Outer Banks Beaches
Renew your spirit and unwind along North Carolina’s Outer Banks, a collection of wind-swept barrier islands stretching 200 miles along our northern coast. Whether you’re a thrill seeker, history buff, beach bum or foodie, this top vacation destination offers memorable experiences for all.
Find your adventurous side with all the activities the islands have to offer. Venture to Jockey's Ridge, the East Coast’s highest sand dune known to be a prime spot for hang-gliding, flying kites and hiking. Then, catch a wave and experience firsthand why the Outer Banks is dubbed the "Kite Boarding and Wind Surfing Capital of the East Coast." Beach offroading is another way to get off the beaten path and take in the islands’ beauty from a different point of view. While exploring, look for the wild Banker ponies that have occupied the northernmost beaches for more than 400 years. Take a tour to encounter these majestic animals up close. Whether air, land or sea there’s an activity for anyone looking to fulfill an adrenaline rush.
Discover what makes Outer Banks history so unique. The islands date back to colonial times, starting with the mysterious disappearance of colonists on Roanoke Island, depicted in the outdoor drama The Lost Colony. Visitors can see where early settlers lived at the Fort Raleigh National Monument. In the village of Ocracoke, learn about pirate lore and visit the site of the infamous Blackbeard’s last battle. The region is home to four historic coastal lighthouses that have guarded the coast for two centuries, and you can even climb to the top of two of them for fantastic views. Pay tribute to aviation pioneers, the Wright Brothers, for the first manned flight at the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills. These attractions welcome you to take part in the islands’ history and learn something new.
The Outer Banks has many beaches to choose from. If you’re looking for convenience, the northern beach towns of Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head offer footpaths, wooden crossovers, free public parking and a bit more development than other towns. To get away from it all, look no further than one of the Hatteras Island villages, including Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Avon, Buxton, Frisco and Hatteras. These beaches are known to be rustic and are close to the remote Cape Hatteras National Seashore where you’ll only find sand dunes, sea grasses and wildlife. Find your personal beach oasis and make it your own.
Seafood doesn’t get much fresher than the Outer Banks. Many restaurants serve seafood caught daily by local Outer Banks fishermen. Choose from more than 80 restaurants serving seafood. From scenic waterfront spots to local seafood shacks the variety of local cuisine is sure to please any palate.
To see why visitors return again and again, contact the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau (Duck, Nags Head, Hatteras and more), Currituck County Travel & Tourism (Corolla, Carova and more) or the Hyde County Convention & Visitors Bureau (Ocracoke Island) and plan your Outer Banks vacation.
|Outer Banks Beaches||National Seashore||Mainland Towns|
|Avon||Cape Hatteras National Seashore||Currituck|
|Kill Devil Hills|
Pam Watson contributed to this article
added: December 18, 2008
updated: April 15, 2013
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