Outer Banks: Off the Course Insider Tips

Outer Banks: Off the Course Insider Tips

Fishing is just one of many things to do on the Outer Banks

According to locals, there’s golf played just about year-round on the Outer Banks, with average high temperatures even in the cooler months ranging from 63 degrees in November to 59 degrees in March. No matter what time of year you come, there’s always something fun to do off the links as well.

Fool the kids into thinking it’s a vacation even while they’re getting an education. The Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education offers free programs for children of all ages, ranging from fishing to eco-kayaking.

Venture to Roanoke Island, the site of the first English settlement in America, or see where the world’s first powered flight took place at the Wright Brothers National Memorial. Roanoke Island is home to the North Carolina Aquarium, while numerous wildlife preserves and historic sites dot the entire area.

Always wanted to know exactly what four-wheel drive is for? Head north from Corolla where the pavement ends and the sand begins. Take your own SUV or join a local tour in hopes of seeing the wild horses that have roamed the beaches for hundreds of years.

Try out the local wines while you’re in the area. Several area vineyards offer regular tastings, while Native Vine Cellars on Highway 158 will introduce you graciously to selections from throughout North Carolina.

Good food is plentiful all around the Outer Banks, with locals recommending such culinary stalwarts as Steamer’s, North Banks Raw Bar, La Dolce Vita, Mike Dianna’s Grill Room, Bacchus Wine & Cheese, Rundown Café and Black Pelican.

Complement your time on the course with biking, kayaking and fishing, which are Outer Banks specialties. Or, if you’ve always wanted to try surfing, local shops offer lessons that promise to get you up and hanging five. And don’t forget to check out the Corolla Surfing Museum.

To get an overview of the area, including Currituck, scale the 214 steps to the top of the 162-foot red-brick Currituck Beach Lighthouse in Corolla that has been guiding mariners since 1875. This is one of several lighthouses throughout the Outer Banks, including other iconic structures such as Bodie Island and Cape Hatteras lighthouses. Most of the lighthouses are open seasonally – spring through mid-fall – for self-guided climbs.

Need a little work on your putting stroke? Get in some fun practice at the Corolla Grass Course, which features actual grass instead of the fake stuff normally associated with miniature golf courses.

America’s most famous monster truck – Grave Digger – makes its home on the Outer Banks in Poplar Branch. Check out the beast itself, pick up souvenirs and pose for a photo with the truck.

Now you're ready to plan your well-rounded golf getaway to the Outer Banks, whether you're looking for adventurous courses or are seeking to make it a family affair.

Gary Carter is an Asheville-based travel writer who covers a range of topics for magazines, online publications and his blog, Eliot’s Tales 4 Gen B.

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