Outer Banks and WWII

When the War was at Our Doorstep

OBX WWII Submarine
Photo courtesy of the OBX History Center

The history of the Outer Banks is filled with the tales of pirates and sea battles. But not all the battles fought off the coast of North Carolina were shrouded in the mists of history and legend. One of the most horrific battles of WWII was the Battle of the Atlantic, and North Carolina was on the front lines of that struggle.

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Outer Banks Research Facilities

Throughout the years the Outer Banks has attracted more than its fair share of visitors, interlopers and those who choose to become permanent residents. Most arrive for the beauty of our beaches and relaxed lifestyle, others for water sports and recreation, fishing and hunting. More recently we’ve seen those relocating to cultivate business opportunities. Lately, an interesting new trend has developed and that is the arrival of scientists.

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The Nags Head Casino

Nags Head Casino OBX
Photo Courtesy of the Outer Banks History Center

On July 12, 1958, Louis Armstrong (Satchmo), arrived on the Outer Banks, and Ras Wescott’s Nags Head Casino was packed! By reputation, the top level dance floor held 1,000 people, and we can only imagine that there were more awaiting the performance of this legendary jazz musician.

It was a typical July summer night on the Outer Banks … hot, humid and sticky. There is no doubt that if the evening temperature was sweltering, Louis Armstrong and his All Star Band were even hotter. By all accounts, Armstrong’s visit to the Casino was a major highlight of this legendary Outer Banks night spot.

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Great Food: An Outer Banks Tradition

So many great Outer Banks restaurants, so little time. In researching long-standing Outer Banks restaurants it was surprising how many there are still serving locals and visitors alike. This feature is about five ranging from casual eateries to fine dining options that are sure to please.

Owens Restaurant
7114 S. Virginia Dare Trail, Milepost 16.5, Nags Head, NC
Family owned and operated, Owens Restaurant opened in 1946 when Bob and Clara Owens relocated here from Manteo, NC. Their roots in serving food goes back to a hot dog stand they originally ran in Manteo since 1933. Owens is no hot dog stand, instead they serve southern coastal cuisine including fresh seafood, aged Angus beef, pasta specialties and outrageous desserts. As good as the food is, be sure to check out the bar. Most night there’s a piano playing, the seating is ideal for intimate conversations and the bartenders know how to mix a quality drink.

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Unique Outer Banks Water Activities

Hatteras ClammingBordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and innumerable sounds to the west, it’s a safe guess that most Outer Banks outdoor activities center around being on the water. With all the opportunities to enjoy time on the water and the extraordinary range of options, here are a few out of the ordinary suggestions for consideration.

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