The Outer Banks is a strip of land, one part peninsula, one part island chain off the coast of North Carolina. It’s made up of the main towns of Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Duck, Corolla, and Nags Head. There are also the smaller areas such as Manteo and Hatteras Island. It has a year round population of about 35,000 people. However, in the summer, that number swells to almost 200,000 visitors. Still, many people have never heard of the Outer Banks or understand why it’s so special. Here are 10 reasons the Outer Banks should be on your Top Ten Travel List.
Ready to book your Outer Banks vacation now? Let’s Get Started!
Filled With History
Youâ??d be hard pressed to find a place with a richer history than the Outer Banks. It has the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, the most famous lighthouse in the world. It also has Jockey’s Ridge, the largest natural sand dune on the east coast. The Wright brothers took their first flight here. Blackbeard and hundreds of other ships met their end in the Graveyard of the Atlantic. Americaâ??s first colony was settled here, then vanished; replaced with the countryâ??s longest running outdoor drama.
Nature Surrounds You
The Outer Banks is famous for itâ??s wide open, non-commercialized beaches. While there are many homes (and a few hotels) that dot the oceanfront, there is nothing like a boardwalk, amusements or anything that would detract from the natural beauty of the Outer Banks. The Outer Banks is also home to many types of animals, some seen no where else in the world. Red wolves, turtles, wild horses, dolphins, fish, foxes, rabbits, nutria and over 300 species of birds make the Outer Banks their home. The Outer Banks also has many ways to see nature, including state parks and several wildlife education centers.
The Outer Banks is home to hundreds of miles of free and open unspoiled public beach. There’s no boardwalk on the beach, only a landscape peppered by homes. You can get on and beach at designated accesses and walk anywhere you want all for free. Our beaches are great place to find shells, sea glass and more. Visible shipwrecks lay right out in the open, including the Laura A. Barnes in Nags Head and the Metropolis in Corolla. Youâ??ll never know what youâ??ll find on an OBX beach.
The Outer Banks is surrounded by water; ocean on one side, sound on the other. The ocean is a living ocean, so it changes constantly. Itâ??s the perfect place to play, surf, SUP, SCUBA, kayak, or fish. Children love jumping in out of the waves while more experienced swimmers love the challenge the ocean offers. The Sound on the other hand, is prefect for younger children and less experienced swimmers. All kinds of wet and wild activities take pace in the Sound including jet skis, kayaking, stand up Paddle boarding, pontoon boat fun, inshore fishing, parasailing, boat trips and inflatable rafts. You can also see dolphins in both places.
The Outer Banks is famous for it’s freshly caught seafood. By visiting one of the local restaurants, you can get fish so fresh it was swimming just a few hours ago. You can also go one of the many local fish markets and buy your own fish to take home and cook at the house. Steamer pots to go are also a favorite of locals and visitors alike. Simply place an order at a steamer restaurant and you can bring home a large pot filled with all kinds of seafood and shellfish. You can cook it yourself or ask the steamer place to cook it. Popular fish on the Outer Banks include tuna, mahi, flounder, bluefish, speckled tout, croaker, and spot.
In most beach resorts, you are stuck in a cramped hotel for a week where youâ??re forced to eat every meal out and youâ??re practically on top of each other. Thatâ??s not great for fostering family harmony. However, at the Outer Banks, you can rent an entire house, with plenty of room for everyone. Plus, since all our homes come with full kitchens, have the choice of eating out or cooking for yourself. Of course, you could always hire someone to cook for you, or eat the leftovers from last nightâ??s meal out.
In Business For Families
An Outer Banks beach was rated #10 by National Geographic and #1 by US News as the best family beach in the country. This is because the Outer Banks actively courts families. Many rental companies have a minimum of 25 years of age before you can sign a lease and specify that it has to be some kind of ‘family’ group. This means there are no rowdy â??beach weeksâ??, â??spring breaksâ?? or â??senior tripsâ?? This makes the Outer Banks much quieter than many comparable beaches.
Pets Are Welcome
The Travel Channel rated The Outer Banks as one the dog friendliest beaches in the country. But it’s not only the beaches that are dog friendly. It’s common to see dogs in parks, at outdoor events, and eating in the outdoor seating areas at local restaurants. Plus many Outer Banks homes are pet friendly, and include amenities like dog beds, and fenced in yards. After all, it’s not really a vacation unless the entire family can come.
Plenty To Do
The Outer Banks does not have an amusement park, (yet.) But thatâ??s about the only thing it doesnâ??t have. If you want to spend time in nature, we have ranger walks, horse tours, dolphin tours, kayak tours, and private boats you can rent. If history is more your speed, we have Roanoke Island Festival Park, the Lost Colony outdoor drama, Wright Brothers Memorial and more. For the shoppers, we have a few chains, including a local chain, Wings, outlet shopping, boutique shops, antiques stores and plenty of restaurants to eat in between excursions. And if youâ??re more the entertainment type, then we have a harnessed adventure park, laser tag, the comedy club, the murder mystery dinner theater and even some ghost tours. And remember that amusement park I said we didnâ??t have? Well, weâ??re getting it in 2017. Only, itâ??s a water park. Youâ??ll see it on your way into town.
Close To Home
If you live anywhere on the east coast or even in Ohio, then this beach is close to home. In fact, for our Ohio visitors, we are the closest beach. Itâ??s an easy drive from most places in this region. However, The Outer Banks gets visitors from as far away as California, Texas, Canada, and even Germany. It seems that whether you live close or not, word is getting out that this is the best beach around.
Links to cited sources: