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Old 06-25-2009, 03:06 AM
 
Location: Albuquerque, NM
908 posts, read 2,558,900 times
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We're knocking around the idea of getting some family and friends together at the Outer Banks. Probably will end up with about 12-18 people total, with kids & toddlers. Are there better times of year to visit if you want to hike/walk/see around the banks? Are there B&B's that can cater to a group this size? Are there any special events worth planning to be around for? What do you think are the best ways for a group this size to visit the area for a week (B&B, inland big chain hotel, beach house rental, etc...). Apparently my sister knows someone with a beach house in Corolla. Any thoughts on that town? I guess I'm asking: If it were your family, how would you do OBX? (and if you've got a funny quip for that, I'll read that too!). Thanks for whatever you can give.
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Old 06-25-2009, 06:35 AM
 
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I don't know about Corolla but there are many rental companies in the OBX that can easily accomodate 12-18 or perhaps you can rent 2 that might be next door or across the street from each other - your best bet would probably to google and contact some of them ASAP to get more info, they do tend to fill up fast but given the economy, you may luck out and be able to find something available to your liking. Personally I'd go w/ a beach house rental as you'd have more privacy than in a big chain not to mention kitchen facilities but given July is right around the corner, it may be late in the season to reserve. I think any time w/b good to go, am assuming you're more interested in the summer b/c of school for kids etc. There's many inexpensive restaurants in the area and you can always do cereal and sandwiches at home and go out at nite etc, keep us posted when/if you go.
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Old 06-25-2009, 08:26 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque, NM
908 posts, read 2,558,900 times
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Thanks for the quick reply Honeycrisp. That's just the kind of insight I was looking for. We're actually looking at next June, but since I figured things do fill up, I thought I'd start investigating now. Gives us plenty of time to get everything in place. If anyone has additional thoughts, please chime in.
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Old 06-26-2009, 08:28 AM
 
Location: on the Beach
135 posts, read 570,141 times
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Hey there! family get-togethers at the beach is something that me and my family do every summer. we typically have anywhere from 12-15 people. We usually rent at Atlantic Beach, it's quieter than some of the other places and has several small towns inland to visit, including Beaufort. But most days we go to the beach or the pool, or both.

We try to stay in the Sea Dreams area of Atlantic Beach since it's Ocean side, has a private pool, and private beach access. The houses are very nice and have porches on the front and back to enjoy the sunrises and sunsets, as well as eating shrimp right off the grill. The largest of the rentals is 233 and is rented out by Atlantic Sun Properties it has 4 queen beds, and kid-size bunks upstairs. in the apartment downstairs it has a full/double size, twin sized bunk beds, and a fold out couch.

One of the draws of a house is that we can cook our own food, and although there are many restaurants in the area that can accommodate large parties, it can be a long wait to get in with such a large party. Several people in my family also have a variety of food allergies, so it's easier for them to cook the food and know what exactly is in it.

I always highly recommend Atlantic Beach because it is a place that i always enjoy. But i know that everyone has different expectations on vacations. There are a lot of shopping areas, and several things that you can do as day-trips, like deep sea fishing, aquarium, fort macon, kayaking, shelling out on shackleford etc. But unless you actively look for them most of the putt-putt/go-kart/kiddie ride places have sold out to builders to build more houses. I have looked for larger houses on atlantic beach but it seems that many of them are on the sound side, which just means a longer walk to the ocean.

i hope this helps! my family and i always have a lot of fun! it's something that we always look forward to
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Old 06-26-2009, 08:28 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque, NM
908 posts, read 2,558,900 times
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Thanks historychick09 for the great post. Hadn't really considered that area, so I'll give it a look. I think we're with you're family on the cooking. It's part of the fun to share in prepping the meal anyway. Maybe we'll see you guys ocean side. ;-)
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Old 06-27-2009, 10:11 AM
 
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We have worked with Bluewatergmac on Emerald Isle. They have a very good reputation. We have relatives living in Cape Carate(?spelling) and they always use them. I too am working on next year
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Old 06-28-2009, 09:53 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque, NM
908 posts, read 2,558,900 times
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Thank you, I'll look them up on the web.
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Old 07-01-2009, 06:44 AM
 
Location: Ayrsley
4,714 posts, read 8,486,392 times
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As most have already said, you will have a lot of of options anywhere up and down the banks. In years past, things did tend to fill up quickly, but there appear to be a lot more vacancies this year as a result of the economy - we moved our rental for this July up one week and our realty company's computers seem to think we canceled our reservation (we checked - we're still good, its just a computer glitch) and, as a result, have gotten several e-mails offering deals and half-weeks at houses in the summer months. But it is never too early to look. Our experience over the years is that, should you decide on a house for June / July 2010, they will likely want an advance deposit of about 50% by November / December, with the rest about 30-45 days prior to check in.

I agree that a house is probably the best way to go as opposed to a hotel - it will give you more room than just hotel rooms. And with a group that size, having a full kitchen, grill, etc. will probably make it easier than trying to take such a large group out for every meal. Plus, when we've gone with larger groups in the past, it just seems easier to have that kitchen area where people can just eat as they want throughout the day without having to do all of the planning for a large group to go out for every meal. Having said that - there are a lot of good restaurants in the area that range across all price points (my advice: stay away from the "all-you-can-eat" buffet places; the food at those is usually sub-par at best).

Corolla is nice; we always stay in Duck, which is right below that. We prefer that end of the banks as it tends to be a bit quieter and more laid-back than, say, Nags head / Kill Devil Hills - in fact I believe there are no hotels in Duck proper other than the Sanderling and no public beach access, so that keeps things quiet). However, depending upon the ages of some of the kids going, the only drawback is that activities such as go-karts, miniature golf, etc. will all be a bit of a drive down to Nags Head / KDH as they really don't have that type of stuff up in Duck and Corolla. Although Corolla does have the tours of the off-road beaches which is fun. The aquarium down on Roanoke Island, as well as the Elizabethan Gardens are a fun trip, as is taking the drive down to Hatteras and taking the ferry over to Ocracoke.

As I posted on another thread, if you don't know the Outer Banks that well, check the website for the OBX Visitors' Bureau - The Outer Banks of North Carolina® Official Site - Visitors Bureau - that will at least give you an idea of the different areas, and things to do, along with calendars of events.
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Old 07-08-2009, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Stirling, NJ (Southern Morris County)
199 posts, read 471,062 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ziaAirmac View Post
We're knocking around the idea of getting some family and friends together at the Outer Banks. Probably will end up with about 12-18 people total, with kids & toddlers. Are there better times of year to visit if you want to hike/walk/see around the banks? Are there B&B's that can cater to a group this size? Are there any special events worth planning to be around for? What do you think are the best ways for a group this size to visit the area for a week (B&B, inland big chain hotel, beach house rental, etc...). Apparently my sister knows someone with a beach house in Corolla. Any thoughts on that town? I guess I'm asking: If it were your family, how would you do OBX? (and if you've got a funny quip for that, I'll read that too!). Thanks for whatever you can give.
We go to Corolla every week in the Summer. Our group is always around that big, and the houses there are perfect for it. We started out by renting a Saturday to Saturday every time we'd go there, and a few years later my uncle ended up buying a house and renting it out of the Summer. We all stay there for a week. I'd definitely recommend renting. While pricey, it's easier to do with a group of that size because you can split up the price. The houses are all huge and perfect for big groups of people.

To be honest, there's not a lot of hiking or walking opportunities in Corolla. There is however the lighthouse, and of course all of the beaches are beautiful and free. Recreational activities include kayak and boat rentals, jet-ski rentals, etc. Most houses have pools, and this is a must with such a big group of people for a week. The only thing I don't like about Corolla is that it's a bit of a drive not only to shopping and restaurants, but also to the bridge. Traffic on Saturdays and Sundays can make the drive from the bridge to Corolla a nightmare, especially when you've been in the car for 8+ hours. Hope this helps!
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