Five Bike Rides: Outer Banks Trails

Bike Riding Outer BanksWorking with the NCDOT, local governments and the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau, the Outer Banks has done a remarkable job of creating multi-use trails ideal for cycling, walking and running. Although it’s likely you’ll have to ride on the shoulder of a major road at some point during your rides, these distances are relatively short and easily managed for most riders. Here are five suggestions for memorable rides:

Great Family Bike Ride – The Woods Road, Kitty Hawk
The Woods Road is where the Outer Banks Marathon begins, and it’s a beautifully shaded road located in the heart of Kitty Hawk Woods. This multi-use path has a couple of minor hills which any determined youngster should be able to navigate.

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Outer Banks Kite Flying Locations

Kite Flying in OBXThe Outer Banks has some of the best kite flying conditions in the country. The consistent winds that brought the Wright Brothers to Kitty Hawk are the same winds that easily lift kites into the sky.

Wind, of course, is the most important condition needed for flying a kite. Ideal winds for kite flying are around 6 mph to 17 or 18 mph. Below these wind speeds, specialized kites that are designed for light winds are required. When the winds are blowing at 20mph or more, kite flying becomes an aerobic exercise!

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Kite Flying on the Outer Banks – A Basic Kite Guide

Kite Flying Guide OBXWith our consistent coastal winds, it would be difficult to find a better place to fly a kite than the Outer Banks. From the tall sand dunes of Jockey’s Ridge State Park in Nags Head to our award winning beaches, kite enthusiasts can expect high flying adventures on the Outer Banks.

If you’re a novice, walking into a kite store to make a purchase may seem confusing or downright overwhelming. But, the good news is that there are four basic types of kites with a unique fifth variety that falls into one of two existing categories. The types are: (1) single line, (2) fighter kites, (3) dual line stunt kites and (4) quad line stunt kites. The fifth type, power kites, uses either a two line or four line control system.

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Outer Banks Must See Destinations

USA Today just came out with their “Road Trip USA: 50 States, 50 Unique Stops,” an article highlighting one unique stop in each of our 50 states. As often as the Outer Banks finds itself in the news, it was no surprise to find that the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse was listed for the state of North Carolina. This article got us thinking about other “must see” destinations we hope our guests will experience.

Bodie Island LighthouseBodie Island Lighthouse: 
The last of Outer Bank’s lighthouses to be repaired and brought up to climbing standards, the 170’ Bodie Island Lighthouse is a slightly smaller version of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. It’s made by the same builder from the same materials, and it offers what may be the most spectacular view of the Outer Banks marshes and wetlands. It’s a bit difficult climbing all the steps to the top, but WOW is the view worth it!

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Roanoke Island Festival Park

Roanoke Island Festival ParkFor an area with a permanent population of less than 40,000 people who are scattered across 90 miles of barrier islands, the Outer Banks has a remarkable diversity of activities. Much of that is a result of our tourist driven economy, but once the vacationers leave our area, the off-season months continue to offer very worthwhile events.

Some events are a direct result of institutions that evolved around the desire to provide visitors with a better vacation experience, and one outstanding example is Roanoke Island Festival Park in Manteo.

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Outer Banks Fitness Centers

For many of our guests who come to the Outer Banks, a visit to the gym is an important part of their daily ritual. For others, an Outer Banks getaway includes a chance to include a good daily workout that seems impossible at home. For those who want to include a vigorous work out during their stay, there are some very good local gyms that offer everything from treadmills to kickboxing.

The Outer Banks YMCA in Nags Head has it all—exercise classes, indoor and outdoor pools, a fitness center, basketball courts . . . they even have a skate park. The largest facility on the Outer Banks, the Y has the widest range of activities for the whole family.

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Outer Banks Whale Watch

Photo courtesy of Jennettespier.net / Daryl Law photo

It’s not every day that whales pass this close to the Outer Banks. These are the big guys, too–humpback whales–not the wonderfully playful dolphins and porpoises that we usually see.

They’re mostly gone now, or at least probably gone. Superstorm Nemo took care of that, churning the waters up and blowing hard from the north, no one has had a chance to see if they’re out there for the past few days.

But for four or five days last week, they put on quite a show. They don’t get quite as close to the shore as their smaller cousins–they weigh between 75,000 and 80,000 pounds and are 40-50’ long, so sandbars and shallow water would not be a good environment for them.

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Creative Outer Banks Weddings

Photo courtesy of Margaret Miller

Have you considered making your Outer Banks destination wedding more unique?   Meet designer Margaret Miller, Outer Banks Beach Glass, who specializes in custom designed beach glass jewelry and bridal bouquets.  Margaret meets with brides in advance to understand individual tastes and wedding styles before creating authentic personalized pieces. If you have a beach glass collection, use your own pieces to make the jewelry more meaningful. Margaret designs and creates many specialties; including tiaras, bouquets, bracelets, rings, earrings, hair accents, goblets and wedding favors.  lowtidejewels.com.

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Outer Banks Wedding Vendors

Photo by Lisa Griggs

An exciting and experienced collection of vendors are available and at your service for your Outer Banks wedding – from Corolla to Nags Head and all areas in between- Kill Devil Hills, Kitty Hawk, Duck and Roanoke Island. Depending on the size of the wedding, professionals are available to help you with equipment rentals, floral arrangements, musicians and disc jockeys, photographers, videographers, beauty services, cakes, caterers, transportation, officiants and more. A complete virtual wedding guide of these services can be found at outerbanksweddingassoc.org or outerbanksweddingguide.com

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Outer Banks Winter Beauty

Winter has slowly arrived on the Outer Banks, bringing with it a peaceful and stark beauty. Live oaks and pine trees, that are so much a part of our barrier island landscape, take on a richer shade of green when cast against the surrounding leafless trees. The Atlantic takes on a rich gray-green brilliance during the winter months, its surface mottled with white caps from shoreline to the horizon.

It’s a unique beauty many Outer Banks visitors never see, but for local residents, winter on the Outer Banks is extraordinary.  For those in need of quiet respite, planning winter beach vacations from Corolla to Nags Head can bring surprisingly warm weather, tranquil beaches, sparse traffic and a genuine connection with nature.  On the Currituck Sound the whistles and hoots of waterfowl create a chorus of history, for it is this incredible migration of geese, ducks and swan from the tundra of Canada that brought the first tourists to this area.

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