Stretching down more than half of North Carolina’s coast, the Outer Banks offers a great deal of luxurious homes away from home, delicious eats, and activities best for anyone and everyone. Take a pick from the three major areas of this Mid-Atlantic beach getaway: Northern Beach, Hatteras Island, or Roanoke Island. Regardless of where you are—in the waters, along the shores, or farther inland, iconic destination is sure to satisfy all your summer beach fancies.
Where to Stay
If you’re looking for some real rest, don’t let your plans overlook a reservation at The Sanderling Resort & Spa in Northern Beach. You (and your pet) will sleep comfortably in the individually decorated inns, only to wake up to this beachside resort’s panoramic views of the ocean. Immediately after, step outside to enjoy a sun-shining day. Or, perhaps if you need a break from the sun, you will allow your body to self-indulge at the spa with treatments that use only the coastline’s best natural resources.
At the opposite end, The Castle B & B is another great villa located at Ocracoke Island (accessible by ferry only). These inns too, individually decorated with classic, antique pieces welcomes you for the coziest comfort. Enjoy the Castle’s setting enclosed by the quaint docks and serene waters.
What to Do
Besides fishing at Hatteras Islands Fishing Pier in Rodanthe or boating at Pirate’s Cove Marina in Manteo (Roanoke Islands), there are many other “things to do!” Nearby Pirate’s Cove Marina is the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island. It’s a great place for kids and families to learn and get a close-up of the Bank’s marine life.
If you’re an archetypal adventurist, take a dare at Jockey Ridge State Park’s tallest sand dunes in Nags Head (Northern Beach). You can sand-board or paraglide from the peaks of the sandy hills or take a self-guided hike in and out of the valleys. If the waters are what you’re looking for instead, try kayaking, windsurfing, or simply swimming with the current on the other side of the park.
For those looking for something less recreational, the “shop ‘til you drop” activity might be a better idea. Also located in Nags Had, Tanger Outlet has stores with designer brand names like Polo and Tommy Hilfiger.
Other Great Activities
Wild Horse Adventure Tours (Corolla, NC) – Take a guided tour on an open or closed-top vehicle or rent your own jeep and sightsee the wild horses of Corolla Beach.
Visit the Lighthouses (locations vary) – Each lighthouse has its own charm and history. The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and Currituck Beach Lighthouse are open to climb, but the Ocracoke Lighthouse and the Bodie Island Lighthouse are not.
Where to Eat
Don’t let the name fool you, but Awful Arthur’s Oyster Bar is actually awfully delicious. Located in Kill Devil Hills for over 25 years, this stop is famous for their assortment of fresh seafood and thirst-quenching brews. Come out and enjoy the food and friendly community like one of the locals.
Make a second food stop at Tale of the Whale in Nags Head. This dining experience is promising with their principle, “To serve good food in ample portions with superior service in a comfortable setting.” Offering everything from cocktails, wines, and beer to clam chowder, pasta, and ribs, this restaurant offers an unforgettable experience for any individual, couple, or largely grouped families.
If you’re looking for a little more excitement and uniqueness, check out Mama Kwan’s. Not only does this grille feature a pallet of Hawaiian flavors and a medley of the island’s native aromas, but also live entertainment. Make sure to make it out here where a lunch and dinner experience is more than just a meal.
Other Great Restaurants:
The Pearl (Kill Devil Hills, NC) – An oceanfront, fine dining, French restaurant. If you want to avoid dining-in, call for a private chef.
Metropolis (Corolla, NC) – A tapas bar with a fusion of beverages; Offers a great ambiance especially for adults.
High Cotton (Kitty Hawk, NC) – A barbecue house faithful to Northeastern Carolina’s smoked flavors.