Enter to win a $50 gift certificate from Ocean Atlantic Rentals! Contest ends 5/17

This week we’re giving away a $50 gift certificate to Ocean Atlantic Rentals!.

Click here to head to their site where they’re giving away $100! You could potentially win $150 in rental equipment!

Ocean Atlantic Rentals is the perfect company for all your vacation rental needs.  From bikes to beach gear, highchairs or wheelchairs – if you need it they probably rent it! They offer free delivery on most orders, even in the 4×4 area.  This year they are branching out with chair and umbrella delivery service on the beach so be sure to enter this week’s giveaway and you could win a $50 gift certificate towards your rental.

Click here to enter and good luck!


Outer Banks Distilling: Kill Devil Rum

The Mojito. The Daiquiri. The Cuba Libre. The Bahama Mama. The Pina Colada. The Dark & Stormy. The Mai Tai. What do all of these perfect summer libations have in common? Rum. Whether it was Blackbeard in Ocracoke, Ernest Hemingway in Cuba or Jimmy Buffett in concert; rum is perhaps the liquor most synonymous with warm weather and beautiful beaches. And now, at long last, you can finally and fittingly buy rum distilled and bottled right here on the picturesque shores of the Outer Banks of North Carolina!


Outer Banks Distilling has opened the first, and only, local distillery in the town of Manteo, located on Roanoke Island. Their flagship product, Kill Devil Rum, made its highly anticipated debut at local ABC stores on Tuesday, May 5th. Jose Cuervo and Corona took a backseat this Cinco de Mayo as Outer Banks locals instead clamored for the first batch of Kill Devil Rum to hit retail shelves.


The brand new distillery is the product of hard work by local Outer Banks residents Matt Newsome, Scott Smith, Adam Ball and Kelly Bray. Together these four, from their past backgrounds, brought numerous years of craft brewing & bartending expertise to their new venture.  When asked about their impressive first day of retail sales, Matt responded, “We just want to thank the Outer Banks Community for all of the support we have received. Our dream would not be a reality without it, and we are so proud to call the Outer Banks our home! The first day of sales was surreal, we kept pinching ourselves thinking we were going to awake from a dream.”


The distillery is located inside of a historic building in downtown Manteo. Prior to the beginning of any sort of rum production, the building first needed to receive a complete overhaul renovation. Having personally toured the distillery myself, I can say that the building is absolutely stunning. The distillery features retro brick walls on both the exterior and interior, and a beautiful hardwood bar where product sampling will be conducted. In addition to the tasting bar, there’s also a merchandise counter that sells items such as hats, t-shirts and glassware; some of which feature their slogan “From Molasses To Glasses”. This motto being a reference to the use of sugarcane products, such as molasses, in the process of distilling rum.


Rum may have originated in the Caribbean; however, the Outer Banks itself is deeply steeped in rum lore. In fact, the Outer Banks town of Kill Devil Hills’ name is a direct reference to rum. A brief synopsis on the crossover history between rum and the Outer Banks taken directly from Outer Banks Distillery’s website:

“The first reference to rum is found in the 1650’s from the island of Barbados. The liquor was referred to as “kill-devil.”  Rumbullion, along with kill devil, were popular names for rum at this time.  The trade in rum soon expanded to the colonies in New England, which is when the Legend of Kill Devil may have arrived on the Outer Banks through shipwrecks.

The more than 1,000 shipwrecks along the Outer Banks have led it to be named “The Graveyard of the Atlantic,” and some of the wreckage contained barrels of rum. The town of Kill Devil Hills is believed to have been named for either barrels of rum of the brand name Kill Devil or for a rum that was “strong enough to kill the devil.” Some believe the ships were lured close to shore on dark nights by a lantern hung from a horse’s (or nag’s) neck and walked along the dunes, causing the ships to wreck on the shallow shoals. This practice gives the adjacent town of Nags Head its name. The story continues with these plundered barrels of rum being hid behind the hill which is now the site of the Wright Brothers Monument.  A rarer story talks of the silhouettes of foxes at sunset on the same hill giving the appearance of devil horns, and leading to the name Kill Devil Hill. However Kill Devil Hills got its name, and there are many other legends, in 1873 the area Lifesaving Station adopted the name followed by the town in 1953.”kdr_img6

Outer Banks Distilling hopes to sell over 12,000 bottles of their silver rum in the first year. The rum, which cannot be sold at the distillery directly due to state laws at present time, is available by the bottle in ABC stores, and by the pour in approximately 50 local bars and restaurants. If you don’t fancy rum, fret not, the company plans to release a whiskey in the very near future. Keeping with the local history theme, the whiskey’s moniker will be Buffalo City Whiskey, named after the infamous Prohibition-era logging and moonshine town in Dare County. Taken from the Buffalo City, North Carolina Wikipedia page:

kdr_img5“In 1920, Prohibition laws were passed in the United States and moonshine became a popular way for Buffalo City citizens to make extra money. When logging camps at Buffalo City began to close in the 1920s, moonshine became the primary revenue source for citizens. Almost every family in Buffalo City operated a still. Speakeasies throughout the eastern United States sold moonshine made in Buffalo City. The liquor was made deep in the woods and transported by the same methods as logging: by mules and boats. A 30-foot (9.1 m) boat named the Hattie Creef sailed down Milltail Creek and across the Albemarle Sound to Elizabeth City, where the liquor was sold. The boat returned with large amounts of sugar, an ingredient in making moonshine.”

Outer Banks Distillery offers tours at their location in Manteo Monday – Saturday at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm. If you’re looking for an adventurous day trip during your Outer Banks vacation, then I highly suggest a visit to Roanoke Island. In addition to touring the distillery, Manteo offers the North Carolina Aquarium, The Lost Colony Outdoor Theater Production, and a quaint downtown area full of local boutique shops and restaurants. Furthermore, you can swing over to the other side of Roanoke Island and visit the town of Wanchese, which is home to the freshest seafood markets here in the Outer Banks!

For further information on Outer Banks Distilling and Kill Devil Rum:

Outer Banks Distilling

510 Budleigh Street, Manteo, NC 27954



Open Monday through Saturday, 9am-5pm

Twiddy’s very own staff photographer, Mel, took a tour of Outer Banks Distilling. To see her collection of amazing photographs from her visit to the distillery please click the link below:

Outer Banks Distilling Photos

Outer Banks Events: May 2015

The Lost Colony (Manteo), May 29th – August 22nd


The Lost Colony is a musical play based on historical accounts of Sir Walter Raleigh‘s failed attempts to establish a permanent settlement, the Roanoke Colony in the 1580s on an island in what was part of then the Colony of Virginia. Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paul Green, The Lost Colony marks a shift in Green’s work from more traditional forms of drama to focus on the creation of large-scale outdoor musical spectacles he termed “Symphonic Dramas.” The Lost Colony has been performed since 1937 in an outdoor amphitheatre located on the site of Sir Walter’s original colony on Roanoke Island in the Outer Banks region near present-day Manteo, North Carolina.

Tommy’s Market “Taste It Tuesdays” (Duck Village), Every Tuesday                      May thru Sept. from 2-6pm


Sample over 20 specialty products and sip local wines & microbrews every Tuesday.

32nd Annual Yuengling Nags Head Woods 5K, Saturday, May 9th at 8am


Annual 5K road race through The Nature Conservancy’s Nags Head Woods Ecological Preserve.

Sand Soccer Tournament (Jennette’s Pier), May 16th & 17th


A two-day, small-sided 5v5 beach soccer tournament played in the sand.

Buck’s Beach Blast (Whalehead), Sunday, May 24th from 12-5pm


Gather up the family and join us for a day of great beach music! Bring your blanket, chair, or shagging shoes for fun-filled music by the Currituck Sound.

43rd Hang Gliding Spectacular & Air Show (Jockey’s Ridge State Park),               May 15th – May 18th


Join professional hang gliders, fans, and families at Jockey’s Ridge State Park for this Outer Banks tradition. This event is the longest running hang gliding competition in the world! The Hang Gliding Spectacular and Air Show will run from May 15th through May 18th with competitions each day.  The Hang Gliding Spectacular and Air Show is FREE TO THE PUBLIC FOR VIEWING with fun activities all day long.

OBX Brewfest (Nags Head). Sunday, May 31st from 3-8pm


A craft beer culture event boasting over 80 tasty libations from around the U.S. There will also be live music, a “Game Zone for Grown Folks”, and a “Soda Garden” featuring over 20 handcrafted sodas.

Whalehead Wednesdays, Every Wednesday starting May 27th thru September 30th


Join the Whalehead Gallery, Sanctuary Vineyards, Vineyard on the Scuppernong and more as we present local, national, and international wines in a beautiful setting.There will be activities for children and pets on a leash are welcome.

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Enter To Win 20% Off Your Next Boat Trip With Jawfly Charters. Contest Ends Sunday 5/10

This week isn’t technically a giveaway but rather a local’s discount for anyone looking to go out on a boat this summer. If you want to just pay for gas, enter here for your chance to win 20% off a boat trip with Jawfly Charters!


If you’re looking to take a trip into the sound, Jawfly Charters does it all. Whether it’s crabbing, relaxing on a sunset cruise, or going out and catching some fish, Captain Buz knows best. Buz has a custom 45′ boat and can fit up to 6 passengers. Jawfly conveniently runs out of Kitty Hawk so you don’t have to run all the way down to Manteo and you have more time to get back to the beach. Take a look at his prices and website here: http://www.jawflycharters.com/
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crab---shrimp--element31 (2)This local discount giveaway ends Sunday night 5/10!  If you’d like to enter, click the link below:


Hanging out with Outer Banks’ Iron Chef, Wes Stepp

When it comes to chefs on the Outer Banks, there’s no one with more experience than Wes Stepp from Red Sky Cafe. In his 25+ years of cooking in the OBX, Wes has learned to utilize the best local resources we have to perfectly craft the ultimate southern Outer Banks cuisine. It’s the start of OBX restaurant week so we were invited to lunch at his restaurant, Red Sky Cafe, to get a little taste of what they’re serving up.


You know it’s a real OBX restaurant when there’s a surfboard on the wall.

For many people Red Sky is a household name. They’re close to our Duck check-in office and centrally located in the village so folks often stop by for lunch. Their menu involves a variety of southern recipes with an eastern NC kick, like Shrimp and Grits. Chef Wes’ main focus is integrating the best ingredients from the region, whether that’s local fish, produce or getting something from farm to table. Red Sky is not too large so you’ll get personal service to guide you through the menu. Red Sky also does something that many others around here don’t do—dinner reservations. If you’ve been out to eat on a Thursday or Friday anywhere in the OBX you know getting a reservation can save you hours of vacation time.

It's always fascinating watching the cooks do their work! This kitchen is not too big so everything has to be made from scratch.

It’s always fascinating watching the cooks do their work! This kitchen is not too big so everything has to be made from scratch.


Wes made us a massive plate to try a variety of food, including Shrimp & Grit Burritos to Southern Style NC BBQ Quesadillas.  The saffron rice and guacamole were “tastefully fit” and great sides to complement the meal.  

While we were there Wes also explained a little bit about his other fun project,  in-home chef services.  Getting everyone together to go to a meal can take hours, so keeping it at home makes things easy. Plus who wants to do dishes on vacation?  Many of our homeowners like D1, B688 and R11487 use them at their houses for events, and even the Outer Banks Wedding Association recommend them for event catering. Cooking in large quantities and getting it right is extremely challenging so having someone with experience is key.

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Bubba Gump personally approved this picture

Wes recently created his own cookbook called,

Wes recently created his own cookbook called, “Tastefully Fit” available at Red Sky. This book focuses on healthy and clean eating without compromising taste.  Lots of good southern seafood recipes in here you won’t find online!

After eating here it’s clear why he is so popular. Not only does he cook bangin’ food, but Chef Wes is actively involved in the community.  No matter if it’s visitors, locals, fisherman, farmers, TV networks, benefits, wedding associations, hotels, property managers, or even other restaurant owners, he’s always there and his answer is always, “Yes!”.  By staying involved and connecting everyone in the area he’s able to keep things fun, tasty and special. He’s got skills so we’re dubbing him Outer Banks’ Iron Chef. When you’re in town, drop by and say hi!  Check out their website here.

A Taste of Italy at the Beach

From Italy to the Outer Banks, La Dolce Vita is a hidden gem you don’t want to miss! A cozy Italian restaurant, situated in the Tim Buck II shopping center found in Corolla, NC, La Dolce Vita is a frequent spot for locals and visitors from all over. The restaurant opened in 2009 after the owner, Anne-Marie Marizetti, found inspiration in the Italian cuisine she grew up on from her grandmother Jo, born and raised in Nova Siri, Italy.


The restaurant focuses on delivering high quality food and providing a welcoming atmosphere to all who enter. Anne-Marie opened the restaurant as an owner/operator and has grown to become chef/owner since 2012. La Dolce Vita provides a new age take on classic Italian dishes, from their Jumbo Lump Maine Lobster Ravioli to the 10 oz. Bone in Veal Parmesan, you will find a little bit of everything here! To see more of their menu, click here: http://www.ladolcevitacorolla.com/


This week we will be giving away a a gift certificate for two to enjoy this Italian delicacy. The certificate will provide one appetizer of your choice, two entree’s and two desserts, along with two Twiddy tees! Don’t miss out on your chance to win by clicking the link below.