Part 1 of our 3 part series: OutsideA Guide to Banksy Family Vacations
Read part 2 here!(OBX hosting)
Read part 3 here!(what to do in OBX)
With so much to do on the Outer Banks, it's no wonder it's one of North Carolina's most popular vacations. All of these options can make planning a family vacation to the Outer Banks challenging at first. This Outer Banks travel guide has been designed to help you plan your OBX vacation.
This Outer Banks visitor's guide is divided into three sections. In part one, I'll give you an overview of the Outer Banks area and beaches. The second article coversWhere to stay on the Outer Banks, discussed in the third article.Attractions in OBX. Put it all together and you have a complete guide to a beach vacation on the Outer Banks of North Carolina!
Where are the outer banks?
The Outer Banks are a series of barrier islands off the northeast tip of North Carolina. The Outer Banks stretch from Corolla, south of Norfolk, Virginia, and east of Elizabeth, North Carolina, to Ocracoke, east of New Bern, North Carolina's first capital. The Outer Banks run along the eastern shore of the Currituck and Pamlico Canals.
The Outer Banks and the city are connected by Highway 12. There are two ways to get there (by road), the other is slower,take the ferry(time permitting). Most travelers arrive by road, from Route 64 through Manteo to Route 12, which connects the Outer Banks from north to south. The two routes meet roughly at the midpoint of these barrier islands. Travelers can turn left (north) towards Nags Head, Duck and Corolla. Alternatively, turn right (south) towards Avon, Buxton and Hatteras.
Where is the best place to stay on the Outer Banks?
When planning a family vacation to the Outer Banks, one of the most important considerations is where to stay. It takes just over an hour to drive from the northern end of OBX to the southern end of the region. When thinking about an OBX vacation, consider the Outer Banks attractions that interest your family the most. Each region is known for something unique.
OBX North End: duck and corolla
The Northern Territory includes the quaint towns of Duck and Corolla, home to the famous "wild horses." Here, visitors can enjoy world-class spas, exclusive accommodations, and high-end restaurants. From North Carolina, head east on NC 64 until turning left onto Highway 12. Visitors from the North (Virginia) head south on Route 158, then cross the Wright Brothers Bridge and turn left .
Great things to do in Corolla, North Carolina.Corolla is the most remote of the Outer Banks and consists primarily of the Currituck National Wildlife Refuge. Have you heard of the Corolla Mustang? Other things to do in Corolla include lounging on the beach, hiking and biking the preserve's trails, and relaxing and enjoying the views in Corolla's spacious beach rental.
Attractions Duck, North Carolina. Duck is located south of Corolla. Dak is famous for its beautiful beaches,WatersportsPlus outdoor activities, great restaurants, and eclectic shops. Every year in October, the city hostsDuck Jazz FestivalIt attracts people from all over the world. The city is made for tourists - it's easy to bike or walk here. High-end restaurants and casual eateries are connected by Duck Trail and the wide boardwalk on the right hand side of Hwy 12. Ducks is also dog friendly, just follow the leash regulations!
Centralny Bund: Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills y Nags Head
This part of the Outer Banks is the most central and populated area, the closest to mainland North Carolina. Families planning a vacation to the Outer Banks and looking for flexibility should consider staying in this area. The area has the largest number of Outer Banks rental properties: Soundside (across from Albemarle Sound), Oceanside (homes along Beach Road, but not necessarily beachfront), and "Between the Highway" (between Highway 12 , also known as "Beach Road") and Highway 158). Amenities like family restaurants (chains and others), movie theaters, a putt and putt golf course, and shopping malls are all within a short drive, making it easy to plan your Outer Banks vacation.
Great things to do in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.Kitty Hawk is the perfect combination of relaxation and an exclusive resort. Those who like a quiet vacation, enjoying nature and playing golf may prefer the Soundside area. Beachgoers will enjoy great views of the Atlantic Ocean, but the region's narrow beaches offer limited space for sunbathing, sandcastle building, and lounging. Tourists "between the highways" have easy access to area amenities and the beach is within walking distance. In summer on the Outer Banks afternoon showers are the norm, so shopping and theater is a big plus.
An event in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina.Kill Devil Hills is home to 6,000 year-round residents and is one of the largest permanent communities on the Outer Banks. It is also one of the most popular vacation destinations, with numerous options for shopping, dining, entertainment, and accommodation. Like Kitty Hawk, the Sound District is quieter and offers charming cottages for families. Along Beach Road, tourists can surf and relax on the wide, sandy beach. Whether you live on the waterfront or "between the freeways", there is something for everyone with convenient dining and entertainment options.
Events in Nags Head, North Carolina.As the most popular resort on the Outer Banks, Nags Head is the quintessential "OBX" (although I never knew it). The wide sandy beach and its big waves are ideal for families and thrill seekers. Unique area attractions include the Bodie Island Lighthouse, Janet's Pier, and Jockey Ridge State Park. Accommodations between the highways offer families everything they need for a week-long vacation on the Outer Banks, from shopping and dining to indoor activities during a beach vacation.
South Outer Banks: Avon, Buxton, Hatteras Village, and Ocracoke Island
Turn right onto Highway 12 and discover this unique area for fishing and delicious seafood. The area is less crowded than the Midlands and offers a surprising number of activities for active families. The area begins at Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, a natural treasure the whole family will enjoy. Plus, you'll see Rodanthe, a small community made famous by the novel (and movie) by Nicholas Sparks.noc wheels. Regarding the value, yes, the house is real and it is rented (although it is usually reserved more than a year in advance).
Great things to do in Avon, North Carolina.This small town combines monuments with solitude. Avon is known for its pristine beaches with beautiful dunes and luxurious beachfront residences. The town has many restaurants (including some chains), a spa, gift shops, a golf course, and a fishing pier, all of which offer amenities to make your vacation easier.study 12is a local art shop that offers activities and a great place to create your own Outer Banks-inspired memories. Meanwhile, those looking for a quiet vacation are sure to find it. With its central location, Avon is the Outer Banks best "quiet spot" for those who still want to experience the fun and excitement of Nags Head in the north.
Great things to do in Buxton, North Carolina.Buxton's location makes it unique among all the towns on the Outer Banks. Buxton is located at the crossroads of the north-south and east-west directions of Hatteras Island. On this "elbow" is the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. The lighthouse is open to visitors from spring through fall. The rugged coastline is ideal for surfing and, with the Labrador Current flowing in from the north and the Gulf Stream flowing in from the south, is home to some of the best surfing in the world. Other things to do in the Buxton area include deep sea fishing, 4x4 driving on the beach (driver's license required), walks on the Buxton Forest Track and kitesurfing at Soundside. Families with small children who want to play in the waves may prefer a different location, but those who want to watch the waves crash on the beach will love this place.
Great things to do in Hatteras, North Carolina.Hatteras Village (official name) is located on the southern tip of Hatteras Island and is a marine angler's paradise. This part of the Outer Banks is the quieter part of the southern end of the Outer Banks. This coastal fishing village also offers restaurants (some serve freshly caught seafood), art galleries, fishing charters and boat tours. While vacationing on Hatteras Island, enjoy a morning fishing charter, watch the fish being cleaned by the pier, and head to a local restaurant for dinner.
Events in Ocracoke, North Carolina.Ocracoke, at the southern tip of the Outer Banks, is best reached from the mainland by ferry, which runs year-round (late fall and winter only). Ocracoke is considered "the antidote to ordinary beaches." Due to its location, it is less populated than other beaches. But there's still plenty to do here: boating, kayaking, visiting lighthouses, and spending time on the beach. Adventures include exploring the legend of the pirate Blackbeard, fishing excursions, biking and kite surfing.
Where is the best place to stay on the Outer Banks?There is no universal solution for OBX. If you're interested in convenient access to movies, shops, restaurants, and other attractions, the city center is best. If you prefer Corolla Mustangs or a quiet spa getaway, head north. If you like water sports, especially kitesurfing and surfing, head south. As you can see, the Outer Banks offer a wide range of vacation experiences. So what is the best? It depends on what you like best. Have you been to the Outer Banks before? What do you think is the best vacation destination on the Outer Banks?