Take a drive down below Kill Devil Hills and cross the sound to Manteo on the eastern shore of Roanoke Island. The little historic district of Manteo is reminiscent of 16th century England that offers something for everyone - from a walk back in time at Roanoke Island Festival Park, or the George Washington Creef Boathouse and Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse, part of the North Carolina Maritime Museum, to outdoor water adventures such as fishing and kayaking, to shopping and dining. Manteo Booksellers is a lovely store with a fabulous childrens section and showcases local authors. Don't let the facade fool you - there are literally thousands of titles tucked in. One of my favorite memories of Manteo Booksellers is my daughter playing with the house labrador who was more than happy to let a little girl use him as a pillow to lean against while she read. During that same visit, an old woman parked her car right in the middle of the street to pop in and drop off some leftover bones for the dog!
Duck's Cottage at the waterfront shops in Duck is both a book store and a coffee shop - my favorite combo! Not just a book store that sells coffee, owner Allen LeHew went to great lengths to educate himself about coffee and determine the right blend for his customers at Duck's Cottage, a signature blend from a small company in Lexington, VA that ships weekly for the highest level of freshness. LeHew offers many different options of specialty coffee drinks, but a nice drip house blend is just as satisfying. I like to browse through the books with a special "Nutty Duck Latte" that includes hazelnut syrup. The Duck's Cottage serves up an eclectic assortment of reading along with its coffee. From their website, "Books for cooks, books for kids, books for sports fans, travel buffs, book clubs and beach bums," and they even find the room for a few magazines, newspapers, notecards and stationary, and a few lovely gift items. Enjoy your new book purchase and your coffee out on the front porch of the cottage.
Although they have several locations throughout the Outer Banks, my favorite Island Bookstore location is in the old Corolla Village. Here you'll find a two-story house, every inch packed with books. The sections are laid out nicely with a lovely and rather large children's section in the back complete with a few chairs for the little ones. Island Bookstore in Corolla has a nice section of Pirate and Outer Banks tales, including several books on the subject of the Lost Colony of Roanoke that I have enjoyed. Lots of employee recommendation cards located throughout the store to help you make your decision. This location is located in the old town section of Corolla behind the Currituck Lighthouse area.
You can probably guess that I've purchased quite a few books over the course of my annual Outer Banks trips for the last 7 years. I'll be posting my book reviews to this site as time allows. You might even be able to guess which ones were purchased locally at these stores.