The Outer Banks: Barrier Island Bliss

Lifestyle

On a chain of North Carolina barrier islands where homes are named after stress-free puns is where happiness can be found and great memories will be made. A journey to the Outer Banks makes for a quintessential family getaway that is packed with outdoor adventures, rich history and deliciously fresh meals. With six towns and twelve coastal villages located on the four islands dubbed “OBX”, there are endless exploring opportunities and miles of coastlines filled with alluring wildlife to be enjoyed. 

A fishing and surfing hot-spot filled with vibrant colored beach homes and sand lined roads immerses you when traveling to the Outer Banks. Whimsical beaches covered in trees and the occasional spotting of wild horses is just a fragment of the uniqueness of this special collection of islands. We began our trip by checking into our beautiful accommodation in Kill Devil Hills, which was made possible with the help of Kees Vacations. Upon arrival, we immediately felt the relaxing and laid-back aura the Outer Banks holds. Local ‘mom and pop’ shops and sweet treat stops covered each street corner, letting us know that there would not be a moment of boredom during our trip. With the Outer Banks offering countless exciting adventures, we knew we would need some help planning. Luckily, with the help of J Public Relations, we were able to experience some unforgettable moments during our trip.

To kick off our trip, we headed to Nags Head Golf Links for our first excursion. The gorgeous club includes a Scottish-links style golf course. The natural terrain of the course provides challenges for golfers, along with stunning views of the Roanoke Sound and the lush green surroundings. The beauty and vastness of Nags Head Golf Links make it a must-visit for any avid golfer traveling to the Outer Banks. After we wrapped up our round, we headed to the historic town of Corolla where we got to check out the Currituck Lighthouse and Whalehead Beach. We had the fantastic opportunity of going on a Corolla Outback Adventure where we took a guided driving tour of the mystical, tree-splattered beaches. Fortunately, we were able to spot a few wild horses roaming around the beaches on our tour. The unique environment the guided tour showed us was astonishing and it was made even more enjoyable by the non-profit organization, Leave No Trace, which is a group that is dedicated to protecting the outdoors and maintaining nature. While exploring the outdoors, visitors can learn about the state’s new initiative “Outdoor NC” in partnership with Leave No Trace which works to maintain and manage natural assets for future generations. The end of our night brought us to the Sanderling Resort, where we indulged in dinner at Lifesaving Station. The gorgeous, 13-acre beachfront property provided a beautiful sunset scenery and a scrumptious meal to complete our exciting day.

The next day’s expedition began with an early morning ferry ride to Ocracoke, a village island at the Southern tip of the Outer Banks. We started our Ocracoke adventure by exploring the village and touring the Springer’s Point Nature Reserve, a place known for its pirate ancestors who used the area as a base for their operations back in the day. Already encompassed by the history of the area and abundance of wildlife, we decided to immerse ourselves in the culture a bit more by doing a tasting at the 1718 Brewing Ocracoke & Food Sampling at Plum Pointe Kitchen, the first brewery on Ocracoke Island. Here, we tried a versatile selection of craft beers that are brewed on site. Using local ingredients like fig, honey and coffee, this brewery was able to create a uniquely refreshing collection of beers, ranging from IPA’s to coffee stouts. A few perfectly-paired small plates and a relaxing setting were the cherry on top of this pleasantly educational experience. 

1718 Brewing. Contact owner Garick Kalna: (252) 588-0096 or garickkalna@gmail.com

Our final fun-filled day brought out our adventurous side. To start off, we journeyed to Jockey Ridge State Park, which is home to hiking trails, versatile nature and the tallest sand dune system on the East Coast. We kicked off the day on a high note with our hang gliding excursion. Soaring above the 426-acre park provided stunning views of the park and a thrilling way to start the morning. Kitty Hawk Kites hosts multiple adventurous experiences including hang gliding, kiteboarding and kite flying lessons. With the theme of flying through the skies being very present, we ventured to the Wright Brothers National Memorial whose Visitor Center has just been redone and opened to the public. The memorial recognizes the Birthplace of Flight since it is where the Wright Brothers majorly impacted history by flying their plane, “Wright Flyer”, off the ground and over the Outer Banks for twelve seconds in 1903. We wrapped up our evening by heading back to Nags Head for a dolphin-watching safari. 

From touring significant structures to thrilling escapes, to lounging by the beach, the Outer Banks are packed with endless fun activities and tranquil days. Whether you’re a history, adrenaline or sun junkie, a trip to the Outer Banks is bound to find you with a new happy place. Days filled with sun-kissed entertainment, and nights with diverse dinners and local shopping are sure to make for an unforgettable journey for families, couples or friends. With so much to see and even more to do, the Outer Banks makes for a lively and pleasurable getaway during any season. Load up the car and hit the roads; the Outer Banks are waiting for you to arrive. 

Check in with each destination by visiting: The Outer Banks Visitors Bureau, Currituck Outer Banks Tourism, Ocracoke Tourism Development Authority.

By Brianna Robertiello

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