The Outer Banks offers so much to so many people. There is the fresh ocean breeze and warm sunshine on a perfect beach. The soundside is just waiting to be explored. There’s fine dining and world-class shopping. Truly there is something for everyone here.
But one thing we probably don’t talk about enough is how conveniently located we are.
The Outer Banks is definitely a drive-to destination; there is no such thing as a mass transitway to get here. There are no scheduled flights into Dare County Regional Airport. Neither trains nor busses schedule stops.
The only way to get to what we believe is a vacation paradise is to put on your favorite tunes, get the kids, family, significant other—or just yourself—in the car and drive.
For a family living in Chicago, it may be a long one day ride, but for most of the Eastern Seaboard and the states just to the west of North Carolina, a trip to the Outer Banks is a very manageable one day journey.
Convenience, though, is not why so many people keep coming back.
Some of it, of course, is the Outer Banks themselves—120 miles of some of the most amazing beaches to be found anywhere. During the summer our beaches are more crowded than at any other time, but they never seem to get as packed as beaches do in other places like Florida or New York on Long Island or even the New Jersey shore.
And what is particularly nice is that with so much beach to choose from, it’s usually possible to get away from the crowd, at least a little, and have enough distance from others that your time on the beach feels like it’s private and your’s alone.
It is not, however, just our beaches that bring our visitors back year after year—actually for generations, sometimes. The people who live and work on the Outer Banks are some of the nicest, friendliest people you will meet.
At first glance, the Outer Banks looks like a giant strip of sand. And honesty compels us to admit that to a certain degree that is an apt description—which is why our beaches are so wonderful.
There is, though, so much more to do.
While visiting take the time to explore the other side of the Outer Banks—the untamed wonder of Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge or the beauty of a walk through Nags Head Woods. Or maybe take a kayak trip on the still waters of an Outer Banks sound. There are quite a number of kayak outfitters offering everything from trips for the novice to daylong adventures.
The Outer Banks is now reopened, and we’re as excited as our visitors to once again see guests on our beaches, in our stores and restaurants, and staying in our wonderful homes.
Even though we’re excited about welcoming everyone back to the Outer Banks, it is important to note that some things are going to be different this year…and hopefully only this year.
There are a number of guidelines that have been issued by NC Governor Cooper that effects a number of things.
As an example, our restaurants are being required to adhere to social distancing policies, which in most cases, means they will only be able to seat half as many people as they have in the past. If your favorite restaurant takes reservations, we are recommending you make a reservation before heading out to dinner.
Our restaurant owners, flexible in their thinking and innovative in how they approach a problem, are working to minimize the loss of seating. You’ll probably see more outdoor seating areas than in that past, although everyone agrees that it is not an ideal solution.
Dining at home may be better than ever, though. Many of our fine dining establishments introduced their menus for takeout when they were forced to close their dining rooms. As far as we can determine all of them are continuing to offer their full menu for takeout.
On the Outer Banks, there has been a lot of emphases placed on social distancing and wearing a face mask when shopping or in a public setting where social distancing could be difficult. Some stores require shoppers to wear a face mask, although that may change as conditions improve.
Something that may not be as apparent but is very important are the new cleaning protocols we’re putting in place at Carolina Designs. The safety of our staff and our guests is of the utmost importance to us and we will do everything in our power to protect the health of everyone.
North Carolina appears to be flattening the curve of the spread of COVID-19 and if the trend continues some of the restrictions that are currently in place may be eased.