10 Fun Facts about the Wright Brothers Monument

Have you ever been to the Wright Brothers Memorial?  This National Park and Monument recognizes the land where the first official flight by the Wright Brothers took place.  Here are a few little known facts about the park located right here on the Outer Banks!   If you’ve never been there, plan to check it out on your next visit.  It’s fun and history for visitors of all ages! 

1.  The First Flight Actually Took Place in Kill Devil Hills, Not Kitty Hawk. 

When the Wright Brothers sent word that they made their first official flight, it came from the telegraph office located inside the Kitty Hawk Lifesaving Station a few miles away.    Kill Devil Hills was not establlished as an offical town until the 1950s, so Kitty Hawk was given the credit as the location of the first flight in 1903. 

2.  The Hill Had To Be Stabilized

The original ‘hill’ where the flight trials took place was originally nothing but a sand dune, like hundreds of other dunes in the area at that time. When the government decided to erect a granite monument on that spot, they realized they needed something more stable than just sand to prevent it from shifting.  They added dirt and more sand to the hill, building it up to the height it is today. The whole community got involved with the stabilization process. Children were even paid a penny for each bucket of dirt they brought to the hill.  Once the hill was the right soil consistancy, they planted grass, anchoring it to the spot. Today, this hill is officially known as the “Kill Devil Hill,” named after the town that surrounds it.

3.  The Welcome Center Is Done In Art Deco Style   

The visitor center (which is currently undergoing restoration this year) was considered an ultra-modern design when originally built in the 1920’s. It was part of the Park Service’s “Mission 66” program dedicated to modernization and expansion. The architectural firm of Rogers & Poor were the ones behind it’s unique art deco style. In 1966, it was inducted into the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

4.  It Was The First Federal Park To Have A Permanent Public Structure

Prior to the Wright Memorial’s Visitor Center, National Parks didn’t have public structures on them. Instead, they had ranger stations, entrances, and other similar outcroppings, but no buildings for the public to enjoy. When they created Wright Memorial, they realized that nature and the boulder markers alone weren’t going to be enough to tell the Wright’s story, so they commissioned a museum to tell the rest.

5.  The Inside Of The Monument Is Hollow

The 60 foot granite monument was built in 1932 and dedicated to the Wright Brothers while brother Orville was still living. Though it looks solid, it’s actually hollow with a black granite floor. When it was originally built, it was intended to be open to the public as an extension of the museum. Two alcoves inside originally held the busts of the brothers that now appear outside.  Narrow stairs lead upward, letting you see the entire park from the top of the monument.  With the combined height of both the hill and the structure itself, it’s the single highest point on the Outer Banks.   You can see the entire park as well as the markers on the ground, helping you realize just how important, yet how small everything really is.  This part of the Memorial is closed to the public but opens occasionally for special days and events.

6.  The Memorial Was The Original Selfie Spot.

In the 1940s and 50s the popular thing to do was to get dressed up in your Sunday best and take pictures in front of the commemorative boulders. Though this might seem strange to us today, it has to do with pride. Outer Bankers have always been a proud people, and for their home to be chosen as the best spot in the entire country to have the very first heavier than air flight, it made sense that they would go the most special spot in the world to have their pictures taken in their finest clothes. 

7.  The Access Used To Be From Colington Road 

The entrance we use today from the main road, Route 158 was not always the entrance to the park.  The original access was from Colington Road. You can still find the original access flanked by cold war columns. However, there is a fence there now preventing entry from any route other than the main gate.

8.  At One Time The Inscription Was Highly Controversial

If you’ve ever been to the top of hill, you’ll notice there’s an inscription at the base. It says “In commemoration of the conquest of the air by the brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright, conceived by genius, achieved by dauntless resolution and unconquerable faith.”

The reason it was controversial was because it doesn’t actually say that the Wright Brother’s invented heavier than air flight. This was a constant problem in the years following the famous ‘first flight’. Though the brother’s gained fame and were given many awards for their achievements, none of the early awards acknowledged them as the creators of heavier than air flight. It wasn’t until 1940 that people (and honors) first started  to recognize the brothers as aeronautics’ true inventors.   There is still much controversy as to whether the states of North Carolina or Ohio (the Wright Brothers’ birthplace) can claim to be the “First in Flight”.  

9.  The Flyer At The Monument Is Not The Original

The original plane that actually performed the first flight in Kill Devil Hills is now located inside the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington DC.  However, it almost never made it there due to the fact that the Smithsonian originally refused to recognize the Wrights accomplishment as the creators of heavier than air flight.  Orville Wright (the only surviving brother at the time) sent the plane to England where he felt it would be displayed properly.  Upon learning that they would lose the opportunity to the aircraft to a museum overseas, the Smithsonian pleaded and agreed for the Wright Flyer to be displayed alongside Langley’s flyer. Orville refused and threatened to burn the plane rather than ever let the Smithsonian have it after showing so much disrespect. It wasn’t until 1947, after two subsequent curators and a purging of Langley’s work from the ‘practical’ side of aviation did Orville agree to finally send his flyer to the DC museum.  Though many said he would have preferred to have the original flyer at his monument in North Carolina, Orville’s premature death ended the debate. The last wishes in his will said the flyer was to go to the Smithsonian. The flyer displayed at the Wright Memorial here on the Outer Banks is a replica. 

10.  Many Famous People Have Visited The Monument

Thousands of visitors tour the monument and grounds every year. Each year on December 17th a special celebration is held that marks the anniversary of the Wrights’ first flight.   This celebration brings in aviation fans, military personnel and even a few celebrities.   Actors such as John Travolta and President George W. Bush have made appearances there. As have astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Chuck Yeager. American aviation pioneers, Ruth Nichols and Amelia Earhart also visited the monument during their lifetime. All wanted to see where it all began.

Bonus Fact: The Wright’s Patent Made Them Rich And Famous Men

People think the Wrights invented the airplane. That’s only partially true.  Airplanes with similarities of configuration to the ones the Wrights flew were already in existence. However, they simply didn’t work. They lacked both a way to lift off from level ground and a way to control them once they were in the air.

The Wrights invented a system that helped the plane not only lift off, but remain in control once airborne. This was the true turning point for both aviation and the Brothers. To this day, there is no better system for controlling flight than the one the Wrights invented in 1903. Even in modern aircraft, the systems are all just updated variations of the Wrights original system. Thanks to their patent, the Wrights received 20% on the sale of every new aircraft regardless if the buyer was commercial, private, or even the government.

The Outer Banks is a special place, something the Wright Brothers knew only too well. So if you’re ready to visit and learn a little more about our history, give us a call today!

Want to Squeeze an Extra Day Out of Your Vacation?

From 4pm on check-in day to 10am of check out day, your Summer vacations seems like the shortest week of the year.  There’s never enough time to do everything you want to do, and the week just feels like it flies by!

That’s why we’re going to share with you a way to squeeze an extra day out of your vacation, courtesy of H2OBX.  

Repeat visitors to the Outer Banks know that the traffic on Route 158 is the worst between 9:30am-7:30pm on Saturdays and Sundays due to the large number of families trying to get to the OBX and start their vacation. If you arrive on the OBX too early trying to beat the traffic, you have to find something to do for several hours before your vacation home is clean and ready for you to move in.  If you arrive too late, you feel like you’ve wasted a whole day of your precious vacation time traveling!

We have the solution for you!  Instead of sitting in traffic, why not sit in the shade under an umbrella while the kids enjoy the area’s newest waterpark — H2OBX!  It’s located about three miles before the Wright Memorial Bridge and spending the day there allows you to start your vacation fun early!   The waterpark has all kinds of rides, souvenirs, drinks and eateries. Feel like splurging? There’s also a cabana option with TVs and cushioned lounge chairs (perfect for napping!). You’ll have plenty to do, see, and eat to keep the entire family entertained until twilight, when the traffic is gone, and your vacation home is ready to welcome you. 

Here are some tips to remember for a day of fun in the sun at H2OBX:

  • Buy your tickets in advance so you are guaranteed a spot– plus, Atlantic Realty guests get a $5 Discount on admission
  • Pack the bathing suits, beach towels, and pool shoes so they are easy to reach in the car
  • Put the dog in doggy day care for the day
  • Do not bring perishable food that may melt in a hot car

An Outer Banks vacation is all about fun, family, and having the time of your life. With a little advanced planning, being able to start your vacation early (or stay later) at the waterpark will make you feel like you’ve just added an extra day to your vacation week. Enjoy.

Ready to book your vacation?  Let one of our helpful Vacation Planners show you how to get started!  Give us a call at 800-334-8401

What’s in a Name?

The Outer Banks is rich in history, lore, and legend. And it’s also home to some equally strange names. So what’s in a name?  This article will take a look at some of the strangest names on the Outer Banks, along with how they came about.

The Graveyard of the Atlantic

You may have heard the Outer Banks referred to as â??The Graveyard of the Atlanticâ??.  This moniker came about due to the more than 600 shipwrecks that occurred just off of our coast.  Though the Outer Banks contains no natural rock formations, the constantly moving water, unpredictable currents and shifting sands is a sailor’s worst nightmare.   Sand is capable of ripping a boat open just as easily as rocks can. When you add to that a channel that was open last week might be closed today, you can see how dangerous these shores truly are. This is one of the reasons, the Outer Banks had several lighthouses , to guide the ships to safety.  Fortunately, thanks to modern technology and advances in navigation, shipwrecks are far less common today.

Nags Head

The story of Nags Head is one of our favorite Outer Banks legends.  During the golden age of piracy, some pirates suffered the same fate due to the Graveyard of the Atlantic and were shipwrecked here on the island.  Not wanting to give up their pirating ways, but stuck here without a boat, they devised a new plan for plunder.

They would tie a lantern to the head of a horse (a nag) and walk it up and down the beach. This simulated a lighthouse or sometimes even a ship in trouble. Either way, a ship at sea would make its way towards the light and then wreck on the shoals of the Outer Banks.  The land pirates would come to loot the ship. Most often, the shipwreck victims were free to go, since there was no way to leave without a boat.  Today, we call these people ‘land pirates’ but in their own day, they were called ‘wreckers’.

Kill Devil Hills

There are several legends about the origin of this unusual name. But two in particular stand out. The first one is a kind of folk tale. It tells the story of a man who managed to trap the devil between the hills. Then he told the villagers that he ‘killed the devil in the hills’.

The second story is based around rum. Because of the all the shipwrecks, things were constantly washing up on the beach. The locals used to say the ocean made more reliable deliveries than the post office, and it made them twice a day. This particular day in the early 1800’s, a delivery came in from the Caribbean in the form of bottles of rum.  Rum was a rare treat for the locals, since sugar was impossible to grow here at the time. This rum however, was dark and strong. So strong that people who drank it said it could kill the devil himself.

Jockey’s Ridge

There are many theories as to the origin of the name ‘Jockey’s Ridge.’ However, there is one story which is more popular than the others. The name dates back to at least 1753 when it appeared in a grant given to John Campbell. The original name then was ‘Jockey’s Hill’.

The name itself is believed to have come from the practice of catching the wild ‘banker ponies’ and racing them on the flats at the base of the giant hill. People sat on the ridge itself like bleachers, in order to watch (and bet) on the races. 

Bodie Island 

Pronounced ‘body’ this is the home of the lighthouse with the straight horizontal stripes. Some say the island was named after a keeper who used to work there by the name of Bodie. However, official records of a keeper with that name have yet to turn up.

The other theory has a much darker tone. Because of the unusual swelling currents around this island, locals say it’s where the bodies of shipwrecked sailors would wash up after a storm. Even though there have been no bodies found there in the modern age, unusual things do wash up there such a sand dollars, sea stars, and exotic fish. It’s a great place to beachcomb. 

Kitty Hawk

This is one is a little less straightforward than the others. It’s believed to originate from the Native American word “Killy Honk”. This word refers to the perfect time to hunt geese. Geese were a staple of Native American, colonial, and early American diets.  


Yes, this town IS named after the animal we know today. But do you know why? In the 1920’s, duck hunting was all the rage. People flocked to hunting clubs such as the Powder Keg Club or the Whalehead Club specifically to hunt ducks. These clubs not only provided the lodging, but also owned vast expanses of land so their patrons could hunt ducks in private. Back then, the skies were known to turn black from thousands of ducks in the area. It was a Duck hunter’s delight.

Eventually, Duck hunting fell out of favor. The surrounding land was sold to private developers. The Whalehead Club was turned into a museum focusing on the 1920’s, and the Power Keg club was turned into Duck’s Cottage (coffee and books.) Though no one hunts ducks in Duck today, the name stuck as a nod to the past.


Though it’s common to think of the Toyota car when you here this name, this town wasn’t named after the car at all.  Ka-Rah-La, as is it pronounced was known early in its history as part of a number of small towns and villages collectively called the â??Currituck Banksâ??.   Currituck is located on the mainland and is  derived from a Native American word for â??land of the geeseâ??.  When the residents decided to become a ‘real town’ all their own, they submitted ideas to the local post office. The winning idea was to name itself after a cluster of flower petals located on the same flower, also known as a ‘corolla’ of petals.  


Wanchese is a fishing village near Manteo. If you veered left when you reached the light instead of going right to Manteo, you’d be in Wanchese. The real Wanchese was a native American Chief. At first, he, like Manteo, welcomed the colonists. He was even presented to the Queen.

Then, after an attack that resulted in the death of his son, he decided the colonists were enemies. Still, we honor him today and the good will he showed us in the beginning.


Manteo the town is our county seat. Manteo the person was a Native American Chief. When the colonists first arrived, he welcomed them. His assistance was invaluable to the colonists’ survival on Roanoke Island. He even made the trip to England and was presented to the Queen. 

Manteo continued to be a friend to the colonists long after they and Wanchese had a falling out. Some people speculate that when governor White’s ships didn’t return in time, the colonists went to live with Manteo’s tribe. That is one theory on how the Lost Colony disappeared. 

Oregon Inlet

Many people think was named after the state or the trail. However, Oregon didn’t become a state until 13 years after the inlet was named. So where did the name come from? In 1846, a fierce hurricane trapped a ship called ‘The Oregon’ in that area. There was no inlet there yet, and no bridge. However, there was a treacherous sandbar, and shallow channels that would rip a boat to pieces.

With no where to run and giant swells bearing down, The Oregon looked like it was going to be another victim of the Graveyard of the Atlantic. Then, a miracle happened; the combined force of the hurricane and the swells opened a passageway into the sound and pushed the Oregon through. Now that they were in the shallower, calmer water, the lucky ship was able to wait out the storm in safety. The inlet was named after the Oregon, who was present when it was created.

Pea Island

This section of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore was named after the wild peas that used to grow on it. These peas provided sustinence for colonists in the early days, and for Native Americans hundreds of years before that. However, the climate has changed drastically since that time. Today, there are practically no wild peas left on Pea Island, making the name seem silly to those who don’t know its meaning.

Alligator River

This wildlife preserve is named after one of its inhabitants; the alligator. Alligators used to be a common animal in inshore waters along the Outer Banks. Once, someone managed to take a picture of an alligator by Jennette’s Pier. Today however, there are a lot fewer alligators, which lead to a lot fewer sightings. Alligator River is one of the few places on the Outer Banks where you can still see an alligator. One of the best ways to see them is with a kayak tour through the river. Because of the shape of the kayak, the gators treat it like just another, much bigger alligator.


Mashoes is located in an area of the Outer Banks that most visitors get to see.  Some may have never even heard of it.   However, it’s worth mentioning because of its unusual name. Pronounced ‘ma-shoes’ (or sometimes ‘my-shoes’ in a joking manner,) this is actually a corruption of a name of a French captain,  Peter Michieux, who was shipwrecked here. 

Virginia Dare 

You’ll notice there are a great many things named after Virginia Dare on the Outer Banks, such Virginia Dare Trail (AKA, the ‘beach road’) and Dare County itself, just to name a few.

Virginia Dare was the first English baby born in the new world. When the first English Colony disappeared, she disappeared right along with them. This has given her a legendary, almost mythical status. She’s been the subject of many pieces of artwork, poetry, and even fictional stories that try to explain her eventual fate.

Street Names

Being a coastal area, you’ll find a great many streets are named after animals, plants and sea life.  You’ll also find the obligatory street names that refer to local heroes or prominent families. Every small town and even some cities have those. There are even streets named after the Elizabethan’s who played a prominent role in the Lost Colony, such as Ananias Dare, Simon Fernando, Virginia Dare, Queen Elizabeth and countless others.

But if you look closely, you’ll notice a fourth name type. Names such as Lindbergh, Orville, and Wright are not named after local heroes but after pioneers of aviation.  Since this is the land where flight began almost 115 years ago, naming streets after these aviators makes perfect sense.

House Names

I’m sure you’ve noticed that our beach houses have names too. This isn’t just a way to tell them apart, but something rooted in deep southern tradition. This practice originally started in England, where all ancestral homes had names to identify the families that owned them.  Plantations and estates in the US followed this same tradition which evoked a sense of royalty and regalness.  Nowadays, the art of naming a cottage or beach house is a great way to not only identify who the house belongs to, but to also showcase their personality.  Vacation homes are special places where Owners can really have fun with decorations and amenities that they may not have at their primary residence.  A quirky cottage name just adds to that enjoyment for Owners and Guests alike!

Check out some of the clever names of our Outer Banks vacation homes

Day Trip to Hatteras Island

Hatteras Island is a land steeped in tradition and history. Just a short drive from the northern Outer Banks, Hatteras Island is practically a world in itself, and a world that moves at a much slower pace.  Be sure to check out Hatteras Island on your next OBX vacation! 

Explore the Cape Hatteras Seashore

The Cape Hatteras Seashore in a National Park covering over 70 miles and includes areas such as the Bodie Island Lighthouse, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and Pea Island. It also features a variety of wildlife such as plovers and other birds, turtles and more. It’s not uncommon to catch sight of pods of dolphins off the coast. Visible shipwrecks such as the Laura A. Barnes dot the beaches. If you like to fish, you can pick up a fishing license and cast into the water right off the coast. You can even stop by the ranger station to get a pass to drive on the beach.

Climb the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

With its black and white candy cane stripes, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the most famous in the world. Originally called ‘Hamilton’s Light’ after founding father Alexander Hamilton who commissioned its predecessor in 1794, this lighthouse has withstood the test of time and gone on to become everyone’s favorite. The lighthouse was built in 1870 and moved away from the beach in 1999 due to erosion. Fortunately, the move didn’t do any damage and you can still climb the 210 feet to the top in season. It is the tallest all brick lighthouse in the world. 

Birdwatch on Pea Island

If you love birds, than a trip to Pea Island is not to be missed. Part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, it’s also a bird sanctuary. Ranger led birdwatching tours are available in the early morning. However, you can go on your own and try to see birds at any time from the trails. Pea Island is said to be home to over 365 different species of bird. Since over half of them though are migratory, you’ll never know what you’ll see. Bring the camera, binoculars, and since Pea Island is mostly marshland, we would recommend bug spray.

Horseback Riding on the Beach

If riding horses on the beach is on your bucket list, then you’ll definitely want to check out Equine Adventures.  This stable offers one of the few beach riding experiences. They have horses for every type of rider from experienced to ‘never ridden before’. Though the ride is a follow the leader type tour, you can go at your own pace be it leisurely stroll to canter (run.) This two hour ride takes you on the beach, and through a maritime forest. These rides are suitable for people ages 10 and up, which makes it a perfect experience for both groups of adults or families with kids. Riding horses on the beach is a memory you’ll never forget. Best of all, you get $10 off a ride with our Explore the Shore pass.  

Visit the Frisco Native American Museum

The Frisco Native American Museum is one of the largest private collections on public display. The owner, Carl Bornfriend, is an adopted member of the Lenape tribe. His museum houses thousands of artifacts not only from local Native Americans, but also from Native Americans around the country. They have not only the typical ‘beads and feathers’, but also pottery, baskets, tools, art and carvings.  They also highlight different cultures and contributions Native Americans made throughout history, such as WWII. Though it looks small from the road, inside, it extends in all directions making it seem to go on forever. It’s laid out like a museum more typical of yesteryear than today, which is part of its charm. It’s a place you won’t want to miss.  And with our Fun N Sun pass, you get one free ticket to see it.

Discover the Lifesaving Station

In the 1800’s, the lifesaving service was a division of the treasury department. However, it had nothing to do with money, it was about saving lives. Specifically, it was about saving the lives of soon-to-be ship wreck survivors, caught in the infamous Graveyard of the Atlantic. The Lifesavers were the predecessors of the modern day Coast Guard. There was a saying; you have to go out to save them, but you didn’t have to come back.  The Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station is famous for two reasons; 1. It’s the most complete and fully restored lifesaving station in existence. 2. It was the base of the country’s first all African American lifesavers, (right after the civil war.) This historic site features a museum, historic interpreters and a small gift shop. This is THE place to stop if you love Coast Guard history, African American History, shipwreck history or just American history in general. To make it easier for you to stop, our Fun N Sun pass provides one free ticket.

Take a Picture of the Futuro House

The Futuro house is closed to visitors, but that doesn’t stop hundreds of people passing it every year from stopping to take a picture.  Also called the UFO house, this home has a 1950’s UFO shape. This house was hailed as the ‘vacation house of the future’ when it came out in the 1960’s. It was durable, inexpensive, made in a factory and all plastic. However, fewer than 100 Futuros were ever made. Today, only about 60 still exist worldwide. This might be your only chance to see one, so you’ll want to take a picture of this unique home and testament to days gone by.

This is just small sampling of Things to Do on Hatteras Island.  There are also shopping, exploring great restaurants, watersports, shell seeking, and just relaxing on the beach.  So, next time you visit the OBX, make plans to spend a day exploring Hatteras Island.  Youâ??ll be glad you did!  To plan your next Outer Banks Vacation, give us a call today at 877-858-4795.  

The Outer Banks Welcomes a New Waterpark — H2OBX

Get set to get wet!   You may have heard the latest news, that the Outer Banks will have a new waterpark available to visitors in Summer of 2017.  While it is currently still under construction, we are very excited about this newest addition.  There has not been a water attraction on or near the OBX in over 20 years.  The park will be located just over the Wright Memorial Bridge on the Currituck mainland.  Visitors traveling to the Outer Banks from Virginia will no doubt see the towering slides and play structures on their drive into town.  The park will feature over 30 rides and attractions for thrill seekers of all ages. But that’s just the beginning of what’s in store for park visitors.

While you may have been to waterparks in other areas, you’ve never been to one like this before. The developers of this park took special care in celebrating the history and culture of the Outer Banks with the unique design of H2OBX. There’s a pirate themed play area, décor reminiscent of our most famous attractions and local flavor that makes the OBX so special.

The Rides:  

So now, let’s look at the rides. Of course, it’s impossible to cover every single ride and attraction, but let’s take a peek at the highlights.

The Plank

It’s time to walk the plank. This nine story 530 foot long enclosed drop slide takes you through twists turns and is the longest slide of this type in the country. Best of all, the body slide is translucent so you can see every foot of the park as you’re speeding through it.

Teach’s Tides Adventure River

Looking to get wet but thrill rides aren’t your style? Then check out Teaches Tides, the not so lazy river. This 1000 foot long river will take you past the adventure lagoon, under bridges, through rapids and under waterfalls while you float safely in your tube. This is an adventure the entire family can enjoy as single and double tubes are available.

Endless Wave Flowrider

If your family has ever wanted to learn how to surf, now’s your chance. The endless wave flowrider provides exactly what it says; a wave that never wipes you out. By the end of the day, you could be surfing like a pro. And if you’re not ready to try your hand at surfing, you can also boogie board. The endless wave offers all the fun but none of the danger of a real wave. 

Deep Six Adventure Lagoon

Picture the most fun obstacle course you can imagine. Now, move it over the water an you get the Deep Six Adventure Lagoon.  This course features climbing walls, balance pads, inflatable obstacles for climbing, aquatic basketball courts and much more. So if a waterslide isn’t really your kids’ ‘thing’ you can still all have fun in the water with the obstacle course.

Calico Jack’s Cove  

Named after a real pirate (Calico ‘Jack’ Rackham) this cove is perfect attraction for families smaller children.  The pirate themed play structure is bursting with splash buckets, dump buckets, geysers, bubblers, and waterslide adventures, all for the younger members. Kids will get to climb, pull ropes, tip cones, dump buckets, play with water shooters, water wheels, water cannons and more!    Your kids will have a splashing good time in this part of the park designed just for them.

Eating and Shopping

Of course every theme park needs eatery options, and H2OBX has some great ones.  Traditional summertime fare (hot dogs, hamburgers, barbeque, pizza and more) will be provided by such locations as Flyboys, Dune Devil’s Desserts, Outer Franks, and The Wright Stuff & Coastal Confectionaries will get your mouth watering and satisfy even the most discerning of tastes.  There will be no shortage of sweets and treats to satisfy your cravings. 

They say you should wait an hour after eating to go swimming. I don’t know if that’s true, but if you’d rather be safe than sorry, you’re in luck. In addition to a variety of eateries, H2OBX will also have a wide assortment of themed retail shops. These not only provide you with a unique shopping experience, it also enables you to find the perfect souvenir to remember your fun day at the park.

The Experience

The most unique and exciting thing about this park is the experience. Though this park is equipped to hold over 8,000 people, tickets are going to be limited to just 5,000 per day. This ensures that the lines will stay short, the crowds low, and your family will never have trouble finding a lounge chair.    Vacation Rental companies including Atlantic Realty have partnered with H2OBX to ensure that their guests get the best experience by offering discounted and advanced ticket purchases.  Being a guest of one of these companies is the only way to get discounted tickets in advance.  We expect the park to sell out on those hot summer days, so we recommend purchasing tickets early.  

From the eateries to the retail spaces, to the adrenaline pumping fast-paced rides all the way to the more relaxing ones, this park has it all! It even offers complimentary lifejacket rentals for the little non-swimmers among you. And you can look forward to short lines, great food, fun shops, incredible rides, and an unparalleled experience not available in any other waterpark.

If all goes according to plan, the park will be open by Memorial Day and will stay open through Labor Day.  Advanced ticket sales are available now for July and August dates.  If you are an Atlantic Realty guest and you would like to purchase your tickets, Contact Us for Details!  


What’s New for 2017 on the OBX

What’s New on the Outer Banks?

Summer is almost here and visitors will begin to make their way back to the OBX for a little Fun in the Sun.  On your next visit, be sure to check out these new attractions and restaurants that are opening soon! 

H2OBX Water Park

The Outer Banks is about to get a bit splashier.  Opening in June 2017, the H2OBX Waterpark will be a thoroughly modern waterpark with its roots firmly established the rich history and culture of the Outer Banks.   Located just over the bridge in Currituck, H2OBX will have everything from enclosed and open waterslides, to tidal and surf pools, to a lazy river all with an Outer Banks theme.   Ticket sales will be limited each day to ensure that guests have a great experience with short lines and low crowds which will really make this new park enjoyable for the whole family.  Book your vacation with Atlantic Realty and you will not only get your water park tickets at a discount, but you can buy them in advance.  Call us today to find out how!

Grandstaff and Stein

The Grandstaff and Stein will soon be moving into the former location of the Flying Fish Restaurant in Kill Devil Hills. This unique restaurant and bar has the feel of a speakeasy, complete with bookstore façade in the front to keep up with the prohibition theme.    The hidden passage behind the bookshelf is where things really happen. You can gain access with a password (revealed weekly on their Facebook page) and the décor will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time to the 1920’s.

The OBX Escape Room  

This new concept in family entertainment opened just over the bridge last year, but with its newly themed rooms and recent addition to our Fun N Sun Pass Program, we thought this activity was worth mentioning.   The concept is simple; you and your group are locked in a themed room with a set time to figure out clues and escape. There’s a murder mystery room, a diamond heist, a witch’s lair, Blackbeard’s treasure and even a haunted room.  A gingerbread room was recently added for the youngest clue solvers.  Reservations are required and Atlantic Realty guests get a free admission each and every day of their stay with the Fun N Sun Pass Program.  

Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga

If you have a great sense of balance, the spirit of adventure, or just like getting wet, then stand up paddleboard yoga might be for you. It’s everything you love about traditional yoga, only on a paddleboard.   It makes poses like downward dog and crane a bit more interesting as the gentle sound waves add to your experience and help you relax and commune with nature. 

Corolla Light Town Center Mini Golf

The name is not official yet, but there will be a new mini golf course in the location of the old Corolla Skate Park was in Corolla Light Town Center.  The course will be open to the public and will include several unique water features such as ponds and waterfalls.   There will also be sloping inclines, rock features and beach themed ‘ruins’ which should enhance the experience increase the challenge for all skill levels.   We canâ??t wait! 

The Outer Banks has something for everyone and these new activities and restaurants are just a fraction of the exciting sites to see on your next OBX visit.  Call today to make your vacation plans and let Atlantic Realty help you have the best Outer Banks vacation experience ever! 

Outer Banks Books

With its rich history and romantic island living, the Outer Banks is a favorite place for artists and writers alike.  Some writers have chosen to immortalize the Outer Banks in their works.  Here is a list of fiction books set on the Outer Banks.  So grab a copy or two for your next beach read!  Many of these books can be found in our local bookstores.  Check out one of our favorites â?? Downtown Books â?? in downtown Manteo on Roanoke Island. 


Nights in Rodanthe-Nicolas Sparks

Thanks to the movie, this is probably the most famous book on this list.  It tells the story of Adrienne, a woman separated from her husband.  Needing time to think, Adrienne agrees to house sit her friendâ??s Bed and Breakfast in Rodanthe while her friend is away. The only guest is Paul, a doctor who is being sued by a local family. When a hurricane traps them both in the house, they fall in love while protecting the inn and themselves, but with their complicated pasts, is love possible?

Outer Banks Baker Mystery Series- Phoebe T. Eggli

This cozy mystery series features teenage sleuth, Logan whose aunt owns the fictional establishment of Kill Devil Delicacies.  Readers will delight as Logan describes various places around the Outer Banks such as Oregon Inlet, as well as common Banker activities such as fishing, swimming and surfing. These mysteries provide a fun romp when you want something on the lighter side. Best of all, they come with recipes from the ‘bakery’. Yum.

Driftwood Tides- Gina Holmes

When Holden loses his wife, he shuts himself away on the Outer Banks and makes driftwood sculptures. But, as so often happens, secrets cannot stay hidden forever. This one literally comes knocking at his door. It’s a story of secrets, of pasts and of the people we think we know.

Summer Rental-Mary Kay Andrews

This story is about 5 people and a beach house at the Outer Banks. The people have had disasters in their lives and are at the point now where they are questioning everything they believe in. Together, they uncover the truth about their past, their lives, themselves, and their futures. Set against the stunning backdrop of the Outer banks, visitors and readers will agree that the tide forever changes you.

Taffy of Torpedo Junction- Nell Wise Wechtert

After being out of print for decades, Taffy is back. Set in the time of WWII, and written by Outer Banks local Nell Wise Wechtert, this book is inspired by actual events. Drawing from the true history of WWII, when the German U-boats sank over 60 ships off the coast, Taffy tells the thrilling story of an undercover spy ring and the girl who exposed their plans.  This book was originally published in 1957, and has remained a favorite of Outer Bankers ever since.

Storm Warriors- Elisa Carbone

In the year 1885, Nathan Williams joins his uncle on Pea Island Outer Banks with dreams of becoming a true surfman (the predecessor of the modern coastguard.) However as he realizes what’s involved, a new dream takes hold. Though it is a work of fiction, Storm Warriors brings to light a little known story our country’s past; the all African American lifesavers of Pea Island immediately following the Civil War. The rescues are thrilling and show how much these men were willing to risk to save the lives of others.

The Prayer Box- Lisa Wingate

The Outer Banks has long been a place where people go to start over and no book shows that better than this one.  A 2014 Christian Book Award Finalist, this story focuses on Tandi Jo Reese, a woman with a troubled past who is looking to make a fresh start. It’s a story of faith, kindness, redemption and of course, the Outer Banks, which is as much as a character as any of the human players.


The only thing better than reading a book set in the picturesque Outer Banks is reading that book while you’re actually  ON the Outer Banks.   Whether you’re visiting with a large or small group, we can help you find the perfect vacation home.  Letâ??s Get Started!  


Choose the Outer Banks for your Next Vacation Destination!

Thinking about a new family vacation destination this year?   The Outer Banks is a great destination with fun for the whole family.  But don’t take our word for it! 

US News recently listed the OBX as ‘Best Family Vacation’ spot taking the number thirteen slot on a list of 15.  That’s quite an accomplishment considering we were competing with areas such as Rome, Sydney, London, Disney World, The Bahamas, and Costa Rica.  The endless miles of wide open beaches, the history, the wildlife, and the lifestyle all combine to make the Outer Banks a perfect place for families to vacation.

Let’s see how U.S. News ranks us in other categories.

#8 in Best Cheap Summer Vacations

OBX took number eight on this list. It acknowledges that summer is the peak season, so prices can climb. However, renting a house as opposed to staying in a hotel is an economical choice. A private home or condo gives you more square feet per dollar.  Having a full kitchen provides the opportunity for preparing family meals which is also a money and time saver. 

#5 in Best Affordable Family Vacations

Another reason private residences are a winner over hotels is the space and privacy they provide.     Instead of renting multiple hotel rooms with virtually no common gathering space â?? imagine all of your family members being under one roof to celebrate special occasions and still have private spaces too.  

#4 in Best Affordable Honeymoons in the USA

After your dream wedding, there’s still the honeymoon to think about.  With a wide variety of activities and dining choices, the Outer Banks makes for a terrific honeymoon destination.  For the outdoor enthusiast try an outdoor tour that includes wild horses or dolphins.  If you prefer a dining adventure, there are many upscale and casual restaurants to delight your taste buds. Touring a winery or a distillery is also a real possibility.  And letâ??s not forget the miles and miles of beaches for true relaxation.

#4 in Best Beaches in the USA

What makes the OBX the 4th best in United States Beaches? Well, miles of open and unspoiled beaches and wildlife for one.  There is plenty of room between the blankets and umbrellas.  Watch flocks of migrating and exotic birds in a natural setting. Be witness to Sea Turtles hatching and making their way to the Atlantic Ocean.   At night, you can grab a flashlight and go ghost crabbing. The beach is also great for beachcombingwhere you can find anything from sea glass to shells to a fossilized megalodon shark’s tooth or even a shipwreck!

#4 in Best Relaxing Getaways in the USA   

Unlike some other beach resort areas the Outer Banks is a peaceful, family oriented spot  to get away from it all.   Unlike some other beach areas, we have no boardwalk allowing plenty of room for fishing from a pier or from the surf, and even during the â??in seasonâ??, there is plenty of space for spreading out on the beach.   One can literally walk for miles and in many towns your furry 4 legged friend can join you.  Be sure to check out Atlantic Realtyâ??s pet friendly homes.

#1 in Best Family Beach Vacations in the USA

It’s no mystery why the Outer Banks was rated THE BEST family beach in the United States.  Not only do we boast on having the best beaches, and a multitude of wildlife, the local community works hard to keep this a family friendly beach.  Restaurants on the Outer Banks have a fun atmosphere and appeal to the young and young at heart. There are plenty of playgrounds, a children’s museum and shows for children. For older family members there are harnessed adventure parks, laser tag, ghost tours, an escape room, a murder mystery dinner theatre and even a waterpark in summer 2017.

With so much to do and see on the Outer Banks, why not plan on a visit in 2017?  Its great fun for everyone!   Start your Vacation Search Now!  

5 Crafts made from Local T-Shirts

If you have been coming to Outer Banks over the years, you probably have a collection of special T-shirts from local landmarks, past and present restaurants, activities, and more.  These shirts are something special and can remind you of great times. They are a popular souvenir of the Outer Banks.

However, time marches on.  Sometimes the restaurant or activity closes, the shirt no longer fits, it’s no longer your style or you just don’t want to wear it out. Whatever the reason, you don’t wear the shirt, yet you’re reluctant to throw it out. After all, it’s more than a shirt, it’s a memory. This article will show you five ways to repurpose that T-shirt so you can keep it and the memory forever.

Tote Bag 

Want to help the planet and show off your Outer Banks T?

Simply sew together the bottom of the T-shirt and cut off the sleeves. Tank tops don’t need their sleeves cut off. The sleeves form the handle, the opening forms the top. Now, you have a tote bag that shows off your t-shirt super easy and good for the planet too.  Best of all, it can go everywhere.


Wall Art  

For this project again, we’ll be using part of the T-shirt, not the entire thing.  This is a no sew project. The only things you need to provide, besides scissors and a t-shirt, is a picture frame, preferably with some matting.

Cut the design of the t-shirt to fit the outer edge of the matting.  Now, just tape that square to the back of the matting and place in the frame. Viola, you now have an easy way of displaying your T-shirts.



This is a half apron, designed to protect your bottom half from unsightly mishaps in the kitchen Or you can just wear it around the house as a fashion statement.

Start by cutting a large square from the side of the T-shirt with the main design. Ideally, this square should be cut right next to the inseam and under the neck. This gives you enough fabric to work with. Fold the bottom part of the square up until itâ??s right under the design.  Now, sew up where the edges meet. This gives your apron a long pocket. Run stiches in a vertical line along the long pocket until you have the number of pockets you want. 

Congrats the front of the apron is now done.

To make the ties, cut 2 vertical strips of fabric from the back the T-shirt about 4 inches wide. Fold the strip over on itself horizontally, tuck the edges under the fabric and sew together. Now you have 2 flat hollow ‘tubes’ of fabric. Sew up the edges so that they are no longer tubes. Then sew them to the back of the apron front.

Now, you have a brand new Outer Banks themed apron.



Won’t it be great to show off your love of the Outer Banks right there on your couch?

For this craft, cut out a square out of the center of the T-shirt where the design is.  Now cut a matching square from the back of the T-shirt. Sew up the pillow along three sides. Stuff the pillow with craft stuffing or a premade pillow square. Sew up the top and you have an instant pillow. It will feel right at home on your couch, favorite chair or as a decorative pillow on your bed.



If you’ve ever quilted before, then you know how to do this. Simply cut out the parts of the T-shirt the pieces you wish to keep into squares, design your quit and sew together as you would any other quilt.

Of course, if you don’t feel like quilting or donâ??t want to learn how, there are companies that specialize in turning T-shirts into quilts. Imagine the sweet dreams you can have curled up under a quilt of Outer Banks T-shirts.


The Outer Banks touches our lives forever, so it’s only natural it should touch our homes too. Can’t wait until your next Outer Banks trip? Check out our selection of homes so you can start dreaming about it right now.






Thanksgiving on the Outer Banks

The food, the fun, the family. Instead of staying home this Thanksgiving, and having a score of relatives in your house, come to the Outer Banks and enjoy Thanksgiving in a home by the beach that will accommodate all of you.   Not sure what there is to do on the Outer Banks for Thanksgiving? Well, I’m glad you asked.


There are plenty of places to have Thanksgiving dinner on the Outer Banks. Most places offer all you can eat buffets featuring the Outer Banks favorite Fall treat, oysters. Some restaurants offer a special menu.  Here are a few of our favorites. 

Red Sky Café-Buffet complete with crab cakes and rockfish

Lifesaving Station at the Sanderling Resort– Special 4 course dinner

Fishbones Sunset Grille & Raw Bar-Buffet :  apricot dressing and Mahi anyone?

Ocean Boulevard– Special 4 course dinner

Beachside Bistro– Buffet with oyster stuffing

Jolly Roger-Traditional Thanksgiving meal like you’d find up north

Captain George’s-Traditional Thanksgiving Buffet, but includes crab legs and shrimp

Port O’Call Restaurant– Traditional buffet served in an old fashioned gas light saloon

Owens’ Restaurant– Oldest restaurant on the Outer Banks features an OBX Thanksgiving buffet

Mulligan’s Raw Bar and Grill-Buffet a mixture of traditional and Outer Banks favorites

Pamlico Jack’s-Buffet and annual oyster feast

Kelly’s Outer Banks Restaurant and Tavern– A local’s favorite  for over 30 years,


Of course, it’s not all about food. Here are some fun things to do before and after that Thanksgiving. Feast.

November 21-Bright Walkerâ??s Singing Bowls Sound Concert

A type of inverted bell from Tibet, singing bowls are used for mediation and relaxation. The sounds they make are unique to the instrument and are seldom played in public.

November 24-Outer Banks Running Club OBX Gobbler 5k & Fun-the Outer Banks Running Club sponsors this 5k run through Village at Nags Head along the sound. If you’re into running, you won’t want to miss this. It’s great way to open your appetite before the feast.

November 25-Grand Illuminations- Welcome to the opening of the Winter Lights at the Elizabethan Gardens. Even if you can’t be here for Christmas, this is guaranteed to put you in a happy Christmassy mood.

November 25- Poulos Family Christmas Lights-don’t head out of town without checking out the Christmas House. This stunning private display has been lovingly created by the homeowners for decades It’s been shown on TV several times.

November 26-Garden To Hearth– done in period style at the Island Farm, you’ll discover how eighteenth century farming families prepared for winter with cooking, preserving and more. Candle making and ox cart rides are available.


Now that Thanksgiving is over, it’s time to go shopping. It IS Black Friday after all. And if you like Black Fridays, you’ll find we don’t have anywhere near the level of craziness you’ll see in metropolitan areas. Just be sure you check for hours. So who has some good Black Friday Shopping?

Tanger Outlet Center-this strip mall is perfect for those who want a little bit of it all. The brand name outlet stores each run unique sales and open at 6am

Belk-This department store has sales both in the store and online.  They’re also going to be offering extra discounts to Belk card holders. 

The Cottage Shop-Opening at 9, The Cottage Shop is just the place to find that special beachy something to take home with you. It’s the ultimate for souvenirs and home décor.

Wings-While this uniquely Outer Banks beach store doesn’t offer a special sale on Black Friday, it does feature a 50% off sale this time of year.  So if you get into town early, you have the opportunity to get your stuff now instead of later.

Farmer’s Daughter-This Outer Banks favorite offers a wide variety ofâ?¦well, everything. Some of it will be deeply discounted after Thanksgiving. 

Diamonds â??n Dunes-Though this fine jewelry store likes to be all hush hush about it, traditionally, they do have an After Thanksgiving sale. What’s on sale? Couldnâ??t tell you yet. You’ll just have to wait and see.

Big Box Stores- Of course, the Outer Banks has its share of chain stores. So if you’re into Wal-Mart, K-mart or TJ Max, Staples, or PetSmart don’t forget to give them a visit.

There’s no better place to be than the Outer Banks for Thanksgiving. Good food, good fun and good company in a great rental home all make for memories that will last a lifetime.  Can’t make it this Thanksgiving?  Gift the gift of a summer family vacation this year.  We are having a Black Friday Sale of our own.  Take advantage of the savings and cross a few names off your holiday gift list this year with a family vacation!  

Happy Holidays from the Atlantic Realty Family!