The Outer Banks is a string of barrier Islands of the coast of North Carolina, nicknamed OBX for short. It has been our choice for a quite family vacation for about 10 years. There truly is something for everybody here, history, culture, beach sports, shopping and awesome food!
Here are some of my favorite spots to visit.
1. The Corolla Wild Horses: At the far north of the OBX where the road turns to sand you will find the wild horses. They are said to be descended from Spanish Mustangs that were lost from shipwrecks. The horses stay this far up north because water in the sound is fresh. Getting her can be a bit of a challenge because there are no roads in the area. This area is called the”4X4″ beaches, the main road is the beach and side roads are over and around the sand dunes. If you want to come out to this area you need a truck with 4-wheel drive. If you don’t want to take the drive yourself you can take a wild horse tour or rent a jeep from one of the local companies.
2. Duck Donuts: Made hot and fresh to order any way you want them. Just fill out your order form and then make your way over to watch them be made. Their best combination is Maple Bacon, and this is one thing I look forward to getting every time I come. The original location is in Duck, but now there are locations up and down the OBX and they are spreading to other parts of the country too.
3. Duck’s Cottage: a charming little book store and coffee shop offering great beach reads, current best sellers and works by local authors. They are famous for their Coconut Crunch Coffee and their hand crafted drinks like the Mucky Duck and the Nutty Duck. This is one of my favorite spots in the OBX I stop everyday for coffee when I’m in the area and I stock up on books and coffee for the rest of the year. They embrace that small business comrade with the community so I always try to support them the best I can. P.s you can order their Coconut Crunch coffee and have it shipped right to your door if you can’t make it to Duck.
4. Trio OBX: Wine Beer and Cheese. Trio is part retail store, part restaurant and part wine tasting. Here you’ll find a self-service wine tasting via electronic wine dispensers. You give them a credit card and the give you a key card for the wine machines where you can choose 1 or 3oz tasting or a full glass, all priced according to the bottle of wine. Between walking around trying wines you can order cheese and charcuterie platters as well as tapas and sandwiches. If beer is your thing you can order tasting flights. The best part is if you find something you love you can buy it on the retail side.
5. Jennette’s Pier: There are many piers in the OBX but this is one of my favorite, it is concrete and hurricane resistant, thus much more stable than some of the other piers. It is a great place to do some fishing without having to buy a fishing license, they have rods and bait available there. If fishing is not your thing it is also a great place to take some pictures.
6. Little Red Mailbox: If you need a little pick-me up or if you just want the send some positive vibes out into the world stop by the Little Red Mailbox. Started by a woman who herself was feeling down and wanted to spread some good will, and they are starting to pop-up in other places as well. People leave notes of thanks and appreciation or they write down their hopes and dreams. It’s a feel good stop that will have you take pause for a little.
7. Wright Brothers National Memorial: Built to honor Wilbur and Orville Wright and their first flights that were completed on that very spot. There you will find a visitor center with historic replicas of the planes they flew and the entire history of their endeavors. The best part is walking up the hill to the monument, here you will get a 360 degree view of the entire area. Great place to take some photos.
8. Lighthouses: If you are a lighthouse buff you will be in heaven here. There are five lighthouse in the area and each one has its own unique style. The Currituck Beach Lighthouse, the Roanoke Marsh Lighthouse, Bodie Island, Cape Hatteras and Ocracoke Lighthouse. Check out the link above to find out more info about each of them.
9. Nights in Rodanthe House: The setting for the Nicholas Sparks novel and movie Nights in Rodanthe. Following the filming of the movie the location of the house was effected beach erosion and was in danger of being destroyed. A couple from North Carolina that where huge fans of movie, started the process of buying the house and moving it to a safer location. Where it stands today, they have redone the exterior and interior to match the move exactly. The house is available for rent, but it needs to be booked at least a year in advance.
10. Charter a boat: One of the best ways to enjoy the area. Whether is renting a pontoon boat to putter around the sound or to charter a deep sea fishing trip, spending the day on the water is always relaxing.