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 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!
Nags Head Woods:
Steep trails climbing to the edge of a ridge through a series of switchbacks, hardwood trees and plunging ravines are all a part of the unique beauty of Nags Head Woods. This 1,100 acre Nature Conservancy preserve is located on the border of Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head. Remarkable in the variety of its terrain, the preserve also includes a series of handicapped accessible trails.
Rumor has it that Edward Collings Knight, Jr., built this extraordinary art nouveau mansion for his wife, Marie Lebel Knight, after she was refused membership at a Currituck Sound hunt club. While the actual reason he built this estate is unconfirmed, the Whalehead Club is definitely worth a visit. Meticulously restored to its original grandeur, including authentic tiffany fixtures and Mrs. Knight’s 1903 Steinway Grand Piano, taking a tour is a fascinating window into a different era and an elegant way of life.
On the grounds of Currituck Heritage Park, the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education and Currituck Beach Lighthouse are immediately adjacent and available to tour.
Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge:
Located on our inner banks, the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge is a huge tract of land, approximately 152,000 acres (234 square miles), and is situated on mainland Dare County. An exploring opportunity for those more adventurous at heart, there are a number of trails throughout the Refuge and dirt roads give access to a lot of the land. Bear, fox, raccoon, and yes, alligators are common. It is also the release site for the red wolf, a subspecies of wolf that was thought extinct in the wild. Kayak, canoe and tram tours are also available.
Jockey’s Ridge State Park:
The largest sand dune on the East Coast, the height of Jockey’s Ridge varies between 70’ and 100’ depending on wind conditions. The ridge has massively steep sides, with a ridge that extends about a quarter mile along the crest of the dune. There’s a remarkably diverse environment at the base, the trek is a great adventure for kids, and the view from the top is amazing. This is also a spectacular place for kite flying and is home to the Kitty Hawk Kites Hang Gliding School.