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obx is OPEN (and it’s not even summer!)

There’s much to do on the Outer Banks all year round.

Some may think that late winter and early spring would be sort of the doldrums of the Outer Banks seasons. But they really aren’t! 

This year we’ve had some amazing weather to chase the mid-winter blues, but the days are still short and the nights chilly. Luckily, even though it’s the tail end of winter, there is still a lot to do on the Outer Banks, and a lot of it has to do with good food and live music!

The dining room at Ocean Boulevard in Kitty Hawk. Great food, live music on Friday nights.

The dining room at Ocean Boulevard in Kitty Hawk. Great food, live music on Friday nights.

One of our favorite year ‘round places is Ocean Boulevard. Live music on Friday nights, very good wine, killer martinis and what may be the best late night bar menu around. And and we can’t rave enough about their dinner menu— innovative, well-presented and wonderful—an ideal place to unwind after a long week or to celebrate being with someone special.

Trio, also in Kitty Hawk, has made a point of having live music on hand Thursday through Saturday, and occasionally on other days as well. A huge wine selection, more than two dozen beers on tap, cheese plates, an innovative menu and live music—all in a very comfortable not-really-a-bar kinda setting. AND, they have the largest wine by the glass and beer selection on the Outer Banks.

For great beer and live music on weekends, check out the Outer Banks Brewing Station in Kill Devil Hills under the wind turbine. The food is awesome, too.

Any rumors floating around that Kelly’s Outer Banks Tavern in Nags Head is closing is premature. Mike has said the property is up for sale, but there is nothing imminent and there is entertainment just about every night—live music on the weekends, Shag dancing and Karaoke during the week and an open mic. Worth checking out.

There are a number of bars where would be singers can go to show the world their talent. The Jolly Roger in Kill Devil Hills has Karaoke seven nights a week (they even have a LIVE Karaoke video feed so your friends at home can watch the fun) and at Longboards Island Grill it’s Karaoke on Saturdays.

musicians at poor richards

Poor Richard’s. Photo courtesy Duane Cochran Photography.

Or get off the beach and head over to Manteo. Open daily except Sundays, they serve some of the best (and most affordable) sandwiches on the OBX. On Friday and Saturday nights Poor Richard’s packs in the crowds. If you’ve ever been to Poor Richard’s, you’ll know that is the case—the bar is small and the locals turn out in happy numbers.

This is a just small sample of what’s out there that combines both food and music. You can always check out the Outer Banks Live Music Calendar online before you head out for the evening.

A few other places for dinner—Black Pelican in Kitty Hawk has been a part of local life for 21 years, and there’s a reason for that—great food, good service and a relaxing atmosphere. Barefoot Bernie’s has a great bar for watching the game AND a family friendly restaurant, Bonzer Shack on the Beach Road in Kill Devil Hills is informal, fun and the food is good. Blue Moon Beach Grill in Nags Head and their sister restaurant Blue Water Grill & Raw Bar at Pirate’s Cove Marina are both worthy of a visit (or two). If you are looking for a healthy juice or vegan choices for lunch, try Outer Bean Cafe in The Dunes Shops in Kitty Hawk.

Pizza and Chinese restaurants—none of them close during the winter. The hours may be restricted, but no one closes. And good news for coffee lovers—all the coffee shops are open!

And just a quick note—Kelly’s St. Patty’s Day parade is March 12th this year. That’s a little earlier than usual.

Given how much is happening, we know this is just a partial list. We just wanted to make the point that the OBX is OPEN. Is it wide open like it is in the summer? Nope. But even at this time of the year there is a lot to do, so get out there and enjoy!

Kip Tabb, HOBX correspondent

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