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Outer Banks beach named among best in US, ranking says

By TAMARA LUSH, Associated Press SIESTA KEY, Fla. — North Carolina has one of the best beaches in the country, according to a new ranking. Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach on the Outer Banks was ranked the third best beach in the country in a ranking by Dr. Beach. It was nudged out by Kapalua Bay Beach in Maui, Hawaii and top-ranked Siesta Beach in Sarasota, Florida. The site uses criteria such as beach width at low tide, beach material and sand softness, among others, to rank each site. Stephen Leatherman, aka Dr. Beach, a professor at Miami's Florida International University, wrote of the Tar Heel site: "Ocracoke, once the home of Blackbeard the pirate, is still a special place—it is my favorite getaway beach. Here you will find some of the wildest beaches in the country. Big surf dominates in late summer so families with children may want to come earlier in the year. Don’t expect to play golf or stay at the Ritz; the main pursuits are swimming and beachcombing." The sand on Siesta Beach on Florida's Gulf Coast is as fine as powdered sugar, a pure, sparkling white and soft as a kitten's fur — all because it's comprised of 99 percent pure crushed quartz. For that reason, and many others, it was selected this year as the best beach in America by a professor who's made a career ranking and studying beaches around the United States. "The sand is outstanding," Leatherman said. "Every time I go there, I've got to take a bag home with me. It's almost sacrilegious to walk on it with shoes on." Top 10: 10. Beachwalker Park Kiawah Island, South Carolina 9. Coronado Beach, San Diego, California 8. Hapuna Beach State Park, Big Island, Hawaii 7. Caladesi Island State Park Dunedin/Clearwater, Florida 6. Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts 5. Coopers Beach, Southampton, New York 4. Grayton Beach State Park Florida panhandle 3. Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach, Outer Banks of North Carolina 2. Kapalua Bay Beach, Maui, Hawaii 1. Siesta Beach Sarasota, Florida On a recent workday, Siesta Beach was packed with people, even though it wasn't particularly sunny. The turquoise water was still gorgeous, the sand still fine. The beach is about 200-300 feet (60-90 meters) wide in some places, which means people can stretch out and not feel crowded. The beach was last year's runner up and one of three in Florida on this year's top 10 list. "It's nice and clean, that's what I look for," said Jamie Gaskin, a 59-year-old retiree from Lakeland, Florida, who was scoping out the beach for a family Memorial Day party. She especially liked the two-story pavilion, which boasts a snack bar and restrooms. It's only two years old and even offers sweet crepes for breakfast and tapas dishes in the early evening. "There's plenty of tables to barbecue and to hang out. And the restrooms were nice and clean. I'd definitely recommend this," she said. Siesta Beach is on a barrier island in the Gulf [...]

Southern Living survey, Outer Banks Best Island in the South!

Southern Living survey, Outer Banks Best Island in the South! The Outer Banks was recently ranked #1 by Southern Living, read more here... © FLOBX

Hurry! Last Villa Left at Beacon Villas!

Economic Development News from Currituck County

Economic Development Forecast: Clear and Sunny April 2017 Spring has arrived in Currituck County. But this year, in addition to the warmer weather and longer days, the traditional season of growth includes some exciting changes for our Economic Development Department. In the coming weeks, we look forward to announcing our new Economic Development Director. And I can tell you that the person who steps into the role will "hit the ground running" as Currituck County moves forward with several big projects including the next phase of planning for the Moyock mega-site. You can stay connected to the latest news through our social media channels and by following our blogs at As always, I thank you for your continued support of Currituck County Economic Development and your interest in staying informed about our efforts to attract new business and help established businesses to grow and prosper in Currituck County. Sincerely, Dan Scanlon, County Manager

New waterpark near Outer Banks could be the largest in the nation

An 80-acre water park with a slide taller than the local pine trees is set to open next year in southern Currituck County near the Outer Banks. The $45 million project will go up near two golf courses on U.S. 158 about two miles north of the Wright Memorial Bridge. The park is expected to attract 4,500 people a day during tourist season and will include a big wave pool, water slides, a lazy river, an adventure pond and restaurants, among other attractions. “The Outer Banks vacation area has such a rich history with room to grow the recreational leisure market,” Kenneth Ellis, an owner of OBX Waterpark Adventure, LLC, said in a news release. Read more on the Virginian Pilot

A seal sunbathing on North Carolina’s Outer Banks!

A seal sunbathing on North Carolina’s Outer Banks and enjoying unseasonably warm February weather has become an Internet star. Video of the lounging seal pup was captured Saturday by Kitty Hawk-based photographer Cory Godwin, and had garnered more than 311,000 views on Godwin’s production Facebook page by Wednesday. Seals, especially young ones, typically start showing up on North Carolina beaches in January to snag some fish before heading back north to New England and Canada in spring. They’re mostly pups that can’t yet compete with adults in their home waters up north, so they head south to forage for fish, Karen Clark, program director of the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education in Corolla, said last year. The center is operated by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. Read more here: