U.S. Fish and Wildlife – Outer Banks Birds, Alligators and Wolves

Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge There is a unique beauty on the Outer Banks that is both understated and breathtaking, a piece of nature that has drawn the curious and adventurous to these barrier island since before the first Europeans set foot on Roanoke Island.

The preservation of its beauty has largely fallen to the Federal government and large swaths of the Outer Banks are owned and managed by the either the National Park Service (NPS) or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife (USFW).

In the Outer Banks region, the two agencies work very closely together to manage adjacent lands with differing missions. The National Park Service manages land to be used and enjoyed by the public, while the USFW manages land to preserve the natural environment.

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Carolina Keiki Children’s Store

Carolina Keiki Outer BanksAfter almost a year in business, Carolina Keiki has become the prominent retailer of unique children’s clothing and accessories on the Outer Banks. Located in the Waterfront Shops in Duck, NC, Carolina Keiki (Hawaiian for “child”) pedals everything from baby moccasins to swimwear, with a strong focus on local and handmade items. This small, colorful shop is located right on the sound front, sandwiched between a taco shop and a candy store, and the interior can’t help but make you smile.

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On Point at The Blue Point

Blue Point Duck NCWhen The Blue Point opened a little over 25 years ago, there wasn’t much that anyone could call a town in Duck-a few shops, the beginning of a retail district, a scattering of rental homes and maybe 150 or 200 permanent residents.

The commercial development of Corolla was still a good five to six years in the future, so opening a restaurant in Duck was a little like opening an inn at the end of a dead end road.

But what partners John Powers and Sam McCann understood from the beginning was that to be successful the dining experience had to be memorable. And for the entire 25 year history of The Blue Point certain things have never changed. The view of the Currituck Sound is exquisite, the service is excellent and most importantly the food has always been innovative and unforgettable.

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Otters, Sea Turtles and Dinosaurs… Oh My!

NC aquarium manteoThe North Carolina Aquarium has two locations on the Outer Banks—Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head, which gets all the press because it juts an impressive 1,000 feet into the Atlantic Ocean, and the aquarium on Roanoke Island.

Jennette’s Pier is a great place to spend an hour or two and then continue on to the beach or other activities. But for an afternoon of real entertainment, it would be hard to beat the Roanoke Island facility. There are a couple of things coming up this year and next that make it a must see on your list of Outer Banks destinations.

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Outer Banks, Off the Beaten Path

Oregon Inlet SoundsideOne of the more remarkable characteristics of the Outer Banks is how varied to terrain is. Known as a beach resort, the rolling hills-actually relict sand dunes-and steep banks along the soundside are a surprising find for many visitors.

Tucked away among the dunes and forests that form the western edge of these barrier islands are vistas of the estuaries, water and land that are absolutely breathtaking.

Whenever a discussion turns to beautiful views on the Outer Banks, the panorama offered by a climb to the top of a lighthouse always comes up, and we’ll admit the view from the top is amazing. There are other places though, that are every bit as beautiful, every bit as remarkable, and best of all there will not be 30 people on the observation deck and another 30 waiting just below.

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Outer Banks Seafood Markets

Dave Shields of the FV Watersport

A great aspect of Outer Banks life for visitors and residents is walking into most any restaurant, ordering a seafood platter and getting fresh local seafood that is quite good. Due to our location, it just makes sense. The town of Wanchese on Roanoke Island is a historic fishing village, and there are quite a number of fishermen who call the Outer Banks home.

It’s always a treat to have someone prepare a beautiful plate of shrimp or tuna, but often it’s equally enjoyable to prepare a fresh seafood meal at home with family and friends. If you’re unfamiliar with Outer Banks seafood markets, here’s a short list to help you along.

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Top 10 Beach Tips

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.

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Five Unexpected Outer Banks Adventures

Weeping Radish BreweryThere are so many amazing experiences to be had on the Outer Banks that it’s difficult to see everything during a one week vacation. There’s the beach, water sports, shopping, lighthouses… and the list stretches on and on, which is one reason so many of our guests come back year after year.

There are some great guidebooks to provide direction on Outer Banks activities, and they are helpful tools. However, many of our guests like to wander off the beaten path and enjoy the unexpected. For these adventurers, we present the following suggestions:

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Driving the Outer Banks

Duck Road NC12Now that the summer season is officially here and our roads, businesses and beach accesses are once again filled with out-of-state license plates, just about everyone who lives on the Outer Banks is exhaling a huge sigh of relief. This may seem contradictory to people who don’t live here; why look forward to slow moving highways and busy stores?

The answer is simple: living on the Outer Banks, the relationship between summer crowds and employment opportunities is a close one.

So in the interest of hospitality and giving our guests a more relaxing vacation, we have put together some helpful hints for using the Outer Banks transportation network.

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Running the Outer Banks

Running Events Outer BanksLocated off the northeast coast of North Carolina, the Outer Banks (or OBX) features a scenic expanse of coastal beauty and has become a haven for runners and host to numerous annual racing events. The 120 miles of barrier islands provides a variety of diverse running terrain ranging from sand and dirt paths to pavement with long stretches of flat land interspersed with rolling hills. Simply spoken, there is something for Outer Banks runners of all skill sets, so the most difficult part of running the Outer Banks is deciding where to run.

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