Guide to Gluten-Free In The Outer Banks

When visiting the Outer Banks it is necessary to experience all of the different foods that the barrier islands offer. However, finding a menu that is compliant with your dietary requirements can be a bit of a hassle in an unfamiliar environment. Whether you’re gluten-free or celiac, don’t worry, we have you covered! Here are a few of our absolute favorite Outer Banks restaurants, entrees, stores, and dessert shops.

Barefoot Bernie’s

Barefoot Bernies specializes in exquisite and refreshing island cuisine in a classy, yet tropical ambiance. The owner of this crowd favorite is a local who traveled all over to discover and learn the flavors of the Caribbean and tropical destinations and bring them back to the OBX. Their menu is marked with gluten-free options as well as some dishes that can be modified to be gluten-free.

Some of the favorite gluten and celiac free options include: Bacon Cheeseburger Salad, Catch in a Bag (their fresh caught fish of the day) and Seafood Enchiladas. Don’t stress about the kids either, they can enjoy their gluten-free pizza.

Black Pelican Seafood Co.

The Black Pelican is one of the Outer Banks’ premier restaurants. It is located in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, The restaurant offers panoramic ocean views from the dining rooms and outside deck. Enjoy the many gluten-free options they offer such as the Shrimp on the Barbie, the Baked Shrimp, and Crab, the Wanchese Fisherman’s Risotto, the Slow-roasted Pork Shank, or the Marinated Grilled Portabella Mushrooms.

The Colington Cafe

The Colington Cafe is a fine dining restaurant that is located in Nags Head, North Carolina. This restaurant is known to have the largest gluten-free menu in the Outer Banks. Some of the favorites are the Filet Mignon with Crab Meat and Shrimp, the gluten-free brochettes with grilled shrimp, the fresh fish or catch of the day, and the Scallops Rumaki (Bacon Wrapped Scallops).

Located in an old house this gluten-free party is one you will not want to miss.

Goombay’s grille & Raw Bar

The locals favorite since 1992, this Kill Devil Hills restaurant stands out in its vibrant chartreuse and aqua building on the Beach Road. Goombay’s is a casual, island-style restaurant, where the seafood is the star of the menu. If you get the chance to stop by you have to try the Goombay’s Award-Winning Wings, the Grilled Steak Du Jour, the Seafood Kingston, or any of the steamed combos with shrimp, and crab legs.

The Kill Devil Grill

The Kill Devil Grill, in Kill Devil Hills has servers who are knowledgeable about dietary restrictions and they are ready to assist you in any way they can. While the menu is not labeled gluten-free, there are many options available.

Some of the favorites are the fresh seafood or catch of the day that can be made gluten-free, wing or most of the salads. Make sure to check out the Chalkboard lunch and dinner specials for more day to day gluten-free options.

Outer Banks Brewing Station

While a brewery is not typically a place you would consider to be gluten-free, this restaurant is known for its innovative brewing yet environmentally conscious.

The building itself is a modern interpretation of a turn-of-the-century lifesaving station. Guests recommended the Pub Crab dip, Brewer’s Buffalo Style Wings, Tuna Stack, or the Bison Burger. There are options for a gluten-free diet on every aspect of the menu, even the soups.

Outer Banks Taco Bar

Everyone loves tacos, and no one should have to go on a vacation without experiencing the best tacos around. This small local establishment makes most of its tortillas and nacho chips out of corn instead of flour. This makes for very happy taco lovers.

At the taco bar, almost everything on the menu is gluten-free, excluding the burritos and quesadillas. Locals recommend the tacos, nachos, and you can’t miss out on the Yuca Fries.

Southern Shores Pizza and Deli

Many locals will identify Southern Shores Pizza and Deli with Corolla Pizza, this is because they have the same owner. Corolla pizza has been a staple in the Northern Outer Banks since 1989. They opened their second location in Southern Shores in 2015, close to Kill Devil Hills and Kitty Hawk. They have recently introduced cauliflower pizza crust to their menu, giving all of their pizza’s the option to be gluten-free.

Surfin’ Spoon

You can’t forget dessert, especially when you’re on vacation. The Surfin’ Spoon is not an ordinary frozen yogurt shop. Yet it is the outcome of when a surfer marries an artist, and what you get is more than a froyo- you get an experience. Located in Nags Head, North Carolina, this shop has over 75% of its flavors gluten-free. They also offer other desserts like ice cream sandwiches with a cook. The gluten-free Macan’ Pistach is a favorite of many. It is also vegan.

Tommy’s Natural Foods Market and Wine Shop

The owners of this unique shop were named farmer of the year in North Carolina in 2017. The market stays competitive with larger grocery stores offering groceries to go, for those who do not have the time to shop. They offer over 100 gluten-free items such as muffins, pancake mix, bread, rolls, flour, pasta, pizza, and desserts and ice cream.

Enjoy your vacation without stressing about what you are going to do for lunch or dinner. If you try out some of our suggestions, let us know what you think. The Outer Banks offers some of the greatest gluten-free options around. Maybe we are a little biased though. You will have to come and see for yourself, and if you do, let us know what you thought. Have a wonderful Outer Banks vacation.

Outer Banks Dog-Friendly Things To Do

The Outer Banks is filled with adventure, relaxation, and wonderful memories to be made. However, it’s not a family vacation without your whole family, including your pets. Luckily, the Outer Banks is one of the most pet-friendly vacation destinations on the east coast.

There are plenty of pet-friendly beaches, restaurants, houses, and local attractions to keep you and your furry friend busy. Below we have picked out some of our favorite things to do and places to visit with our dog that you should consider when planning your OBX vacation.


Pet-friendly places to stay are sometimes hard to find. That is until you have visited the Outer Banks in North Carolina. Here we have many rentals ranging from locations on the beachfront to the sound side and everywhere in between. Oceanfront and oceanside condos are located directly on the beach with oceanfront condos providing the most inhibited views of the waterfront. It is important to note that each resort will have its own set of rules including the cost per pet/stay as well as their pet policies.

Dog-Friendly Beaches

It comes to no surprise to us that the dogs may love the beaches just as much as the humans do here. That is why there are several beaches that allow you to bring your dog. Each beach has its own set of rules and regulations you must follow in order to bring your pet to the beach. One rule they all share is that you must pick up any pet waste upon depositing.

Duck Beach

At Duck, we welcome dogs and they are allowed to be unleashed as long as the owner is keeping a watchful eye on their pet. These beach accesses are limited to the group of Homeowners, residents and their guests.

Southern Shores

At Southern Shores, dogs may be on the beach before 9 a.m and after 6 p.m from May 15- September 15. It is a year-round policy that each dog must remain leashed and the leashes can be no longer than 10 feet. The same rules will apply during the off-season as well.

Kitty Hawk

Photo Credit: hack.cess via Flickr CC2.0

At Kitty Hawk, dogs may be on the beach but they must display a current rabies tag. Between the Friday before Memorial Day until the day after Labor Day, dogs must be on a leash that does not exceed 12 feet, from the hours of 10 a.m to 6 p.m. You are able to take the dog off the leash as long as they are controlled by the owner and remain within 30 feet of the dog at all times.

Kill Devil Hills

Photo Credit: via Flickr CC2.0

At Kill Devil Hills, dogs may not be on the beach between the hours of 9 Am to 6 Pm from memorial day to Labor day. All other times, dogs may be on the beach as long as they are leashed and under the control of their owner or family member.

Nags Head

At Nags head, dogs are welcome on the beach year-round as long as they are on a leash not exceeding 10 feet.


Photo Credit: Roger Mulligan via Flickr CC2.0

At Manteo, dogs may be on the beach as long as they are on a leash that is no longer than 6 feet.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore

At Cape Hatteras National Seashore, dogs may be on the beach year-round as long as they are restrained by a leash 6 feet or less at all times.

Pet-Friendly Restaurants

Sometimes the greatest part of a vacation is finding new, local food to try. Having a nice, relaxing meal with your family while catching up on the day is the perfect way to end a night or start a day. That includes your dog too. We know they are an important family member as well, so it is important that you are able to include them in everything you do on vacation. So while discussing dinner plans, consider these dog-friendly restaurants.

Mulligan’s Grille in Historic Cottage Row

With seating options, indoor and outdoor Mulligans is the perfect place to bring your dog. The outside dining area is designated for doggy dining. They even have their own dog menu, so your pup can enjoy a delicious meal while you do too.

Pamlico Jacks

Enjoy the natural beauty and delicious island cuisine at Pamlico Jack’s Soundfront Restaurant & Bar with your furry friend. Enjoy a nice dinner on the back porch with your dog and experience the view from the open-air sound front deck.

Shipwrecks Taphouse and Grill

Newly located in the OBX area, Shipwreck is one-of-a-kind and is pet-friendly. If you’re wanting a pawsome dinner this is the place for you. They even have a menu specifically for pets that are served on a souvenir frisbee.

Sooey’s BBQ in Nags Head

Authentic award winning eastern NC hickory-smoked bbq, chicken, beef and ribs. Dine with your god in the outdoor pet-friendly seating. Enjoy the oceanfront view while on their deck.

Fun Places to Take Your Dog

The Outer Banks in North Carolina is the perfect place for every member of the family including your pets. It is important to find things that everyone in your family enjoys and can attend. Finding places that allow you to bring your dog in the Outer Banks is simple. Here are a few of our favorite places to bring our pets.

The Wright Brothers Memorial in Kill Devil Hills

Home of the very first flight to ever take place, this incredible monument is a dog-friendly attraction worth seeing. See the reconstructed hangar bay and camp used by the Wright brothers, a life-sized replica of their place and a line upon which they first took flight and landed. You can use this time as a learning experience for yourself or the kids in the family while allowing the dog to get some of their energy out.

Jockey’ Ridge in Nags Head

This is the largest natural sand dune system in the Eastern United States. You can wander through the dunes, and feel transported to the desert. Within the sand dunes you can hike, kiteboard, hang gliding or kite flying. It is a great place for the family or to play some fetch with your dog. If you plan on climbing to the top of the dunes you will be rewarded with the breathtaking views of the Roanoke Sound and the town of Nags Head. If you do make the trip, remember to bring water for not only you but also your furry friend, as well as comfortable shoes and a leash.

Kitty Hawk Woods Coastal Reserve

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Made up of the maritime forest, marshes and brackish waterways, there are many ways to explore this peaceful paradise. You and the pup can hike along the nature trails while viewing wildlife or kayak through the lush marshes. The location is perfect for just taking a break from all of the hustle and bustle.

Elizabeth Gardens

The Elizabeth Gardens is a level II Accredited Arboretum inspired by Queen Elizabeth I’s love for flowers. The garden is over 9 acres and has hundreds of vibrant, native plants. Flowers, herbs and wildlife within. The landscape is always changing so you are likely to see a completely different view each time you visit. Bringing your pup is a must, but get ready for them to be overwhelmed with all of the different smells they are going to experience. It is a $3.00 fee for pets and there is only 1 pet allowed per owner.

Historic Corolla Park

Enjoy the view of the beautiful Currituck Beach Lighthouse at the Historic Corolla Park. The best part is, it’s free and you can bring your dogs too. Though you will not be allowed to bring your pooch inside the museum or the top of the historic lighthouse, there are still plenty of places to walk around and grab a few photographs.

Whether you are grabbing some authentic cuisine or running on the beach-maybe even chasing birds or crabs, the Outer Banks has it all. Bring your family, friends, and your pets. The perfect beach vacation awaits the whole family. Your family and furry friends will have a wonderful time digging in the sand or frolicking through the Elizabeths gardens. We hope to see you and your pets soon.

Facts About Hatteras Island You May Not Have Known

North Carolina’s Outer Banks are a 200-mile-long span of barrier islands off the U.S. East Coast, and Hatteras Island makes up a fairly good portion of it, at the southern end of the chain. Here are a few more fun facts about Hatteras that you may have missed!

There’s more to Hatteras Island than just Hatteras

Seven “villages” make up Hatteras Island in Dare County: Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Avon, Buxton, Frisco, and Hatteras.

The secret to our sunsets and water sports

Hatteras Island rests between the Atlantic Ocean and the Pamlico Sound, making for unique water sports experiences and extraordinary sunsets – especially at Cape Point in Buxton, one of the top surf fishing, windsurfing, and kiteboarding destinations on the East Coast.

Peaceful seclusion rests between the inlets

The Oregon and Hatteras Inlets provide additional distance from the mainland and the remaining barrier islands of the OBX for a truly secluded feel. The Oregon Inlet has long been monitored by the Bodie Island Lighthouse.

Reaching new heights in history

The first lighthouse at the Cape was built in 1803; it was replaced by the current Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in 1870. This is the tallest lighthouse in the U.S., measuring 198 feet from the foundation to the top of the tower.

What’s behind a name?

The Haulover Day Use Area (nestled between Avon and Buxton) is one of the narrowest parts of the state’s coastline – less than 150 yards wide. The area earned its name due to the common practice of vessels bottoming out and being hauled over the strip of land on the path to Ocracoke Inlet and Ocracoke Island in the 1700s-1800s.

The first seashore worthy of designation

Half of Hatteras Island is pristine and undeveloped, including much of Cape Hatteras National Seashore – the first officially established national seashore, and a great place for shelling!

A wildlife scavenger hunt of sorts

365 – Not days! It’s the # of species of birds that have been identified at the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, located on the north end of Hatteras Island.

Summer swells

Speaking of the residents… When it comes to the human variety, the island’s population grows exponentially in the summer, from less than 5,000 in the off-season to ten times that amount each week at the height of peak season!

Dark history makes for unique exploration

Located just off the shores of Hatteras Island, The Diamond Shoals are a cluster of shifting, underwater sandbars responsible for up to 600 shipwrecks and the resulting regional nickname of the Graveyard of the Atlantic.

A sinking feeling in 1912

On a somewhat related note, Hatteras has a pretty epic connection to another ill-fated ship! In 1912, the United States Weather Station in Hatteras Village received the original distress telegraph from the Titanic advising them that the ocean liner was sinking.

We’re worthy of a Presidential jig

There is no shortage of history associated with the island, including some of the first Union victories in the Civil War that were rewarding enough to cause President Abraham Lincoln to rise from his slumber and do a little dance!

Among the best beaches

Hatteras beaches have been ranked among the top in the nation by The Travel Channel, CNN, and Forbes.

Want a closer look at Hatteras? See our handy Hatteras guide!

If you’re looking for the ultimate Hatteras Island experience, you’ll love our vacation rentals in the communities of Waves Village Resort and Rodanthe Sunset Resort. Find out more about these resort properties – ideal for watersports enthusiasts and families in search of a classic beach getaway.

Outer Banks Art Galleries

The picturesque beach surroundings in the Outer Banks have been an inspiration for artists for centuries. From the tip of Corolla all the way down to Hatteras Island, it’s not hard to figure out why these beautiful barrier islands have produced a vibrant arts community.

Whether you’re a passionate art enthusiast and you have your eye on a particular artist or you’re a beach lover looking to take a little piece of the island life back home with you—we’ve got the scoop on where to go to find the best art on the islands.

Enjoy this quick guide to Outer Banks art galleries and have fun finding your one-of-a-kind masterpiece.

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The Best Time To Visit The Outer Banks

“What’s the best time to visit the Outer Banks?”—this is a question we often get, especially for first-time visitors.

Of course, the ‘best’ time to visit any destination is truly subjective. Some folks love hitting the beach during peak season while others prefer the mild temps and wide-open beaches of the winter.

For this analysis, we highlight the best part of each season in the Outer Banks and share our personal favorite time to visit OBX. Let’s dive in!

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Where Are The Outer Banks?

As an intern at First Flight Rentals, I found myself asking, “what are the Outer Banks?” what is technically considered the start and finish of the Outer Banks?

After divulging between different maps of the outer banks there are a few different ideas of what is considered the Outer Banks and what is not.

Firstly, according to wiki The Outer Banks are barrier islands off the coast of the U.S. state of North Carolina, separating the Atlantic Ocean from the mainland. Commonly referred to as “OBX” or the 252! According to, the Outer Banks is a “130-mile stretch of barrier islands just off the coast of North Carolina.” They also said that the towns of Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head are more populated, followed by, on Hatteras Island in the south. Along the main stretch of the outer banks, you will also run into the town: Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Avon, Buxton, Frisco, Hatteras: one road leads to them all. This road is well named “beach road” and connects all of the towns together. Top attractions in the outer banks include:  Wright Brothers Memorial, Jockeys Ridge state park, and Lighthouse (Bodie Island, Cape Hatteras Island).

With a total of 10 major towns/ cities and smaller ones in between,  it seems as though the outer banks are large but also quite quaint lighthouses and its own culture. Ranging from Corolla to Ocracoke and everything in between we make up what is referred to as “the outer banks.”

What is commonly mistaken as the Outer Banks are the southern North Carolina beaches, this includes: Cape Fear, Wilmington, Kure Beach, Carolina Beach, Topsail Island, and Emerald Island. These are not a part of the outer banks. 😊

Outer Banks Leash Laws: Keeping Your Dog Safe On The Beach

Welcome to planning your dogs-welcome vacation in the Outer Banks! North Carolina beaches are fairly dog-friendly, however, there are several things to keep in mind as you plan to bring your furry family member to your vacation.

Keeping pets healthy and safe on your vacation is as important as your own health and safety. There is some variation of Outer Banks leash laws from beach to beach, with exceptions made for service animals. Observe pet ordinances for specific locations, and practice water and sun safety to make your stay a vacation to remember and the Outer Banks a place to visit again and again.

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20+ Beach Hacks To Make Your Next OBX Visit The Best Yet

Welcome to the Outer Banks, the crown jewel of the North Carolina Coast. Known for wide-open beaches, world-class seafood, and tons of great family-friendly entertainment, it’s not hard to see why the Outer Banks is always a top east coast destination.

Make the most of your time in the Outer Banks and save a little time and money with these clever beach hacks. We promise these will make your family vacation even more effortless!

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Outer Banks Wedding Guide

If you’re looking for the ideal place to plan your destination wedding, look no further than the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The unspoiled beauty of the barrier islands creates the perfect setting for your big day, and all of the special events that make the wedding so memorable – and so uniquely you. The Outer Banks is home to world-class cuisine, a network of knowledgeable local vendors like wedding planners, photographers, florists, and some of the most remarkable seascapes on the East Coast of the United States.

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