Folkstone Inn - Lemon Soufflé Pancakes with Blueberry Compote Recipe

A bed and breakfast for four decades, the Folkestone still preserves its 1920s mountain farmhouse charm.

folkstone inn.jpg

The Folkestone’s innkeepers have created a friendly, comfortable atmosphere — from the broad front porch looking toward the mountains!

To create their bountiful farm-to-table gourmet breakfasts, they use farm fresh eggs from their own chickens and their breakfast meats are house-cured and smoked at the Folkestone. Everything they serve is locally grown in season, much of it at the Folkestone. Toni’s homemade jams are made from local fruits and are guests’ favorites.

While they are surrounded by a wealth of vacation activities and attractions, one of the most popular is just a short walk from the Folkestone. It’s the Great Smoky Mountain National Park’s Deep Creek Recreation Area, with three pristine waterfalls, hiking and walking trails, native trout fishing and tubing down Deep Creek.

Bryson City is one hour west of Asheville, just three hours from Atlanta and Charlotte, and two hours from Greenville, Knoxville and Chattanooga.

lemon pancakes3.jpg


2 Cups – AP Flour
2 Tbsp. – Sugar
1 tsp – Baking Soda
1 tsp – Baking powder
½ tsp – Salt
2 – Eggs (separated)
1 ½ Cups – Buttermilk
2 tsp - Lemon Zest
3 Tbsp. – Lemon Juice
¼ Cup – Melted Butter


Mix all dry ingredients together.

In a separate bowl, whisk together egg yolks, buttermilk, lemon zest, lemon juice and butter.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, then mix wet into dry until smooth. Do not overmix.

Whip egg whites to stiff peaks. Fold into batter.

Lightly oil a griddle or cast iron pan over medium heat. Pour approximately 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake.

Brown on both sides. Serve immediately with warm blueberry compote.

Blueberry Compote

3 Cups – Fresh or frozen Blueberries
1/3 Cup - Sugar
1/3 Cup - H2O

Simmer all together 10 minutes or until desired consistency.

lemon pancakes2.jpg

Award Winning Pasta and Pizza puts North Carolina on the Culinary Map

The alarm clock screams out, you roll over, stretch and take a glimpse at the clock. IT IS 6:15am!!!!  You leap out of bed, wash your face and throw a pop tart in the toaster. You yell for the kids to put on their shoes and get in the car in an effort not to be late for school (hopefully they aren’t still in their PJs).  You sit at the same red light as it changes three times, your iPhone is already buzzing with notifications on every app from Facebook to Gmail and your boss is texting you to not forget donuts for the morning meeting. 

We tend to go through the motions of our day, rushing through the “golden arches” for lunch and driving home thinking what we can quickly throw together for dinner before basketball practice tonight. We are all guilty of being caught in this cycle through our days and meals as if to be on autopilot - sometimes we need a reminder to SLOW DOWN. 


It is well known that Italians are well versed in the gioie della tavola, or “the joys of the table”.  Perhaps the first thing people think about when they think of Italy is the joy, warmth, and magic created around the Italian dinner table! The dinner table is one of the most enduring images and metaphors in Italian art, celebrated in their greatest paintings and films from the Renaissance to present day!  The table is where life slows down, drama and celebrations unfold, and familial bonds and battles are forged.  The deepest ties of love and friendship are developed and strengthened around the dinner table. Italians understand the magical synergy that is created when the joys of conversation and intimacy commingle with the pleasures of beautiful food and drink. 

If you have had the blessing of exploring and experiencing Italy, you know the food is AMAZING and can attest to how dinner is a time to be surrounded by loved ones, enjoy life and good food!  If you haven’t traveled to Italy, you’re in luck, the experience may be a little closer than you think.

ninos 1.jpg

Nino’s Cucina Italiana is tucked away amidst the hustle and bustle of the busy streets of Greenville, NC in a beautiful little cove off of Red Banks Road.  Salvatore Passalacqua, Pietro Passalacqua and Massimo Mannino have brought the wonderful experience of a true Italian meal to Eastern North Carolina.

Born in Sicily, Italy, brothers Salvatore and Pietro moved to Brooklyn New York with their family when they were young boys.   Their father, Nino Passalacqua, came from humble beginnings in Italy, where he worked in a bakery with his father.   Once he arrived in New York City, Nino worked in a landmark deli in “Little Italy” known as the “Italian Food Center”.  Famous for its bread, focaccia and pizza, it’s still on the corner of Grand and Mulberry Street.  Nino baked bread all day long to ensure sandwiches in the deli were made from quality, fresh bread. 

Although he loved working at the Italian Food Center, Nino knew he had to focus on the future of his family.  In 1983, he opened his own pizza shop in Brooklyn.  Following his plan to build a legacy, Nino taught his family everything he knew about food and business.

Left to right: Nino Passalacqua, Massimo Mannino, Salvatore Passalacqua, and Pietro Passalacqua

Left to right: Nino Passalacqua, Massimo Mannino, Salvatore Passalacqua, and Pietro Passalacqua

In 2006, Massimo and Salvatore left Brookyln and opened “Marabella Italian Restaurant” in Washington, NC.  Later, in 2009, they opened “Marabella Old World Pizza” in Greenville, NC where their brother Pietro soon joined. They make traditional, award winning pizza the way it’s made in New York and Italy. 

ninos 5.jpg

For the last 7 years, Salvatore and Massimo have competed with the United States Pizza team, along with approximately 20 teammates.  They compete all over the world in places like Las Vegas, Spain, China, Chicago, San Diego and Atlantic City sharing their recipes and expertise.  These are typically two day events, where the first day they make a dish from a list of given ingredients and the second day they make a dish using ingredients they can bring with them.  One competition, Salvatore brought arugula and when he was ready to use it, it had wilted.  During the 40 minutes he had to make the dish, he had to run out to a nearby store and buy more arugula. 


Recently Salvatore earned the title “Pasta Maker World Champion 2018” in the North East Pasta Show Down in Atlantic City, NJ.  There were over 140 participants in all categories and roughly 20 chefs competing for the title.  Day one he made Cavatelli alla Contadina and on the second day Salvatore took a leap of faith, introducing a non-traditional recipe he created, that is on the Nino’s and Marabella’s menu, the Saltimbocca di Pollo.  This is a delicious, lightly fried filet chicken breast in a sweet orange cream sauce, topped with prosciutto, provolone cheese and raisins, served with pasta and broccoli.  I was lucky enough to try this dish on a recent visit. One bite and I felt like the food critic, Ego on Ratatouille when he takes one bite of Remy’s dish and goes back to his childhood - I am quite sure for a minute I was sitting in a café in Italy enjoying a fabulous meal - truly it is a “must try” dish on the menu!

ninos 11.jpg

These competitions allow Salvatore and Massimo to put Nino’s Cucina Italian and Greenville, NC on the culinary map! Last year, in 2017, Massimo won “Pasta Maker World Champion” and “Pizza Maker World Champion” in the same competition.  They travel and share their amazing chef talents with people from all over the world.

Pietro Passalacqua and Massimo Mannino accepting the March of Dimes “People’s Choice” Award.

Pietro Passalacqua and Massimo Mannino accepting the March of Dimes “People’s Choice” Award.

The Nino’s Italian Cucina team aren’t just winning awards across the globe, but back home too. This dynamic team was just awarded the “People’s Choice Award 2018” at the March of Dimes Signature Chef Auction.

ninos 12.jpg

Now, over 75 years of an Italian family tradition in baking and cooking from three generations has culminated in Nino’s Cucina Italiana. Their Italian dishes are centuries old recipes handed down in their family throughout the years.  They prepare all of their food daily – making fresh dough, sauces, mozzarella cheese, pasta and their delicious meatballs in-house.  Not to mention their cannoli, words can’t describe exactly just how memorable these are.

Nino’s Cucina Italiana is a tribute to their father, Nino.  He still travels constantly to all the locations to make sure everything is done “Nino’s Way”, with quality food, personality, and love!  Salvatore, Massimo and Pietro are opening a fourth location in Winterville, NC later this year. 

When you are at Nino’s you will feel like family.  You will be surrounded by family photos that tell the story of their life from Italy to Greenville!  You can even sit on the corner of Grand and Mulberry Streets (a small recreation of a piece of their past). Take the time out of your day to sit down, as a family and let Salvatore, Pietro and Massimo prepare your authentic Italian meal.  Don’t rush, don’t look at the clock and leave your cell phone in the car.  Enjoy a bottle of Nino’s wine, talk about life, laugh, and have DESSERT !!  Si Mangia – LET’S EAT!!!

Hatteras Crab Cakes

hatteras crab cake 2.jpg


1 lb of Fresh jumbo lump NC crab meat

2 teaspoons onion

2 Teaspoons celery

2 Teaspoons sweet bell pepper

1 Egg Yolk

2 Tablespoons Duke’s Mayonnaise

2 Tablespoons Whole Grain Mustard

Extra Virgin Olive Oil


Fresh Cracked Pepper

Juice of I Lemon

hatteras crab cakes 5.jpg


In two tablespoons of Olive Oil, sauté two teaspoons each of onion, celery and sweet bell pepper, sprinkled with salt and fresh cracked pepper until translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Turn off heat and set aside.

Gently mix all ingredients except olive oil and lemon juice together, being careful not to break up large crab meat lumps. Once mixed it should have the consistency of a lightly dressed crab salad, slightly moist.

Add 2-3 Tablespoons of Panko bread crumbs.  Form mixture into golf ball sized balls and flatten out, slightly. 

Heat one Tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil over medium-high heat. Cook 3-4 minutes on each side.  Add olive oil to pan as needed but be careful not to add too much. Lightly sprinkle finished crab cakes with lemon juice

This recipe was featured in a cooking demonstration at the 2013 Outer Banks Seafood Festival. Courtesy of Cafe Pamlico Chef Forrest Paddock

hatteras crab cake 6.jpg

NC State Fair Blue Ribbon Coconut Cream Pie

Have you ever milked a cow? Seen a pie eating contest? Tried a Krispy Kreme Burger? There is SO much to experience at the North Carolina State Fair! I am blessed to be raised in North Carolina where some of the best home cooking in the country takes place! The state fair is where we get to not only appreciate some of these amazing cooks, but also have them share their recipes with us!


  • Unbaked 9 inch pie shell

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened to room temperature

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1/3 cup buttermilk

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 1/2 pkg (4 oz) shredded sweet coconut


  1. Put the oven rack in middle position. Preheat oven to 350

  2. Cream butter and sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add buttermilk.

  3. Add eggs, one at a time. Add salt and vanilla. Fold in coconut. Pour filling into pie shell.

  4. Bake 40 minutes or until top is firm and crust is golden brown.

  5. Completely cool on rack.

  6. Refrigerate. Serves 8

nc coconut cream pie recipe.JPG

North Carolina Ghost Train - Bostian Bridge 1891 - Statesville, NC

On August 27, 1891, one of the worst train wrecks in North Carolina occurred at the Bostian Bridge, two miles west of Statesville, NC.


In the wee hours of the morning, a westbound passenger train jumped the tracks and hurtled off the 60-foot high bridge. When the train got to Bostian's Bridge, it was 2:00 a.m. Most of the passengers were asleep. As the train crossed the bridge, it left the tracks and plunged off the bridge into the creek. At the bottom of the fall, seven train cars crashed into Third Creek. A few of the passengers walked into Statesville for help. Others crawled out of the wreckage, dazed and confused, while some wandered around. Still others sat on top of the train cars until help arrived.

When that help did come in the form of Statesville townspeople, the group began to pull and cut people out of the wreckage. Since the water in the creek was high, some of the injured drowned. By dawn a large crowd of townspeople had arrived and began to move the dead and wounded into town.

The dead were laid out in the Farmers’ Tobacco Warehouse. Twenty passengers were killed outright and nine were seriously injured. About 20 more received minor injuries.

The Bostian Bridge train wreck has been the subject of many ghost hunting expeditions, as a ghostly specter of the train is said to be seen each year on the anniversary of the tragedy.

bostian bridge .jpg

A legend surrounds the wreck, though. The story people tell goes like this: Fifty years later, very early in the morning of August 27, 1941, a woman was waiting along the road that ran beside the railroad tracks near Statesville. Her husband had gone to get help after their car had a flat tire.

The woman heard a train whistle in the distance. A headlight appeared down the tracks, sweeping through the trees as the engine approached. The woman noticed the huge bridge in front of the train. As the engine began to cross it, she heard a horrible crash. She saw the train plunge off the bridge, its old-fashioned wooden passenger cars splintering into pieces. They piled into a jagged mound below.

The woman could hear the screams and groans of wounded people. She ran across the road and through a field to the side of the creek. Up close, the sight was even more terrible. The engine, its tender (the car attached to the engine carrying its water and coal), and passenger cars formed a twisted mass of wreckage being flooded by the waters of Third Creek.

Hearing a car pull up on the road behind her, the woman ran back across the field, screaming that a terrible train wreck had just happened. Her husband was in the car with a stranger, the man who owned the country store just down the road. The three of them headed back across the field and looked down into the quiet waters of Third Creek. No wreck was there.

Of course, the men thought that the woman had fallen asleep and dreamed up the whole thing. But when they continued their trip, she made her husband stop by the Statesville train station to find out if there had been a wreck. When the couple asked at the ticket window, the station agent looked up from his work. "Funny you should ask," he said. "There was no wreck on the railroad last night. But, fifty years ago today, there was a horrible wreck out there at Bostian's Bridge." As he said this, the woman screamed and fainted. She knew that she had seen a ghost train.

On August 27, 2010, a group of twelve individuals who considered themselves amateur ghost hunters gathered at Bostian's Bridge hoping to catch a glimpse of the ghost train. Unfortunately, a real train came down the tracks about 2:45a.m., the same time they anticipated a sighting of the ghost train. The group did not immediately run from it, initially believing it was, in fact, the ghost train. Christopher Kaiser, 29, who had ventured onto the bridge itself, died at the scene and two others were injured.

bostian Bridge 1891.png

The most horrible disaster in the history of railroading in North Carolina occurred at 2 o'clock this morning at Bostian's bridge over Third Creek, two miles west of Statesville. At that hour west-bound passenger train, No. 9, which had passed Statesville on time at 1:52 a.m., was hurled from the top of the bridge a distance of 60 to 75 feet, the engine, tender, baggage and second class car, the first class coach, the Pullman sleeper car "Saluda" and the private car of Superintendent R. R. BRIDGERS, all going overboard. The bridge was swept clear of iron from end to end.
GEORGE BOWLEY, traveling for the Atlanta Rubber Company, and one or two other passengers who made their wasy from the car alive, came on foot to town and gave the news of the accident. In a little while the town was aroused, citizens in vehicles began hastening to the scene and the work of rescue began. Some of the passengers had crawled from the car and were perched, dazed, on their tops. Axes were put to work and the cars cut open, and so many of the passengers as could be found were dragged out -- some dead, some alive.
By dawn great crowds of people were on the ground and nothing was left undone. The dead and wounded were brought to town -- the wounded disposed of at the hotels and private houses, the dead laid side by side on the floor of the Farmers' Tobacco Warehouse, and the bodies tagged. How many were killed or drowned it is yet impossible to learn. Nineteen dead bodies had been taken out up to 10 o'clock, but it appears probable that others are yet in the water under the cars. Twenty-five is probably not an overestimate of the number dead.

*The Landmark Statesville North Carolina 1891-08-27

Below is as complete a list as can be had up to this hour, 10:30, of the number who were killed or who lost their lives in the water:
Engineer WM. WEST, Salisbury.
Fireman WARREN FRY, Salisbury.
Baggage Master HUGH K. LINSTER, Statesville.
W. M. HOUSTON, merchant, Greensboro.
CHARLES BENNETT, Hendersonville.
JULE THEFER, Traveling Salesman
W. J. FISHER, Camppello, S. C.
W. E. WINSLOW, Asheville.
MR. DAVIS, Statesville, (one-legged man.)
J. B. AUSTIN, Hickory.
Lady, Unknown, ticket in pocket reading "Mrs. George McCormick and Mother," Elmwood to Alexander's.
Unknown Old Lady.
Unknown Lady, ring on finger inside of which is engraved, "T. H. W. to M. R. R."
Unknown Colored Man.
MRS. POOL, Williamston, drowned but body not recovered.
T. BRODIE, New York, traveling for a glove house, killed but body not recovered.
REV. JAS. M. SIKES, Clarksville, Tenn.
DOCK WELLES, colored porter.

Escaped Unhurt-

COL. BENNEHAN CAMERON, of Raleigh, a member of the Governor's staff.
OTTO RAMSEY, Norfolk, Va.

An Unexpected Guardian

Hatteras Jack

dolphin tail.jpg

From The Lost Colony to Blackbeard, the North Carolina coast has always been full of unexplained mystery and mutiny at sea. But, not all unexplained mysteries in North Carolina are unhappy ones, as evident by the story of one of the state’s most untold legends, Hatteras Jack.

Throughout North Carolina’s history, our coastal waters have always been treacherous to navigate. Hatteras Inlet, between Hatteras and Ocracoke islands, has always been especially dangerous for ships trying to get to port. With shifting sandbars and strong currents, many mariners struggle making it through these waters. In 1790, over half a century before the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse was first lit in 1857, captain’s logs began to note a dolphin “as white as snow” preceding each boat through Hatteras Inlet. This dolphin, who was dubbed “Hatteras Jack”, always seemed to know the exact route to follow. It wasn’t long before captains began to trust and even seek out Hatteras Jack, blowing their foghorns as they drew close to the inlet. Hatteras Jack would lead the ships to safety and after a successful journey, he would jump and splash in front of the ship before disappearing back into the inlet waters to await the next ship in need of help. As the years went by, lighthouses were constructed and channel markers were in use, and Hatteras Jack was seen less and less. Finally, he disappeared, as it was evident that his work was done.

Today the Hatteras Jack moniker is seen throughout the Outer Banks, as the name “Hatteras Jack” seems to have proud and trustworthy implications.

Ship and Dolphins via TMQ at ESPN.jpg

Rising Above the Flo

florence dog.jpeg

I have explored every corner of the United States, but I have been blessed to call North Carolina home since the day I was born. North Carolina is known for pristine beaches, beautiful mountain ranges, and rich history…..but most of all, we are known for our PEOPLE! While my heart has always bled “tarheel blue”, I have never been more proud to be a North Carolinian than I am right now!

florence coast guard helicopter.jpeg

Over the past week, I have watched neighbors helping neighbors - boarding windows and securing boats. I have watched business owners feed residents and send supplies with evacuees. While we have all lost a lot to hurricane Florence, we have also been shown the honor of being called North Carolinians. Our emergency services personnel has worked countless hours, risking their lives for the safety of our residents. Photographs are floating around with destruction that seems to be unreal. While these images can be disheartening, my heart is full. I have seen countless images of neighbors and communities coming together, rescue teams not only within North Carolina, but as far as New York City and Louisiana coming to our aid. The outpour of love is overwhelming.

florence trent woods.jpeg

I live on the tiny island of Emerald Isle, off the coast of North Carolina and I am no stranger to hurricanes. Actually, I usually take these warnings with a grain of salt, however this week the discussions of hurricane Florence caught my attention in a different way. Call it a gut feeling, call it a sixth sense, whatever it may have been - North Carolinians knew something was different about Flo. Leaving our homes behind can be a very difficult decision, but many have with heavy hearts. Mandatory evacuations were issued in places that have never been issued before. Suddenly inland counties were preparing like coastal counties. Over the course of the next few days, we watched the water rise, cars be swept away and homes and businesses fill with water. As Flo hovered over our state, it was if time stood still. We helplessly watched the water rush in and steal pieces of our lives.

florence rescue crutches.jpeg
New Bern, NC - Sept 2018 - Hurricane Florence

New Bern, NC - Sept 2018 - Hurricane Florence

North Carolina is not new to devastation. From as far back as the 1500’s North Carolina has experienced adversity. From The Lost Colony to the Civil War, we know devastation. One thing about the people of North Carolina is we know how to overcome and persevere. Although we have experienced a huge loss in the aftermath of Florence, we have already started to assess, unite, and rebuild. North Carolina is the foundation of many new beginnings. In the 1500’s after months of hardship, death, and disease North Carolina was a new beginning for John White and his colonists. North Carolina has always been a place of hope! We advanced the world in aviation and became the first in flight. We have always taken hard times and turned them into miracles. North Carolinians took something as controversial as the prohibition and turned it into moonshine, eventually creating a NASCAR empire. In the late 1800’s, a fellow North Carolinian, took a small pharmacy in New Bern and created a Pepsi enterprise, to eventually lose it all. This bad business decision didn’t stop North Carolina.….. with perseverance we took this downfall and built the Pepsi brand that is now on Forbes world’s most valuable brands list. North Carolinians have always been strong, we have always turned a bad situation into nothing short of a miracle.

florence harkers island.jpeg

North Carolina soil has taken a beaten through settlement, war, and hurricanes. One thing that always holds true is that we always unite together and fight back. Today, we face devastation beyond our control, but like always, we will show the world that we can’t be broken. We work together, unite together, help our neighbors and take pride in our love of community. The state motto for North Carolina is “Esse quam videri” which translates to “To be rather than to seem”. I can’t think of a better description of the North Carolina spirit. We look disaster in the eye, roll up our sleeves and take care of our people! We have lost roads, homes, and lives - but we have not lost the fire in our bellies. Today and always, we are proud to call North Carolina “home sweet home”.

florence linemen.jpeg

Life is Simple, Just Add Water

13 Places to EXPLORE with the FAMILY in Coastal NC

North Carolina has a way of connecting families and creating memories to stay long after the fun is over. Uncrowded beaches that stretch for miles and the endless possibilities that come with them. After all, this is America’s First Beach. The site of our country’s first National Seashore and the place where the English first tried to settle in the New World. National and state parks help to share those stories and more. You’ll find sweet and hospitable people in towns and villages across coastal North Carolina, and plenty of vacation rentals, hotels, and (my personal favorite) CAMPSITES to call “home” for a few days, or a week or two. The restaurant and shopping choices are every bit as diverse. Not many big box stores or chain restaurants out here. Chances are, you’ll have to try something new. But hey, this is the land of firsts. You’ll be rewarded for stepping outside of the ordinary. 

If your kids are like mine, they often forget how lucky we are to be surrounded by so much beauty and adventure.  Sometimes we need a little push in the right direction to try something new!  So, whether you are a native to this great state or planning a vacation there is SO MUCH to discover in coastal North Carolina.

  1.  Camp at Shackleford Banks and run with the horses - Okay, so you like air conditioners and your blow drier a little too much to "rough it" for the night.... toss your hair in a messy bun or throw on a ball cap and step outside of your comfort zone for a bit -  I PROMISE you won't regret it.  Beautiful skies as far as the eye can see and more stars than you can count in one night.  There is something to be said about sharing an island with wild horses that have been there for over 400 years.  You can watch them swim, play, and run.  The kids can also run, play, fish, build a campfire and even roast marshmallows.  This is an experience they will never forget.  Early morning is the BEST shelling I have ever experienced.  Giant conch shells, sand dollars, and I even found a full starfish last year.  There are several ways to get to Shackleford Banks.  You can take a passenger ferry with The Island Express, you can take your personal boat or you can kayak over yourself (I only recommend kayaking for avid kayakers, as the currents are a little more advanced).  The Island Express departs from Beaufort and Harkers Island.  I highly recommend the additional drive to depart from Harkers Island.  By taking the ferry from Harkers Island, you can purchase a combo ticket which will allow you access to Cape Lookout as well as Shackleford Banks.  Also, for camping, you will have a view of the lighthouse at night from this side of the island.  Shackleford Banks and Cape Lookout are some of the only places in the state you can camp ON the beach.  There are only a few rules and camping is otherwise primitive.  Keep your tent above the high water mark and your fire below and DON'T BOTHER THE HORSES (Remember, we are sharing THEIR habitat).  So please be kind to the horses and other wildlife.  Bring a trash bag to carry all of your trash with you when you leave, there are no trash cans on the island.  Other than January-March there is really not a bad time of year to camp.  In the summer months, the kids enjoy swimming and fishing.  In the fall and spring temperatures are a little cooler, but it is always fun to hike across the island or take the ferry to Cape Lookout and climb the lighthouse. Don't have a tent or gear?  There are also options to rent camping gear.  Up the Creek Outfitters will pack all the gear you will need, tents, fire starters, flashlights, and will even pack a cooler and food.  For a complete list of rules and laws, you can visit the National Park Service page.                                                                                                                                                                                        


wright brothers memorial.JPG

2. Wright Brothers Memorial- Kitty Hawk, NC - In 1900, the Wrights began researching locations from which to begin their flying experiments. Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, a tiny coastal fishing village of approximately 300 people at the turn of the century, would come to suit their needs.  Just three days prior to leaving, Wilbur wrote this to his dad "I chose Kitty Hawk because it seemed the place which most clearly met the required conditions…At Kitty Hawk, which is on the narrow bar separating the Sound from the Ocean, there are neither hills nor trees, so that it offers a safe place for practice. Also, the wind there is stronger than any place near home and is almost constant."   Today you can tour the Wright Brothers Memorial, it is open every day of the year except Christmas Day.  It is free for children under 16 and only $7 for adults 16+.



cape hatteras.jpg

3. Climb a Lighthouse - The best views in North Carolina are from the top of one of our many lighthouses.  Our lighthouses are as iconic as our barbecue.  While there are a plethora of lighthouses in North Carolina, there are 7 that are most well known.  

inside lighthouse stairs.jpg
  •  Cape Hatteras Lighthouse - Cape Hatteras National Seashore -The most iconic of all the North Carolina lighthouses and most likely the most iconic in the country is the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. Its 210-foot height and 257 steps (equivalent to a 12 story building) makes it the tallest brick lighthouse structure in the United States and 2nd in the world. There were 1,250,000 bricks used in construction.  Since its base is almost at sea level, it is only the 15th highest light in the United States, the first 14 being built on higher ground.  The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse has had its time in the spotlight, in 1999 with the sea again encroaching, the Cape Hatteras lighthouse had to be moved from its original location at the edge of the ocean to safer ground. Due to erosion of the shore, the lighthouse was just 15 feet from the ocean's edge and was in imminent danger. International Chimney Corp. of Buffalo, New York was awarded the contract to move the lighthouse, assisted, among other contractors, by Expert House Movers. The move was controversial at the time with speculation that the structure would not survive the move, resulting in lawsuits that were later dismissed. Despite some opposition, work progressed and the move was completed on September 14, 1999 (which happened to be on my birthday - isn't that fitting?)  Today the National Park Service cares for the lighthouse - you can climb the lighthouse from April - October and tickets are $8.
  •  Bodie Island Lighthouse - Cape Hatteras National Seashore -The old adage "the third times a charm" rings true for the Bodie (pronounced 'Body') Island Lighthouse.  The first lighthouse was abandoned due to structural foundation damage.  Two years later a second lighthouse was built, then later destroyed in the Civil War.  In 1872, the third and final lighthouse was completed.  Today the National Park Service cares for the lighthouse - you can climb the Bodie Island Lighthouse from April-October and tickets are $10.
currituck LH.jpg
  • Currituck Beach Lighthouse - Corolla, NC This red-brick lighthouse towers above the northern Outer Banks landscape in the historic Corolla Village. Visitors can climb the winding staircase, 220 steps in all, to the top of the lighthouse for a panoramic view of Currituck Sound, the Atlantic Ocean and the Currituck Outer Banks. Inside the lighthouse, at the base and on the first two landings, there are museum-quality lighthouse exhibits. On the way up or down, stop to learn about the history of coastal lighthouses, the Fresnel lens, shipwrecks and the lighthouse keepers.

The Currituck Beach Lighthouse is known as a first order lighthouse, which means it has the largest of seven Fresnel lens sizes. With a 20-second flash cycle (on for 3 seconds, off for 17 seconds), the light can be seen for 18 nautical miles. The distinctive sequence enables the lighthouse not only to warn mariners but also to help identify their locations. Like the other lighthouses on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, this one still serves as an aid to navigation. The beacon comes on automatically every evening at dusk and ceases at dawn.

To distinguish the Currituck Beach Lighthouse from other regional lighthouses, its exterior was left unpainted and gives today’s visitor a sense of the multitude of bricks used to form the structure. The Currituck Beach Lighthouse was the last major brick lighthouse built on the Outer Banks.  Over thirty years ago, the Currituck Beach Light Station was in need of repair. The nonprofit Outer Banks Conservationists was created to preserve the light station when no one else was willing to step in and restore the national landmark. Since then,  OBC has spent more than three decades and nearly $1.5 million from private funding restoring, maintaining and operating the historic site. OBC receives no government funds. OBC opened the lighthouse to the public in 1990. Today you can climb the lighthouse and tickets are $10.

cape lookout.jpeg
  • Cape Lookout Lighthouse - Cape Lookout National Seashore -The Cape Lookout Lighthouse is the least accessible of all the North Carolina lighthouses, but it is absolutely worth the effort.  It is only accessible by personal boat or passenger ferry (or by kayak for the adventurous... I have done this excursion and it isn't for the faint of hearts).  With the perfect view of the Shackleford horses, the view here is my favorite!!  It's iconic black and white diamond pattern can be seen as far as Beaufort.  At 163-foot high, it is almost 100 feet shorter than the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse located on the Southern Outer Banks of North Carolina. It flashes every 15 seconds and is visible at least 12 miles out to sea and up to 19 miles. The Cape Lookout Light is one of the very few lighthouses that operate during the day. It became fully automated in 1950.  The Cape Lookout Lighthouse is the only such structure in the United States to bear the checkered daymark, intended not only for differentiation between similar light towers, but also to show direction. The center of the black diamonds points in a north-south direction, while the center of the white diamonds points east-west.
  •  Bald Head Island Lighthouse- Bald Head Island, NC - "Old Baldy" is North Carolina's oldest standing lighthouse.  It has maintained its original form and location for over 187 years. The most important purpose of Old Baldy was to mark the Cape Fear River entrance for the maritime sailors.  It was never intended as a light for Frying Pan Shoals.  Old Baldy was built in 1817 of soft red bricks covered with stucco.  In the early days the lighthouse keeper would white wash Old Baldy every two years. When Old Baldy was deactivated in 1935 the lighthouse was abandoned. The white wash protected the stucco. When it was discontinued large pieces of the stucco began to fall off the lighthouse. Occasionally someone would come along and patch the lighthouse with new stucco; however, they did not use the same stucco as was used in 1817.  Today Old Baldy looks like a patch work quilt of different stuccos.  In 1817 Old Baldy was completely white.  Like the Cape Lookout Lighthouse, "Old Baldy" is only accessible by boat or ferry.  You can climb the lighthouse is $6 to climb.
  • Ocracoke Lighthouse- Ocracoke, NC  - For centuries, Ocracoke island was one of the dominant shipping ports of Coastal North Carolina, dating back to the first Spanish explorers of the late 1500s and extending all the way to the colonial period and beyond. (Ocracoke Island itself was famous for the onslaught of pirates who recognized the potential for profit along the barrier islands, including the most famous pirate of all, Blackbeard.)

Realizing that a lighthouse was necessary to help mariners navigate through Ocracoke Inlet, a wooden pyramid-shaped tower was constructed on a neighboring sand bar, Shell Island, in 1794. This first lighthouse served its purpose until the inlet's deepest channels moved, and along with it maritime traffic, and it soon became clear that a new structure in a new location would be needed.

In 1822, the US government bought two acres of Ocracoke Island for $50 and decided to construct a new, better located lighthouse and keepers' quarters. Completed just one year later and well under budget, the 1823 Ocracoke Island Lighthouse still stands and functions today, although the original Forth Order Fresnel Lens has since been replaced, and the lighthouse was automated in the early 1900s.

The Ocracoke Island Lighthouse may not be the most imposing of the Outer Banks Lighthouses, but as North Carolina's oldest lighthouse in operation, (and the second oldest in the United States), it is certainly one of the most beloved. At just 65' ft. tall, it is by far the smallest lighthouse on the Outer Banks, but it still towers over the 4 square miles of Ocracoke Village, and its beacon can be spotted up to 14 miles into the Pamlico Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. The Ocracoke Lighthouse is NOT open for climbing.

oak island lighthouse.jpg
  • Oak Island Lighthouse- Oak Island, NC - The Oak Island Lighthouse was completed in 1958 at a total cost of $110,000.00.  It is the youngest lighthouse in NC and is much different in design.  The lights are 169 feet above the water. A misconception is that the lighthouse itself is 169 feet tall. The actual structure is 153 feet tall, but it stands on a slight rise. Therefore, the height of the light above the water is 169 feet, and it is so reported on nautical charts. There is no spiral staircase as found in most older lighthouses, but instead a series of ships ladders with a total of 131 steps to the lantern gallery level.  The Oak Island Lighthouse is owned by the town of Caswell Beach and can be climbed with reservations at least 2 weeks in advance. 
nc ferry.jpg

4. Take a Ferry Ride - As a child I rode the Bayview ferry over to Bath.  I have some of the best memories feeding seagulls and watching sunsets on our scenic ferries.  Now, 20 years later, I get to enjoy those same memories with my children!  We love to pack a breakfast and take the early Cedar Island ferry over to Ocracoke for the day!!  

The North Carolina Ferry Division, the second-largest state-run ferry system in the U.S., runs more than 20 boats on seven regular routes along the coast and transports approximately 850,000 vehicles and 2 million passengers a year.  

Since the mid-1920s, ferries have carried people and cars around eastern North Carolina. From Southport in the Brunswick Islands all the way up through the Outer Banks towns of Ocracoke, Hatteras and Knotts Island, North Carolina’s ferries offer a convenient and enjoyable way to spend a weekend traveling along the coast. Originally created to provide transportation for travelers, food, medicine and other goods and services, today’s ferry system has expanded to become one of the largest ferry operations in North America, with seven routes crossing five bodies of North Carolina waters, including the Currituck and Pamlico sounds and the Neuse, Pamlico and Cape Fear rivers. The North Carolina Ferry Division, the second-largest state-run ferry system in the U.S., runs more than 20 boats on seven regular routes along the coast and transports approximately 850,000 vehicles and 2 million passengers a year. For reservations and schedules visit the NC DOT.

tundra swan.jpg

5. Lake Mattamuskeet Bird Migration - Imagine the scene in the Nicholas Sparks film, "The Notebook".....when Noah takes Allie canoeing to see all the swans!!  That image is what I think of when I think of Lake Mattamuskeet from November-December.  The swans stop in Hyde County for a few weeks on their way further south for winter.

If you are looking for movie theaters, video arcades, amusement park rides, water skiing, speed boating, or other noisy activities, Lake Mattamuskeet is the wrong place for you to visit. There is not something for everyone at Lake Mattamuskeet. However, if you are looking for peace and quite, serene and beautiful surroundings, and unique lessons in American history, you should visit Lake Mattamuskeet. The lake is a special place for those who want to get back to nature and culture, to find solid roots in one of America’s best places, to travel the road less traveled, to experience what most Americans have not found. 

Lake Mattamuskeet is unique and special. It is the site of America’s most famous pump-supported land reclamation project. It has a history of being the Canada Goose Hunting capitol of the world. It is awesome in size and unsurpassed in beauty.

Lake Mattamuskeet is one of a number of Carolina Bay lakes of disputed origin. An Indian legend attributes its formation to a fire that burned for thirteen moons. Scientists cite the possibility of a prehistoric meteor shower or underground peat fires in speculating about how the lake formed.

It is a place worth investigating and we invite you to come on down for a visit.


6. Museum of Coastal Carolina Ingram Planetarium - Sunset Beach, NC - who says you have to go to the Triangle area for great museums and planetariums?  Discover the universe at Ingram Planetarium! Enjoy state-of-the-art high definition digital projection and surround-sound systems in the 85-seat SciDome Sky Theater. Watch entertaining and educational programs about space exploration and astronomy. Sit back and enjoy laser music shows. Have fun with the interactive exhibits in the Paul Dennis Science Hall. Visit the Galaxy Gift Shop for space-themed items. Programs and hours are seasonal, visit Coastal Carolina Museum page for more details.  Be sure to check out their special holiday show! 

bhi kids.jpg

7. Bald Head Island Conservancy Fishing School - The BHI Conservancy’s Fishing School began in 1983 and it is named after its first dean and founding BHI Conservancy member, Thad Wester. Now in it's 35th year, the Fishing School continues to generate great enthusiasm for fishing from beginners and seasoned pros alike in a format that is as educational as it is enjoyable. This year's fishing school will hold a special place in the hearts of many due to Dr. Wester's passing in February 2017.  It is $300 for adults and $150 for kids 9-12.

headless horseman.jpg

8.  New Bern Ghost Walk - New Bern, NC - Ghostwalk is a self-guided family event that allows guests to step into New Bern’s past.  The event is in always late October. You will meet many of the colorful and quirky characters who lived here throughout the centuries and continue to haunt our fair city.   Meet spirits at different historic ghost haunts including homes, churches, and theatres.  Enjoy the ghostly actors who will share their spirited stories in the very locations that their characters lived and visited.  This year all of the ghosts sites except the cemetery are indoor sites. At Cedar Grove Cemetery, candlelight will lead you on oyster shell paths as historic figures emerge from shadows to tell you their stories.  Many famous North Carolinians are buried here, such as Caleb Bradham - the inventor of Pepsi.  Tickets are $17 for adults and and $5 for children.

kayaking kid.jpg
kayaking 12.jpg

9.  Plan a Paddle - Up the Creek Outfitters - Plan a kayaking trip to discover towns like Edenton, Swansboro, Emerald Isle, New Bern or Jockey's Ridge State Park or other parts of the Outer Banks.  Up the Creek Outfitters has guided tours throughout Eastern NC.  You can also rent kayaks and paddle boards by the hour or for an entire week if staying longer.  I have kayaked all over Eastern NC with my own kids.  We've seen wild horses, alligators and everything in between. Whether it is a couple of hours or an all day paddle you will enjoy some of the most beautiful sights North Carolina has to offer. 


10.  Jeanette's Pier Family Fishing Class - Nags Head, NC -  So maybe you aren't an expert fisherman.  Or, maybe you are and just want a great place to fish.  Jeanette's Pier offers family fishing classes for all ages.  Learn basic skills necessary to catch fish and have fun doing so. Offered Monday thru Friday during the summer season  at 9 a.m. Instruction, equipment, bait and fishing fee included. Cost: $15 per person. 

fishing on jeanettes pier.jpg

North Carolina’s Outer Banks has long been known for its spectacular fishing. Red drum, bluefish, striped bass, flounder and king mackerel are just some of the prized fishes sought by anglers young and old. Fishing on the banks was forever changed when the first fishing pier – Jennette’s Pier – was opened in Nags Head back in 1939. The beachfront site at Whalebone Junction was the former “Transient Camp,” built in 1933 by the U.S. Civil Works Administration to house some of the 1,500 workers that constructed protective sand dunes from Corolla to Ocracoke. The old camp’s numerous cabins were renovated and made convenient housing for fisherman who traveled great distances to fish on the pier. 


11.  The Lost Colony - Manteo, NC - So you may think that your children would be bored with an outdoor drama.  Especially, when they are LEARNING (ha,ha).  The Lost Colony play is an amazing production!!  I have taken my kids over and over and they still ask to go each year! 

Millions have seen the compelling story that celebrates the 117 English men, women, and children whose dream still lives on in this American original.  See epic battles and Indian dances. Experience the sorrow and heartbreak of tragedy and loss. Witness the pageantry of the Queen and her court and celebrate the birth of Virginia Dare, the first English child born in America. There is music, laughter, romance and dance.  Over 130 actors, technicians, designers and volunteers gather each spring to begin rehearsals to bring The Lost Colony to life for another summer season. The production is enormous. The stage itself is over three times larger than most Broadway stages in New York City. You will be seated in the center of the action with the show happening on three sides of you and even sometimes right next to you in the aisle. The Lost Colony outdoor drama is the “grandfather” of all outdoor dramas and is produced by the Roanoke Island Historical Association (RIHA).  First staged in 1937, The Lost Colony is the nation’s premier and longest-running outdoor symphonic drama. Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paul Green, The Lost Colony’s 81st anniversary season opens May 25 and plays through Aug. 22, 2018 at Manteo’s Waterside Theatre, on North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

The Lost Colony play is performed over the entire summer, however there is also a "Ghosts" of The Lost Colony performance from March-April each year.  There are also various Summer Theatrical Camps and Art Camps for children at The Lost Colony as well. 


12.  Hang Glide at Jockey's Ridge - Kitty Hawk, NC - The tallest living sand dune on the Atlantic coast is a premier location for kites, sightseeing and sunsets, with a view arcing from the ocean to Roanoke Sound. A visitor center with museum and 360-foot boardwalk with exhibits explain the dune’s ecology and are a gradual entry to the massive dune field. Sandboarding is welcome with permit and hang-gliding is available through a vendor such as Kitty Hawk Kites.  Kitty Hawk Kites is the largest Hang Gliding School in the world. Learn from the best!!  

john harris.jpg

On July 13, 1974, John Harris (owner of Kitty Hawk Kites) became the first person to hang glide from the 1,600-foot high rock pinnacle of Grandfather Mountain. Harris managed to convince Hugh Morton, the mountain’s owner, to let him make the daring attempt during the mountain’s annual Gathering of the Scottish Clans.  Harris flew about 1,500 feet, landing safely on the golf course below, and soon after the heyday of hang gliding at the mountain began. In 1975, the U.S. Open Hang Gliding Tournament was held at Grandfather Mountain, and it continued to be held there until 1986. By then the gliders had become more efficient, making for increasingly longer and faster flights, so that there were inadequate safe landing areas around the heavily forested mountain. Flying was suspended from the peak in 1986 after a series of accidents. Like Wilbur and Orville Wright, Harris was a native Midwesterner who was inspired by North Carolina’s Outer Banks. He relocated to the Tar Heel State in the early 1970s for work as an engineer and became captivated by the fledgling sport of hang gliding, spending his free time on Jockey’s Ridge.  While living at the coast he started a kite and hang gliding business, Kitty Hawk Kites, that is still in operation today.

sea turtle.jpg



13.  Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Hospital -Surf City, NC  When I arrived at the sea turtle hospital, I was floored how many people were already lined up outside.  Caring for forty plus sea turtles is hard work, so visiting hours are only Thursdays and Saturdays from 1-4.  As you walk through the hospital you will see LOTS of volunteers that are truly passionate about what they do.  They will gladly talk to you about each turtle, their rehabilitation stage and when they can be expected to return to the ocean.  Admission is only $5 and this is a GREAT experience for kids of all ages!  (even "30 something" kids like me). 

The Topsail Turtle Project was organized by Karen Beasley, as she saw the need to preserve and protect the Sea Turtle nests, nesting females and hatchlings on the 26 miles of coastline on Topsail Island. After Karen’s early death, the torch was passed on to her mother, Jean Beasley, today the Executive Director of both the nesting program and the rehabilitation center.

The dream of a rehabilitation center was realized through the tireless efforts of the Beasley family; their financial support; the support of the project members; and the generous donations of money, time and material from local residents, businesses and visitors.

After breaking ground in May 2010, the new Sea Turtle Center facility in Surf City, NC opened its doors on November 7th, 2013. After years of working in a crowded, cramped 900 square-foot space, caring for up to 40 turtles, the center moved into its new 13,000+ square-foot building.


High Tides and Good Vibes - Southport, NC


They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but in Southport, NC a picture can never truly capture this coastal town's beauty.  With panoramic views as far as the eye can see, Southport has more waterways into town than roads.  Less than 30 minutes south of Wilmington, Southport is on the edge of the Intracoastal Waterway, the Cape Fear River, the Elizabeth River, and even the Atlantic Ocean making Southport a paradise for mariners. 

Steeped in history and picturesque beauty, there is little wonder why Coastal Living Magazine named Southport "America's Happiest Seaside Town." A visit to this historic maritime town takes you back into a distant past of pirates and privateers, antebellum Southern belles and blockade runners. Seafarers have been frequenting this community since as far back as the early 1500s, and today, Southport is as popular as it has ever been.

As beautiful as a setting in a Nicholas Sparks novel - Southport's charm has not only attracted visitors, but the eye of the movie industry as well. Scenes from the picturesque town are featured in several popular films and TV shows such as "Safe Haven,"  "The Secret Life of Bees" and "Dawson's Creek" . You'll want to make some time to tour locations from these and other productions for a fun way to spend the day.


Southport has some of the best local restaurants and eateries than you could imagine for a town with barley 3000 residents.  A local favorite (and my personal favorite Southport restaurant) is Mr. P's Bistro.   Mr. P's Bistro specializes in low country cuisine serving the freshest, local seafood (and much more!) in Southport, North Carolina. (but the tuna and crab cakes are the best in North Carolina).  The Phipps family is truly passionate about food, having perfected their product and service over three generations. The original Mr. P, Norman Phipps, started his career shucking oysters as a young boy at his aunt's restaurant in Wrightsville Beach. Mr. P had many successful restaurant ventures in his lifetime, but his most beloved was Mr. P's Bistro, which was started in 1995. Although Mr. P has passed, he left behind a spirit of hard work and dedication that has inspired his children and grandchildren, who have now begun to carry on his legacy.  Another great feature of Southport, is everything is in walking distance, so be sure to check out their wine listing and enjoy a nice stroll back to your room! 

mr ps building.jpg
the brusnwick inn.JPG

You won't find a plethora of "box" hotels and condos, however you will find some of the most beautiful inns and B&B's in the state.  My personal favorite is The Brunswick Inn, a registered Southport Historic Landmark. Dating back to the mid-1800s, The Brunswick Inn is a beautiful Federal-style mansion overlooking the Cape Fear River with pristine views of Bald Head Island and the Oak Island Lighthouse. It has been carefully updated, respecting the historical integrity of this magnificent piece of architecture. The original heart pine floors, run plaster ceiling moldings, Southport bow trim, unique rotunda, louvered cathedral-shaped pocket doors, observatory and nine working fireplaces all remain intact.  Accommodations include spacious bedrooms with fireplaces and private baths. Rooms are furnished with period furniture and accessories. Wonderful views of the waterways can be seen from every guestroom. Innkeepers, Jim and Judy Clary truly make your stay in Southport a trip to remember. 

A gourmet, home- cooked breakfast, is included in your stay. After breakfast, guests are encouraged to retire to the veranda to enjoy the breeze while watching ships, sailboats, barges and tugboats float by.  However, we had so much fun chatting with other guests we stayed at the breakfast table several hours before we realized how much time had passed.  I have stayed in B&B's all over the country and The Brunswick Inn is by far my FAVORITE!

Oh, and be sure to stay until Sunday morning and you will be talking about the Praline French Toast for years to come!


This time of year, the porch of The Brunswick Inn is the perfect place to experience one of the South’s most intriguing natural phenomena occurring every fall through winter. Named one of 10 Incredible Phenomena You Have to See in Fallby, the beaches of North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands have the rare distinction of running east-west as they parallel the shore. Beginning in late fall, this orientation means that you can sit in Southport and watch both the sunrise and sunset without ever having to move your chair.  


Conflict and commerce are the very roots in which Southport was founded.  Southport was first known as Smithville, after Benjamin Smith, who had served under General George Washington in the Revolutionary War. He later became Governor of North Carolina.  The southern landscapes of eastern North Carolina played a significant role during the Civil War as well, as small strategic battles were fought to gain control of the vital rivers and waterways of the region. Wilmington was a primary port of entry for supplies to the South, making the forts of Brunswick County of great importance to the defense of the Confederates' position. Many sites in our area played part in protecting the mouth of the Cape Fear River during this pivotal time in history. The Cape Fear would on become known as the "lifeline of the Confederacy."   After the Civil War, businessmen tried to create a major southern port here by combining river transportation and railroads. The name Southport was chosen in 1887 as part of that promotional effort.

Today, visitors can tour Fort Johnston, originally built by the British in 1748 to protect the region from Spanish and French attack. After 250 years of federal service as the oldest active-duty fort in the United States, Fort Johnston was conveyed to the City of Southport in 2006. Visitors can expect to be greeted by a docent and given a tour of the museum, or they can take a self-guided tour. Call for more information.


In 1795, the town began observing Independence Day. It now hosts the Official North Carolina 4th of July celebration.  The patriotic spirit of America is alive and well in the City of Southport. For over 200 years this small maritime community has celebrated our nation's independence in a big way. The celebration has grown from colonial times when ships lay anchor in her harbor and shot their cannons to today's festival where 40,000 to 50,000 people come each year to bathe in the richness of spirit commemorating Old Glory. Incorporated as the N.C. 4th of July Festival in the year 1972 the festival committee strives to keep the focus of the festival on honoring our nation's birthday with a little fun thrown in.


Put Southport, North Carolina on your bucket list of NC towns to visit.  The entire town is walk-able, so grab you a cup of Joe and take a walk down the tree lined streets, take in the beauty, stores, historic houses and sea breezes.  Don't forget to stop along the way and chat with the locals, as Southport's best experience is it's people! 


Cover Photo Credit Nick Noble Photography - Southport, NC:

Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried Green Tomatoes are truly a southern delicacy.  One of my favorite lunches of all times, is a fried green tomato sandwich with homemade pimento cheese, bacon, lettuce and tomato. YUMMY!



  • Oil
  • 4 green tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch rings
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Pinch paprika
  • Buttermilk Dipping Sauce, recipe follows

Buttermilk Dipping Sauce:

  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Neelys BBQ sauce
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 4 scallions, sliced thin
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


In a deep-fryer, preheat oil to 350 degrees F.

Season tomatoes, on both sides, with salt and pepper. Place flour and garlic powder in a shallow dish. In another shallow dish, beat eggs with the milk. In another dish, mix bread crumbs with cayenne and paprika. Dredge tomatoes through the flour, then the eggs, and then through the bread crumbs. Add only a few pieces to the fryer at a time, so they can cook evenly, about 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve with Buttermilk Dipping Sauce:

Buttermilk Dipping Sauce:

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the apple cider and brown sugar. Allow to reduce until thick and syrupy. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

In a medium bowl, add buttermilk, mayonnaise, BBQ sauce and lime juice and whisk well. Add in the scallions and the apple cider mixture. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve with Fried Green Tomatoes.