What Makes The Outer Banks So Special
No boardwalks, no loud theme parks, and no high rise hotels blocking the views of the ocean. No flashy nightlife, no neon lights, or main street tourist traps. The natural beauty of the fragile islands and the pristine beaches is what makes the Outer Banks so unique. These beaches are well known to be family-friendly, making it a perfect destination for a family vacation, and an ideal place to unwind and relax. With miles of sandy beaches and loads of off-shore fun, the Outer Banks offers a wide variety of outdoor activities that are well suited for everyone.
North Carolinas Outer Banks is one of Americas most spectacular and unique vacation destinations. The beaches of the Outer Banks stretch over 100 miles long and are surrounded by 900 miles of water and is preserved by National Park Service, which protects more than 70 miles of the coastal region. The barrier islands mix of rolling sand dunes, beach grasses, and beautiful beaches has been charming visitors and residents for generations.
Map of Outer Banks, North Carolina
The Outer Banks is made up of historic islands, quaint towns, and secluded villages. An Outer Banks vacation provides a lifetime of memories If you have visited the Outer Banks during the summer, youre well aware its popular beach vacation destination, and has been for decades.
Jockeys Ridge State Park
Ocracoke Island, NC
Hatteras Is Home To Many Six
Those visiting Hatteras Islands Burrus Red & White Supermarket will have noticed the cats that hang out on the front porch. Whats interesting is that most of these cats have six toes! Its thought that their six-toed ancestors arrived on ghost ships hundreds of years ago, and the unique feature has been passed down generations.
The Outer Banks Is A Popular Wedding Destination
Due to its Atlantic coastal beauty, the Outer Banks have become a popular place for destination weddings. Approximately 3,000 weddings a year are held in the area thats the equivalent of eight a day! Wedding vendors have also grown in the last decade from 40-50 to 300.Curituck beach lighthouse park
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Wright Brothers National Memorial
Love to fly? You wont want to miss the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, which celebrates the history of the first flight and those who made it possible. With so much to explore on-site, this is one of the best attractions in the Outer Banks.
Start your visit by checking out the Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor Center for all the information youll need to make the most of your visit. Interactive exhibits and films will educate you on the Wright Brothers story, from how they took their dreams of flight and made them a reality. Next, stopover at the First Flight Boulder and Flight Line to witness the very spot where Orville and Wilbur Wright made their dreams come true with their first flight.
Built on the location where the Wright Brothers lived during their test and experimentation period, the Reconstructed 1903 Camp Buildings showcase to visitors what life was like for the Wright Brothers during their time at Kitty Hawk. The reconstructed hangar and living quarters are both open for viewing. The Wright Brothers Monument is located at the top of Kill Devil Hill, a popular place for Orville and Wilbur to test out their gliding experiments. It is an outstanding celebration of their achievements that changed the world.
Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge
Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge is a stellar place to view migratory birds or spy hatching turtles heading to the ocean.
Be sure to stop by the visitor center. Its free! You can learn about the animals and birds in the area, look through a spotting scope, and walk a few of the trails to an overlook.
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Things To Do In Outer Banks By Town
Below youll find a bucket list of things to do in Outer Banks, and we organize the list by Outer Banks towns.
But dont fret, we wont leave you hanging when it comes to making a plan. You are also able to access our 5-day itinerary which breaks down step-by-step plans to maximize your stay here.
Whether you prefer water sports, beach lounging, or indulging in those special things that only The Outer Banks can offer weve got you covered.
So, come on! Lets plan your next Atlantic Coast vacation where it counts along the 100+ miles of beaches in North Carolinas northern barrier islands.
As Australians Who Grew Up By The Beach Near Sydney And Who Now Live In Raleigh We Are So Grateful We Have Awesome Coastal Places To Escape To And Down Below We Are Sharing Our Favorite Things To Do In Obx
PLAY ON THE OUTER BANKS BEACHESWith 100-miles of wide-open shoreline, take your pick from one of the many beautiful Outer Banks beaches.The sand is clean, the water is a perfect temperature through summer, theyre family-friendly, and theyre not too crowded win, win.
JOCKEYS RIDGE STATE PARKWe love visiting unique state parks, and Jockeys Ridge State Park is home to the tallest sand dune system in the eastern United States and is one of the most popular things to do in OBX.
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Peruse The Elizabethan Gardens
The 10.5-acre Elizabethan Gardens in Manteo feature over 500 different plant species in a serene environment. The beautiful grounds are full of historic herbs, hydrangeas, 85 varieties of camellias, and the rose garden.
While exploring the rose garden, find Queen Elizabeth IIs rose from Windsor Castles 1976 royal rose garden.
Amongst the elaborate gardens locate the ancient live oak that dates back to when the first colonists landed on the Outer Banks in 1585. The pet-friendly gardens are open year-round, except for February.
Take Dune Hang Gliding Lessons
Since 1974, Kitty Hawk Kites have been offering beginning through advanced hang-gliding lessons for those ages four and up.
Partake in a three-hour lesson that will take you to the top of the dunes. Here you will run a short distance before taking off as the Wright Brothers did so long ago.
Be ready to soar five to 15 feet above the sand for 30 to over 100 yards. The sand makes for soft landings when you dont land on your feet.
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Check Out The Obx Piers
While visiting the Outer Banks, walk out above the ocean waves on one of the seven piers. From the far end, you will get a terrific view of the coastline and even have a chance to enjoy a delicious meal.
The Avon Fishing Pier on Hatteras Island is 600-feet long and was the first pier built on Hatteras Island.
Home to Fish Heads Bar and Grille, the Outer Banks Fishing Pier in Nags Head at milepost 18.5 is a favorite for fishermen since the lighted pier is open 24 a day.
Nags Heads 1,000-foot long Jennettes Pier at milepost 16.5 is a must-visit stop on your journey through the barrier islands. This pier is wind-powered and features an educational center and some of the best East Coast fishing.
The pier also makes a great location to take sunrise pictures and panoramic views of the ocean. The pier is a great spot to watch for dolphins in the summer.
‘outer Banks’ Filming Locations You Can Visit In Real Life
Plot twist! None of them are in North Carolina.
Ready to live the Pogue life? Look no further than Charleston, South Carolina.
Netflix’s Outer Banks, which is technically set in the real Outer Banks in North Carolina, isn’t actually filmed there. The show’s production decided to move their filming locations to South Carolina in response to North Carolina’s House Bill 2 legislation, which required transgender people to use the bathroom according to the sex they were assigned at birth, according to the Wilmington Star-News.
Luckily, there are plenty of beautiful, beachy places to film just a little south. Outer Banks highlights some of the best locations in Charleston and Mount Pleasant, so you can live out your teen mystery drama fantasies in one of the United States’ most charming and historical cities.
Here are just a few amazing places that were used as film locations for the show. Outer Banks premiered Season 2 of the show in July 2021, and all episodes are currently streaming on Netflix.
Before you travel anywhere, be sure to note the local CDC guidelines, including vaccination, testing, and quarantine requirements as well as local mask laws.
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Washington Square Park Charleston South Carolina
John B and Sarah visited this gorgeous park located in downtown Charleston as part of their day trip to UNC Chapel Hill, and it’s the perfect place for you and your partner to take a romantic stroll. Not only is Washington Square Park an excellent place to look at some gorgeous azaleas, Spanish moss, and ancient oak trees, it’s also right in the middle of the historic district.
Fun Facts About The Outer Banks Of North Carolina
The Outer Banks are found in North Carolina, on the East Coast of the United States. The area comprises multiple Atlantic seaside towns that are extremely popular tourist destinations. The primary 16 towns on the Outer Banks attract tourists due to their pristine beaches, coastal landscapes, and a multitude of attractions.
The region is also rich in history and culture. Therefore, its no surprise that there are a plethora of Outer Banks fun facts to know!
Interesting facts about the area include those relating to the mystery of the Lost Colony, Blackbeard’s legacy, and the Outer Banks’ many firsts. Add in the fact that it’s the setting for a popular Netflix show and home to one of the US’ most delicious donut chains, and youre sure to learn something new about OBX.
If you love the Outer Banks or just want to learn more about this favored vacation spot, read on for 45 fun facts about the Outer Banks of North Carolina!
- 45 North Carolina facts
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Many Civil War Battles Happened In The Outer Banks
During the Civil War, pivotal battles were fought on the Outer Banks, benefiting the Union. The Battle of Fort Hatteras and Fort Clark in August 1861 resulted in a significant victory for the Union. Another Outer Banks victory in 1862 at the Battle of Roanoke helped secure the ultimate winning of the war.
Whalehead Was A Secret Testing Location For Rocket Fuel
The famous Whalehead Club in Corolla was used to test rocket fuel during the cold war. The club got leased to the Atlantic Research Corporation.
The company was researching Beryllium, a toxic but heavy-duty rocket fuel. The remoteness of the island was perfect for secretly testing this toxic substance.
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Charleston Gaillard Center Charleston South Carolina
Another UNC Chapel Hill day trip stop for John B and Sarah, the exterior of UNC Chapel Hill’s Law Library was actually the exterior of the Charleston Gaillard Center in downtown Charleston. The stately building is actually a concert hall and performance venue, where anyone can see Broadway touring shows, the Charleston Symphony, and more.
The Outer Banks History Through The Ages
What are the Outer Banks? To the visitor, they are wind, sand and fun. To the artist, they are a thin line of beauty drawn at the edge of a blue, blue sea. To lovers of the past, they are the cite of events that created not just Outer Banks history but history that impacted humankind. To the resident, whose family has lived there for generations, they are, quite simply, home.
How do you describe these wind and sea swept barriers to the ancient sea?
Let’s begin with the land: with geology.
Geologists call the Banks a prime example of the land form called the barrier island. They are made entirely of sand, without the keel of rock that anchors most islands firmly to the earth. It is a fascinatingly evanescent phenomenon in geological terms, a land form so transient that changes are visible from year to year. A phenomenon that is, even now, in the process of passing forever out of existence.
As most people know, the level of the ocean has changed steadily throughout geological history, as a result of water released or stored up in the great polar icecaps. When, during the ice ages, great amounts of water are withdrawn from circulation, the consequent lowering of the sea extends coastlines far out into what is now the ocean.
The Banks must have begun as dunes, at the very edge of that ancient shore. Rivers from inland contributed silt to build them up. But as the sea rose, the dunes were submerged, becoming sand bars.
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Best Things To Do In The Outer Banks
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One of the most popular places to visit on the East Coast during the summer is, without a doubt, the Outer Banks. These are the best things to do in the Outer Banks.
Are you planning your trip to the Outer Banks last minute?
If youre traveling to the Outer Banks last minute, you want to ensure you have lodging ahead of time! Below are some of our top picks in town!
Best Places to Stay in OBX:
The Outer Banks, or OBX, is a 200-mile stretch of barrier islands that go from Virginia down the coast into North Carolina. The Outer Bank beaches are famous and you will find so many unique ecosystems along the way, including a lot of beach grass and salt marshes.
They are also home to some of the US earliest settlements as well as hundreds of shipwrecks giving the islands the nickname Graveyard of the Atlantic. Nevertheless, the Outer Banks is a fantastic place to visit and should be on every North Carolina itinerary!
This guide will discuss some of the most famous beaches in the Outer Banks to some of the most iconic historical sites. For the sake of this guide, we are only discussing the Outer Bank attractions and landmarks located in North Carolina.
Did we leave off any of the best places to visit in the Outer Banks? Let us know in the comments! Thanks!
What Happened In Outer Banks Season 2
Similar to Season 1, Outer Banks Season 2 ended with a near-death experience for the Pogues. Much of the Netflix show’s second installment followed John B., Sarah, JJ, Kiara, and Pope as they tried to locate and retrieve the lost Cross of Santo Domingo. The season finale saw the crew secretly board the ship the Coastal Venture and attempt to take the cross. They failed after a chaotic shootout, and escaped on a lifeboat. Though the Pogues once again left empty-handed, the episode ended on a positive note as they celebrated being together and in safety for now.
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Pitt Street Mount Pleasant South Carolina
Many scenes from the show are filmed along Pitt Street in Mount Pleasant. This small stretch in the Old Village includes several locations shown in the show, including the St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Pitt Street Pharmacy. The street continues to the Pitt Street Bridge, which is an ideal place to catch blue crabs.
Prettiest Outer Banks Towns You Should Visit
March 30, 2021// by Southern Trippers
If youre looking for the prettiest Outer Banks towns, youve come to the right place! The Outer Banks are a stunning chain of barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina. Separated from the mainland by a string of shallow sounds, the towns of the Outer Banks should be near the top of everyones North Carolina bucket list!The Outer Banks towns have a unique and fascinating history. The area off of the Outer Banks is known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic where more than 5,000 ships have went down in the shallow waters. During the 1600s and 1700s, the Outer Banks were the stomping grounds for Blackbeard and other famous pirates. The barrier islands are also famous for being home to the lost colony which is one of Americas biggest mysteries!The Outer Banks are home to many lighthouses, amazing beaches, and the location of the Wright brothers first flight. You can find highly ranked beaches, delicious food, water sports, history galore, and much more on the Outer Banks!
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Be Safe Be Smart Have Fun On The Outer Banks
The Outer Banks of North Carolina offers a welcome relief from crowded cities and overrun vacation spots. In fact, you wont find any cities on the Outer Banks, just 100+ miles of wide-open shoreline, charming seaside villages, and a mix of towns brimming with personality and fascinating connections to our nations history. Although were just a drive away, these barrier islands feel remote. Choose an oceanside vacation rental home, and just pop in the keycode for your rental and start vacationing on your own stretch of beach. Or, go for a different home experience at one of the romantic B& Bs of Roanoke Island and enjoy the walkable waterfront downtown of Manteo. This is where our country started . Youll find a variety of Outer Banks hotels, motels, cottage courts,campgrounds suitable for whatever experience you choose. See for yourself why Forbes and Dr. Beach ranked the Outer Banks as a top spot to get away to!
Here is a list of Outer Banks restaurants open during fall/winter.
- Places To StayPlaces To Stay
The Outer Banks has always been a place where personal space and privacy are part of the allure. If you’re looking to spend a few days of peace with your best friends or loved ones.