Ben Franklin is a department store, not to be confused with a chain of crafts stores with that same name.
What to buy: You can find beach supplies, t-shirts, souvenirs, all sorts of clothing, discounted fishing tackle. I used to collect Matchbox cars during the 1980s and I always found something unique here. My brother was more interested in beach balls and hermit crabs.
Forbes' 70-year-old recipes are still used to cook delicious fudge, mouth-watering pecan delights and many more tasty candies. They also carry a large selection of gifts, shell items, toys, and less tacky souvenirs. Both locations are "family fun" shops to visit.
Just north of our rented cottage (where we stayed in the early 1980s), there was this strip mall called Seagate North which primarily sold souvenirs and beachwear. It is full of a variety of locally owned shops. From formal wear to pet parking (at Cyber Dog USA: a holistic pet store- you know the Outer Banks have gone upmarket now!), DVD rentals, duck decoys, a consignment shop, cross stitch, and jewelry. Seagate North also has a great produce stand that features fresh, local produce. There is now a Southwestern restaurant called the Coastal Cactus, which I think replaced a good seafood restaurant.
They call this a bookstore, but they actually have many other items including maps, posters, prints, pins, patches, clothing, videos, and kits.
What to buy: We didn't buy anything here, but these are the things they have featured on their website:
Wind and Sand: $10.95
A detailed account of the Wright Brothers first flight and its aftermath, from 1900 - 1908, as told from their own journals, notes and flight logs. Many photographs
In Maps, Posters, & Prints...
First Flight Photo: $2.25
An 8" by 10" inch glossy reproduction of the most famous photograph of the first flight by the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk, taken in 1903.
In Pins & Patches...
Wright Brothers NM Pin: $5.95
In Audio & Video...
The Wright Stuff Video (VHS): $24.95
The Wright Stuff is the quintessential American story of two midwestern boys who believed they could break the barrier of the air.
In Games & Collectables...
Wright Flyer Kite Kit: $28.00
A working model kite kit of the Wright Flyer. All spruce framework with detailed assembly instruction. Finished wingspan: 5 feet.
What to pay: Everything will be marked - no bargaining