Nothing beats an ice-cold beverage while relaxing on the beach. Nothing is worse than reaching for an icy drink and finding your cans swimming. Coolers are essential for family days on the sand. A good modern cooler will keep food and drinks fresh for days. In addition to beverages, fishermen rely coolers to keep bait fresh, and hopefully the catch of the day. Walk onto any beach or pier in North or South Carolina and you’ll see a plethora of cooler models and sizes. Cooler technology has advanced rapidly in modern years. Top-end hard-sided coolers can keep ice frozen for a week. Soft coolers are easier for one person to carry onto a beach, but can still keep food cool for days. Cooler materials and price points vary wildly, so we put together this guide with our recommendations for your coastal vacation.
Blue Moon is one of the hottest new restaurants on the Outer Banks. Scott and Melissa Shields opened the Blue Moon in the dead of the winter of 2009, when everyone else was running worried over the shaky economy. But the restaurant has proved to be a good bet, which anyone on a winter weekend waiting list to get into the eatery can testify. Barely visible from the U.S. 158 Bypass, the Blue Moon is tucked into the corner of Surfside Plaza at Milepost 13, but just follow all the cars parked out in front. It didn’t take long for word-of-mouth buzz to get around about the congenial atmosphere, cool bar and interesting and creative menu at Blue Moon. Billed as “Southern comfort food,” the offerings include fish tacos with cilantro citrus cream; shrimp and grits sautéed with Vidalia onions and roasted red peppers; veggie voodoo pasta with optional blackened shrimp or chargrilled pork loin; braised Portobello stuffed with spinach, arugula and goat cheese risotto. And how about some jerk marinated chargrilled wings, or buffalo shrimp, or oysters Rockefeller to start? There are also soups and salads to fill out the menu. A variety of draft and bottled beer, and wine by the glass or bottle are available for the asking. Full take out service is also available. The Shields close up for a month in the winter, but it varies, so call first.