Helmed by mother-and-daughter team Sharon Hundley and Heather Fletcher, The Cupcakery of Elizabeth City spawns more than 10 varieties of fist-sized cakes each day. Classic flavors such as chocolate, carrot, and marble join newfangled delights—from red velvet to white almond—in artfully arranged boxes. Filling fans can indulge in creamy-centered Oreo, chocolate-mocha, and white-raspberry cakelets, each of which comes standard with a generous dollop of frosting. Although the bakery plays host to a full spread of cupcakes on any given day, customers craving 12 cupcakes of the same flavor are encouraged to phone in an order at least 48 hours in advance.
Moonrise Bay Vineyard grows several award-winning varietals and serves them in a handsome green-roofed building flanked by rolling fields of vines. You and a friend will sip and savor four of Moonrise's palate-pleasing grapen goodnesses. The current roster includes the crisp and elegant fumé blanc, a chardonnay with light notes of citrus, pear, and eternity; the Boathouse Red Blend (an ambrosial amalgamation of merlot and cabernet sauvignon); and the First Flight White Muscadine Blend. After sampling the wares, choose a bottle of vino to take home.
Golfers who last played The Pines at Elizabeth City prior to 2004 may not recognize the 6,700-yard, par-72 golf course. The surrounding forests of pine trees that swaddle the fairways and greens remain, but that's about it. Course architect Tom Clark revamped everything on the course, from the new hybrid bermuda fairways to the A1/A4 bent-grass greens. Even the bunkers have been overhauled to protect against erosion, and the practice facilities now incorporate target greens, a putting green, and fairways for rehearsing real shots off the tee. The result is a course that feels brand new while rewarding the skills of precision, power, and creativity, which are each as old as the game itself.
The Outer Banks is home to both man's first flight and the annual flight of countless migratory birds. On the way north to the Wright Brothers National Memorial, travelers can stop off at the 2,600-acre Donal C. O’Brien Jr. Audubon Sanctuary and Center at Pine Island, a favorite resting spot for migrating cormorants, geese, and men in bird costumes.South of the resort lie the bustling towns of Kill Devil Hill, Nags Head, and Kitty Hawk, which thrive year-round with restaurants and microbreweries. There are nearly 2000 known sunken ships along the Outer Banks, and expeditions and seasonal diving trips routinely explore the history of these vessels. Across the water, the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site marks the location of England's first American colony with a museum and self-guided tours.
Sometimes it's just nice to have someone else cook for you and your family, especially when you don't even have to leave home. Outer Banks Clam Bakes sends chefs to homes for private clambakes that can serve anywhere from 6 to 600 people. And the best part is that they take care of everything—cooking the food, setting up the buffet stations, and cleaning up after the meal.
The buffet is packed with often locally sourced seafood and, for those who don't fancy a clambake but still want a tasty private-chef-cooked meal, it can feature USDA Choice new york strip steaks, pork tenderloins, and baby back ribs. The chefs also bring everything diners need, from salt and pepper to lobster hammers.