Coming Home

By Molly Harrison | Monday, May 31, 2010
The Island Farm on Roanoke Island opens next Monday.

Driving over the bridge to the banks and smelling the moist, salty air, seeing the ospreys soaring and the blue of the sound set against the tan and green of the marsh - and a glimpse of ocean in the distance -- is a magical feeling whether you've lived here your whole life or are visiting for the first time. * I just got back from a great vacation, but I didn't mind coming back home one bit. I've lived here 16 years and I'm positive I felt just as excited about driving over the bridge as all those thousands upon thousands of Memorial Day visitors who came streaming into town this weekend...

I have to admit I'm rather Nags Head-Roanoke Island-centric this time of year. I don't really venture north of my home base at milepost 16 on holiday weekends and in the height of summer. Everything I need can be had from here south and west. * But judging from what I saw on this end of the world -- wall-to-wall towels on the beach, overflowing parking lots, lights on in every rental home and hundreds of boats on the water - I'd say summer is here...

Some good news: Dr. Stephen Leatherman -- "Dr. Beach" - has given Hatteras Island a much-needed PR boon by naming Cape Hatteras the number 4 best beach in the country. As Hatteras Islanders have been struggling against negative PR about beach closures, Dr. Beach has given the area nationwide recognition in a positive light...

At the same time, of course, there are many people who are lamenting the NPS closures of Cape Hatteras beaches, Cape Point among them. If you want to see a current list of closed - and open, as there are still miles of open - beaches, go to Cape Hatteras National Seashore's Google Earth map: http://www.nps.gov/caha/planyourvisit/googleearthmap.htm. You can click on each day to see the beach access map link and zoom in to the shoreline area to see the current status of the beach area you're interested in. ...

Roanoke Island's newest attraction -- Island Farm - opens June 7, but there's a special free visitation day this weekend (Saturday). * Created by Outer Banks Conservationists, Island Farm is a re-creation of the Etheridge Homeplace, which traces its beginnings back to 1783. Visitors will be able to tour the restored main house and re-created outbuildings (barn, corncrib, kitchen, dairy, privy, smokehouse and slave house) as well as get a glimpse of the duties of farm life on Roanoke Island in the mid-1800s and meet animals - sheep, a horse, an ox and chickens. * This has been a long time coming because OBC does things right - can't wait to see it on Saturday!...

Roanoke Island is holding court as the summer special events capital of the Outer Banks. Here's a rundown for the upcoming week:

-- On Tuesday join four island restaurants - Full Moon, Ortegaz, Magnolia Grille and Adrianna's - for a Taps and Tapas Crawl. Call 473-MOON for details...

-- On Thursday there's the Roanoke Island Home & Garden Showcase. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., tour three island homes and gardens, see The Mother Vine and tour The Island Farm and The Elizabethan Gardens. There will also be gardening lectures, an artisans marketplace and lunch - all in the Elizabethan Gardens. Cost is $25, not including lunch...

--The Lost Colony is running all week, but Dare County residents can get in free on Dare Nights - June 2, 3, 4 and 5. Bring a donation of at least two canned goods and you'll get in free (with proof of residence in Dare). * Might want to get there early to ensure a good seat; they start accepting canned goods at 6 p.m.

-- First Friday is this week. Head downtown for live music, family-oriented entertainment and a street party atmosphere from 6 to 8 p.m. And don't miss the opening reception for painter Shirley Ruff's new exhibit at the Dare County Arts Council Gallery...

--Roanoke Island Festival Park has Broadway Unleashed on Friday. NC A&T's Richard Harrison Players will present Broadway Tunes at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. It's free and in the indoor theater...

--Dare Day is coming up on Saturday. * Note that the Farmers Market will be canceled this week due to Dare Day. * Dare Day's got live music, carnival food, artists' booths and kids' activities on the waterfront...

--Free tours of the new Island Farm are on Saturday, June 5 (see above)...

It's a shame that everything always happens on the same weekend. This weekend is also the Ocrafolk Festival, definitely one of the best festivals on the planet. * The nooks of Ocracoke Village fill up with artists booths and event stages for storytellers, musicians and performers. The music is folksy, the storytelling is riveting, the art is inspiring, the people are friendly, the setting is charming - just writing this makes me want to change all my plans and see if the campground has any openings for the weekend...

Single gals who are staying on the northern beaches this weekend should hit the Bachelor Auction Fundraiser on Friday, June 5 at Port O Call. * It's a fund-raiser for the Outer Banks Cancer Support Group, and there'll be some local hotties up for auction. * Call 473-9447 for info...

I know what you're thinking -- wrap it up, lady! I could go on and on, but I'll let you get on with your life. Look around the site to see all the other stuff that's going on... especially on the nightlife front. * Businesses and attractions are coming on board every day, and OuterBanksThisWeek.com is smoking! Tell your friends...

And put your 2 cents in. If you'd like to contribute or add your voice to this blog, you can do that below. Keep in mind that the blog comments are moderated so that this site is only putting positive vibes into cyberspace * We'd really love to hear from you...

About the Author Molly Harrison
Molly Harrison is managing editor at OneBoat, publisher of OuterBanksThisWeek.com. She moved to Nags Head in 1994 and since then has made her living writing articles and creating publications about the people, places and culture of the Outer Banks. When not working she practices and teaches yoga and spends as much time as possible outside and in or on the water with her husband and two children.