Rodanthe Town Center Things To Do

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Nicholas Sparks famous novel “Nights in Rodanthe” has put Rodanthe on the map in the Outer Banks and made it an favorite with visitors! Visitors come in from all around the country to visit this beautiful and peaceful area of the southern Outer Banks. The beauty of this town and the areas around has always been a setting for beautiful stories and wonderful vacation memories. There are awesome attractions that will leave any visitor with nostalgic memories including uniquely designed vacation rentals, romantic sunsets and more secluded beaches. Rodanthe is a gem of the Outer Banks. Here is what will keep you having a great time during your visit to the area.

Get A Kite & Fly

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There is a wonderful hang gliding adventure  opened by hang gliding pioneer John Harris. Kitty Hawk Kites will ensure you have an exhilarating experience up in the air. Apart from aviation training, there is a lot of merchandise for you to take away as memorabilia after your trip. You can take up kiteboarding, parasailing and sailing in the wide waters of the Atlantic or the Sound.

Fishing The Rodanthe Pier

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The Outer Banks gives Rodanthe close ties to the Atlantic Ocean and everything the majestic ocean. You can always spend time close to the beach, the relaxing sound of waves crashing in. Walk to the edge of the Hatteras Fishing Pier ( and dip a line in! The 850-foot pier is a favorite spot for all fishermen reeling in a big catch. Near the pier, we offer condo rentals at The Rodanthe Sunset Resort which is the latest condo complex on Hatteras Island.

Visit Forbes Candies & Coffee

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Forbes Candies is a great gift shop that sells awesome confectionaries like toffees, chocolate and fudge. There is an assortment of gifts to choose from; oysters, pearls, special gift trays and tins. If you are into coffee then you definitely want to sample the salted caramel mocha. The salt water taffy is definitely worth a try. The staff at the shop is very friendly and quite helpful. The Kitty Hawk Kites is just a few doors down from here.
Explore The Adventure Tower

There is the exciting Adventure Tower at the Waves Village Water Resort which is the first of its kind in the area. The tower offers a unique, safe and interactive atmosphere for both kids and adult. The effect it has physically and mentally is priceless. There are 3 levels and 15 climbing elements that offer exciting challenges. The adventure ropes and challenge is created by KristallTurm®, a company with a global reputation for their unmatched quality and safety standards.

Adventure With Animals With Horseback Riding

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Just 45 minutes south of the Waves Village you can indulge in a two and half hour horse ride through a Forest Trail that leads into the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The tours happen daily in the morning and afternoon and fill up quite fast during summer time so you may want to make early reservations.

Explore The Amazing History Of Hatteras

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Rodanthe has a rich history and one of the well-known historical sites is the Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station. The station came about in the 1860s when the federal government created the U.S Life Saving Service and post staff points along the ocean to rescue those who might face maritime accidents. It is funny though that the life-saving crews were not well trained and ended up facing shipwreck and disaster themselves. This station is one of the earliest; having been built in 1874 and operated by the Coast Guard until 1954. It was since turned into a museum to tell the story about the service with exhibits, artifacts and photos.

Eat Local Fresh Sushi

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The Diamond Shoals Restaurant offers tasty hibachi and sushi. You can hop in for your favorite Asian Cuisine and watch the chefs grab fresh fish from the attached market. Just a 20-minute trip to Buxton!
See Dolphins During A Short Day Trip

Take a short trip to Nags Head to see dolphins! These dolphin tours are run by marine scientists as part of their research on the wonderful aquatic mammals. You sure will have an exciting time with lots of things to learn. Make new discoveries thanks to years of research and monitoring of the Outer Banks dolphin population.

Bonus tip: pickup a fun t-shirt to remember your Outer Banks stay from OBX Stuff – you’ll be sure to love the fun gear on this site!

Visit The New Dowdy Park In Nags Head

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Located between South Croatan Highway and Bonnett Street, the Dowdy Park is a new space that is built to offer recreational opportunities for people of all ages and abilities. Inside this 5-acre park visitors and locals can exercise, practice sports, have picnics with friends, or let their kids have a ball on the playground.

Dowdy Park is an on-going project designed to fill the recreational void left by the closing of Dowdy Amusement Park. Opened on May 13th, the park’s second phase of construction will include the addition of public bathrooms, a community garden, a game court, and a bocce ball area.

The Dowdy Park Is Family-Friendly For All To Enjoy

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Dowdy Park provides a quiet place to relax and enjoy the evening after a tiring day at the beach. Visitors can enjoy the comfortable locations and varied equipment regardless of their physical abilities thanks to the park’s inclusive design. Curb cuts are available on the sidewalks for ease of movement and wheelchair access is also provided for a variety of equipment, such as the liberty swing.

If you are traveling with children then Dowdy Park’s playground is a must go for you. Designed to maximize safety and enjoyment, the park’s play areas contains different structures built in interesting designs to maximize the child’s curiosity and enjoyment. Inside the park’s play areas kids will find almost endless entertainment opportunities playing with all kinds of swings, slides, hopscotches, peekabo walls, and various climbing equipment.

Large Open Spaces For Relaxing Time Away From The Beach

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Dowdy Park includes a variety of green, open areas where visitors can enjoy a quiet afternoon outside. The park’s open areas are a great place to play a fun game of frisbee or sit on the grass to enjoy a picnic among family and friends. Small trees provide both shade and scenic views for visitors, while comfortable tables are available for whenever you want to eat, play chess, or simply rest your legs.

The separation of playing and chill out areas also means that you can enjoy yourself without disturbing others. The multi-use playing field is a favorite location for those who want to play team sports. So whether you’re playing football with your family or throwing a frisbee to your dog, there’s plenty of room available to run around and get a fun workout.

New Layout Ideal For All Seasons In The Outer Banks


Dowdy Park includes outdoor facilities that are suited to host all types of events. Located in a corner of the multi-turf area, the park’s pavilion is the place where many cultural events are accommodated. The pavilion has full electrical capacity and is well-lighted, providing almost endless entertainment opportunities. Movie screenings, theater plays, and outdoor concerts are just some of the cultural events which you can enjoy in Dowdy Park.

The park also has its own events plaza with arbors, where art fairs, farmer markets, food festivals, and other types of communal events are held. For fans of healthy living, Dowdy Park is a great place to practice tai chi or yoga on an outdoor area while also enjoying music, sports, and shared quality time with their family members.

Relaxing Things To Do On Your Outer Banks Vacation

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Families, couples, and groups of all sizes flock to the Outer Banks each year to take advantage of the pristine beaches and quaint beach towns. Though the charming coastline is lined with decadent dining and family-friendly entertainment options, many visitors prefer to truly enjoy their time in OBX by unplugging and enjoying a truly relaxing getaway. Families and friends can reconnect and rejuvenate over laughs and time shared together.

Curious about the top ways to relax during your stay in the Outer Banks? Here are a few of our favorites:

Pamper Yourself at Barefoot Massage

Indulge in a truly serene experience during your Outer Banks vacation by splurging on an afternoon with Barefoot Massage. This premier locally owned and operated business is the preferred massage option for OBX guests. Barefoot Massage proudly offers a wide array of professional services, including Swedish Massage, Hot Stone Massage, and Deep Tissue Massage – to name a few. Services are priced per half hour, making it easy to select the perfect massage for your personal needs. The best part? At Barefoot Massage, the therapists come to you – no need to leave the comfort of your condo! Whether you want to start your day on a relaxing note or unwind after a busy day on the beach, give Barefoot Massage a call for a truly ethereal experience.

Tour Local Lighthouses

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The Outer Banks hosts several celebrated lighthouses that are truly a sight to see. Ranging from historic monuments like Ocracoke, which is the nation’s second oldest lighthouse, to Cape Hatteras, which is the tallest lighthouse in America, the landmarks along OBX are truly stunning. Other area favorites include Bodie Island Lighthouse, Currituck Beach Lighthouse, and Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse, among others. Outer Banks visitors often enjoy taking a leisurely trip along the coastline to tour the various local lighthouses and visit local beaches.

Visit The Elizabethan Gardens

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Nestled on the picturesque Roanoke Island, the Elizabethan Gardens provide a serene retreat for Outer Banks visitors. With over 10 acres of lush scenery, the Elizabethan Gardens host a wide array of local flora through every season. Visitors can peruse the rich gardens or attend one of the many popular recurrent events, like the live entertainment events in the summer and the famous Winter Lights evening during the holidays. In addition to being a truly relaxing Outer Banks attraction, the Elizabethan Gardens are also rather affordable, with prices starting at only $2 for young children and topping off at $9 per adult.

Make New Friends On A Dolphin Cruise

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Animal lovers will definitely want to book a seat aboard a local dolphin cruise! Perfect for a morning excursion or an afternoon expedition, dolphin cruises are easy to find along the Outer Banks and only take about two hours. Guests can enjoy seeing a variety of native marine life, including Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, sea turtles, pelicans, and so much more. Tours are led by passionate marine biologists who use the tours as part of their research on the beloved aquatic animals; tour guides are highly knowledgeable about marine life and marine safety and provide a lively and safe tour.

Take A Yoga Class

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Relax and unwind during your Outer Banks vacation by taking a rejuvenating yoga class. The Outer Banks is scattered with well-appointed yoga studios that all offer a unique experience. Guests in the Kitty Hawk area can enjoy a beach yoga class with Outer Banks Yoga while visitors in the Nags Head area can enjoy a family yoga experience with The OBX Studio. There is truly a yoga studio for participants of every age and experience level. Yoga is the perfect way to inspire a truly peaceful and tranquil beach vacation.

Kayak or Paddleboard Tour

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Water lovers are sure to enjoy a relaxing kayak or paddleboard tour of the tranquil Outer Banks inlets. Perfect for participants of any level, a kayak or paddleboard tour is a fun and soothing way to enjoy the Outer Banks scenery. Local businesses that offer tours are abundant and visitors can enjoy tours any time of the day. We recommend a nighttime light up SUP tour from Outer Banks Paddleboard or a sunset kayak tour from Kitty Hawk Kites.

Do Absolutely Nothing On A Beach

It wouldn’t be a trip to the Outer Banks without a trip to the beach! Whether you are staying in one of our central island rentals, like Nags Head or Kill Devil Hills, or are enjoying one of the many Outer Banks condos, our beach accommodations provide easy access to the sun and the sand. Pack a few books that you’ve been meaning to read or splurge on a water resistant portable speaker to enjoy your favorite tunes while you dip your toes in the water and soak up the sun. A day-long beach trip is an absolute must during your stay in the Outer Banks!

Ready to start planning your relaxing Outer Banks beach vacation? View our beach rentals to pick your perfect beach retreat and visit our Outer Banks area information section for more relaxing vacation inspiration.

Summer 2017 Additions Around The Outer Banks

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The Outer Banks barrier islands of North Carolina are a popular holiday destination due to their miles of pristine beaches, state parks, and diving sites. The laid-back atmosphere makes it recommendable for a relaxing vacation.

Summer is almost here and tourists will be making their way to the Outer Banks for vacations in the sun. Herein are some of the new things on the Outer Banks for summer 2017 that you definitely should check out on your next visit.


The H20BX Water Park is among the most anticipated attractions for summer 2017. This water park is inspired by the beach architecture of North Carolina and Outer Banks culture. It was designed and developed by New York-based company, Aquatic Development Group, and is scheduled to open on July 1, 2017. H2OBX is an excellent waterpark exhibiting more than 30 exhilarating open and enclosed slides, rides and attractions.

It also features a 30,000 square foot wave pool, a lazy river, surfing simulator, adventure lagoon, deluxe cabanas and themed retail stores. The waterpark is situated at Powells Point just over the Wright Memorial Bridge in Currituck. Ticket sales will be limited daily to ensure maximum action, excitement, and a unique guest experience.


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Earlier this year, River City Restaurant Group announced that the Grandstaff and Stein is set to be moved into the Kill Devil Hills. It will occupy the former location of the Flying Fish Restaurant north of the Nags Headline. The Grandstaff and Stein bar and restaurant bears the feel of a speakeasy.

It is built with a bookstore facade at the front in line with the creative prohibition theme. The bookshelf has a hidden passage behind it where all the magic really happens. You can gain access to this passage with a password. Apparently, this password is provided weekly on the Grandstaff and Stein Facebook page.

The interior decor is guaranteed to make you feel like you have traveled back to the 1920s. It features a menu of hors d’oeuvres and entrees that rotate seasonally and an ever-changing program of craft cocktails.


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Duck Donuts is an expanding food franchise established in 2006 with several branches around the country. It is owned by Keith Exton from Williamsburg. The Outer Banks Mall recently opened on May 17. It is situated south of the Kellogg Design Center and The Cottage Shop.

Duck Donuts is unique in that it features fresh cake donuts made while you watch. The customers can even participate in some parts of the preparation. You can visit Duck Donuts with the whole family for some custom treats. The store with be open from 6 am to 6 pm this summer.


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The OBX Escape Room is a family entertainment venture featuring new concepts. While it was opened in 2016, it exhibits recent additions and newly theme rooms. This makes this unique attraction worth mentioning. The premise is quite simple; you and other group members are locked in a room and have to figure out some clues in order to escape.

The room is themed and you have a set time to figure out the escape. The various themes include a diamond heist, a haunted room, Blackbeard’s treasure, a witch’s lair and even a murder mystery room. To cater to the very young visitors, a new gingerbread room was added. Reservations are required for The OBX Escape Room.


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Stand up paddleboard (SUP) yoga is making a comeback as a fitness trend at local beaches in 2017. It is one of the activities that you can take part in while on vacation in the outer banks this summer. You get to relax in the sunshine and fresh air while maintaining your fitness levels. There are various spots in the Outer Banks where you can learn paddleboard yoga such as OBX Paddleboard Yoga, Kitty Hawk Kites, and Surf School and Ride the Wind Surf Shop.

SUP is available onsite (for rental) for those renters at First Flight Retreat through our partners at Kitty Hawk Kites. Enjoy SUP and kayak rentals during your stay, located onsite for your convenience!

The History Of The Wright Brothers On The Outer Banks

Here at First Flight Rentals, we’re partial to the amazing story of the Wright Brothers. Their history here in the Outer Banks and the historic first flight is something we love to share to guests to the area.

North Carolina is known as the “first in flight” due to the innovation of the Wright brothers, two bicycle repairmen who sought to conquer the sky. Wilbur and Orville Wright were born in Dayton, Ohio, a location from which they conducted the majority of their flight research — but it was on the Outer Banks of North Carolina that they eventually made history.

Early Years

Image Credit: Library of Congress

The Wright brothers were enamored with the idea of flight from an early age — exemplified by avid kite-making and an unusual adoration of helicopter toys. They began their official foray into the idea of human flight in 1899 with an accumulation of information on gliders and wind speeds of varying locations around the country.

This research brought them to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina (now part of Kill Devil Hills) — at the time a meager fishing village on the Outer Banks offering strong winds, isolation, and sand dunes, which were ideal for their purposes. In September of 1900, the Wright brothers journeyed for the first time to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina to begin their glider experiments.

Development Age

Photo Credit: Library of Congress

Their first glider was seventeen feet long and comprised a forward elevator that generated much less lift than anticipated. The glider functioned more or less like a giant kite, and although it did not fly, it allowed them to accumulate data necessary for future experiments. The brothers successfully completed short periods of free gliding, but after two full weeks left the Outer Banks to return home, somewhat disheartened. However, what they had gained was a better understanding of the kind of control necessary to manipulate a machine of the sky.

The Wright brothers quickly identified the three most invaluable elements of flight: properly designed wings, a control system that provided for both latitudinal and lateral function, and an equally lightweight and strong enough engine to power the machine.

The year 1901 served as a glider development era, during which time they honed their research and translated it into tangible form, represented by the creation of the largest glider in history. Although promising, the machine was unruly and only provided a portion of the necessary lift to achieve true flight. They succeeded in gliding more than three hundred feet but the machine’s unpredictably forced them to return home and revisit their calculations.

Refinement Era

Photo Credit: Library of Congress

Throughout 1902, they implemented their research into a more comprehensive machine — incorporating the necessary flight elements and polishing all aspects of control including pitch, wing-warping, and roll. After more than six hundred glides they were convinced they had finally developed a suitable mechanism for flight.

In early fall of 1903, the Wright brothers returned to the Outer Banks in an attempt to prove it. Although they were prepared in theory, a series of unfortunate events highlighted by the breakage of engine parts on numerous occasions forced Orville to return to Dayton on two occasions to fetch new propeller parts. The brothers remained flightless.

First In Flight!

Photo Credit: Library of Congress

On December 17, 1903 the Wright brothers were finally ready to attempt the first manned flight. It was Orville’s turn in the cockpit and with his brother running alongside him, the Wright brothers launched the first manmade aircraft into the sky — in a controlled, elegant fashion that garnered recognition from around the world. The flight lasted only twelve seconds — but was forever etched in history.

The Wright Brothers National Memorial is located on those iconic grounds and now serves as a public exhibition to continue honor North Carolina’s “first in flight” story to visitors from around the world. The memorial includes the actual flight line, reconstructed camp buildings, a monument, and a visitor center.

Welcome To The First Flight Rentals Blog!

Hey there & welcome to the new First Flight Rentals blog! We’ll be sharing everything great about the beautiful Outer Banks of North Carolina and vacation secrets from locals & more. We’ll be featuring stories about the history of the Outer Banks, places to eat while you’re on vacation, fun things to do as well as photos and other activities that our guests love.

In addition to the great things to do and history of the Outer Banks, we look forward to featuring our Outer Banks condo complexes and resorts that you can visit along the OBX. From the northern Kill Devil Hills areas all the way down to Rodanthe & beyond, we’re adding new condos all the time for our guests to enjoy. As the only condo-dedicated Outer Banks rental agency, we can find you an amazing rental that your family will enjoy and remember for years to come.