If you like 80 degree weather, the warm and salty ocean, and sand between your toes, now is the time to stop everything you are doing and plan a trip to visit the Outer Banks this summer. Where are the Outer Banks, you ask? Find North Carolina on the map and go as far east in the state as you can. Just off the coast of the mainland, you will find a long strip of barrier islands that spans 200 miles from north to south. That long strip is the Outer Banks (or OBX). If you need more reasons than the great weather and the gorgeous beach to get you in a car or on a plane, then you’re in luck. Here are several other reasons to visit the Outer Banks.
Things to See at the Outer Banks
There are several tourist attractions at the Outer Banks that are well worth your time. Here are a few that you should check out.
- The North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island is just $10.95 for adults and $8.95 for children. You can meet new animal friends in both indoor and outdoor exhibits. In addition, you might be able to encounter some prehistoric dinosaurs starting in early June.
- The Wright Brothers National Memorial – which is governed by the National Park Service – is located in Kill Devil Hills, NC. Tour around the memorial to see where Wilbur and Orville Wright achieved the first successful airplane flight in 1903. You will also be able to look at replicas of their first gliders and flying machines.
- Go see Jockey’s Ridge State Park in order to witness the largest natural sand dune on the east coast. You can go for a hike or you can take to the air by participating in some hang-gliding. Also, you will most likely see plenty of sea birds, like the brown pelican or snowy egret, and other land creatures, like the white-tailed deer or the red fox.
Outer Banks Lighthouses
There are numerous beautiful lighthouses along the coast of the Outer Banks. What you may not know is that lighthouses come in different shapes and sizes, all to serve different purposes. These consist of coastal lights, harbor lights, river lights, and range lights. The Outer Banks displays each of these kinds, including the picturesque Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.
Outer Banks Beaches
There is a magnificent beach everywhere you turn when you visit the Outer Banks. Some popular beach destinations include Nags Head, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Frisco Beach, and Currituck Beach. You can also head to Hatteras, Duck, Rodanthe, or Avon. If you’re really ambitious, you can go ahead and try to check out all of them! No matter what your decision is, you will enjoy soaking in the sun.
Where to Stay at the Outer Banks
The White Doe Inn is one of the Select Registry Distinguished Inns of North America. This amazing place is located in Manteo, NC, on Roanoke Island. In addition, the White Doe Inn is a historic Victorian home with nine unique rooms. You will also be able to partake in the in-suite spa service or explore the sea on a two-hour sailing cruise.
Also very near the North Carolina coast is another Select Registry member - The Aerie Bed & Breakfast in New Bern, NC. This is another Victorian-style B&B with nine well-appointed rooms. You can also experience The Aerie Guest House & Conference Center directly across the street.
Photo courtesy James Willamor