Outer Banks Articles & Shorts - Issue 23: Fall/Winter 2020/21

Publisher's Letter

You know, I’m tired of the hard, the mad, the angry. It’s not that all those emotions aren’t justified and understandable. They are. We’re in the midst of the crazies right now. But, whew, it gets so heavy sometimes. So, instead, I want to take this space to remind us of all the magic of this time of year on the Outer Banks – of all the things that make us feel happy and grateful.

First up is the recognition and respect we all feel for our fellow Outer Bankers who have stepped up to the plate in unbelievable ways in response to the virus. Did you know that we’re on track to have a record-breaking revenue year here? Yep, it’s true, even in the middle of a pandemic. So, think about how all of these local business owners and managers and staff have adapted, worked overtime and done their best with more visitors here than usual, even when almost all were (and still are!) understaffed. We all stayed calm (or earned Academy Awards for our mind-blowing acting jobs) and got the job done. And, as I write this, it’s October and it still feels like summer crowds.

Next, when I get overwhelmed, I go walking, not only in Manteo where I live but also all over these islands. The beauty always astounds me, even after living here 40+ years. Can you imagine what people who have never experienced the Outer Banks think when they first see a sunset on the sound, a moon rise over the ocean, sand blowing on Jockey’s Ridge, tree-covered ridge trails, miles of untouched beach, wild horses roaming free, dolphins playing in waves, night skies ablaze with stars, boardwalks that skirt reflective water, sea oats swaying, the on/off blaze of the lighthouses, even a ferocious storm-whipped ocean? I wonder how many of us get so used to the wonder of this environment that we stop seeing it in depth? It’s certainly an antidote to the hard and angry. It’s natural medicine that’s free if we stop and open our hearts to let it in.

And, lastly, it’s the commonplace events that hold us in a stable place these days – the things that we might take less for granted now that our predictable day-to-day world has been altered. It’s autumn on the Outer Banks, and there are still houses decorated with pumpkins and mums and pumpkin patches enticing families for outdoor fun. Kids are still selling holiday wrapping paper to fundraise for their schools. Local brewpubs are still creating their seasonal ales and ciders. We can again go out for pizza and a movie (if you get there early to make the quota!). Sweaters go on, leaves fall off … and we adapt.



The Best Places to Find Outer Banks Books

By Molly Harrison
From mystery and romance novels to history and coffee-table photography books, nature and travel guides to children’s classics, local bookstores offer a great selection of books in which you can learn more about the Outer Banks or get the feeling that you’re here … even when you’re not. A gracious handful of... Read More

A Moment Captured with Jewelry

By Lexi Holian
Amid the changing tides of the Outer Banks, award-winning designer Gail Kowalski is inspired by the movement and fluidity of the sea. Her handmade jewelry is marked by asymmetry and a motion that you can feel as you look upon the wearable art. Since 1977 Jewelry by Gail has been bringing one-of-a-kind designs to... Read More

So Much More Than a Craft Gallery

By Molly Harrison
You haven’t really visited Ocracoke Island until you’ve wandered down Howard Street and discovered this enchanting gallery. Tucked down an unpaved, tree-covered lane, Village Craftsmen has developed over the last 51 years into a beloved Ocracoke Island shopping tradition known for its exquisite traditional and... Read More

What's Cooking: A Restaurant Guide

By Janna Dimmig
Our Outer Banks restaurants have kept us satisfied with imaginative, freshly cooked food during these last crazy months. Whether they choose take-out, curbside pick-up or dine-in options, locals and visitors have definitely not gone hungry! It’s to their great credit that restaurant owners, managers and staff have... Read More

Camera-Worthy Destinations in Corolla

By Hannah Lee Leidy
Camera-worthy spots and opportunities abound on the Outer Banks. However, one town’s singular and well-preserved history and landscape practically beg that you have your camera ready at all times. Welcome to Corolla – the village shaped by herds of wild horses, a restored 1920s Art Nouveau house and museum, stretches... Read More