Only on the Outer Banks..
The Outer Banks is home to some of the most diverse and thrilling outdoor activities that you will find on a family vacation. Although some of these activities are popular in other parts of the country, ours are unique because the Outer Banks offers the full package. Nowhere else on the East Coast can visitors enjoy such an array of activities and adventures all on one tiny stretch of coastline.
Extending as far into the Atlantic Ocean as the Outer Banks does, it’s no wonder the surfing conditions here are undisputedly the best on the East Coast and rival many well
known surf spots around the world. Surfers can enjoy dramatically different conditions depending on where they paddle out on the Outer Banks, based on the currents and the wind. It is hard to recognize the best surf spots, because they vary from year to year depending on where the sandbars form. Some popular sites in the past have been S Curves and the Rodanthe Pier down south, and the relatively even shore breaks of Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head. Tune in to any local radio station in the morning, and you’re likely to hear the excited chatter of the daily surf report. WVOD 99.1 is a great resource with voices from Corolla to Avon.
With The Labrador Current and The Gulf Stream meeting just offshore, the Outer Banks waters are teeming with subtropical and northern species of fish. The variety of fish is too extensive to name them all, but spotted trout, puppy drum, bluefish, croakers and spot are just a few that can been seen swimming in the surf—influenced of course by the seasons.
Don’t forget to visit one of the many piers of the Outer Banks, where you can often find different fish, tackle shops and general knowhow.
Wind and Kitesurfing
The Outer Banks debatably has the best conditions for learning either sport. The sounds are vast—especially the Pamlico Sound, which is so wide the first European explorers mistook it for a sea—and there is nothing for miles to stop the wind. The sounds are also shallow, often no more than three or four feet deep. That combination of consistent, uninterrupted winds and shallow water creates ideal learning conditions.
The ocean also offers excellent opportunity for more experience wind and kitesurfers. Especially when the wind is blowing from the East, it is common to see an enormous kite with a surfer in tow, just skimming the surface of the ocean.
It is almost impossible to describe the thrill of your feet leaving the ground when the large kite you are harnessed to is carried into the air, and best of all, you are in control of it. Hang Gliding is one of the most unique activities offered on the Outer Banks, and the best part is it is easy for anyone to learn—from children to grandparents. The Kitty Hawk Kites Hang Gliding School is the oldest in the world, and they know just what they’re doing. Operating from Jockey’s Ridge State Park, the school offers prime conditions for beginners with high dunes to launch from and soft sand perfect for landing.