Wikipedia defines the word adventure as ‘an exciting or unusual experience’. And no one has more adventures in one place than the Outer Banks of North Carolina. That’s why today, we’re going to premiere our new series; Outer Banks Adventures. These adventures will be themed based and referred to as an episode; Adventures for foodies, for kids, for families, for artists, for outdoors types and so on. So be sure to look for the multi-part series; Outer Banks Adventures.
Today’s episode; Outer Banks Animal Adventures.
If you or your kids love animals, then the Outer Banks is the perfect place to see all kinds of animals. From birds to red wolves to wild horses, we have it all. Here are some of the best adventures for the animal adventurer in you.
Red Wolf Howling
The red wolf is almost extinct, with only about 100 animals left in the wild. Those that do live in the wild were introduced by North Carolina’s efforts. As a result, we have the only wild red wolves in the world. A howling is a special kind of ‘tour’ where you howl at the recently released wolves, and they howl back. You might even get to see some of these rare creatures.
The Outer Banks is home to one of the last remaining unpenned wild horse herds on the east coast. Survivors of shipwrecks, these horses’ ancestors came ashore almost 500 years ago. Today they roam the four-wheel drive section of the Outer Banks, and can frequently be seen eating yard grass or playing on the beach. If you’re lucky, you might even get to see a foal. Horse tours are operated by people who know the area and know how to track horses. This leads to a sighting almost every time. In fact, I’ve never heard of a horse tour that didn’t see horses. Back Country safari tours offers a free/discounted ticket for guests of Atlantic Realty.
Open-Air Refuge Tram Tour
Alligator river refuge is home to Alligators, red wolves, black bears, wild pigs, foxes, rare birds and more. The refuges open air tram tours takes you through the back ways of the refuge to get the best look at all kinds of animals. Unlike the horse tours, which often guarantee you’ll see a horse; the government run refuge makes no such guarantee. However, you ARE guaranteed a good time. Plus, you’re bound to see something, so don’t forget the cameras.
What is it about dolphins that speak to the soul? Whatever it is, seeing dolphins next to our boat makes us happy. If you’re lucky, you might be able to see them from the beach. Stop (someday.) Or you can go on a dolphin tour and eliminate luck entirely. Dolphin tours (torus) know where all the favorite dolphin spots are. Some even have ‘scouts’ to help locate the dolphins. Hopefully you’ll see them leaping and playing next to your boat. Not only is it the perfect photo op, it’s the perfect memory. Our Fun N sun pass provides you with one free ticket to get you started.
Riding Horses On The Beach
Few things compare to riding horses on the beach. Few things can compare to the feel of sea spray, the smell of salt in the air, and the rhythmic movement as you and the horse become one, trotting along the shore or leaping over small obstacles. It’s an experience not be missed. And Hatteras Island’s own Equine Adventures is the only place to have such an experience. Best of all, as one of our Explore the Shore partners; you can get 10% off your adventure.
The Roanoke Island aquarium is home to a myriad of fish, turtles, otters and other wildlife. In the 2015 season, they even have life sized dinosaurs. But admission to the aquarium is just the beginning of your animal adventure. The real adventure is in the camps. The aquarium offers daily and weekly camps for a wide variety of kid friendly activities. They can learn skills like fishing or crabbing, they can become a junior aquarist and help take care of animals, and so much more. If your kids love animals, then this is an experience they’ll treasure forever.
Ranger Bird Walks
Pea Island (named after the wild peas that used to grow there) is home to over 350 native and migratory species of bird. Whether youâ??re an avid bird watcher or just starting out, you’re bound to see something here that you’ve never seen before. Though you can go birdwatching here any time the park is open, the rangers lead a bird watching experience first thing in the morning. This experience takes you on some great trails that are known to have interesting birds. Not only is it fun for all ages, it’s usually free.
This is one of the simplest, most fun adventures your kids can have on the OBX. A ghost crab is a little white crab that blends into the sand. (hence the name.) Ghost crabbing involves going to the beach at night with only your flashlight and a camera. Then, when you spot one, snap a picture quickly before it disappears down a hole. It’s an experience like no other and the kids will have a blast.
If you love animals, you’re in the right place here at the Outer Banks. We have more wildlife than most beach locations as well as more ways to see them. From the basic tours to the more complex, nature is a part of the Outer Banks and a great way to have a photographic safari of interesting wildlife without having to travel too far.