North Carolina’s Outer Banks: A Destination Any Time of Year

Thank you for the recent feature, Sara Kendall, of the Epicurean! “Spanning over 200 miles in a string of narrow barrier islands, the Outer Banks is an ocean haven anytime of the year. The locals refer to them as OBX, and millions of people make these islands their vacation destination. Looking to book a winter retreat or plan next summer’s getaway? The Outer Banks is a fabulous choice no matter the time of year you decide to venture to the ocean breezes.” http://www.epicureancharlotte.com/travel/

This Article from the Charlotte Epicurean on just a few of the reasons why the OBX is so special hit the nail on the head! We have so much to do here and a ton of great dining options! What are you going to choose to do today?

Kites and Beer … Plenty of Reason to Celebrate in April

April has finally arrived and there is plenty of reason to celebrate! For those who enjoy tracking bizarre and unique holidays, you may be reveling in the fact that it’s National Humor Month, Lawn and Garden Month and National Poetry Month. But don’t worry … we won’t attempt to tell any bad jokes, educate you on tending to your blooming flower bulbs, or craft a haiku. What we WILL do is launch a kite and raise a pint in honor of National Kite Month and North Carolina Beer Month!

 

NATIONAL KITE MONTH
Every year in April Kite enthusiasts across North America celebrate the history and the future of the world’s favorite pastime by letting their kites fly.  It is a month to celebrate the joy and happiness that comes from letting out the line, letting your kite catch the wind, and letting that kite soar high into the sky.

 

Kitty Hawk Kites - Florida

KHK Fly into Spring Kite Festival /Fort Walton Beach, FL

To kick-off our month-long celebration, Kitty hawk Kites invites you to Florida’s Emerald Coast for the annual Fly into Spring Kite Festival in Fort Walton Beach this weekend (April 2-3). In addition to experiencing the sight of 25-to-100-foot larger-than-life show kites of all sizes and shapes, this FREE two-day, high-flying event features professional stunt kite flying, demonstrations and lessons, and a family fun fly that is perfect for kite enthusiasts of all ages. The public is invited to experience and learn from several professional kite fliers both days, courtesy of Kitty Hawk Kites and the Emerald Coast Kitefliers Club. Also, be sure to try out the Revolution Kites Simulator before testing your skills on a Rev kite. Receive $20 Rev Bucks to be used at Kitty Hawk Kites just for trying!

 

KHK Instagram Kite Promotion
Between April 1-17, Kitty Hawk Kites is giving away an amazing limited edition series of SuperSize Star Wars kites from Wind n Sun (48” R2D2, 50″ Millenium Falcon, 52” X-wing Fighter) to one lucky winner! To be eligible to win, visit our Instagram page and simply mention three of your Instagram friends in the comment section between now and April 17 at 11:59pm ET and we will select our grand prize winner on Monday, April 18. Good luck … may the force be with you!

 

Kitty Hawk Kites - Instagram Kite Contest

 

Additional National Kite Month Online Resources
AKA National Kite Month Updates
April Kite Events
National Kite Month Online Store


NORTH CAROLINA BEER MONTH

April also happens to be North Carolina Beer Month, and for the fourth year in a row there are an exciting array of activities lined up from the mountains to the coast! It’s a month-long celebration offering plenty of NC beer-inspired events and festivals, tastings and dinners, special discounts, travel deals, giveaways and more. Ready … set … cheers!

As we’re raising our glasses to the finest NC craft brews from across the state, we’d be remiss if we didn’t show some love to our local Outer Banks breweries who provide locals and visitors, alike, with liquid deliciousness on a daily basis … Weeping Radish Farm BreweryOuter Banks Brewing Station, and Lost Colony Brewery.

 

obx-brewtag-event-kitty-hawk-kites

 

OBX Brewtag: Kegs Will Fly Again on October 22!
We’re also excited to remind everyone that the 2nd Annual OBX Brewtag event will take place on Saturday, October 22, 2016 at The Soundside Event Site in Nags Head, NC. Flying Kegs, Craft Beer Garden, Live Music, Kid Zone, Food Vendors, and much more. You will NOT want to miss it! To get you excited, check out highlights from our inaugural event.

Cold Stunned Sea Turtles Find Help in OBX

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Green sea turtles rehabilitating from cold shock at Roanoke Island Aquarium. Photo K. Wilkins Photography

Every once in a while an event comes along and it’s a reminder of how amazing the people who live on the Outer Banks are. That’s the case with a recent spate of cold stunned sea turtles.

Over 340 turtles have been rescued from the beaches of Hatteras Island over the past week. Mostly green turtles, with a few Kemps Ridleys and loggerhead in the mix, it is for North Carolina an unprecedented event.

According to experts in the field, the most likely cause was an abnormally warm December with plummeting temperatures earlier this week.

The turtles will die unless they are rehabilitated and that’s where the can-do and volunteer spirit of the Outer Banks has come in to play.

Volunteers with N.E.S.T. (Network for Endangered Sea Turtles) and National Park Service employees have been combing the beach looking for turtles.

The turtles are taken to Cape Hatteras Secondary School, and then transported to the STAR Center at the Roanoke Island Aquarium. The STAR Center is a sea turtle rehab facility.

No one has ever seen anything like this and every where you look at the center, buckets and bins are filled with cold stunned turtles regaining their strength. Volunteers are constantly walking among the turtles, cleaning the water, feeding them and making sure they are recovering.

One of the most amazing facts is that only six have been lost so far.

The first batch of 85 has already been sent to Florida to be released in warm waters. Even that took a huge cooperative effort, from Fish and Wildlife supplying a truck for transportation to the permits that are required from every state along the route. According to the folks at the Aquarium the cooperation from all agencies has been absolutely outstanding.

The next batch of 85 turtles should be at the Fort Macon, NC Coast Guard Station by Monday. The Coast Guard has agreed to take the turtles to the Gulf Stream to release them.

A Kitty Hawk Kites Christmas Wish

Headline from Wilmington, NC paper last time there was an Outer Banks white Christmas. Source, National Weather Service.

Headline from Wilmington, NC paper last time there was an Outer Banks white Christmas. Source, National Weather Service.

We don’t get white Christmases very often on the Outer Banks. In fact, they’re almost as rare as a confirmed sighting of Santa Claus coming down a chimney. We checked the records and the last time there was snow at Christmas around here was 1989, and that was a record breaking storm that brought with it single digit temperatures.

That seems to be more than a once in a lifetime event. After a an evening of research we finally found a reference that said the last time before the 1989 storm that there was a white Outer Bank Christmas was 1874. Figuring one white Christmas every 115 years, we’ll gas up the snow plows in the year 2104.

Nonetheless, the spirit of Christmas if very much alive and well on the Outer Banks. Our Kitty Hawk Kites stores are always stocked full of lots of fun stuff for kids, and a lot of what makes the holidays so special is watching the joy on a child’s face when a special gift is opened.

Of course it’s more than that, because what the kids represent is family, tradition and the love that binds generations together. Within that joy a child feels in getting a special gift is a lesson about the joy of giving, for mirrored in the child’s delight are the emotions the parents feel in giving that gift. It’s not a lesson an eight year old would know, it is one that an 18 year old will remember.

The Outer Banks at Christmas is a remarkable place—a place where family, tradition and a wonderful community spirit come together to create the best of lasting memories.

It is with that hope that all of your Christmas memories for this year and every year will be the best that the Kitty Hawk Kites family of employees wish everyone a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Kayaking Outer Banks-All Season Beauty

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Enjoying a Currituck Sound sunset by kayak.

The northeast wind off the ocean is a chilly reminder that winter is coming. Out on the sounds, the duck, geese and swans are carpeting the water, migrating to the bays and estuaries in a cycle of life that as constant as the change of the seasons.

Yet even this time of the year, as the days get shorter and the the Outer Banks goes back to its small town roots, there are still some great opportunities to enjoy the beauty that surrounds us.

One of the best ways to explore the natural world of the Outer Banks is by kayak, and the fall and winter are great times to get on the water. There are a number of reasons for that.

Wind is the bane of many kayakers existence, and yes there usually a northeast wind at this time of the year, but the waters of Outer Banks sounds are to the west and are well-protected from the wind.

Because there are so few visitors at this time of the year, renting kayaks at almost any time should not be a problem.

Bugs are the great irritant of summer kayaking—yes, bug repellant does work, but it is nice to be on the water without a swarm of insects overhead.

Guided tours are still offered at this time of the year, but availability is very restricted so be sure to call ahead if plans include a guided tour. But for more experienced kayakers, the offseason is a golden opportunity to get on the water.

We’re including a list of kayak put-in sites with a couple of notes about some of the sites. We may have missed a few sites, but this is a good starting point.

Corolla

Whalehead Club

Offers a wonderful and different view of the storied art nouveau mansion. Paddling north leads to classic estuarine waters.

Duck

Duck town boardwalk

There are a number of docks designed for easy kayak access.

Southern Shores

No public put-in. However, civic associations maintain docks and parks along the Currituck Sound.

Kitty Hawk

Dock of the Bay, Bob Perry Rd.

A great access point to Kitty Hawk Bay and Albemarle Sound. Located on a wide creek. Great fishing too.

Sandy Run Park, The Woods Road

Beautiful setting. A little difficult to get out of the pond.

Kill Devil Hills

Dock Street boat ramp Between W. Durham and Avalon Dr.,

Access immediately to the sound.

Second Bridge leading to Colington, Colington Road

Protected area leading to wide expanse of Kitty Hawk Bay.

Nags Head

Jockey’s Ridge State Park/Soundside Road

A little more remote and harder to find, but interesting paddle.

Oregon Inlet Fishing Center

Almost at the foot of Bonner Bridge

Manteo

Bridge leading to Roanoke Island Festival Park

Very protected setting. A great paddle around Ice Plant Island that is the home of Roanoke Island Festival Park.

Washington Baum Bridge Boat Ramp

Across from Pirate’s Cove entrance. Maintained by NC Fish & Wildlife

Hatteras Island

New Inlet

Nature abounds. A real favorite. Part of Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge.

Mainland

Milltail Creek, Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge

One of the most popular kayak paddles around and for good reason. Beautiful and relatively protected.

Most NC Fish & Wildlife ramps have provisions for kayaks.