Friday, November 5, 2010

November Outer Banks Events

The main event for the Outer Banks in the month of November is the annual Outer Banks Marathon which will be held on November 14th. This is the 5th year of this event which benefits the Outer Banks Relief Foundation and the Dare Education Foundation--returning all monies to our community. The marathon organizers also have a Fun Run scheduled for the 13th of November as well which is great for families. Find out info (they are still looking for volunteers) here.

Also on the 13th of November, at Roanoke Island Festival Park in Manteo, there will be a Jewelry Expo from 9 am til 5 pm. Visitors will be able to view how various jewelry is made by local makers and there will be items for sale as well. Find out more information here.

On November 27th Kitty Hawk Kites will illuminate the sky with lit stunt kites on the dunes of Jockey's Ridge to the music of holiday songs. Kites generally go up in the air about 4 pm and when the sun goes down the fun begins. Find out more information here.

And speaking of Thanksgiving weekend, enjoy specials at our Days Inns for the holiday. Stay 3 nights at either the Days Inn Oceanfront Wright Brothers or the Days Inn & Suites Mariner during the holiday in a streetside room with 2 doubles for a grand total of $155.00. Other specials are also available, so check our hotel's websites for more info! Or call the Mariner today at: 252-441-2021 or call the Days Inn Oceanfront at: 252-441-7211.

Come to the Outer Banks--there's a lot to see and do!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

3 Great Upcoming March Events!

First we have our annual TASTE OF THE BEACH put on by the Outer Banks Restaurant Association from March 11-14. This event was named by Coastal Living Magazine as 1 of the 10 Top Seafood & Wine Events in the US! Featuring such favorites as the: Chowder Cook off, Champagne Lounge, Tapas Crawl of various restaurants, and Oyster Roast with Beer Tasting---there are plenty of events to choose from. Most sold out last year, so make sure you visit their website and buy tickets early!!!

Kelly's Restaurant is always great for good food and good times! The same weekend as the Taste of the Beach, Kelly's will have it's 21st Annual St. Patrick's Parade (rain or shine) beginning at 1 pm on Sunday March 14th. Click HERE for more info.

That Saturday (the 13th) they will host the 2nd Annual Running of the Leprechauns 8K. To find out more information or to sign up for the race, click HERE.

And last but not least--for the same weekend---we have the 2nd Annual Shamrock Car Show & Poker Run by the First Flight Cruisers of the Outer Banks. The Poker Run will be the 12th of March (Friday) and the Car Show will be on Saturday the 13th. Find more information out on their website HERE.

Of course we would love to host your stays for any of these fabulous events on the Outer Banks. Take advantage of our specials we have at our various properties for the BEST DEAL! Click HERE to visit our: Days Inn Oceanfront, Days Inn & Suites Mariner, Wright Cottage Court, Wright House, and the Driftin' Sands Motel.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Inuagural Outer Banks Flying Pirate Half Marathon

Those folks who do such a good job of putting on our annual OBX MARATHON on Veteran's Day Weekend have decided to put on another great event in April to be called the "Flying Pirate Half Marathon" (it will be an annual event). The course will be the 1st half the OBX Full Marathon (which is held in November)--so runners will run through Southern Shores into Nags Head.

Runners can sign up now for this great event by visiting HERE. It's a great chance for runners who run the 1/2 marathon in November to see the beginning of the course, since their half of the marathon starts in Nags Head and ends in Manteo. This marathon will also be the USA Track & Field's Half Marathon Championship for North Carolina. Some come try your hand against those in the Championship runnings, or just come out and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the course.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


During this time of year, many people are looking to book their summer Outer Banks vacation. We're going to give you are few pointers as to what you might want to ask or find out about your rental/location that you are considering renting:

Some people who are heading to the Outer Banks for the 1st time only know "Kitty Hawk" or "Nags Head" as locations. There are various places to choose from such as: Kill Devil Hills, Avon, Rodanthe, Duck, Manteo, and much more. Make sure you research the town and its location in regards to your needs. If you want to be in walking distance to certain things (restaurants, shops) or not have to drive far to get to attractions, then you will want to make sure that you are in an area which you can do so.

Oceanfront, Oceanside, Between The Highways, Canalfront, etc.

This may be the most important for many people visiting the Outer Banks. If you do not know, HWY 12 (also known as Virginia Dare Trail or the "Beach Road") runs parallell to the ocean. It's a 2 lane highway that goes from the northern part of the beach running towards Hatteras. There is also HWY 158 (also known as the "Bypass" or the "Big Road") which is our 4 lane main road running the main part of the northern/center beach areas.

So for instance with our cottages at the Wright Cottage Court, all but 1 are what we call "oceanside." Which to us means that they are all built on the "ocean side" of the beach road, there are no streets to cross to get to the ocean---they are just not oceanfront. However some of those particular cottages we also call "oceanfront" as there is nothing built between them and the ocean---just nature.

"Between the highways" means that the cottage is built between HWY 12 and HWY 158. So you would have to cross the "Beach Road" to get to the ocean. It is imperative that if you are renting "between the highways" that you know the location of the closest public beach access because in most cases you cannot just cross the street to get to the ocean, as you will be tresapassing on private land--and some accesses can be yards to the north or south of your rental.

"Canalfront" means that the rental is situated on a canal, like in Colington Harbour. Normally these rentals will not be on the oceanside of the beach but located towards the soundside (great for sunsets). If you want to park your boat right out the back door then this can be a great option for your stay.

So it is quite important to have the person who reserves your stay be quite specific in their descriptions, as "oceanfront, oceanview, oceanside" means different things to different companies. Always make sure you write down the person's name you have spoken with for reference as well.

Most weekly rentals for cottage stays will have a Saturday to Saturday or Sunday to Sunday check in or out. Some places, which we are one of, have started offering weekly stays beginning midweek for those needing to redeem their frequent flier miles. So for instance we rent cottage 264, 266, 182, and 282 at the Wright Court weekly starting on any day for those needing a little more leeway in their arrival/departure day.

Some cottage rentals will also allow you to book mini stays as well (for us cottage 264, 266, 182, and 282) with a minimum length of stay. Many of the larger realty companies will not do this until a few weeks prior to arrival, but sometimes will have things posted on their specials page.

Make sure you have a full understanding of your deposit and cancellation information. For instance our smaller cottages in the summer have the following cancellation:

"There is no cancellation within 2 weeks of arrival. If you cancel 15 or more days prior to arrival we keep 25% of the deposit paid and the remainder is refunded in the manner in which it was paid."

So if you were to cancel within 2 weeks of arrival, though you are paid in full, there would be no refund (it's virtually impossible to rent a cottage for a full week again within 2 weeks of arrival). Many realty companies will do something similiar. You can buy Trip Insurance to cover unforseen problems that may cause you to cancel your stay. You can find this on the internet at places like: (not affiliated with us) and this can provide some recompense in case of cancellation within 2 weeks of your arrival (if staying with us).

Many rentals also require a refundable security deposit and administration fee for your stay. So make sure you understand the length of time that you security deposit will be out of circulation before it is refunded to you.

Some companies will provide free linen set up or mid week linen replacement, so you want to be sure to find out if the linen is included with your rental. For example with all of our rentals, we do provide all sheets, towels, and pillowcases for your stay---though they are not refreshed during your stay.

Some rentals are also "Y" members, so you have YMCA passes to our fabulous Y located in Nags Head--which can be handy for a rainy day. And wireless internet is also something you may want to check on if bringing a laptop or notebook. We have Y passes for our properties and all of our cottages, except #148, also have free wireless internet.

Some rentals have outdoor pools or hot tubs, or access to outdoor pools. If you have smaller children sometimes this can be a bonus. Most larger rentals have "patio" pools which are smaller in size, but still fun to play in. At our cottage court we have access to the large outdoor pool at our adjacent property---and our 8 bedroom Wright House has its own private pool and hot tub.

A few rentals on the Outer Banks also have "theater" style rooms where you can kick back and watch a movie like you're at the movies. From time to time you may also find a rental or two with a putting green. These are not common things here on the beach, but they can be found it this is important to you.

Most companies on the Outer Banks will not rent to non-family units who are not 21 or 25 years of age or older. So this means a group of 18 to 21 year olds would not be able to rent cottages from these companies unless a parent accompanied them throughout the stay. This is normally to deter unwanted damage to the rental property, which is also why most require a refundable security deposit.

Please note that many contracts state that if you are not able to show that you are adhering to the company's requirements in regard to these rules, the company then has just cause to terminate your rental immediately (we sometimes have parents calling ask if they can rent for their children even though they will not be accompanying them---the answer would be "Sorry, but no").

Some companies on the Outer Banks will offer an early check in for a fee. Most will say that check in begins at a certain time (say 4:00 pm). With us at least, it 's fine to stop by to see if the cottage is ready for check in early---because if it is not then we sign you in and take down your cell number to call as soon as it's ready. We just let people know that unfortunately we don't have anywhere to store groceries if they are arriving early and the cottage is not yet ready. Some companies have multiple offices, so you need to make sure you know the correct location as to where you need to check in.

Check out is normally 10 or 11 am for rentals. All keys must be returned to the same office from which you started your getaway. Lost key or unreturned key charges might apply if not returned to the rental office. You also need to make sure you know of any procedures you need to carry out prior to your departure. For instance with all of our cottage rentals guests are required to remove all trash from the property and have all dishes washed. Housekeeping fees may be assessed if such procedures are not carried out.

Please note that not all rentals are pet-friendly or smoke friendly. If you are bringing your pet with you, please make sure that you do find out in advance if your rental is pet friendly. Many rentals are now smoke free, though they may allow smoking outside of the rental. If you are a smoker, you will want to check with the company you are renting from, as even some hotels on the beach will assess a fee if cleaners go into a room and smell smoke in smoke free rooms.

So these are just a few tips, mostly common sense, to help you plan out your vacation. It can be a lot like researching for a term paper--though a little more easier with so much information at your fingertips on the web. And of course, don't be afraid to ask questions because if you don't ask you won't know! And finally we all thank you for visiting the Outer Banks---no matter what town you stay in! See you on the beach........

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Rainy Day On The Outer Banks

So that is what it was looking like in front of the Days Inn & Suites Mariner this morning with the wind. However right now (as of this post) the rain has stopped and we have a hardy breeze going on....

This weekend will be a great time to go out and find the treasures that the sea has washed ashore (make sure you leave the seaglass for me)! Our staff was talking yesterday stating that just like after a hurricane--the day after is always the most beautiful of the week, and that's what it looks like for us this weekend.

You can check out the webcams that the county has out and about by clicking HERE. Another great webcam on the Outer Banks is the one on Avalon Fishing Pier. That really shows you what the ocean looks like.

Our Dare County officials and DOT keep us running smoothly and safely here on the Outer Banks. Today the forecast is of course wind and some rain (which is moving through here very quickly from the radar at the bottom of the page on this site) but check us out this weekend when it will be beautiful!

Friday, November 6, 2009


We were happy again to help sponsor the OBX MARATHON once again this Veteran's Day Weekend. This Boston Marathon Qualifier helps provide monies for the Outer Banks Relief Foundation and the Dare Education Foundation helping to enrich lives here on the Outer Banks. We are looking to have FABULOUS weather for Sunday (the actual marathon day) and on Saturday the weather-gods will be smiling on us as well.

We still have cottage availability at the Wright Cottage Court for this weekend. Call 252-441-7331 for reservation information. If not running, come on down and cheer for the runners at the finish line at the Post Race Party. Find more info on the party HERE.

It's going to be a gorgeous weekend on the Outer Banks---call us today for reservations for this fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Gorgeous Outer Banks Weather

We are enjoying some GORGEOUS Outer Banks weather this those 70 degree October days! Perfect for walking on the beach, catching fish, or just soaking up the sun with a good book while listening to the waves......

This weekend Frank & Fran's Tackle Shop is hosting their 10th Annual Red Drum Fishing Tournament (Catch & Release). Click here to visit their website.

On the 25th there will be a Chowder Cook Off from noon til 5 pm at the Seagate Shopping Center in Kill Devil Hills. Fall & winter means chowder, and the cost is $10 for all the chowder you can taste! Call (252) 449-8008 for more info!

Also on the 25th at the Elizabethan Gardens, you can enjoy Harvest Hayday with fun-filled games, hay rides, music, and activities. Click HERE to learn more.

So come for the fun on the Outer Banks in the fall! Great special deals are going on at our properties, and are perfect for all those on a budget!