Whether or not you have ever been to the Outer Banks before,
there are probably a few things you already know about it. You might know Orville and Wilbur Wright
built and flew the first successful aircraft there. You’re probably aware of the several light
houses that dot the shores. If you’re
into romance novels, you’ve probably read some Nicholas Sparks novels that took
place in North Carolina, one in particular set in the town of Rodanthe on The
Outer Banks. There’s a pretty good
chance that if you’re into American History, you know about the pirates who
frequented the area during The Golden Age of Piracy (one of whom we’ve
discussed on this blog already).
all pretty standard pieces of information to have about The Banks. What I’m
going to do with the following bullet points is attempt to arm you with some
morsels of information that you might not have, and along the way offer you a
few suggestions to make your first trip (or any trip) to The Outer Banks of
North Carolina a memorable one.
- The Wright Brothers National Memorial is located
in Kill Devil Hills. The Wright Brothers, Orville and Wilbur were self taught
engineers, who in 1903 designed, constructed and launched the world’s first
successful airplane. On display here are
replicas and reconstructions of the original facilities and the 1903 Flyer, as
well as the massive Wright Brothers Memorial monument. It is a must see.
- The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the tallest
brick lighthouse in the United States.
Located in Buxton, NC, the Hatteras Light stands an impressive 193 feet
tall. Its construction required the use of 1.25 Million bricks, and her beacon
is visible at night as far away as 20 miles. If you opt to make a visit to a
lighthouse while in The Banks, I recommend The Cape Hatteras Light.
- The town of Duck, North Carolina is consistently
ranked among the countries best beaches. The town website, located at
http://www.townofduck.com has a detailed
event calendar available to help you plan your trip.
- The Outer Banks is home to some of the most
amazing seafood available anywhere. By
all means, plan a day during your visit to get in some quality fishing time. Tackle shops are virtually everywhere, and
there is always a local around to ask where the good fishing is at. If you prefer to have someone else do the
hard work for you, there are countless restaurants around the island that would
be happy to serve you their catch of the day.
My advice is to ask a local where they like to eat. Locals always know best!
- If there happens to be a surfer in your group,
The Outer Banks hosts some of the meanest surf on the East Coast. Hatteras Island is known to have some of the
biggest breaks anywhere, and surfers make the pilgrimage here every year to get
in on the action. Those who come
repeatedly will get a new experience every time, as coastal storms constantly
shift sandbars and shoals, changing the break from year to year.
- Jockeys Ridge State Park is located in Nags
Head, and is home to the tallest natural dune system in the Eastern United
States. Depending on the time of year,
sand boarding, kite flying and hang gliding are all options available to the
adventurous visitor. You can inquire at
the parks visitors center for more information.
These are all
solid ideas to get you started on your Outer Banks excursion. My personal recommendation however, is to
load up your car or truck with camping supplies, a cooler full of basic
necessities and enough clothes to last you for your trip and just go. Go with no expectations and no plan. Let The Outer Banks take you where it wants
you to go. Follow the dunes and sea
birds and enjoy every moment of wild freedom you can find. Let Mother Nature paint you a spectacular
sunset over the Pamlico Sound, and in the morning she will repeat this
performance for you over the Atlantic Ocean. Take off your shoes and let go of
your reservations. You’re on The Outer
Banks of North Carolina.
You couldn’t be