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obx is OPEN (even in winter!)

It’s winter on the Outer Banks and for most of us who live here, it’s a great time of year. The pace of life slows down, we catch up with friends, the kids are in school—in many ways, OBX life goes back to its roots, returns to a time when the pace was more small town than than a popular tourist destination.

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 always, plus live music on Friday nights.

But thankfully that doesn’t mean the carpet rolls up and all nightlife goes into winter hibernation! Don’t expect a wide open, every day of the week schedule like we have in the summer, but even now there’s a lot of activity, especially on the weekends on the northern Outer Banks.

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.

Another great place to check out is Trio, also in Kitty Hawk. A huge wine selection, more than two dozen beers on tap, cheese plates, innovative sandwich and live music—all in a very comfortable not-really-a-bar kinda setting.

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.

musicians at poor richards

Poor Richard’s. Photo courtesy Duane Cochran Photography.

Kelly’s in Nags Head has live music most weekends, Shag dancing on Mondays, Karaoke on Tuesdays and on Working Women’s Wednesdays you can get a martini and a manicure for only $15!

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 Karoke video feed so your friends at home can watch the fun) and at Longboards Island Grill it’s Karaoke on Saturdays.

We don’t want to leave Manteo out of the mix. On Fridays and Saturdays 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. 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 Juice & Java 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!

One more thing to check out—After Dark at All Saints in February is a month of evening community interest classes. Really interesting stuff. Unfortunately the cooking classes with local restaurant owners are already booked, but there are still some great choices left. Check out their website for more information.

This is just a partial list, so sorry if we’ve missed a favorite spot or event. 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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