedule on Hatteras.  Here is what I found for approximately the month of July.  

 There are a couple of restaurants that I have not been able to reach yet (Sandbar Grille, Open Water Grill and Mac Daddy’s) that I am pretty sure also have music.  If I get information from them I will update the post.

No shows booked at the moment.


A Mailbox On The Beach?

How cool is this? Just southwest of the resort town and island of Kindred SpiritSunset Beach, NC, there is a  mailbox on the beach.  This creative and artistic relic, called A Kindred Spirit, has been there for almost thirty years now and was started as a tribute to the beauty of Bird Island, where walkers (the beach kind, not the Walking Dead variety) could post reflective thoughts.

This landmark was much harder to get to prior to a storm in 1997 that filled in Mad Inlet, creating a contiguous island with Sunset Beach, just northeast of Little River Inlet.

The mailbox is located a little over a mile from the last beach access point on the southwestern edge of Sunset Beach.  The walk down this beach may just be one of the most beautiful you will ever experience – if you love natural, undeveloped beaches.

Once you arrive at the mailbox, tucked into the dune, you will find pen and paper ready for your use.  There have been letters written to lost loved ones, funny stories, poems, testaments to the solitude and beauty of the place and wistful thoughts of times gone by.  Wouldn’t it be ironic if you had to wait in line to sit on the bench to write your letter about this remote and beautiful place?

So, if you are looking for something out of the ordinary to do while vacationing in or near Sunset Beach, NC, consider a morning walk down the beach to share your thoughts with…well…no one (on this earth anyway).  Kind of reminds me of the lyrics to a Moody Blues song – “Letters I’ve written, never meaning to send.”

The questions in my mind are how many letters, poems and introspective thoughts been recorded?  Will the contents make it into a book one day?  If the walk were 100 yards instead of a mile, would the content of the letters be less poetic?

If you have seen the Kindred Spirit Mailbox and have a story about it, please share.  If you are the keeper of the letters and happen to read this post, can you tell us if there is a plan?  A blog, with anonymous samples, perhaps?

For more information, here are couple of links:


Fishing on Wilson Creek, NC

Wilson Creek

Few things soothe the soul like fly fishing on a Wild & Scenic river. One such river exists at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina.

Wilson Creek is located about 20 minutes west of Lenoir, North Carolina, in the Grandfather District of the Pisgah National Forest. I had the pleasure of visiting a long-time friend that lives on the river and I have to say I understand the Wild & Scenic designation. From his big, covered porch, we could hear and see the rushing waters cascading over boulders and around the bend. The fishing we did was light and half-hearted, but the riverbank was teeming with avid trout fishermen – and we saw many pulling a successful haul out of the stocked waters.

Wilson Creek is just one of many rivers close by in the Blue Ridge Mountains that will provide a great day of fishing. You also have the Watauga, South Holston, North & South Toe, Nolichucky awaiting your fishing line. If you are looking for an experienced fishing guide in this area, I highly recommend you contact my friend Oli Smith at Blue Ridge Anglers. Oli’s knowledge of the rivers in the area and fishing in general is unsurpassed and whether you catch anything or not, I promise you will not have a dull day.

But our main motivation was exploring the wilderness area on either side of the river (Wilson Creek). So, even if fishing isn’t your thing, you should check out some of the other natural wonders close by including Lost Cove Cliffs (inset photo), Hunt Fish Falls and Grandfather Mountain – all within a short drive of the Pisgah Visitors Center on the river. Hunt Fish Falls is a great day hike of about a mile (each way) where you are rewarded with one of the best “swimming hole/picnic-by-the-waterfall” spots you will find anywhere in the world. It’s truly a beautiful place.

If you are looking for a good base camp from which to launch your attack on this unspoiled setting, check out this vacation rental property on our site – Blue Ridge River Cabin. This four bedroom cabin has recently been restored and remodeled to provide a rustic, yet comfortable accomodation for your adventure in the Western NC Wilderness.