Outer Banks Vacation Rental

outer banks vacation rental

Why is Soft Shell Crab Season the best at The OBX?

M Villa OBX

Why is Soft Shell Crab Season the best at The OBX?

How About 10 Reasons?

10.  Soft Shell Crabs are Unique.

What makes soft shells unique?  They are harvested and eaten when they molt their shell.  You eat the whole crab, since there is no shell!

9.  Soft Shells are fresh and delicious.

To enjoy them fully, you should eat soft shells within 4 days of being caught.  Most seafood mongers have them live even!  Buy local!

8.  Soft Shells are Only Available During a Specific Time.

Soft shells are in season from late April or even May to the early September time frame.  Basically, when the waters warm up enough for the crabs to make an appearance.  This makes them a specialty and highly anticipated.

7.  Soft Shells are an Outer Banks Delicacy.

I am not sure what it is about the combination of flavors that makes the soft shell, such a commodity.  The combination of sweet tender meat, crunchy, salty, battered exterior (fried) make it something you have to try.  All crabs molt their shells, but the blue crab is the only one that is sold to be eaten commercially.

6.  Soft Shells Are Prepared and Served in Many Ways.

You can have them grilled, sauteed and fried.  Put them on a bun with some lettuce and tomato.  Top a hamburger with them.  Put them in a tortilla and make tacos!  Really, one way is better than the next.

5.  OBX Restaurants Know How to Prepare  and Make Soft Shells a Superstar of Your Meal.

Since most of the eateries at the OBX have been showcasing this ingredient for generations, you can bet that you will get a tremendous meal.  Tip:  Go to The Kill Devil Grill in Kill Devil Hills and get a soft shell crab sandwich for lunch.  You will want another.  Instantly.

4.  The Science and Art of Harvesting Soft Shells.

During its lifetime, the blue crab goes through several growth stages and may shed its hard outer shell near 20 or more times during its short three-year lifespan.  Each time the crab molts, it’s a soft shell for only a few hours and must be removed from the water immediately in order to prevent the shell from hardening.  Crabbers separate the crabs according to their progress in the molting process. When the crab molts, it’s very vulnerable and must be removed from the water.  They should be kept alive until immediately before cooking.

3.  You Can Cook the Soft Shells Right There in Our Kitchen.

However you decide you want to prepare these delights, we have what you need to get the job done.  What’s better than getting your food fresh and cooking it that same day it was caught?

2.  Support the Local Fishermen and Crabbers.

When you buy your soft shells out at the OBX, know that you are supporting the local OBX fishermen and crabbers that help deliver these scrumptious specimens to your plate.  You get a fresh product and they continue to stay in business.  It’s a win-win .

1.  Soft Shell Crab Season is the Perfect Season to Visit the OBX.

Making an annual pilgrimage to the Outer Banks during soft shell crab season is a perfectly valid reason to come visit us year after year.  If you don’t like the crowds as much, come in May or September.  Why not make it a new family tradition?  YES! Mark your calendars and come hungry.  We can help with your stay.

Why Book Directly With Vacation Rental Property Owners?

book direct

Why Book Directly With Vacation Rental Property Owners?

So you’re getting ready to start planning your OBX getaway.  It can be a daunting task.  You make the decision to stay at a vacation rental home.  Why stay at a hotel with minimal amenities and maximum price?  It’s often more economical to stay at a private vacation property.  You also get to know some REAL folks, not a big company that is faceless in nature.  More often than not, a real person with their home for rent, will go the extra mile to make you feel welcomed.  Aside from these good reasons, you should realize that there are companies out there who actually put together the property owner and the vacationer.  Companies such as VRBO and AirBnB.  These companies were once a great resource to pair up vacationers and properties/property owners.  In recent years, the tide has changed a bit.  They are still very popular, however, greed has taken over and entered the picture.  VRBO for example, has now made it more difficult for guests and owners to communicate directly.  Why?  Because a couple of years ago they decided to institute a Service Fee that is passed onto the vacationer.  That Service Fee amounts to anywhere between 9 and 15 percent of the booking.  It’s not the owner’s fault as they don’t keep that money.  It goes directly back to VRBO.  Well, that’s fine, they need to make money, right?  Well, it never used to be that way, and realize that the owner already pays a subscription fee to VRBO to list with them.  That base fee has just gone up $100 this past fall, by the way.  AirBnB sounds appealing to some vacationers.  To an owner however, they don’t get paid until the guest actually stays at the property.  If there’s a problem during the stay, there is little that can be recouped in terms of damage protection.  Oh, and AirBnB has a Service Fee as well, just not as exuberant as VRBO’s.

Owners are REAL PEOPLE!  Work with them.  All they want is to give you a great vacation at a fair price!  An unrented property earns nothing.  Sure there are people that gouge prices in every business, but most owners that I speak with are very fair.  They want people to stay with them and develop that relationship so that they continue to come back.  We certainly do!

How Do You Go About Renting With a Property Owner Directly?

You can still use VRBO and AirBnB, et al to find property owners willing to rent to you.  But why not try and contact the owner directly?  They’ll be able to work with you and not include a service fee.  Be careful however.  Owners cannot just come out and say they want to work with you directly OR answer your questions freely in that regard.  These vacation rental companies actually monitor communications to see if owners are breaking their Terms and Conditions agreement with said companies.  If they are found to be in violation, they get their account closed and no refunds are given for their subscription fee.  So, how do you do it?  Look at the property name in VRBO or AirBnB.  Search Google.  Search Facebook.  See if you can find a clue in the pictures of the property.  A phone number?  A name?  An email address?  Spend a few minutes doing some legwork and save some money in the end!

Once you’re able to contact the owner, please go ahead and do so.  Discreetly.  Away from the big websites.  Work with them.  We are people too!

Planning Your OBX Beach Vacation

OBX Beach Vacation

Planning Your OBX Beach Vacation

So you want to head to the beach.  Where do we go?  Where do we stay? What are we bringing?  What are we going to see and do?  Where and what will we eat?  Now is the time to start planning for your trip!

Where do we go?

But of course we will be going to America’s favorite coast!  The Outer Banks of North Carolina.  You’ll have to decide what area of the OBX to visit.  Whether it’s the Northern most area of Carova or Corolla in Currituck County, or down past Hatteras, there is plenty of space for everyone.  Each area is unique onto its own, with a different look and feel.  Of course we are partial to Kill Devil Hills, which is why we decided to buy here.  It’s got a little bit of everything all around you.

Where do we stay?

Will you be looking to stay in a hotel, motel, beachfront home, soundside home, condo, cottage or beach box?  The answer will depend on a comnbination of preference as well as budget.  That being said, you’ll also have to consider how many people you’ll be going with as well as taking into account how much cooking you’ll want to do.  Not to be neglected is the question again about what you’ll have around you as far as food and entertainment.  If you want to have everything around you with enough room for 6, and still have money leftover to be able to enjoy your vacation, the practicality of a condo has much to offer.

What are we bringing?

You’ll have to decide on whether you want to bring absolutely nothing or are ok with saving some money and bringing a few items with you.  If you’re staying with us, please ask for any specifics as well as consulting the site to sew

Beach supplies: 
Beach towels
Bathing suits
Goggles/masks, snorkels, and fins
Beach toys
Frisbee or football
Beach read and/or magazines

Your favorite coffee grounds and special filters
Insulated cup to keep drinks cold on the beach
Paper dinnerware for easy clean up (dinnerware supplied but may want paper)
Zip lock bags and/or aluminium foil

Garbage bags
Dish soap
Dishwasher detergent (starter supplied)
Laundry detergent
Paper towels (starter supplied)
Favorite bath soap (starter supplied)

Bathroom items: 
Toiletries (including shampoo) (toilet tissue and shampoo/conditioner starter supplied)

Comfort:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sheet sets
Favorite pillow or blanket (we supply pillows and comforters)                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Slippers/socks
Flip flops
Light jacket or wind brreaker

What are we going to see and do?

There is so much to see and do on the OBX.  You’ll have to do some research here and of course ask us for recommendations.  Our site has a lot of information in this regard.  https://mvillaobx.com/our-obx-top-10/

What and where will we eat?

Are you looking to eat out for the different meals while on vacation?  Will you want to cook your own meals to save some money or even to sample the local seafood on your own?  Depending on those questions, we have compiled various recommendations that are supplied to you when you stay with us.


We look forward to having you as our guests!



What was big in 2017?

Shelly Island

Do you have an idea of what was big in 2017?

Hi beachgoers!

As we’ve gotten past the New Year, it’s a good time to reflect on a few of the big things that happened out at our favorite coast.  This may be a good way to see what would interest you when you decide to visit.  Three areas come to mind:

Back in May, Dowdy Park opened in Nags Head.  It’s down on S Croatan Hwy (158).  Dowdy Park is a nice recreational area for the whole family.  It sits on 5 acres, so there is plenty to do to get some exercise or get the kids to burn some energy.

A short time later, the H2OBX Water Park opened in Powells Point.  This had been an idea for the area for some time and it finally came to fruition.  As you head past Kitty Hawk and 3 miles past the Wright Memorial Bridge, you won’t miss the park as it sits off the main road.  There are over 30 rides, slides and attractions to keep everyone in the family entertained.  It may very well be a great way to try and cool everyone down in the summer!

Another item that garnered National attention this past year was the formation of Shelly Island off of Cape Point.  This is the little island that formed due to shifting sands and tides.  Cape Point has long been known for being one of the most renowned fishing areas off the Atlantic Coast.  Shelly Island now gives another reason to visit the area.  With a little finesse and a 4×4, you too can get to that area and see what everyone is talking about.  Shelly Island has a great following with many locals as a great place to find intact seashells.  This is especially evident after a storm.  Truth be told, Hurricane Irma changed this landscape a bit and now connects Shelly Island to Cape Point.  This still doesn’t change the allure and overall attraction.

So as you can see, these are exciting times out near our favorite Outer Banks Vacation Rental!  Maybe it’s about time you start planning your next trip.  As always let me know how we can help!

Until you can put your toes in the sand again,