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After experiencing lots of the enjoyable issues to do in Outer Banks and its pure magnificence, we will report that this vacation spot is simply heaven.
There’s over 100-miles of a few of the finest seashores in North Carolina and a lot of it you’ll be able to have to your self, or a minimum of sufficient room to unfold your giant blue sunshade.
Full of sufficient journey, historical past, water sports activities and tradition to hold you from losing interest, however not an excessive amount of to distract you from quiet moments spent appreciating pure magnificence.
Because it certain does have a variety of that. It’s simply another excuse we love dwelling right here in North Carolina.
What Are the Outer Banks?
The Outer Banks (OBX) is a 130-mile stretch of barrier islands simply off the coast of North Carolina, from Corolla in the north to Ocracoke in the South.
Like Wrightsville Beach, it has the ocean on one facet and the sound on the alternative facet of the shoreline providing much more alternative for water actions.
The Outer Banks is barely a three-hour drive from our dwelling in Raleigh, making it the right getaway for any season, and for any size of time!
We not too long ago visited for a three-night keep and found many superb things to do in the OBX, together with a few of the highlights, and some hidden secrets and techniques.
The secret is out now in regards to the Outer Banks NC, thanks to the Netflix sequence of the identical identify, which was filmed down in South Carolina. But the surroundings is remarkably related.
Just so you may get down with the lingo, OBX is the cool time period for Outer Banks.
We have a variety of Outer Banks bucket record experiences listed for our subsequent go to. So, keep tuned for that. We’d love for you to add to that record by sharing your high suggestions in the feedback beneath.
A couple of firsts in regards to the Outer Banks
- The first English Colony at Roanoke. Later often known as the Lost Colony as all of them disappeared. I do know you’ll need to disappear into the Outer Banks, however we promise you received’t get lacking Bermuda Triangle type.
- The first profitable flight in motor-driven, heavier-than-air machines by the Wright Brothers. These historic flights befell on the sloping sands of what’s now often known as Big Kill Devil Hill, situated simply south of Kitty Hawk.
- The Cape Hatteras National Seashore, encompassing greater than 28,000 acres alongside the Outer Banks, was the primary to be established by the US authorities.
- Richard Etheridge grew to become America’s first black lifesaving station keeper together with his appointment to the Pea Island submit in 1880. He served as keeper till his demise in 1900. He was a former soldier and surfman.
Please word: we visited throughout August 2020 – you already know what which means! All social distancing pointers, masks laws, and security precautions have been strictly adhered to. We have been impressed with how responsibly this area dealt with it. Our go to to Outer Banks was hosted by the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau.
Please examine all experiences and actions earlier than you go to as issues are all the time altering.
Where to Stay in the Outer Banks?
When you go to Outer Banks for the primary time, it’s possible you’ll be questioning the place one of the best place is to keep?
This information is written for the realm from Corolla Beach down to Cape Hatteras (it doesn’t embrace Ocracoke Island.)
It relies upon what you need to expertise throughout your go to. This is one of the best ways I can clarify it.
- Southern Shores – Nags Head to Cape Hatteras. This is for many who desire a extra distant, quieter expertise with much less services
- Duck to Corolla – For individuals who need a bit extra lux and elegance amidst small village vibes.
- The fundamental space – Kitty Hawk to Nags Head. We stayed right here and we preferred being shut to the most important Outer Banks sights and plenty of choices for consuming out.
Next time, we’d like to keep in the Duck area to see what that’s like.
If we have been to keep in the Southern Shores, we’d do it with a beach rental so we wouldn’t be so targeted on having fun with the native culinary sights and so forth.
That form of OBX trip can be only for serenity and connection to these you’re keen on.
Now, let’s discuss all of the enjoyable issues to do in the Outer Banks we propose you do!
1. Sunrise over the Beach
A magical do-not-miss second in your Outer Banks trip is dawn over the seaside.
An Outer Banks dawn is my favourite in the US thus far.
It was mild, humble and gentle because it painted the sky in pastel pinks and oranges reworking the water to nonetheless glass. And, every morning a pod of about 20 dolphins swam out the entrance of the rising solar, one even leaping out of the water with pleasure.
Grab your espresso, plop your self in the sand and loosen up and revel in probably the greatest free Outer Banks sights. Even go for a seaside stroll, or swim or a paddle.
2. Hang Gliding at Jockey’s Ridge State Park
It’s not all surf, sand, and delicious seafood in the OBX.
All good holidays want a dose of journey. An opportunity to step out of your consolation zone and create a narrative to share without end.
Hang gliding in Jockey Ridge State Park is the story you’ve been on the lookout for.
The tall dunes of Jockey’s Ridge comprise the tallest pure dune system on the East Coast, starting from 80 ft. to effectively over 100 ft. tall and supply the right platform for studying to grasp glide.
They have loads of top for learners, and are gentle for touchdown and supply lovely views of Roanoke Sound and the Atlantic Ocean
Kitty Hawk Kites have been offering classes at this website for over 25 years. Not solely is that this tremendous enjoyable and probably the greatest issues to do in the Outer Banks with youngsters, however it is going to join you to a few of the historical past of the realm because it was in these components that the Wright Brothers took the primary flight.
I’ll admit, once we walked up to the highest of the sand dune and regarded down over the realm we’d be flying – realizing I wasn’t doing it as a tandem, my abdomen began to churn. “What was I thinking?”
To showcase bravery to the 2 sturdy, unbiased girls we’re elevating, I took a deep breath and volunteered to go first, silently repeating the directions in my thoughts we discovered on the 30-minute college beforehand.
“Move the bar 2 niches ahead to go up, 2 inches again to go down. Hips to the facet to flip. Flair – legs and arms outstretched – to land“
Micah, our pretty information, ran alongside beside me holding the ropes in case of an accident and calling out directions.
“We’re walking, we’re running, we’re flying ….”
Wahoo. I’m up in the air. I’m flying! On my very own.
That brief lived magical feeling of flying didn’t final lengthy earlier than I noticed the bottom arriving, my sidekick disappearing, and my instincts shouting, “flair, flair flair.”
Just in time for a gentle sand touchdown. (You can see that in our Reels).
It was thrilling. Savannah jumped up to go subsequent.
Don’t concern It’s seems scarier than what it’s. I don’t assume you might harm your self. Savannah bought excited on one flip going excessive up and crashing down – she popped up giggle, excited to share she survived a flight crash.
We flew with excellent landings greater than we didn’t. Kalyra had a close to excellent execution every time.
Hang gliding was the kind of journey we search as a household.
What was extra pleasurable than the flying, was seeing my women conquer their concern and transfer another step into empowered girls dwelling a full life.
To additional join to this historic website and flying historical past, you’ll be able to go to the Wrights Brothers Memorial and customer heart simply close to right here. Unfortunately the museum was closed due to present circumstances, so we selected to wait till our subsequent go to.
3. Breakfast Views at Freshfit Cafe, Nags Head
If you get pleasure from a wholesome breakfast with beautiful views, discover your manner to Freshfit Cafe overlooking the sound on Nags Head-Manteo Causeway.
It’s tucked away as all hidden secrets and techniques needs to be.
Health aware eaters will probably be stoked to discover keto and paleo variations of their favourite meals with a variety of nutritious smoothies.
Our vegetarian omelet was scrumptious, and Savannah wished to return the subsequent day for extra pancakes.
What is most lovely although are these views. Grab an outdoor desk and perhaps take your paddle boards as that is the right calm waters for it. We simply missed dolphins.
4. Surfing on the Outer Banks
Admittedly, we didn’t get to take a look at all of the browsing spots in the Outer Banks, nor on the time when the swell was taking place, however from our observations on our brief OBX journey, Nags Head Pier had the cleanest breaks.
It regarded like a pleasant seaside for swimming as effectively.
Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills are meant to be one of the best for browsing and skim boarding with the largest waves. They have been very dumpy and onshore at Kill Devil for us.
Surfing classes at Corolla Beach
Corolla Beach appeared to be a preferred place for browsing classes. There have been a number of teams on the market once we visited studying on small rolling clear waves.
5. Paddle Boarding on the Outer Banks
Seeking enjoyable issues to do in Outer Banks, then be certain to pack your paddle boards (or hire some). It’s one among my favourite out of doors actions, particularly with youngsters.
There are countless locations to go supping, from the unsteady waters of the ocean to the calmer, sound waterways.
We took ours out at Corolla Beach, which appeared to be calmer, though I fell off my board a few instances – the primary time in a very long time.
I’d have liked to have taken the board out throughout dawn like we watched some eager paddle boarders do each morning.
Paddle to the stairway to the solar – now there’s an Outer Banks bucket record expertise!
6. Tiki Bar at Mulligan’s Grille
Mulligan’s is ready again from the ocean, however excessive sufficient to have views of the seaside. You additionally get views over the dunes of Jokey Ridge on the opposite facet. It’s the right place to come after your grasp gliding lesson.
They have indoor and out of doors seating, however we most well-liked the laid again vibe of the Tiki Hut which additionally serves meals.
My tuna salad was scrumptious. As was Craig’s burger. I might have undoubtedly sat there all afternoon on the Tiki Bar carrying my relaxed OBX persona.
7. Visit Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
There are many lighthouses to go to and it’s one of many distinctive issues to do in Outer Banks.
As this was a brief go to, we added just one to our record – probably the most well-known and well-liked of the Outer Banks sights – Cape Hatteras Lighthouse on the very southern finish of the Outer Banks on Hatteras Island earlier than Ockracoke.
Cape Hatteras is the tallest brick lighthouse in the United States at 208 ft.
It’s black and white stripes are unmissable, as you’ll hope its beam to warn close by sailors because the waters off the Outer Banks are treacherous.
There have been roughly 3,000 shipwrecks in this space giving it the label of the Graveyard of the Atlantic.
Blackbeard the pirate liked roaming these components – a few of his treasure is claimed to be nonetheless buried in Beaufort, NC.
You can climb the 248-spiral staircase to the highest for views – that’s equal to a 12-story constructing. It was closed once we visited.
We wished we skipped this on our brief Outer Banks getaway. As it was an extended drive (over an hour every manner) and we didn’t actually do a lot to discover the Cape Hatteras Seashore, we’d have most well-liked to spend the day on the seaside.
It is determined by how a lot you’re keen on lighthouses if you would like to discover extra of the seashore and the place you might be staying!
8. Get your Treats at Donutz on a Stick, Duck
Duck Donuts are a youngsters’ favourite attraction in Outer Banks. You can discover them in different locations round North Carolina although.
With ice cream and whipped cream piled on high of two heat donuts, our women have been completely satisfied we acquired that tip as probably the greatest issues to do in the Outer Banks with youngsters.
9. Stroll the Duck Boardwalk
We didn’t have a variety of time to stroll all the 0.6 miles of the Duck boardwalk. But it’s one of many well-liked issues to do in Duck.
Take your time, benefit from the calmer waters of the sound, peruse in the retailers you go by.
Near the boardwalk is the Treehouse Coffee Co which does nice espresso and good breakfast meals, particularly when you love biscuits. They have an outdoor sitting space beneath the timber.
10. Eat Innovative Food at NC Coast & Grill, Duck
I like to recommend beginning or ending your Duck boardwalk stroll with lunch at NC Coast Grill & Bar, a brand new restaurant in Duck.
You get very good Currituck Sound views and scrumptious meals described as coastal and Southern with nuances from around the globe. Our Mexican poutine and fish avenue tacos have been proof of that.
NC Coast Grill had probably the most fashionable and revolutionary meals we had in the Outer Banks.
This can be a fantastic sundown spot too.
11. Outer Banks Beaches
Pick a seaside, any seaside, and revel in your day!
We want we had of visited each seaside and now that we reside in Raleigh, we plan to turn out to be consultants on the Outer Banks seashores and go to all of them.
To be sincere, I feel it could be laborious to discover a unhealthy seaside. But for now, listed here are a few options.
Jennette’s Pier (Nags Head Beach)
A household favourite for swimming is Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head. It’s probably the most well-liked issues to do in Nags Head not just for swimming, however for pier fishing and an academic expertise.
After Hurricane Isabel destroyed it in 2003, this oldest fishing pier in OBX was rebuilt into this training advanced in 2011.
The Aquarium-operated advanced options instructional lecture rooms and applications, different power demonstrations, reside animal reveals, assembly services, a snack bar and deal with store.
I liked the cove really feel of this seaside on the south facet of the pier. It was completely different to the opposite seashores in the Outer Banks that are one lengthy strip of sand. The pier was colourful too.
Kill Devil Hills Beach
The waves have been very dumpy right here – which may change day by day – however the seaside was good and the children had enjoyable dragging one another round on their physique boards.
I liked the extra wilderness really feel it had and because it wasn’t busy, you had a variety of house.
Outer Banks Fishing Pier
I’d say spend the afternoon swimming close to the Outer Banks Fishing Pier after which head to Fish Heads Bar for completely satisfied hour (see beneath).
12. Don’t miss Fish Heads Bar & Grill, Nags Head
We’re probably not pier folks – Santa Monica form of ruined that concept for us.
However, Fish Heads Bar & Grill on the Outer Banks Fishing Pier received us over. It’s now our favourite pier in the nation and is how we predict it is best to do piers.
Dump the cheesy rides into the ocean and as an alternative pop up some colourful umbrellas and some tables, a Tiki hut with over 40 craft beers, reside music, and 15 cent shrimp!
Yes. You learn that accurately. Happy Hour 4-6pm day by day, be part of the stream of individuals arriving on the jetty.
And what a narrative of the way it began: in 2010 Garry, Mary, and Ryan Oliver determined to promote beer on the pier beneath a pop-up tent with 2 tables. That’s the way you flip an concept into one thing particular.
Make an evening of it. Their meals was low-cost and good. You received’t get the solar setting over the ocean, however you’ll definitely get the colours if you would like to make it an extended night.
We say YES, put this in your Outer Banks issues to do record!
13. Smoothie Bowls at The Spot
You know a spot is nice when there’s a line.
Although I don’t like the liner up half, the scrumptious Acai bowl on the finish makes all of it worthwhile. You’re on the seaside, be certain to seize your self a smoothie bowl. It’s the OBX manner.
You’ll discover all kinds at The Spot situated in Kitty Hawk and Nags Head. See more here.
14. Explore Cape Hatteras National Seashore
If you drive down to Cape Hatteras Lighthouse you’ll be immersed in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
This 70-mile stretch of the Outer Banks from Bodie Island to Ocracoke Island is the nation’s first nationwide seashore.
I want we devoted extra time to exploring its distinctive seaside communities, historic lighthouses, and countless water based mostly actions.
It is a stupendous space. I’d love to come again right here for seaside driving, hikes, supping in the quieter waterways and a seaside home rental.
If you want Nicholas Sparks, be sue to take a peek on the Inn at Rodanthe in Rodanthe which was the setting for the guide and transfer, Nights of the Rodanthe. You may even keep there.
15. Outer Banks Brewing Station
This isn’t just a spot for nice craft brew. It additionally has a few of the finest meals in the Outer Banks, a reasonably beer backyard with a playground for the children, and reside music!
Want to up the ante a bit on what makes this a fantastic brewery – the Outer Banks Brewing Station is the primary wind-powered brewery in America. Yet one other Outer Banks first.
We love to rejoice and help all companies that love and help Mother Nature.
Craig recommends the Lemon Grass Wheat Ale or Hugh Hefeweizen, Kalyra says don’t miss the bacon mussels, and I like to recommend the native pet drum with candy corn risotto, blended greens and a smoked tomato pure.
16. Sunset at Millers Waterfront Restaurant
To be sincere, we weren’t massive followers of the meals at Millers Waterfront Restaurant, however we have been massive followers of the sundown views. If we have been to redo it, we’d come right here for sundown drinks in the waterfront backyard.
It’s busy and consuming right here is one other of the preferred issues to do in OBX and we had to await an hour for a desk on the skin deck. And we ended up shoved in the nook beneath the steps (Harry Potter type).
We know it will probably’t be helped and it’s simply the luck of the draw, however because the meals wasn’t nice, I’d simply go for the views with drinks as an alternative.
The sundown view is spectacular. There will probably be different spots you’ll be able to see the sundown in Outer Banks. This was the one one we skilled.
Where ought to we go subsequent time we go to the Outer Banks? Tell us in the feedback beneath.
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