Shelly Island

shelly island
Photo by Melodi Gray Schwartz

The Outer Banks is well known for the beautiful landscapes and natural beauty. Around every corner, there is more nature and recreational activities to enjoy such as hiking in Nags Head Woods, hang-gliding at Jockey’s Ridge, fishing on Pea Island, kite surfing in Buxton, and watching sunrises on the beach and sunsets on the Pamlico or Currituck sounds. The star of all the attractions, that brings flocks of visitors to the Outer Banks, is the beachfront. One of the jewels of the Outer Banks is the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The Cape Hatteras National Seashore is known throughout the East Coast as a premier location for surf fishing, surfing, and shelling. Cape Point, located in Buxton, is especially a point of interest, as it is the eastern most beach of the Outer Banks.  The Cape Point area juts out stretching very close to the Gulf Stream. Recently, Cape Point has made national news with the formation of an island known of Shelly Island.

The unique structure of the Outer Banks creates a vast history dating back to the 1500’s.  As a string of peninsulas and islands, the Outer Banks can be occasionally known for the treacherous seas, which in the past has created a large amount of shipwrecks resulting in the nickname “Graveyard of the Atlantic”.  Harsh winds, whirling tides, and concealed shoals all come together to create a combination that can be deadly to ships.  The distinctiveness of these circumstances also allows for areas of beach to be eroded away as rapidly as they come into sight.  The shorelines of the coast are constantly shifting and moving due to currents and storms, causing land to vanish or spread out creating a wider beach.

shells on shelly island
Photo by Melodi Gray Schwartz

These sources of tides and currents create sandbars and are believed to have created Shelly Island off of Cape Point.  The newest attraction of the Outer Banks has everyone buzzing and excited visitors and locals going to check it out.  The crescent shaped island started appearing in April of 2017 and very rapidly formed into an island measuring a mile long and 500 feet wide.  The presence of bountiful and beautiful seashells has given Shelly Island its namesake.

Strong rip currents flow between Shelly Island and Cape Point.  Visitors should use extreme caution when attempting to get to Shelly Island. Cape Hatteras National Seashore and emergency officials have strongly urged visitors to not attempt to get to the island via swimming or walking. While access may be easier during periods of low tide, high tide can result in people being stranded or having to be rescued. Shelly Island is surrounded by extremely strong currents, so access to the island should be done by kayak, paddleboard, or boat.  Many sharks and manta rays have been reported to be seen on the way to the island.

For adventurers wanting to visit Shelly Island, time is of the essence.  The Island scattered with beautiful, pristine shells is far from permanent. The ever changing coastlines of the Outer Banks will take away Shelly Island as quickly as it appeared.

The Best Real Estate MarketDanielle-2015-10-14-1For more information please feel free to call Danielle and Danny Fenyak at (252) 256-1818 or email Danny at

Getting to Know the Outer Banks: The Cultural Scene

Getting to Know The Outer Banks The Cultural Scene

Living on the Outer Banks is an interesting proposition. Just about everyone who lives here owes their livelihood to the four or five million visitors who find there way to this strip of sand every year.

Full time residents love living here—most of us feel as though we have found a small slice of paradise on earth, although it does create an interesting way of life.

In the summer it is just go, go, go. And anyone who wants to work should have no problem finding a job during peak season. A lot of our retirement community take advantage of that, working 12 or 15 weeks over the summer and using that as “mad money” for a special trip or purchase.

In the off season, the Outer Banks has a surprisingly vibrant music and art scene. It’s not as diverse or as large as a major metropolitan city, but for an area with a total population of maybe 40,000 if Corolla and Ocracoke are included, this area does very well.

Our summer visitors may not be aware of how strong that scene is for a simple reason—the groups that sponsor the art shows and concerts are volunteer, nonprofit organizations and the membership is too busy during the summer to put organize those types of events.

After the summer rush, though, things really pick up for the Outer Banks cultural scene. Here’s a list of some of the nonprofit cultural organizations, what they do and how to contact them.

Dare County Arts Council

If there is a father of the Outer Banks nonprofits, the DCAC is it. Marking its official birth in 1975, it was the outgrowth of a number of working artists who felt an organization was needed to promote the arts and creativity in Dare County.

The offices and gallery are located in the Old Courthouse in downtown Manteo, and the gallery is worth a visit, with the works of some of the best artists on the Outer Banks on display.

The Gallery has become the focal point of much of the cultural activity of Manteo. A favorite happening in the town is First Friday that runs from April to December—although the December First Friday is the town’s tree lighting…a must see event.

First Friday is a celebration of small town life, with live music, restaurants and bars serving food and drinks at sidewalk cafes and businesses staying open late. In the DCAC Gallery the featured artist for the month is introduced

The Gallery is also the home to two annual art shows—the Frank Stick Memorial Art Show in late January into February and the Mollie Fearing Memorial Art Show in May.

The DCAC also sponsors Surfalorus, a surf film festival in September and Artrageous—a celebration of kids and the arts—in the fall.

The DCAC is always looking for volunteers and artists. For more information call 252-256-1610 or online at

Outer Banks Forum

The full name for the organization is the Outer Banks Forum for the Lively Arts, and it has been bringing outstanding music to the Outer Banks since 1988.

When First Flight High School was built, the Forum was the first group to understand that the auditorium was better than anything that had been seen on the Outer Banks and as good as any school auditorium anywhere. That is where all of their shows are held.

The Forum generally opens their season with the Richmond Ballet in September and close with the Virginian Symphony Orchestra in late April or early May. In between there is a remarkable diversity of performers. Last year that included April Verch, a Canadian fiddle player and step dancer and AJ Croce, Jim Croce’s son. Both concerts were outstanding.

For ticket information or to join call 252-256-9361 or online

The Don and Catharine Bryan Cultural Series

Don Bryan was a remarkable man. joining the Army Air Corps in 1942, he rose through the ranks, retiring as a full Colonel in the Air Force in 1972, when he moved to the Outer Banks.

He went on to become the mayor of Nags Head, but what he was probably best known for was his artwork. His paintings are wonderfully real depictions of life.

Near the end of his life, he established the The Don and Catharine Bryan Cultural Series to bring a variety of cultural events to the Outer Banks.

Because Don’s mandate was not limited to art or music, what the Cultural Series offers is remarkably diverse. Pulitzer Prize winning author David McCullough has given lectures in conjunction with his book, The Wright Brothers, the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players have made two trips to the Outer Banks, and working with the state of North Carolina, a traveling art exhibit has been part of the mix.

It is a wonderfully eclectic mix of lectures, music and art and it has helped to create a more vibrant Outer Banks culture.

For more information check them out online:

What’s Happening with the Mid-Currituck Bridge

mid-currituck bridgeThat the Outer Banks is a wonderful place to visit is a given. A beautiful setting, soft sand, ideal for a family vacation and reasonably priced compared to most tourist destinations, it makes sense that so many people choose to come.

If there is a consistent complaint from our visitors  though, it is getting here in the summer, especially on weekends, has become a time-consuming undertaking. As it stands right now, most of our visitors come from the north and arrive on the Outer Banks via the Wright Brothers Memorial Bridge that exits at Kitty Hawk.

About a mile past the bridge there is an intersection that leads north to Southern Shores, Duck and Corolla or south to the main towns of the Outer Banks or Hatteras Island. The intersection is inadequate to handle the volume of summer traffic and consequently, traffic regularly backs up to the mainland.

To alleviate traffic at the intersection a bridge spanning Currituck Sound has been seen as the best solution for a number of year. First envisioned in 1978 as part of a planning exercise for the UNC School of Government, the Mid-Currituck Bridge has had to fight for its life since it first became part of North Carolina Department of Transportation plans.

Current Status of the Project

The Mid-Currituck Bridge is included in current North Carolina Department of Transportation plans; however, the start date has been moved back. As recently as 2016, the construction schedule had the bridge completed in 2022. Although still on the books, it is difficult to know when the bridge is scheduled to be completed.

There is an extensive permitting process that is involved in moving any project like the Mid-Currituck Bridge forward, and the most daunting task had been completed in January of 2012 when a Final Environmental Impact Statement was issued. The next step would have been issuing a Record of Decision, but a change in the political makeup of the state legislature created a change in how North Carolina Department of Transportation evaluated projects and the Record of Decision was never issued.

Because of the delay, the Environmental Impact Statement will have to be re-evaluated and how extensive the re-evaluation process is may determine the schedule.

When the bridge was re-included as part of the state’s transportation improvement plan in 2015, a new schedule of completion of the project was issued that had a date of 2022. That date was contingent on a Record of Decision being issued in the spring of this year.

That did not happen and the new Record of Decision date is spring of 2018.

It is unclear how much of an effect that will have on the overall schedule. Typically contracts are not let until the Record of Decision is issued; it is possible contracts could be awarded more quickly than usual in which case the delay would be minimal.

At this point the North Carolina Department of Transportation website lists the opening date as to be determined.

Possible Impacts

North Carolina Department of Transportation projections for traffic growth on the Outer Banks point to the necessity of building the bridge. If and when the bridge is finally built, provided the projections are accurate, the impact on traffic will be dramatic.

At this point in time, people living on the southern Currituck mainland repeatedly express frustration with being trapped in their homes on summer weekends. The bridge should remedy that. Additionally traffic that slows to a crawl through Duck and Southern Shores should move mover efficiently.

The Mid-Currituck Bridge, though, enjoys widespread regional support, not just a vote of confidence from Dare and Currituck County officials.

For the counties that makeup Northeastern North Carolina the Mid-Currituck Bridge represents employment opportunities for their residents. Unemployment rates in neighboring counties tend to be higher than the beach communities and with quicker access to Corolla, the belief is jobs would be available.

Employers in the Corolla area would also like to see the bridge completed. Because there are relatively few year round residents in the area, finding employees to fill summer needs has been a consistent problem and like the neighboring county officials, the bridge is seen as a way to relieve employee shortfalls.

If the bridge is built, it’s difficult to predict what the effect on real estate and business will be. The preferred alternative will connect Aydlett with Corolla, landing in the Outer Banks between Timbuck II and the Whalehead Club.

On the Outer Banks side, the impact will probably be minimal; buildout is continuing regardless of what happens with the bridge.

On the Currituck mainland side, it may be a different story.

There is very little commercial development in the area that will be the corridor for the bridge—at this point it’s farmland and swamp. The swamp is Maple Swamp and is protected wetlands, so there will be no building there, but there may be opportunity in the areas that will allow construction.

Will It Be Built?

That is an interesting question.

The short answer is probably but there are some significant hurdles to cross.

There are still question about how the project will be funded. Plans call for a Private Public Partnership, with financing that will be paid for by tolls. The total cost of the project is approximately $500 million, although that may go up if the delays continue.

Questions have been raised asking if the tolls will be adequate to satisfy repayment of the debt and maintain the bridge.

There is almost certainly going to be a lawsuit filed by the Southern Environmental Law Center.

The Southern Environmental Law Center has been on record as opposing the project for some time. They have raised concerns about environmental damage and continuing buildout of the Currituck Banks. The organization has presented an alternative plan that would include flyovers at the troublesome intersection and other road improvements.

The plan is similar, although not identical to, one of the alternatives rejected by North Carolina Department of Transportation.

If the Southern Environmental Law Center does sue to stop the project, they will do so after the Record of Decision is issued, since the project is not officially on the books until that time.

Getting to Know the Outer Banks: The Schools

Getting-to-Know-The-Outer-Banks-2-The-SchoolsMoving a family to a new home involves a lot of decisions and some very real concerns. One of the most important considerations for parents is the quality of the education their children are going to receive.

The good news for families coming to the Outer Banks is the schools here are excellent—consistently rated among some of the best in the state.

This article will focus on Dare County Schools; although there are schools in Ocracoke and Corolla, most of the population of the Outer Banks and most of the schools are located in Dare County.

For information on Corolla schools contact Waters Edge Village School, 252-455-9449—a K-8 charter school, or Currituck County Schools, 252-232-2223. For information on the Ocracoke school, K-12, contact Hyde County Schools, 252-926-3281.

Dare County Schools Overview

There are approximately 5100 students in Dare County public schools. The student to teach ration is 13:1, which is notably better than the national average of 16:1.

In North Carolina, teacher pay is determined by the state and public school teachers are state employees. However, county commissioners can provide additional funds for teacher salaries and Dare County commissioners have consistently supported teacher pay. As a consequence, compensation for county teachers is better than surrounding areas. Teachers also tend to be better qualified, with better skills and the turnover rate is low.

The four year graduation rate for Dare County High Schools has been between 93-95% for some time. That is a remarkable achievement and the school system typically ranks in the top ten in the state for graduation rates.

High Schools do participate in the College Promise: Tuition-Free Courses for High School and College Credit program. Juniors and Seniors who meet course and GPA requirements can take college level classes at the College of the Albemarle, a community college that serves northeastern North Carolina. Course credits are fully transferable to any state school in the University of North Carolina system.

There are 10 campuses and 11 schools in the Dare County system. The Alternative High School is housed in First Flight High School in Kill Devil Hills.

The Schools

Elementary Schools
Dare County elementary schools are K-5 schools. Although all elementary schools in the system rank well, Kitty Hawk Elementary has consistently stood out as a top tier school in state rankings. Elementary schools in particular feature very active parent participation. School PTOs sponsor annual fairs that are used to finance a number of improvements and programs in the schools. All elementary schools offer after school programs.

Kitty Hawk Elementary
16 South Dogwood Trail
Kitty Hawk, NC 27949
Phone: 252-261-2313

First Flight Elementary
107 Veterans Drive
Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948
Telephone: 252-441-1111

Nags Head Elementary
3100 S. Wrightsville Ave
Nags Head, NC 27959
Phone: 252-480-8880

Manteo Elementary
701 North Highway 64/264
Manteo, NC  27954
Phone: 252-473-2742

Cape Hatteras Elementary
47500 Middle Ridge Trail
Buxton, NC 27920
Phone: 252-995-6196

Middle Schools
Dare County middle schools are grades 6-8. On Hatteras Island the middle school is part of Cape Hatteras Secondary School. In addition to offering a full range of team sports, county middle schools also offer band and chorus.

First Flight Middle School
109 Veterans Drive
Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948
Phone: 252-441-8888

Manteo Middle School
1000 Hwy 64-264
Manteo, NC 27954
Phone: 252-473-5549

High School

The three Dare County high schools rank very well in statewide evaluations. Manteo and First Flight High Schools do rank higher than Cape Hatteras Secondary School, though.

Cape Hatteras with a limited student body cannot provide the full range of athletic teams that Manteo and First Flight offer. In general, Dare County Schools compete very well in athletics and sometimes excel. The First Flight Men’s Soccer team took home the state title in 2016 and were runners up in 2015.

The schools, though, offer much more than athletics for extra-curricular activities.The three schools have very active arts programs that include award winning jazz bands, outstanding chorale groups and performance of very challenging plays.

As a gage of how popular theatre is at the schools, performances at First Flight and Manteo regularly use 60-100 students in their productions.

First Flight High School
100 Veterans Drive
Kill Devil Hills, NC, 27948
Phone: 252-449-7000

Manteo High School
829 Wingina Avenue
Manteo, NC 27954
Phone: 252-473-5841

Cape Hatteras Secondary School (6-12)
48576 Hwy 12
Buxton, NC 27920
Phone: 252-995-5730

Getting to Know the Outer Banks: Basic Orientation

Getting-to-Know-The-Outer-Banks-1-basic-orientationVacationers find the Outer Banks to be a beautiful and pretty straightforward place to visit—there’s Corolla on the north end, Ocracoke to the south, and everything for the most part is aligned north and south.

However, for anyone who has made the decision to move to the Outer Banks, it quickly becomes apparent this is a more complex area than it appears at first. Different groups, of course, will have different needs and different questions; a retired couple will want to know about cultural activities, maybe a part time job and a social network; a family with children will want to know about the school systems and recreational activities.

There is some knowledge, though, that anyone moving to the Outer Banks will find useful, so we’ll start there and provide more specific information in the future.

Counties, Towns and Communities

From the Virginia state line to Ocracoke is about 125 miles and includes three counties. Currituck is the northernmost, Dare County begins at Duck on the northern end and includes most of the Outer Banks, and Ocracoke is part of Hyde County.

The Outer Banks north of Duck is sometimes referred to as the Currituck Banks and it consists of two communities. Corolla is the area from the county line to the end of the paved section of NC 12; Carova begins at the end of the paved road and extends to the Virginia state line. Carova, the home of the Corolla Wild Mustangs, has no paved roads and is accessible by 4WD vehicle only.

During the summer Corolla is a thriving small city of 40,000-45,000 new residents every week. During the winter the population shrinks to 800 permanent residents including Carova.

The Dare County Outer Banks consists of the northern Outer Banks—Duck to Oregon Inlet, and Hatteras Island or the southern Outer Banks—Oregon Inlet south to Hatteras Village.

The towns of the northern Dare County are, from north to south, Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head. Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head are the original towns of the Outer Banks and have the most concentrated populations and the most services.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore begins in Nags Head and extends south to Ocracoke Island.

After crossing Oregon Inlet, the northern 12 miles of Hatteras Island is Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge. The first community is Rodanthe, which is the northern most of the Tri-Villages—Rodanthe, Salvo and Waves.

Although they have never boasted large populations, the Tri-Villages have a rich cultural history that extends to colonial times.

After the Tri-Villages the next town south is Avon. Old timers will sometimes refer to it as Kinakeet, which was its original name. In some ways, Avon is the commercial center of Hatteras Island with the only true supermarket and shopping center south of Oregon Inlet.

Between Avon and Buxton there is a beautiful stretch of open road where Cape Hatteras Light is located. The road then goes through Frisco and finally Hatteras Village.

At Hatteras Village there is a ferry to Ocracoke. The only way on or off Ocracoke is by boat…or aircraft. Ocracoke is a beautiful little village with a permanent population of 900.

Local Representation

Neither Corolla nor Carova are incorporated towns, and zoning decisions, local fees and ordinances are made by County Commissioners who meet in the town of Currituck on the mainland. The combined populations of Corolla and Carova elect a County Commissioner who represents them.

The northern Outer Banks towns are incorporated, as is the county seat of Manteo. The towns are responsible for fire and police protection as well as enforcing their own zoning and permitting procedures.

County Commissioners are elected from the incorporated towns and work with the towns on a number of issues. Town and county cooperation was particularly important in developing an Intra-local funding formula for beach nourishment.

None of the communities of Hatteras Island are incorporated and they are represented by a county commissioner.

My Behind The Scenes of HGTV’s Beachfront Bargain Hunt on the Outer Banks

Do you love HGTV?  Of course you do.  Who doesn’t love watching all the home shows and seeing the new decor trends or what property values are in different parts of the country? Or better yet, you watch to see the big reveal at the end.  Whether it’s a renovation show or a house hunting show there’s always the big reveal at the end.  Have you ever wondered how people end up on those shows and what it is like to film a “reality” TV show?  Here’s my experience of 30 minutes of fame from HGTV’s Beachfront Bargain Hunt on the Outer Banks.

My road to TV fame started back in November of 2015.  It was a typical day at the office.  I was sitting at my desk working away when I was interrupted by the phone ringing.  It was a number I did not know, but it came up as a New York number.  Since we have many people from New York that buy and sell vacation rental or second homes on the Outer Banks I was excited that it could be a call for a new listing or a buyer interested in purchasing.  It was neither.

The phone call was from a production company called Magilla.  They film the show Beachfront Bargain Hunt that airs on HGTV.  They explained that they were going to be filming in my area and wanted to know if I would be interested in filming an episode of the show for them.  I was ecstatic!  They explained  the process and the criteria, and my adventure began.

The Search for the Perfect Client

The search began for the perfect client to film the show with me.  The format of the show follows a couple or family that is looking to buy a beach house on a budget.  A real estate agent shows the buyers several homes and then they reveal their choice at the end.  Normally people apply for this show and are prepared.  From what I understand most people are on the show because either they are the buyer, have bought their home already and submit their story and home to be on the show or a real estate agent applies on behalf of their buyers that are already under contract or have recently purchased. But I was sought out and was taken completely off guard.

I had 2 months to submit my client choice to the production company.  Since this is a show about finding a bargain I was up against some tough criteria.  My buyer had to be under contract or had to have recently purchased their home.  The property had to be waterfront or have a water view.  And the price had to be under $400,000.

If you know a thing or two about Outer Banks Real Estate, you know that to find something waterfront for under $400,000 is not an easy task. At the time I had a handful of buyers I was working with all of which were in the market for homes over $600,000 so clearly they weren’t going to work with the budget restrictions. Every day I hoped the phone would ring and it would be a new client that wanted to buy a home with a water view and their budget was only $400,000.

As my deadline approached I still did not have a buyer that met all the criteria. I felt a little bit of heartbreak over potentially miss out on this great opportunity.

One Great Idea Changed Everything

One day in late January I was driving home from photographing a house in Kill Devil Hills and the idea suddenly hit me.  I called my husband, Andy, right away and told him that I had a great idea for the show.  He was a little hesitant as some of my ideas can be a little out there sometimes, but he patiently listened.  I told him we should do the show. He was confused. I explained that we personally met all the criteria for the show.  He asked me who the real estate agent would be if we were the ones acting as the buyer.  I nicely reminded him that we happened to be real estate agents and we could do the show representing ourselves in buying a new home.

Andy and I lived in Corolla for 9 years and had just recently moved to Kitty Hawk.  Our son, Charlie, was getting ready to start kindergarten and we wanted him to attend Kitty Hawk Elementary School so we made the decision to move from Corolla to Kitty Hawk.  Since we are real estate agents we represented ourselves in purchasing our new home.  And our home fit all the criteria.  It was not waterfront, but we do have a water view.

Andy agreed that we didn’t want to miss out on filming and suggested I talk it over with our casting producer to see what they thought.  Later that day I sent an email to the production company with my idea and they said they would have to get approval from HGTV directly since it did not fit their typical format of having a couple and a real estate agent.  The next day I received an email from the producer saying HGTV loved the idea and wanted to proceed.  Now that the first hurdle was jumped, it was then on to the reality that I was going to film a show for HGTV!!

Filming Began

HGTV Beachfront Bargain HuntersFast forward to March of 2016 and it was finally time to film.  I had no idea what to expect.  The production company tried to prep us as much as possible in advance, but it is completely different to actually be there with the crew in person with cameras and lights and fuzzy microphones in my face and people everywhere.  It took 4 days to film our episode.  We did 12-14 hours of filming each day and it was exhausting to say the least.  But what an amazing experience.

We filmed in March, but they wanted us to act as if it were summer.  We had strong winds and cold temps during our 4 days of filming, yet we were in bathing suits on the beach and in shorts and sleeveless tops.  Our teeth were chattering and our bodies were shivering, but somehow we managed to smile through it all and get it done.

Since we had already purchased our home, the portion of the show that has us looking at different homes was more of an example of what we would have done and not actual homes we considered buying.  Before we bought our home we did look at many homes all over Southern Shores, Duck and Kitty Hawk before finally buying the home we did.  So they just recreated the process and we filmed in homes that might have been options we would have considered that all fit the criteria of the show.

HGTV Beachfront Bargain HuntersWe also decided that filming the show would have been easier if we had a script that we could have memorized.  We would walk into a house and they would film our initial reaction and comments and then they would ask us to it again so they could get a different camera angle.  And, “oh yeah please repeat what you just said.”  We were constantly asking “What did we say?” as it was difficult to remember everything we had just said about what we were seeing.  For each room and house we had to film it at least 2-4 different times so they could get different angles of us and the room.  And that doesn’t count all the times they’d yell “CUT” because something wasn’t right or we said something we weren’t supposed to.

We had certain words or phrases that were banned.  You never realize how often you say a particular word or phrase until you’re told you can’t say it.  My word was nice.  I was not allowed to say the word nice.  I quickly discovered that I really like to say the word nice.  They let a few slide here and there, but we had to start several scenes over.

We spent most of one day doing what they called interview scenes.  It was just the two of us sitting somewhere answering questions that you don’t hear asked when watching.  We went to a few local restaurants (thank you Black Pelican and Blue Point for hosting us!), sat on an oceanfront deck(thanks to a wonderful client that allowed us to film at his home) and had several scenes of us driving in our car.  The field producer would ask us a question.  We would have to repeat the question in our answer and then elaborate.  It was the same process for these interview scenes as it was for the house hunting scenes.  We would go through all the questions, think we were done, and they would say that was great now let’s do it again from another angle.  It was grueling at times, but again, an amazing experience.

HGTV Beachfront Bargain HuntersThere were several fun scenes that we got to film too.  Charlie got to go hang gliding off Jockey’s Ridge, we went tubing and boating in the sound, we played at the beach (and in the freezing cold ocean!) and we went cruising in our 1968 Mustang convertible to go crabbing and then had a crab feast with steamed blue crabs in the backyard of our new home.

On the fourth day of filming, after a little over 12 hours, we were finally done.  One of the cameramen has been on the production team since the show started several years ago.  He told us he has filmed hundreds of episodes and has never filmed an episode quite like ours before.  In the typical format of the show, while the real estate agent is filming, the buyers have a break. When the buyers are filming then the agent has a break.  Since we were both the agents and the buyers we had to do it all.

When it was all over we were exhausted and excited.  But then the waiting game began.  The production company wasn’t sure when the episode was going to air, but told us it could be 10 to 12 months.  They were right!

Our episode finally aired on HGTV on Sunday January 8th, 2017.  Originally, we were told it would be late January, but they moved our episode up to early January. This gave us very little time to get the word out to our friends, family, and clients.  There will be a second airing of the show in the near future.  If you missed the show in January and would like to be notified of the next airing, please send me an email. I’d be happy to let you know when it airs again.

Have you ever wanted to be on HGTV?  If so, contact me. I have been in talks with a production company to film 4 more episodes.  The criteria is a bit different, but if you are thinking of buying a home in the Outer Banks we would love to be part of your story!

Favorite Foods On the Outer Banks

outer banks foodEveryone loves a good meal and sometimes when you are traveling you don’t know how to find the local favorites. We all use Trip Advisor, Zomato or other apps to help navigate us to the spots with the best reviews.  But many times I have found that those are not always accurate.  I guess we all have different preferences, whether it be the atmosphere or the cuisine, bottom line is that good food is always a bonus when traveling.

I have lived here on the Outer Banks for about 14 years and there have been restaurants that come and some that go.  We tend to only go to the locally owned restaurants and that is also the case when we travel.  So, I wanted to share some of our local favorites and mention my favorite menu item.  This is all just my opinion, and I like different places for different reasons, so it is all a matter of what you are looking for.  I do get asked a lot by clients or by friends on where to go when they are in town.  I always ask them specifically for what they had in mind or what they might be in the mood for to determine where I would recommend.  This, by no means, is all en compassing and doesn’t include all my favorites, but just gives some personal opinion and maybe introduces you to a new place here on the Outer Banks that might become one of your favorites too.

When we are looking for a family friendly type restaurant in the warm weather times of the year, we tend to go to the Outer Banks Brewing Station because of their awesome back yard.  Their pizza is awesome for the adults and the kids and the menu has something for everyone.  During most of the season when it is warm they also have live music in their big fenced in back yard which is awesome for the kids to run and play while adults can relax and eat.  They also brew their own great beers, so don’t forget to try your favorite kind.

outer banks foodThen there are the times when it is me & my husband or a few couples getting together to go out and eat.  That is when you hope the wait at Kill Devil Grill isn’t too crazy.  Most of the time it is, so I can’t have my cheesesteak eggrolls or the chicken wings.  Their specials on their specials board are always good so you can’t go wrong with one of those.  If the wait there is too long, we usually go to either Food Dudes Kitchen or the Red Drum Tap House & Grill.  Food Dudes has a great menu but it is a small restaurant that is getting more and more popular with visitors and the locals.  The nachos with pulled pork are something that my Dad always request me to bring him when I go home to Maryland – not that I can, but they are that good.  The Red Drum is larger and has a bar area so we can usually get a space somewhere to eat fairly quickly during the summer season.  Their mac and cheese with shrimp and country ham is so good and their seafood chowder is one of the best I have had.

Now if you are looking for maybe a lighter meal or just a place to get a cocktail, hands down the best place is Miller’s Waterfront new upstairs Sunset Bar & Grill.  The view is right over the sound and one of the few places that you can eat dinner on the waterfront.  The tacos are so good and the lobster roll sandwich is many people’s favorite.  They have a full bar, so everyone can enjoy their favorite beverage and enjoy the best view around.

If you are looking for a good breakfast and then the best burger you can ever imagine, then you have to go to Art’s Place in Kitty Hawk.  They are right on the beach road so you can also relax outside and watch the ocean.  Art’s also does music in their yard so check on that if you want to hear some live music with your meal or beverages.

not the answer Outer BanksI hope that this offers some guidance on good eats while visiting the Outer Banks.  Feel free to offer any suggestions you might have as well, everyone loves a new great place to eat.

Cara Muglia, REALTOR®
Outer Banks Blue Realty Services