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Travel Guide: Nags Head, North Carolina

It's only 6:55am and I've already taken Maggie on our morning jaunt around the neighborhood, eaten a piece of leftover pizza from Pizzeria Vetri, and I'm having my morning coffee. And Patrick is next to me playing Call of Duty; pretty perfect Sunday morning, if you ask me. Which you are, because you're reading this.

This was our first full week back from vacation in the Outer Banks and I'm definitely ready to work remotely from the beach forever. I'm so excited to share all my photos (very mediocre ones all shot on my phone) because we went back to the same exact beach and condos we used to go to every summer growing up. So grab a lil' snackie and get ready for a long one! Maybe I'll do this in a "Guide to Nags Head" kind of format. Sure, let's give that a try.

Our agenda for the week was pretty simple: drink on the beach and play beach games every day, cook all of the seafood, and go out fishing on a boat. We absolutely nailed it. And I can confidently say I've never eaten so many hushpuppies in such a short period of time.

For you peeps not super familiar with the Outer Banks, they're barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina--you may have heard of Kitty Hawk, Corolla, or Duck. We've always stayed in Nags Head so we mainly try to stick in or around that little town, but it's super easy to drive to other towns if there's something you want to do there, like go to the Wright Brothers National Memorial or book some excursions.

What To Eat:

All of the seafood!! If you're into that. I'm into that. Like, super into that. Like give me fresh crabs and scallops and clams for every meal, kind of into that. It probably sounds weird for breakfast; I actually stuck to mostly bagels in the morning so it wasn't weird, okay?

If you do want to eat all of the fishies, I recommend checking out Austin's (Mile post 12.5). It's voted "best seafood market on the beach" and I can't really disagree. We ate aboout 150-200 clams from there and they were so reasonably priced. And saved me from going out clamming, so win-win. Also get the best crab legs and steam those babies up real nice for dinner. Seriously, I didn't even need to crack them open, they just broke apart and the crab came out in huge chucks so you could quickly shove them in your beautiful faces.

I wish I could go back here every day. It overlooks the Roanoke Sound, and if you're cool enough to have a boat, you can actually just dock your boat here and stop in for lunch. It was a little overcast and chilly when we went so we opted to eat inside, but we still had a table overlooking the water where we got to watch a man standing out in the water fishing. If you do go on a nice day, they have an outdoor deck and cute picnic tables out on the grass.

Holy moly, these were the best hush puppies I've had.

They come out warm and moist (sorry) with fluffy butter to spread on them. In my professional hush puppy opinion, split those bad boys in half and put a little buttah on the each steamy half and let it get all melty. Then sit in a circle and sing Kumbaya.

My mom got this crazy beautiful lobster roll on a toasty buttery roll (their words, not even mine) and devoured the entire thing because their food is just.that.good.

And I got this monstrosity: their house fried flounder fish sandwich with crispy onion strings and house made tartar sauce. Dear lord, when I leave this earth, make sure there's one of these buried with me. I obviously couldn't finish it because LOOK AT IT. But dang, everything we had there was so good.

Cook/Grill at home!

We would cook or grill every single day. We went with two other families so each night we would alternate who made a main dish and everyone else would bring an appetizer or side dish. Maybe don't do this if you're a crappy cook. But hey, you can't really mess anything up on the grill. Our last night we had a sushi night, where one family made two tables full of sushi. All different kinds, it was incredible.

Another family made these soy eggs? Which I've never heard of, but I absolutely want to try making them because they were out of this world! They're basically soft-boiled eggs that are soaked in soy sauce and other glorious asian flavors and topped with sesame seeds and scallion and you just want to nestle your face in them.

What To Do:

Beach!! All day, every day (weather permitting). And when you get rained on, run to your covered porch, grab a mixed drink and read a book. Boogie board! Watch dolphins!

Our condos were right on the beach. I mean, you walk over a dune, through a gazebo and you're on the beach. What I mean is, you can easily run back to your house for lunch or a drink, or clean bathroom with running water. And the best part is, the beach is privately accessed so you don't have to search for a spot to park your butt down in the sand for 30 minutes.

I can't describe how nice it is to be able to sit and read a book without being interrupted by sirens in the city, or having to take your dog for a walk. We just listened to the ocean, played some KanJam, and enjoyed being on vacation for the first time in a very long time.

Go Fishing/Book an Excursion:

The only request Patrick had for the week was to go out fishing, so we booked a morning trip and got up before the sun and headed to the docks!

We picked up a cooler from the grocery store, packed some beer, snacks, and sandwiches and then everything went to shit.

Originally the boat was supposed to leave at 7am, but the starter on the boat was broken. And then the battery was broken. It was great. But what was actually great was eating Doritos and drinking my cider at 7am while we waited to actually get out on the water.

Eventually we made it out and Patrick baited my hook for me and we got to catching fishies!

I think I was actually holding Patrick's fishing pole when I caught my fish, but as The Lonely Island says "still counts!"

It was pouring, but it ended up being so much fun.

Run a 5k?:

I voluntarily registered for a sunrise 5k? There must be something wrong with me. But the organizers of the event were so great, and we got cute little lighthouse medals and a tshirt! I was so surprised how difficult it was running on the sand, but I have to say it was a great start to our day and I really did have fun. Patrick even came in 1st place in his age bracket!

Before I look like a tomato:

Anytime I run I look like a tomato afterwards:

Take a Sunset Beach Walk:

This is my favorite part. End your trip walking on the beach with your favorite person on the most beautiful night of the entire week.

And this is entirely too long and I must be getting back to life in the city now.


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