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Jennette's Pier

As one of three piers in Nags Head, Jennette’s Pier is probably one of the most popular spots for fishing in the Atlantic Ocean as well as a premium spot to possibly spot a hump back whale – depending on what time of year you visit.  But, while it is frequented by those who are looking to catch “the big one,” Jennette’s Pier offers a lot more than great fishing.

A Brief History

Originally built in the spring of 1939, Jennette’s Pier became the first fishing pier on the Outer Banks.  It was built at Whalebone Junction on the site that had been a sort of transient camp for workers hired by the US Civil Works Administration to help construct the sand dunes from Corolla to Okracoke. When the pier was constructed, the workers’ cabins were renovated to provide Outer Banks lodging to the men who traveled to the Outer Banks to fish. Once it was completed the, Jennette’s Pier was over 750 feet long and hosted fishermen for more than 60 years.

Hurricane Isabel

In 2003, soon after the pier was purchased by the North Carolina Aquarium Society, Hurricane Isabel hit the Outer Banks and washed virtually the entire pier into the Atlantic Ocean – 540 of the 750+ feet of the pier to be exact. The Society elected to rebuild the pier to be bigger and stronger. So, in the spring of 2009 on the exact day of construction of the original pier 70 years ago, the construction began on the new pier which would be made of concrete and extend a full 1,000 feet out (25 percent longer than the original pier). This pier, along with being an ever popular spot for fishing, now has an educational twist to it and is absolutely fascinating for visitors and locals alike to visit.

The New and Improved Jennette’s Pier

Finally completed in 2011, the new and improved Jennette’s Pier is definitely worth a planned visit while on Outer Banks vacations. There are several educational elements added to make it more than one of the best places to fish (which it definitely is). There is also a 16,000 square foot pier house that sells drinks, snacks, tackle, gifts and more. The North Carolina Aquarium Society takes its purpose to another level to make it fun to visit and make people want to come back.

Fishing. Of course, people still fish from the pier. After all, it is a top fishing spot where seasoned fishermen and those out to try it for the first time catch bluefish, red drum, king mackerel and more. But at Jennette’s Pier, there are opportunities to take fishing classes for beginners, experienced anglers and even a weekly hands-on lesson called “Catch It, Clean It, Cook It” and we are here to tell you that you learn to do it all – even fillet it. It is a morning event that culminates with frying up the caught fish for lunch with the group. YUMMO! There is nothing like freshly caught fried fish dipped in a little fresh tartar sauce for lunch.

Green Energy. When the new pier was designed, the intention was to use “green energy.” That is exactly what it does.  There are three wind turbines above the pier’s wooden deck.  These turbines produce enough energy to fulfill almost half of the entire facility’s electric needs.  On top of that, one of the shade pavilions is covered in something called photo voltaic cells. Simply put, this coverts sunlight to electricity that is stored in a batter pack used to power the lights on the pier at night.  There are also green systems in place to run the HVAC system in the pier house and the water system used for washing down the decks on the pier as well as the plumbing. A little statistic about how well the water conservation system works reveals a projected reduction of the use of municipal water by 60 to 80 percent.

Education. The North Carolina Aquarium Society has always had education at the forefront the pier’s reconstruction. From school field trips to the pier to outreach in schools, Jennette’s Pier brings a plethora of knowledge and science to the table for kids of all ages to learn and grow. There is a variety of programs from ways to conserve energy to marine biology and other science oriented activities that students love to see and, more importantly, participate in building things and figuring out how it all works.

Something for Everyone

The new and improved Jennette’s Pier offers something for everyone. The $25 million price tag on the reconstruction brings so much more than fishing (albeit the pier is a great place to fish) and hanging out on the pier to possibly catch a glimpse at a whale or other big fish.  It is important to note that there are fees for passes associated with fishing off Jennette’s Pier but even the $2 donation to walk down the pier is worth every penny.

Outer Banks vacations should definitely include a trip to Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head whether just walking out to the end for pictures, spending some time in the peace and quiet, or fishing to catch dinner. It is absolutely fascinating to see and truly be part of the wide Atlantic Ocean.


There are many reasons to justify a visit to the Outer Banks in September. The prices of the vacation houses drop and you can find great deals, you won’t be caught in traffic, and there are hardly any crowds of tourists on the island. But if you think that there is nothing going on during this time, you have mistaken. There are many great events and activities you can still do with your family while on your Outer Banks vacations.  The following are the top 5 are a few events that we recommend attending:

August 29 through September 2 – Wave Riding Vehicles Outer Banks Pro Presented by Hurley will be returning to Jeanette’s Pier in Nags Head. This surf competition is a part of the Western Atlantic Surf Series and has a total purse of $30,000 in prize money. Admission for the public is free.

September 1 – If you are a fan of American Idol, then the  Concert in Manteo is for you. Not only is Scotty McCreery the youngest male to ever win American Idol but he also won the New Artist of the Year in 2011 at the American Country Awards and the 2012 Academy of Country Music Awards. He is even in the Guinness World Records book for being the youngest male to ever get a No. 1 album on the all-genre chart with a debut release. You and family will not want to miss out on seeing him perform. Tickets for the concert, which is held at the outdoor pavilion at Roanoke Island Festival Park in Manteo, are $25 for advance tickets and $30 for the day of show.

September 4 -5 – OBX Arts and Crafts Festival will be held in Kitty Hawk at the Hilton Garden Inn. If you are a creative person, then attending this event on your Outer Banks vacations is a must for you. This event features creative works from glasswork and metalwork to pottery and paintings to handmade soap and jewelry. A portion on the proceeds will go to the Network for Endangered Sea Turtles and the Hosea House which are local charities. Admission and parking are free.

September 14 – Outer Banks Bootcamps presents the 4th Annual “All Out Pink” Road Race. This race gives you two courses to choose from. One is the 12K bridge run and the other is the 5K run. Every penny of the event goes toward providing local women with mammograms and gives men access to health care. The race admission is $35 to participate in either race. If you are participating in the race you will also be given a t-shirt, access to the post-race garden party, chip timing and a finisher medal. If you would like to attend as a spectator, admission is $15 for children 13 and up.

September 15 – 21 – The 46th Annual Eastern Surfing Association (ESA) Eastern Surfing Championship will be held at Jeanette’s Pier. This surfing association has been around from 1967, and has been responsible for debuting some well-known surfers. The ESA originally started to protect the sport of surfing along the East Coast and grew into an association with a current membership of 10,000 surfers.  Admission to the public is free.

If attending events isn’t your thing, there is also fishing at the Pier, going to Corolla to see the wild horses and relaxing at the beach. Beach time in September is perfect time of year to enjoy. The weather cools off some and the water gets warmer. For more information about our Outer Banks vacations homes, contact us at 877.858.4795.

Outer Banks Biking

When it comes to fun in the sun on an Outer Banks vacation, outdoor recreation brings some of the most fun you will ever have.  Whether you like to simply spend a week or two lounging by a pool or stepping outside your comfort zone and doing something exhilarating, there are so many endeavors that keep you outside and active.  While the OBX offers so many outdoor fun activities, as locals, here are a handful of the things we love to do.

Bike Riding

Yes, you can ride bikes most anywhere you live but there is something different about riding bikes on the Outer Banks.  Whether you want to hop on a beach cruiser to casually ride along the bike paths or along the surf, or you are a serious cyclist who intends to head out every morning for a three-hour ride, the OBX is a great place to spend time exploring the barrier islands as it is mostly flat with a   few bridges.  A couple of suggestions for casual and family bike rides are to stick to the paths that traverse through the different areas of the OBX.  Some go from town to town making it a great mode of transportation for heading out to eat. Also, be aware of those on foot and extend them some courtesies.  For intense cyclists, stay off the bike/foot paths as there are wide shoulders along the roads on the OBX – just make sure to ride with traffic as you are treated as a moving vehicle and must abide by the same rules of the road as motor vehicles.

Kayaking/SUP Boarding

“Water, water everywhere” is the mantra for most of the OBX activities.  There is nothing like gliding through the water either in a kayak or on a SUP board to see sea life swimming below you.  The amount of waterways that crisscross through the barrier islands offer tons of places to climb aboard and have some fun all while getting a great workout.  The inland waterways (sounds) that separate the OBX from the mainland as well as the waters through the wildlife refuges are perfect for casual excursions and tours while the Atlantic provides some exciting action for experienced SUP surfers and kayakers.  Both activities deliver great workouts without feeling like you are working out…at least until the next day.

Kiteboarding (Kite surfing)

Have you ever just sat on the beach to watch someone kiteboarding?  As an observer, it always looks so easy but it is a very hard work out that like SUP boarding or kayaking is just as fun as it is hard.  Kiteboarding on your OBX vacations is as popular as surfing.  In fact, the OBX is home to the Triple S Invitational in Cape Hatteras.  But do not let the extreme sport on the ocean scare you.  The Outer Banks has so many sounds that are ideal for beginners who want to kite surf with winds and currents that work well to get you in the groove with a kite board.  Then, when the true adventure seeker in you comes alive, head over to the coast and really kick it up a notch.


Of course, we have to mention this age old activity (and sport) on the OBX.  There are so many places to fish and so many ways to do it.  From simply taking a rod and some bait out to the end of one of the piers to spending the day out in the waters deep sea fishing, this is always a favorite activity for locals and visitors.  From several of our vacation rentals Nags Head Pier is a short walk and a great place to take the kids.  A more recent way to fish is to go out into one of the sounds on a SUP board and fish off of it.  When out on a SUP board, it is absolutely amazing what you see so why not take advantage of it, stand up in calm waters and catch dinner – all while getting a great core work out!

Too Many Activities to Mention

While we listed a few of our favorite things to do, there are truly too many activities to mention.  The best thing to do is think about what you really enjoy and what you want to do, then make a plan.  Most importantly, since you are on vacation, no matter what you do, have fun!


OBX family activties

The Outer Banks is one of the best places to go on vacation on the east coast, and it is a perfect setting to create family memories. From walking along the beach and building sandcastles to fishing from the pier and skimboarding, there are many activities for your family on OBX vacations.

Ocean Sunrises

Your family can start a beautiful day by watching the sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean. Or watch the sunrise from the back deck of your oceanfront or oceanside house, from one of the numerous piers along the Outer Banks, or from the beach. After seeing the brilliant view of the sunrise, enjoy breakfast at a local restaurant. Spots that serve breakfast include Duck Donuts in Corolla, Duck, Kill Devil Hills, and Kitty Hawk; Stack’em High Pancakes in Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills; Henry’s Restaurant in Kitty Hawk; and Southern Bean in Kitty Hawk.

Beach Fun

Enjoy free public parking in towns such as Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, and Nags Head. Activities to enjoy OBX vacations include swimming, surfing, skimming, boating, paddleboarding, bodysurfing, and kayaking. Visit local surf shops such as Kitty Hawk Kites and Kitty Hawk Water Sports to rent equipment or to join lessons from experienced professionals. Your family can also enjoy playing in the sand, building sandcastles, fishing along the shore or on the piers, flying kites, and playing with frisbees or beach balls.

If your family is interested in taking a pet to the beach, the beaches in Duck are some of the best places to go. We have many pet-friendly vacation rentals for your family. Visit our page for pet owners:

Lunch Spots

There are great restaurants to visit for lunch while on OBX vacations. Great local restaurants for lunch include Black Pelican, John’s Drive-In, High Cotton Barbeque, and Rundown Cafe in Kitty Hawk; Slice Pizzeria, Kill Devil Grill in Kill Devil Hills; Sunset Grille & Raw Bar in Duck; and Tortugas’ Lie in Nags Head. Try a variety of local restaurants during your OBX vacations.

Historic Outer Banks

After refueling in a local restaurant, visit one of the many famous historic sites during OBX vacations. Don’t miss the Wright Brothers Memorial to learn about how the Wright Brothers invented the first successful airplane in the world. Enjoy The Lost Colony performance in Manteo. The entertaining and educational play, which recently received a Tony Award, tells the story of the first English colony in America. You can take a guided tour of The Lost Colony as well. You can also visit Jockey’s Ridge State Park in Nags Head. The park consists of the highest sand dune located on the East Coast. There is plenty more history and nature to learn about on OBX vacations.

Evening Dining

After your family has soaked up the sun and taken in the local sites, enjoy an excellent dinner at a local restaurant. The Dunes Restaurant in Nags Head, Kill Devil’s Frozen Custard & Beach Fries, and Carolina Seafood Buffet in Kill Devil Hills, and Fisherman’s Wharf in Wanchese are among the great options for your family during OBX vacations.

OBX Vacations have a large variety of activities to join as well as many historic sites and local restaurants to visit. Contact Atlantic Realty at 877-446-4767 for more information on rental homes and family activities.

Blues Traveler

If you have not already gotten your tickets to see Blues Traveler, you better do so!! They are performing July 25th at the Roanoke Island Festival Park Outdoor Pavilion in Manteo. There is no better way to see this hugely popular band than on the lawn in beach chairs.  Stand up and dance to “Run Around” or relax with a cold beverage while listening to “Carolina Blues” (must play at this concert). No matter what song you want to hear, Roanoke Island Festival Park’s Outdoor Pavilion is the place to go on July 25th.

Gates opening at 5pm and the music starts shortly after that. Richmond’s own Pat McGee Band opens the entertainment at 5:30 with Matt McGuire & the Wilders following at 6:30. Matt McGuire frequents the Outer Banks and has a large loyal local and regional fan base. This line-up is exceptional and will prove to be a great night for music lovers.

This concert is a great way to end a fantastic day. Outer Banks vacations are filled with fun in the sun, searching for pirates and even an historical tour of the first settlers to discover the new world. A trip to Roanoke Island is a great way to spend the day. Make a day of it by heading to the Park and enjoy an afternoon exploring the Elizabeth II, the Roanoke Adventure Museum, and an American Indian Town or meander around Manteo. Whether on summer vacation at one of our Outer Banks vacation rentals or someone who lives here all year long, there is no better way to cap off a Thursday than by spending the evening with one of our most loved music groups.

Tickets can be bought in advance for $30 (plus tax and fees) through the Brew Thru website or at any Brew Thru location but are limited in the number available and $35 (plus tax and fees) at the door. Food and drinks are available at the event so just bring a chair and be ready to dance to all of the Blues Traveler favorites.

Blues Traveler is one of the most loved bands that got their start in the late 1980s and their first Grammy for none other than “Run Around” on 1995. In fact that chart topping single still holds the record for longest-charting single ever in the history of the Billboard charts. Since their start, they have entertained over 30 million fans at about 6,000 shows. This concert is an extra special one as the last time Blues Traveler was performing here, a hurricane changed everything.  So here we are several years later looking forward to one of the most loved groups.

For anyone planning a last minute week at the beach, the last week of July is a great week to spend on the Outer Banks. If the pick is a Nags Head vacation rental or one in any of the other towns, we can help with the plans.

Excellence in Theatre

The Lost Colony production tells the story of our country’s history, including the exploration of the New World and the creation of the first colony by England. The Lost Colony, which is known as the country’s longest-running outdoor symphonic outdoor drama, received a Tony Honor in June.

The American Theatre Wing presented the 2013 Tony Awards on June 9 in at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The production has been awarded the Tony Honor for Excellence in Theatre, and it is awarded to individuals or organizations who have contributed to theater in America but who are not qualified to receive a normal Tony award. The Tony Honors were presented a day before the Tony Awards during a private reception. “The Lost Colony” performance is the only theatrical production located in North Carolina that has been awarded an honor like this.

The Lost Colony play premiered in 1937 in Manteo, and the play continues to be in production every summer. It started with one of the New Deal programs that were created by President Franklin Roosevelt. The play is produced by the Roanoke Island Historical Association. The production takes place at the Waterside Theatre in Manteo, and more than four million visitors have seen the performance. The 76th season of the performance will take place this summer. This year, the performance will be from May 31 to August 23 and is a must see for visitors enjoying their Outer Banks vacations.

The History of the Lost Colony

In the late 16th century, Sir Walter Raleigh became the leader of England’s expedition in the New World. Raleigh financed an expedition to the New World to establish land for England. Captains Philip Amadas and Arthur Barlowe traveled to the New World to find a location for England’s colony. England chose Roanoke Island to be its primary New World colony. Queen Elizabeth gave Raleigh a patent for lands.

The first group of colonists arrived in 1585. Scientist Thomas Hariot, who created the first science lab of the New World, and artist John White, who created maps and drawings of the Indians and the new colony, were among the colonists. The colony was abandoned a year later due to reasons such as conflict and a lack of enough supplies. Another group of colonists arrived in 1587, and about 115 English settlers were in Roanoke Island. In the same year, the first English baby to be born in the New World, Virginia Dare, was born. White, who became the governor of the colony, returned to England. Although White wanted to come back to Roanoke after he collected more supplies, England and Spain were at war. Therefore, he could not return yet. When White returned to Roanoke in 1590, he realized the colony disappeared. White only found a carving that said “Croatoan.” He tried to find the colony, and theories have been created about what happened. Investigations have continued to take place, but the colony’s disappearance remains a mystery.

Fun ‘N Sun Program

Atlantic Realty’s Fun ‘N Sun program includes a complimentary adult admission per day to the Roanoke Island Festival Park. This offer is available from March 1 to December 31 of 2013. You do not have to make a reservation. In addition to visiting the Lost Colony on your OBX vacations, you can also see the Elizabeth II, a sailing ship, and exhibits on display at the Roanoke Island Festival Park. You do not want to miss the opportunity to learn about the history of the explorations of the Roanoke area and the Outer banks.

OBX Vacation Rental Ocean Paradise

Atlantic Realty’s rental program is introducing new Outer Banks vacation rentals in 2014. Atlantic Realty is proud to provide you with a relaxing stay on the Outer Banks in one of our Outer Banks vacation rentals. Contact Atlantic Realty to discuss dates and prices for pre-reservation of these beautiful Outer Banks vacation rentals.

Ocean Paradise is one of the Outer Banks vacation rentals located in the Villages at Ocean Hill in Corolla. You can enjoy beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean and visit the beach. The house has eight bedrooms and seven-and-a-half bathrooms. It also has a screened porch and a sun porch. You can have a meal outside while enjoying the ocean views. The house also includes a private pool and a hot tub as well as lounge chairs by the pool and on the deck. Ocean Paradise is very spacious and includes an elevator. Other rooms include two dens, a sunroom, and a game room with a pool table. Wireless Internet access and 10 televisions are available as well.

Ocean Paradise is located in Corolla, which is part of the Northern Outer Banks. The Villages at Ocean Hill have a variety of community amenities that are available for guests of Outer Banks vacation rentals. These amenities for guests of Outer Banks vacation rentals include tennis courts, an Estuary Trail, and a fitness center. Ocean Paradise is one of the Outer Banks vacation rentals in an ideal location in Corolla. It is a short distance from Corolla’s famous wild horses. The wild Colonial Spanish Mustangs can be found on the beaches of the northern Outer Banks. Ocean Paradise is also close to the Whalehead Club, a historic museum located inside Currituck Heritage Park. Visit for information on upcoming activities for family members of all ages. In addition, the Currituck Beach Lighthouse is a few steps from the Currituck Heritage Park. You can climb the steps of the lighthouse and see the beauty of the Outer Banks. Other activities in Corolla include kayak tours, fishing, and surfing lessons. If you are staying in one of the Outer Banks vacation rentals in Corolla, you do not want to miss the entertaining activities for the family.

OBX Vacation Rental, SeacloudSeacloud in another one of the beautiful Outer Banks vacation rentals, and it is a four-bedroom oceanfront house in South Nags Head. The ocean is a few steps from the house, so you can visit the beach at any time during your vacation. The kitchen has been newly remodeled. A gas grill is included for you to enjoy a dinner made on the grill. The house also includes five televisions, and each has a DVD player. Wireless high-speed Internet is available as well. Seacloud, a beautiful house that is part of the Outer Banks vacation rentals, will provide you with a comfortable and peaceful stay in South Nags Head.

Coolangatta is an additional one of the Outer Banks vacation rentals, and it is located in South Nags Head. It is an oceanside house with four bedrooms and two baths. The house provides a peaceful atmosphere, ocean views, and a nice sea breeze. The sun decks and the crow’s nest on the roof provide a relaxing area to view the ocean from the house. A screened porch with a swing is also a nice setting for the sea breeze. Coolangatta will provide a relaxing vacation in South Nags Head.

OBX Vacation Rental, Coolangatta

South Nags Head has a variety of activities for guests of Outer Banks vacation rentals, and South Nags Head is close to many historical places to visit. Seacloud and Coolangatta are Outer Banks vacation rentals that are located near the historical Jockey’s Ridge State Park. Jockey’s Ridge is the tallest natural sand dune system located in the eastern part of the country. Nags Head features a variety of art based on the town’s heritage and history. These Outer Banks vacation rentals are also a short distance from the Nags Head Woods Ecological Preserve. As you visit the beautiful beaches by the Outer Banks vacation rentals, you can visit Jennette’s Pier, the Outer Banks Fishing Pier, and the Nags Head Fishing Pier. Each pier offers a unique variety of activities, and you do not want to miss them. South Nags Head has many entertaining activities for those who are staying in the Outer Banks vacation rentals.

These Outer Banks vacation rentals are available for pre-reservation for 2014. Contact Atlantic Realty for more information on the Outer Banks vacation rentals that have been added to our rental program for 2014.