In many respects, the fall season is the best time to visit the Outer Banks. The weather is spectacular, ocean temperatures are perfect and there are still enough visitors here to keep businesses open. Autumn has become its own second season for vacationers. This shoulder season means no heavy traffic, long lines or half hour waits. With shows and events lined up, September through November is the time to return and enjoy amazing Outer Banks weekends and week-long events. This is a chronological list, having nothing to do with personal favorites. The hard choice is picking and choosing from so many great selections.
Summer is the ideal time to talk about Outer Banks beaches. Discretion being the better part of valor, I won’t name a favorite beach, instead I’ll describe some favored Outer Banks beaches north of Oregon Inlet, and leave it up to each reader to discover their favorite spot by the sea. First of all, there are no bad beaches on the Outer Banks. Some are a bit sandier or a bit wider than others, but honestly it seems what makes people favor one beach over another is proximity.
For example, in Kitty Hawk, the beach around Black Pelican is very nice, although not quite as wide as the nourished beaches of South Nags Head. However, there are a lot of facilities right there at the parking lot including restrooms, showers and John’s Drive-in just down the road. Up the road near Ocean Boulevard Bistro, there’s ample parking, Art’s Place and Winks Market. The beach there is a bit narrow, and the sand is not as soft as other areas, but it’s a great location for families.
Outer Banks national parks seem to get all the press, but Jockey’s Ridge State Park in the middle of Nags Head, is a natural wonderland easily explored in a day. It is so unique and beautiful, providing so much to do, that residents and visitors return time and time again.
It doesn’t look beautiful at first glance—impressive and awe-inspiring, maybe. A slash of sand piled 80 to 100’ along the sky line seems barren and desert-like. It is that characteristic–the absolute lack of any vegetation that makes Jockey’s Ridge one of the finest places in the world to fly a kite. And that’s any style of kite. From a child giggling in delight as a parafoil or delta kite is launched, to a two or four line stunt kite reaching all the way up towards hang gliders, the constant winds of the dune system create ideal conditions for unpowered flight.
Endless Possibilities is located on Budleigh Street, just a bit up from the waterfront. It’s hard to miss. Two huge picture windows shine light into a store that is filled with color, looms and weavers.
The space, though, is more than a store with unique merchandise and a different look. It was created around the concept that scraps of material could be woven into something new and something that would create the possibility of hope. The proceeds for the sale of these rewoven handbags, rag carpets and hats are given to Outer Banks Hotline to rebuild lives damaged and in crisis.
We are world famous for our pristine beaches, but the Outer Banks is also home to several notable courses for visiting golf enthusiasts. OBX vacation rental guests enjoy friendly competition at championship courses from Corolla to Nags Head and beyond to Currituck Mainland.
• Seascape Golf Links, Kitty Hawk
The Seascapes Golf Links flows through natural sand dunes and lush maritime forests while providing horizon ocean views. Open to the public year round, this is a Par 70 course with 6,131 yards of championship tees. Seascape has perfectly manicured fairways and greens that provide a challenging round of golf while enjoying the natural beauty of the Outer Banks. Equipment rentals are available for players.
It is possible to ride from the Currituck Beach Lighthouse in Corolla to Bodie Island Light in Nags Head. This is a car distance of 36 miles. You’ll only be on the main road for about five or six miles, and there’s a wide shoulder along the highway.
There are more than 50 miles of interconnected bike paths in Dare County and they make for a great morning or afternoon excursion with family or friends. There are a few trails that leave the pavement for dirt roads and cycling trails, so I think it’s interesting to discuss these paths.
There are few experiences as breathtaking as the Spanish mustang herds that run wild and free along the shores of Corolla. There are over 100 colonial Spanish mustangs living on about 7,544 acres of wild horse sanctuary in Corolla, and these beautiful animals have been roaming our shores for over 500 years. While staying at one of our Outer Banks Corolla rentals, set aside some time during your vacation to witness these majestic horses.
Designated as the official state horse in 2010, the beautiful Spanish mustangs of Corolla are not native to the Outer Banks. Through DNA testing it was proven the wild horses are direct descendants of horses brought here by Spanish conquistadors and are currently registered as colonial Spanish mustangs. If you are staying in one of our secluded Outer Banks Corolla rentals, take time out to observe these wild and carefree creatures that have inhabited the shores of the OBX since the 1520’s. There are several stories that offer possible explanations of how these horses arrived. To learn more about their fascinating history and to witness their beauty firsthand, sign up for one of many tours that are available on the Outer Banks.
It’s hard to imagine, especially during summer months when thousands of people turn our beach towns into cities, that the Outer Banks is much more than a strip of sandy beaches, great restaurants and endless vacation homes. For your enjoyment, here are five interesting facts to educate you on our area, creating fun trivia topics while travelling.
1. The Outer Banks is a giant sandbar.
The Outer Banks rose from the sea between 4,000 and 5,000 years ago. Composed of sand and sediment resting on the seabed and not truly attached to anything, they migrate south and west since formation.
“Thank you for everything you do. My family and I rented By Grace #225, for Bike Week and it was absolutely perfect. All of my children are grown and I now have a couple of grandchildren. Other than Christmas, it is rare that we all get together. This was the first time in two plus years. All but one of my five children either rides or are involved with someone that rides, so Bike Week is a great for us. The combination of the location and floor plan of the house contributed greatly to our wonderful vacation experience. The beauty of the area combined with the hospitality of all the local people and businesses also were major factors in our vacation being awesome. All of my children agree that this vacation was comparable to the Disney stuff we did with them when they were young! Thanks again.”
The Outer Banks of North Carolina received a claim on the site TopPlacesToGo.com Sunday, March 21st describing some important point of the rich history such as famous pirates that roamed the seas in the 1700’s, the Wright Brothers, and the Spanish ponies. Known as a popular site for movies and TV shows, the Outer Banks draws people here for its vast shores and incredible beauty.
The Outer Banks provides a unique environment for relaxing, dining, sunbathing, surfing, fishing, birdwatching, golf, bicycling and much, much more!