We look forward to chatting with you! Use the form below to send us a message.
Tim and Lisa, owners
We look forward to chatting with you! Use the form below to send us a message.
Tim and Lisa, owners
First up, a fresh coat of pale, pale blue for the walls, new sofa and bench and a new rug in a beachy chevron.
I love the Rowe sleeper ordered from local business Manteo Furniture. It’s in a durable Sunbrella fabric, perfect for rental wear and tear.
Noticed the mural in that last photo, huh? Let’s take a closer look.
Inspired by this wall from Jessica Helgerson Interior Design, I liked how it’s evocative of the ocean while helping to draw my various color choices together.
Goodbye, 80’s gold! A can of Rustoleum heat resistant paint transformed the whole look of the fireplace. The paintings on the mantle got moved to a hallway in exchange for this mirror I bought on Craigslist and painted white.
These mason jars left behind by a guest and Dollar Tree vases also got upcycled to help aid with our cool coastal theme.
Our favorite update – the Queen bedroom. Photos don’t do it justice, likely because I’m a terrible photographer. This went from perfectly usable, but bland to a peaceful and calming retreat thanks to new paint in ocean colors, Stella bedding from West Elm and local photography by Eve Turek, owner of Yellowhouse Gallery in Nags Head.
My biggest complaint about vacation rentals are DULL KNIVES. I recently discovered Mercer knives at A Culinary Affair in Outer Banks Mall. Mercer supplies all the cooking schools and offer good quality at affordable prices. They actually aren’t pictured here. The new knives are on a simple, clean magnetic strip on the wall. Also not pictured: a new sink faucet and a fabulous new washer dryer unit.
TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site, has awarded The Lark a 2014 Certificate of Excellence. This prestigious award recognizes businesses that consistently earn top ratings from TripAdvisor travelers as well as exceeding other hospitality measures. Out of more than 3,500 vacation rentals in the Northern Coast and Outer Banks, only a small percentage will earn this distinction.
“TripAdvisor is pleased to honor exceptional hospitality businesses for consistent excellence,” said Marc Charron, president of TripAdvisor for Business. “The Certificate of Excellence award gives top performing establishments around the world the recognition they deserve, based on feedback from those who matter most – their customers. From Australia to Zimbabwe, we want to applaud exceptional hospitality businesses for offering TripAdvisor travelers a great customer experience.”
Tim and I are proud to receive this award because it demonstrates the high regards and opinions of our guests, whom we love and appreciate.
This is the second year The Lark has been recognized for stellar hospitality. In 2013, our first year of operation, we received a FlipKey bronze Top Vacation Rental award.
This natural symphony could be heard nightly in the Spring while sitting on the deck at The Lark.
This one’s a given. Miles of rolling blue Atlantic surf on one side, wild and natural Sound on the other. There’s surfing, dunes, kayaking, parasailing, fishing, horseback riding, 4-wheeling and every other water-related sport imaginable. And let’s not underestimate the simple pleasures of laying down a blanket under an umbrella to catch some rays, building sandcastles and watching the waves do their mesmerizing dance with the shoreline.
Now a confession: I don’t really care for the beach. For Tim and Larkin, a visit to the beach while at the Outer Banks is like a Christmas tree in December — life wouldn’t be natural without one. Me, though, I could do without. Blasphemy, I know. Luckily, there’s plenty on the island for land lubbers like me.
Anytime we visit a city with a zoo or aquarium, we’re there. We’ve been going to the NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island located in nearby Manteo since before we were parents. And though we’ve seen many, many aquariums through the years, this one has become “our” aquarium. It’s intimate size means you can explore all the nuances of the exhibits, plus take time for side trips to visit historic Roanoke Island.
I love to cook, especially while on vacation when I don’t feel the need to clean dishes after every meal. That’s why our first order of business when we purchased The Lark was to equip it with everything you need to make a gourmet meal at home, including brand new appliances and all the gadgets — including Corelle dishware, an ice cream maker and spices for cooking! Of course we immediately ran out of funds after that, so new cabinets and countertops are coming next year (I can’t wait!)
Sometimes, though, food tastes better when it’s served to you by someone else in a cool environment. The Outer Banks has those a-plenty. Some of our and our friends’ favorite places include:
The Outer Banks is a prime destination for outdoor living. Our favorite spots also happen to be 100 percent free. Nags Head Woods Preserve offers hundreds of acres of hiking past dunes and marshes and ponds. Our favorite is the Roanoke Trail, a short family-friendly hike passing through a salt marsh to a peaceful beach on the Sound. Jockey’s Ridge State Park also provides opportunities to kick off your shoes and explore the tallest natural sand dunes on the East Coast. Watch the hang gliders and kite pilots — or join in the fun! Finally, much has been said, mostly by us, about the multi-use path that runs past the Oyster Pointe complex that houses our condo. I really wish they’d chosen a more spectacular name when they were naming the place. It really is neat. It passes the Sound, the Wright Bros. Memorial Park and other scenic stops along the way, and is fully paved for runners, stroller pushers and prissy dogs like ours.
In the category of Things We Intend To Do But Haven’t Yet, there’s horseback riding on the beach, take a 4×4 ride to see the wild horses in Corolla, go on an off-road Segway safari, and take hang gliding lessons at Jockey’s Ridge. We expect these all to happen once the kid gets a few years older.
We tend to do all our shopping in two places: online, and on vacation. Online because it’s way more convenient, and on vacation because it’s way more fun. And the Outer Banks surely has some fun options that make indulging in retail therapy.
U.S. News & World Report recently named the Outer Banks the top family beach vacation in the USA, beating out more exotic locales of Maui and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The magazine lauded the OBX’s “consistent-yet-manageable waves and beautiful natural landscape,” also giving a nod to its historical charm and rugged sense of adventure.
“A cottage or condo rental will give you more space for family time and prime beach access.” -U.S. News & World Report.
For more ideas and events, check out Outer Banks Child. Around The Lark, you can also make it a family day in by choosing a family-friendly selection from our DVD collection or hanging out by our pool.
Need a break from the little ones? You can hire a sitter to come to the condo. A quick search for “babysitting Outer Banks” will yield several results. We personally met the owner of At Your Service and found her to be professional and trustworthy.
Truly, though, there are many, many great options. Outer Banks Taco Bar has a box full of toddler toys to keep the littles entertained and Outer Banks Brewing Station has a playground on premises. We also enjoy American Pie, Rundown Cafe and Mama Kwans. If your child is a history buff, check out Black Pelican. The old life saving station is where the Wright Brothers sent their telegraph announcing they had successfully taken the world’s first flight.
The Lark was designed with young children in mind. We have everything you need for a relaxing vacation.
Every time we are in the Outer Banks between Thanksgiving and New Year someone will ask if we’ve been to see the house with all the Christmas lights. “Turn at the Pigman’s BBQ” is the only description we’ve ever received. So tonight, we hopped in the car, made a right at the Pigman’s BBQ on Ocean Acres Drive, then drove until the cars slowed to a crawl and Christmas carols poured in from the open window.
Then we saw this.
Lovingly owned by landscaper Jim Poulos and his wife Ann, the operation of the house’s holiday display is a whole family endeavor. Having been ill-prepared for the wonder appearing before our eyes, we were lucky to have a chance to speak with Jim’s son-in-law. We asked him all sorts of burning questions, and he was kind enough to answer them all. Now that I’m home I can think of several more impertinent things I’d like to ask, but I admit I was distracted by the pretty flashing lights.
Q: How long does it take to set this up?
A: We started in mid-August. The garage takes 30 to 40 days alone.
Q: How much is your electric bill each month?
A: It’s actually not as much as it was! We switched to nearly all LED lights and that helps.
Q: What do the neighbors think?
A: Most of them like Christmas. You’ll notice many put up their own Christmas lights. But really, my father-in-law has been here for 30 years. If you don’t like Christmas, you don’t move to this neighborhood! One lady moved in a few years ago and called the police five times in the first night. The next night she turned around and filed seven more complaints. Finally the police told her, “if you’re calling about the Christmas house again, you can just stop calling. It was there before you were.”
Q: So what will Santa bring you this year?
A: Santa came early this year and dropped off a train set. You see it there by the pond. That was nearly $500 alone. My father-in-law is a landscaper by trade, so next year he’s going to take up the pond and rearrange it. It’s expensive keeping up the house, but the children love it.
Q: This is so much more than we were expecting. Do you get a lot of visitors like us completely in awe?
A: We’re glad we could beat your expectations. It was actually voted best Christmas display by the Today Show in 2005. They never repeated the contest, so we still hold the title!
A. Maze. Ing. We’re probably going to go back tomorrow. And every remaining night of our trip. Apologies for the poor quality of the photos and video. We only had an iPad on us since we were only hoping to capture a picture for our family scrapbook. The best advice I can give you is to come see it for yourself. Just turn at the Pigman’s BBQ.
Vacation rentals have been gaining popularity among the nation’s travelers. Though slow to follow, the media is starting to pay attention. Last night CNBC’s Mad Money featured an interview with Brian Sharples, CEO of vacation rental search powerhouse HomeAway.
Now, the process of selecting and staying in a vacation rental has its own reality tv series on PBS. According to the show’s website, Getting Away Together highlights the “rapidly growing trend of sharing a vacation rental home with friends and family. From girlfriend getaways to family reunions and milestone celebrations, the series shows diverse groups of real travelers vacationing together in some of the most fascinating destinations and staying at spectacular vacation rental properties across America.”
In an age where nothing is official until it’s FBO (that’s Facebook Official, as a teenage friend tells me) and washed out celebrities cleave to the limelight by enrolling in as many reality shows as will accept them, I think that having our own series means that we have arrived in the vacation rental industry!
And of course, since Getting Away Together features some of the most fascinating destinations in the US, the Outer Banks already has an episode. It features a large Greek family that converges on the island for a family reunion. You can watch the full episode here.
Now’s your chance to see a live white alligator! One of the world’s estimated 12 leucistic alligators (even more rare than the albino trait) is on loan from New Orleans at the NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island. It’s currently in quarantine before being introduced to the Wetlands on the Edge exhibit. Early reports say the resident alligators are green with envy at the new arrival. Read more.