Existing as it does on the edge of a continent, more than an hour’s drive from any major airport, the Outer Banks has a well-deserved reputation for being just a little bit isolated and refreshingly remote. Depending on where our visitors live, the Outer Banks may be a day trip on its own, but once here there are some really neat day trips that can be taken on the Outer Banks. The first of our day trip series focuses on the pristine beauty and activities that draw guests to our southern beaches.
It’s easy to talk about the variety of recreation available on the Outer Banks. The list of obvious activities include the beach, our ocean and sounds, hiking, shopping … it’s a list that seems endless, and a good reason why we love living here and vacationers return year after year.
Aside from the obvious, there are also special little things that make this such a special place. So, I thought it would be interesting to write a blog series highlighting some of these little things that greatly add to Outer Banks enjoyment, the first being about our wonderful community parks.
About 20 years ago, someone had the bright idea that the best way to harvest Outer Banks oysters was to float a dredge or two out in the sound, scoop as much mud off the bottom as possible and sift everything out but the oysters. That worked spectacularly well for that year, but then we experienced a loss of oysters for several years until state agencies and a number of local volunteers moved forward to rebuild the stripped Outer Banks oyster reefs.
Autumn is here, temperatures are dropping, the wind is picking up, which makes it the perfect time to write about Outer Banks coffee shops. I’m talking about the real thing here, those places filled with the sound of compressed steam escaping from an espresso machine that fills the air with the wonderful rich aroma of freshly brewed coffee.
Here are some facts that may not be well known about these sandbars, and the word “sandbar” is used purposely because although our notorious bumper stickers say, “I’m on Island Time,” the Outer Banks are actually not islands. The northern Outer Banks, north of Oregon Inlet, are in fact a continuous spit of land extending all the way to Virginia Beach. As a matter of fact, at one time there was a dirt road connecting Carova with Sandbridge, Virginia.