RICHMOND, Va. — Headed to the Outer Banks for the “shoulder season?” Off-season is the best time to visit OBX. Shoulder season is the little bit of time bookending the high and low seasons of a popular vacation spot. Read: no crowds, the ever important “zero traffic” and more relaxing.
CBS 6’s Eat It, Virginia co-hosts Scott Wise and Robey Martin scoped out the area to help you get the most out of your vacation while you are there.
WHERE TO STAY:
Nestled directly in between the Atlantic and the Currituck Sound is the Sanderling Resort. The sprawling complex has two outdoor pools (one is adults only) and kids’ pools, plus a spa, and two restaurants, an ocean front bar, and a lobby bar. Do not miss dinner at Kimball’s Kitchen where the Davis Hood (formerly of McCrady’s in Charleston, SC among other notable spots) is tending his own bees and using Outer Bank local produce like fava beans and North Carolina corn. The baked then fried potato is genius. Take advantage of your resort fee which includes beach chairs and towels, a steam room and parking.
A mile away from the Cape is the Inn on Pamlico Sound. The boutique hotel in Hatteras overlooks the sound. Their complimentary breakfast (included in your room rate) has been rated best in the Outer Bank’s by National Geographic Traveler — the breakfast shrimp and grits use local sweet North Carolina shrimp and gorgeous local tomatoes. Ask about the fruit in the picnic snack baskets for your day by the Cape Hatteras’ seashore. The Inn has multiple fruit trees on site — nectarines, pear, and plums long with Muscadine and Scuppernong grapevines.
WHERE TO EAT:
The Blue Point (Duck)
Celebrating thirty years in business the year, it’s easy to see why you need a reservation before you head to the Blue Point. It’s fancy inside but outside at the spot’s Backbar you can hear live music while watch-ing the sunset over the sound. If there is she-crab soup or soft shells on the menu, immediately order them. Chef Sam McGann knows his way around North Carolina’s freshest seafood. (Pro-tip: he will be in Richmond for Fire, Flour and Fork this year.)
Urban Kitchen (Corolla)
Don’t let it’s unassuming location in a Corolla Strip Mall fool you. The six-year-old spot fills quickly af-ter it’s 5pm opening – they don’t take reservations. The spot is only open on Saturday nights IN the off-season. Chef Joe Panaras, former executive chef at The Blue Point (see above), showcases local produce, meats and seafood in clever dishes like a brilliant local tomato peach ricotta souffle and cabbage and crispy catfish.
Set in the middle of Collington Island in Kill Devil Hills, The Saltbox is easy to take for granted. It’s small and kitschy — a reservation is a must. But are you a fan of New Orleans BBQ Shrimp? Do you have a vegetarian in your group? This is the spot for you. The owners, both with culinary degrees and backgrounds working for Emeril Lagasse, know their way around a vegetable. The tofu is made in-house and the chocolate cake with avocado.
Chilli Peppers Coastal Grill and Pupuseria (Kill Devil Hills)
This little spot has been serving the OBX for 26 years. If you are searching for a locals spot that will ap-peal to everyone, this is your place. From 20 cent shrimp and 50 cent buffalo wings everyday at happy hour to a steamer pot full of local seafood, its all here. It’s reported that the owner, Jim Douglas, is behind the OBX logo.
WORTH A STOP:
Check out the Outer Banks first distillery, Outer Banks Distilling in Manteo. The distillery is serving Kill Devil Rum — an excellent (double) name for the liquor.
Kill Devil was the first name name given to rum in Barbados as early as the 1600’s and also could be the reason Kill Devil Hills was given it’s name.
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