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Outer Banks

Travel Guide North America USA Southern United States North Carolina Outer Banks

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Introduction

Outer Banks, North Carolina, USA

Outer Banks, North Carolina, USA

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The Outer Banks, also written as OBX, is a 200 mile long stretch of narrow barrier islands resting off the coast of North Carolina. Traditionally they have been a home for pirates, including the famous Blackbeard, and failed colonies. The area has now become a popular resort destination due to its nice beaches and well priced accommodation options. There is also great surfing to be found along the Outer Banks and some great fishing too. Although most people just go to relax for a few days during the summer using the nice warm water to escape from the heat.

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Towns

  • Corolla
  • Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hill is were the Wright Brother's made their famous first flight.
  • Nags Head
  • Roanoke is the location of the famous lost colony.
  • Hatteras
  • Ocracoke

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Sights and Activities

Wright Brothers National Memorial

See where the Wright Brothers held the first sustained heavier than air flight at Kill Devil Hill on December 17th, 1903 at the Wright Brothers National Memorial. The visitor center is very nice and has a very good museum with free tours by rangers. The remake of the Wright Brother's plane is stunning. Remember when looking at the markers for the first flight that Kill Devil Hill was a sand dune that has moved further south with the wind even though now it is covered with grass and has a large monument on top of it.

Beaches

These wonderful white sand beaches are a great place to relax, swim and just get a good tan. The beaches stretch the entire shoreline and houses are on the other sides of the dunes. Remember that sea turtles are born here so some areas might be fenced off for them. With tough rip tides and under toes it is best to swim near to the highly trained life guards.

Surfing

The surfing on the Outer Banks is considered some of the best on the east coast. The waves are constantly big and have a good break. Although they do tend to break closer to shore than waves on the west coast and tend to form close together.

Deep Sea Fishing

For those looking to catch some monster fish, deep sea fishing is an option here. The boats are not cheap to rent and costs $1650 for a maximum of 6 people per day. The boats leave at 5 am but there is a fun time to be found. Remember to book your boats a day in advance and it is possible to share the boat with strangers. At the end of the day the catch is split between all the passengers and it costs 37 cents per pound to have the operators prepare and cut the fish for you. Although if you want to be cheap you can do it yourself.

  • Oregon Inlet Fishing Center is a good place to book a boat for a day and will arrange multiple people on one boat for you. Phone: 1-800-272-5199

Other Sights and Activities

  • Dolphins can be spotted swimming off shore most days
  • Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum is a museum dedicated to the great number of shipwrecks off the coast of the Outer Banks.
  • Pea Islands National Wildlife Refuge the refuge was created in 1937 and is 5832 acres. Its main objective is to protect nesting habitats for migratory birds. It is a wonderful place to see the natural environment of the Outer Banks.
  • Wild Horses live along the islands and are most likely the descendants of old Spanish ponies.

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Weather

The summers are hot and winters can be a bit chilly. Remember hurricane season is to be avoided during the fall. In 2003 a hurricane actually splitting the Island of Hatteras in half, which was later filled in by the Army Corp of Engineers.

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Getting There

At the present time the only easy way to get to the Outer Banks is to drive there either on your own or by flying into Norfolk, Virginia.

By Plane

Actually the nearest major airport is in Norfolk in Virginia.

By Car

Highway 12 is the main road serving the Outer Banks and it runs north-south.

By Boat

There are several ferries that connect different islands to the mainland. Some of them are free while others are toll ferries. For more information on schedules click on the following link http://www.ncdot.org/transit/ferry/

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Getting Around

By Car

Driving is the easiest way to get around especially for running errands such as getting groceries or going to the drug store.

By Public Transport

There is no public transport

By Foot

Walking along the beach is nice but to reach grocery stores or other retail venues driving is usually needed.

By Bike

Biking has become more popular as the side roads have low enough traffic that it makes it safe to bike. Many places now rent bikes making for fun day rides. The major roads can have a lot of traffic at times so it might be wise to avoid them.

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Eat

This is seafood and deep fried territory. The fried oysters found in this area are great although not very healthy. Also try some of the other seafood like soft and hard shell craps along with scallops and other tasty creatures from the sea.

This is also an excellent place to get fresh fruit. Fresh fruit stands can be spotted on highway 158 when approaching highway 12 from the north. Most are the same but remember you can buy bags of fruit or just loose fruit instead of the ones in sand pale buckets.

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Drink

Several of the restaurants in the area gradually turn into bars at night. Although the young ladies tend to dress up most of the men just come in a clean t-shirt and a pair of leather flip-flops. This is mainly a beer area but many of the bars also serve other kinds of more sugar based spirits.

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Sleep

There are several hotels, boutique and chains, along the shore. If your in a large group the best deal by far is renting a house for a few days. This is pretty easy to do but remember to arrange it before hand. For more information on specific hotels it is best to look at the town pages.

Renting a House

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Work

There is lots of seasonal work in the outer banks working at bars and restaurants.

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Learn

There are no institutions of higher education on the Outer Banks. Although many university students to like to come to the Outer Banks for a good time.

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Keep Connected

Internet

Many of the hotels and houses have free wifi. If yours does not just cruise around until you find a hot spot.

Phone

Area code: 252

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This is version 3. Last edited at 15:16 on Jun 27, 09 by Lavafalls. 3 articles link to this page.

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