We often talk about the award-winning beaches of the Outer Banks, how they differ from Corolla to Nags Head, and why some may be better for families and others great for a remote and private experience. But in all we’ve shared, we’ve yet to describe how to take that great beach experience to the next level.
1. Sunscreen … and lots of it – Chances are the last time your body was exposed to this much direct sunlight was when you were on vacation last year. Lobster red is only attractive on boiled lobster and you’ll enjoy your stay here much better sans sunburn.
2. Save alcohol for the evening – We know this goes against the grain for many vacationers who dream of arriving on the beach, kicking back in a lounge chair and popping a cold one, but here are a couple of reasons why one should rethink this plan.
First of all, alcohol on the beach is illegal in many Outer Banks jurisdictions. Secondly, alcohol is a diuretic-meaning it flushes liquids out of your system faster than you’re taking them in. Each year dehydration sends many vacationers to our medical facilities, so …
3. Hydrate – Or in less scientific terms, drink plenty of water or sports drinks, preferably without caffeine since caffeine is also a diuretic (see Item 2).
4. Locate lifeguard stands – Fortunately, it’s rare to require lifeguard rescue, but just in case someone in your party or from a neighboring group needs assistance, it’s a good idea to know where to go. Our lifeguards are professionals in the truest sense of the word. They are great swimmers and well trained to keep beach-goers safe.
5. Read a novel – There may be nothing more enjoyable then immersing oneself in a good book to the lulling background sounds of waves lapping the shoreline. Whether you appreciate rousing history, whimsical fantasy or touching romance novels, this is an experience not to be missed during your vacation.
6. Ditch cell phones and tablets – This is your vacation so reconnect with your family and with nature. Any pressing issues at work can be handled by your well trained team. By all means, check it twice a day in case of an emergency, but otherwise embrace the real reason you are here … to refresh, reconnect and revitalize.
7. Fly a kite – There’s a reason the Wright Brothers came to the Outer Banks to attempt their first flight, and it’s the same reason kite flying is an Outer Banks pastime for enthusiasts. Typically early mornings or evenings, when beaches are less crowded, are the prime flying times and good wind conditions are the key. If the wind is from the west, it’s going to be challenging to get a kite into the air. On the Outer Banks, summer breezes are generally from the south or southwest. As a general rule, winds from the south create better flying conditions.
8. Take your dog to the beach – It’s amazing how many families plan their vacation travel to include their dogs. We currently offer over 100 pet friendly accommodations and can provide guests with town regulations and leash laws, which vary. Some general rules to abide by when exploring the beach with Fido – always clean up after your pet, make sure to bring fresh water and don’t allow them to drink salty ocean water.
9. Pack a picnic lunch – When was the last time you and your family had a picnic? Remember how exciting it was when you were a kid and your parents would reach in the cooler and pull out sandwiches and goodies? Things really haven’t changed that much for today’s kids. The beach is the perfect canvas to spread a blanket and exchange stories over a tasty meal. After all vacations are all about creating lasting family memories.
10. Jump in the ocean with your kids – Laugh. Giggle. Celebrate life. You’re on vacation, spending time with the people you love. Life truly doesn’t get better than this!