I took a week off from blogging last week to enjoy every last bit of my birthweek that I could! I turned 22 last Monday and for my birthday, my parents took me and Zack to the Outer Banks. I was dying to get out of town for a little while and we only live two and half hours away from the beach so we thought "why not?" We loaded up the car took off for a one night trip. While the water was freezing and way toO cold to even dip a toe in, I enjoyed getting some fresh air and just a tiny bit of sunshine.
Keep reading to see the highlights (meaning food and drinks) of our trip!
There is a lot to see and do at the Outer Banks. Not only is the beach itself a major attraction, but there's restaurants, shops, mini golf, monuments, and natural attractions everywhere you turn around. The Wright Brother's Memorial and Jockey's Ridge are very popular but they were too "been there, thrown up on that" for me, so we headed straight for the beach and our hotel, the Sea Ranch Resort.
This was our first time staying at the Sea Ranch and I was not disappointed. Their lobby was very nice and clean and offered free 24/7 coffee which won my favor right from the get-go. With a beachside bistro, beach access, and an indoor 8 foot pool, I was more than happy to be staying there.
After dumping our bags and spending about an hour walking on the beach in the scalding heat and freezing water, I knew what had to come next: birthday drinks at happy hour at the beachside bistro. While Zack and my dad went for some local craft beers, my mom and I had a drink called "A Random Beach Drink" with pineapple juice, coconut rum, and blue curacao. It was just the refreshing drink I needed on a hot beach day.
Just like the food lovers we are, our next stop involved, you guessed it, more food and drinks! We went to dinner at a restaurant we had been visiting for years, Mako's Beach Grille + Bar. I still have a child's sized t-shirt from when it was called Mako Mike's, that's how long we have loved that place. My mom and dad got their favorite plates of oysters and flounder, but I decided to try something new. I got fish tacos with fried mahi and a side of mashed potatoes. I had never had mahi before but I loved it! The chipotle sour cream just made the tacos that much better.
The rest of the night was spent relaxing. A dip in the indoor pool, a bottle of wine in the hotel room, and a good ol' fashioned thunderstorm. I love sitting and watching it storm and seeing it on the beach was that much cooler. Zack and I when for a walk on the beach after dark and between dodging all the crabs and more of the cold sea water, we could see the lightening behind the clouds all the way down the coast. It was a nice, quiet evening- the perfect way to end my birthday.
The next morning we had a quick diner breakfast before packing the car. Once I was loaded up on chocolate chip pancakes, I was ready to do anything. We took a short drive down the coast before heading back to the mainland and stopping in Manteo.
I have always loved walking around Manteo. It's a small town right on the waterfront of the sound. There are so many cute shops and restaurants all in walking distance of each other and of the waterfront. If you're even in the area, I highly recommend checking out the Lost Colony and Roanoke Island Festival Park. I have been to both several times. The Lost Colony is a play based on, naturally, The Lost Colony. It is actually staged in the approximate area the original lost colony was in. Even if you don't see the play, you can still walk the area and read all about the mystery of the lost colony. Roanoke Island Festival Park is a hands-on way of exploring the life of the colonists. There's a museum and trails all over the tiny island that lead to real-life camps and settlements that would have been what the colonists used including a functioning period ship!
This time, though, we stopped for a walk along the waterfront a break at Big Buck's Homemade Ice Cream Shop. I knew this entire trip that I just wanted, needed, homemade ice cream. And the fact that this yummy ice cream came on a waffle cone with the quaint view of more Manteo shops made it even better. I chose the coconut almond flavor and it hit the spot! It was just what I needed to make the two hour journey home.
Overall, we had a really nice trip! For a one-day vacation, we managed to get a lot in. And by that, I mean we ate a lot of food! After all, the way we like to plan our vacations is by where we get to eat. Can you relate?
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I'm Jennifer, a 21 year-old crochet, DIY, and marketing enthusiast who loves sharing my projects and travel and lifestyle posts with the world. I also help people start their own blogging journey through my business, JHB Communications.
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