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<< < April 2018 > >>
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Outer Banks Area Features

What's New for 2017?

Every year, something new and wonderful comes to the Outer Banks. This constant evolution keeps visitors coming to the region—not only to revisit classic staples—but also to experience the exciting opportunities that are now available. Sunny Day Guide can lead you to the newest events and attractions and also keep you up-to-date with current happenings at your favorite spots. Here’s what’s new on the Outer Banks:

Oregon Inlet Bridge Construction

It’s one of the most talked about projects on the Outer Banks—the construction of a new bridge over the Oregon Inlet. The existing bridge, dedicated in 1963 and named after Congressman Herbert C. Bonner, has been badly damaged over the years, particularly in 1990 when a barge destroyed a large segment during a severe storm. In 2013, the Bonner Bridge was temporarily closed to traffic, and NC12 travelers had to take ferries between Bodie Island and Hatteras. Fortunately, ground broke on March 8, 2016 for the construction of a new replacement bridge. According to the NC Department of Transportation, the bridge will cost approximately $246 million and will officially open in the fall of 2018. Then, the 2.7-mile drive over the Oregon Inlet should be quick and efficient for visitors and locals once again.

H2OBX Waterpark

Visitors to the Outer Banks have even more opportunities for thrilling fun in the water. The summer of 2017 marks the opening of H2OBX—the region’s first major waterpark! From heart-pounding slides that deploy individuals or 6-person rafts to lazy rivers, this park is filled with more than 30 rides for guests of all ages. Check out the Cat-5 30,000-square-foot wave pool or twist through tunnels on the Wild Horse Run. Head to Powell’s Point, north of the Wright Memorial Bridge on the mainland, for this exciting new attraction!

Happy Birthday!

August 18, 1587 is recognized as the birthday of Virginia Dare, the first child born to English colonists in the New World. Virginia was the granddaughter of John White, governor of the new colony on Roanoke Island, and was named for the colony in which she was born, Virginia—which later became North Carolina. This year marks her 430th birthday and to commemorate, admission to the Elizabethan Gardens on that day is only $4.30. While you’re on Roanoke Island, see The Lost Colony outdoor drama, now in its 80th production season!

A New Place to Play

A new public park opens in May of 2017. Dowdy Park broke ground on July 5, 2016 on the former site of Dowdy’s Amusement Park, adjacent to Nags Head Elementary School. This 5-acre property is a state-of-the-art outdoor area that features gorgeous gardens, a large event space with a bandstand, picnic areas, playground equipment, athletic fields and tennis courts, and even a bounce wall and bocce court. Dowdy Park intends to be a “park for all ages in perpetuity” and it will surely be a beloved location for leisurely family outings.

What’s Old Is New

The glamour and intrigue of the “Roaring ‘20s” is back! A modern-day speakeasy opened this January in Kill Devil Hills. Those who know the secret password at Grandstaff & Stein Book Sellers will be led into a secret dining area. In the 1920s, the only way to find out about a speakeasy was through word of mouth. Think about how that social network would work today, and you too can find out the password to explore a culinary journey. This is quite an experience since the food and cocktails are as remarkable in both taste and presentation as the themed restaurant itself.

Extending a Warm Welcome to New Businesses

Every year the Outer Banks region sees the rise of new stores and businesses. Many of these may be of interest to you! Please join us in welcoming these businesses to the area:

  • The Well: Offering yoga classes, sound healing and wellness workshops in Kill Devil Hills.
  • Sweet Box Bakery: Satisfy your sweet tooth with a scrumptious selection of baked treats from this boutique shop Scarborough Faire in Duck.
  • Just For The Beach Rentals: Get all the items you need for an awesome day on the beach at their newest location at Scarborough Faire in Duck.
  • Duck Donuts: This popular donut eatery is opening its latest store at the Outer Banks Mall in Nags Head. It’s the fifth Duck Donuts in the region!

Highway 12 Amusements

A family fun attraction that garnered a lot of foot traffic in Kill Devil Hills is bringing a sister attraction to Rodanthe. With the success attained by Destination Fun, owner David Peres decided to open Highway 12 Amusements on Hatteras Island. Before even stepping in the building (which has been under construction for the past year), visitors will be drawn to the 45-foot, gently spiraling, illuminated rock-climbing wall. Inside, exciting games await including laser tag, bowling, arcade machines, mini-golf, a ropes course and eventually, a zip-line course. In addition to the beautiful natural setting in Rodanthe, there now will be a sensational place to have more extreme fun!

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