Five Surprising Outer Banks Facts

Every location has surprising nuggets of historical information and the Outer Banks is no exception. Here are five facts about this land by the sea that are likely not well known to those who reside outside of our region.

1. Mother Vine – The Oldest Documented Grape Vine in North America
On the north end of Roanoke Island, on the west side of old US 64 is Mother Vineyard Road—aptly named because it passes by the Mother Vine.

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Sounds of the Outer Banks

For those of us who migrated to the Outer Banks as adults, one of the most confusing parts of the local language was the casual use of the various sounds as a way to give a location. It’s still done today, and anyone who’s lived here ten years or more is probably just as guilty as a native of saying, “I was out on Croatan Sound,” thinking that immediately describes a location to a visitor.

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History of Outer Banks Town Names

OBX Town NamesRegardless of what pundits, experts, historians or local authorities may say, the name origins of many Outer Banks locations are nothing more than speculation.

Some we know by fact. For example, Currituck comes from an Algonquin native American word meaning “wild geese” or “land of the wild goose.” The spelling is subject to debate which may explain why Caratoke Highway (NC-168) is another way to spell and pronounce “land of the wild goose.”

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Winter Wonderland on the Outer Banks

There is a universal perception that when winter arrives Outer Banks sidewalks are rolled up. However, that is not an accurate depiction of life on these sandbars, starting with the fact that there are very few sidewalks and ending with the realization that there is plenty to do during the winter months.

Admittedly, the pace is considerably slower during the months of January and February when compared to activities available in the summer and shoulder seasons months. The winter is actually a wonderful “get away” season at the beach. The pace is slower, the crowds are nonexistent and rates are a great value. Many great restaurants and shops remain open, although night life venues are sparse. Here are just a few option available when you arrive: Continue reading “Winter Wonderland on the Outer Banks”

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Highlighting Outer Banks Museums

Although the Outer Banks has a rich cultural heritage, museums in our area are in short supply. With that said, there are locations that celebrate and document our heritage and region that are worthy of a visit during your vacation stay.

Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education
Located on the grounds of Currituck Heritage Park, which is also home to the Whalehead Club and Currituck Lighthouse, the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education is an extraordinary museum that educates visitors about the ecology and historical significance of the Currituck Sound.

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