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Outer Banks Barrier Islands: A Traveler’s Guide

The Outer Banks, or OBX as it is commonly known, is a string of barrier islands located off the coast of North Carolina. These islands offer visitors a unique blend of natural beauty, historical significance, and modern amenities. Whether you are looking for outdoor adventure, cultural experiences, or just a relaxing beach vacation, the Outer Banks has something to offer.

Outdoor activities

Explore the great outdoors by enjoying activities in Outer Banks. From surfing in the ocean to kayaking through lagoons, there's something for every adventure seeker to enjoy.

Surfing

Surfing

The Outer Banks is a surfer’s paradise, with waves that are perfect for both beginners and experienced surfers. Several surf shops in the area offer rental equipment and lessons so that you can catch your first wave in no time. Some popular surf spots include Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head and the point break at Buxton.

Kayaking

Kayaking

The Outer Banks is home to a vast network of waterways, including sound side marshes, lagoons, and the Atlantic Ocean. Kayaking is a great way to explore these areas and see the wildlife that calls them home. You can rent a kayak at one of the many outfitters in the area or take a guided tour to learn more about the local ecosystem.

Kayaking

Must See Places

Discover the must-see sights in OBX. From historic landmarks to picturesque lighthouses, we'll guide you to the best spots for an unforgettable experience.

Memorial

Wright Brothers National Memorial

The Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kitty Hawk is a must-see for any history buff. This site marks the spot where Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first powered flight in 1903. The memorial includes exhibits on the Wright Brothers’ lives and work, as well as a full-scale replica of the 1903 Flyer.

Lighthouse

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is one of the most iconic landmarks on the Outer Banks. This historic lighthouse has been guiding ships safely to shore since 1870 and is open to the public for tours. Climb the 248 steps to the top for a breathtaking view of the surrounding islands.

Lighthouse

Unusual Tip

Uncover the hidden gems of Outer Banks. This unusual tip will let you turn your travel into an unforgettable experience.

Graveyard of the Atlantic

Graveyard of the Atlantic

Visit the “Graveyard of the Atlantic”: The waters off the coast of the Outer Banks are known as the “Graveyard of the Atlantic” due to the large number of shipwrecks that have occurred in the area. You can take a boat tour to see some of these shipwrecks up close and learn about the history of these ill-fated vessels.

Hidden Wonders

These two additional places will provide a unique and interesting insight into the history and culture of the Outer Banks and offer visitors one-of-a-kind experiences.

The Whalehead Club

The Whalehead Club

The Whalehead Club is a beautifully restored Art Nouveau mansion located in the town of Corolla. The mansion was built in the 1920s by wealthy industrialist Edward Collings Knight Jr. as a hunting retreat. Today, the house is open to the public for tours and serves as a cultural and educational center. Visitors can learn about the history of the house and the life of its wealthy owners, as well as see the beautiful architecture and decor of the Art Nouveau style.

The Whalehead Club
Lighthouse

The Currituck Beach Lighthouse

The Currituck Beach Lighthouse is located in the town of Corolla and is one of the few remaining lighthouses in the United States that is still open to the public for climbing. The lighthouse was built in 1875 and is still in operation today. Visitors can climb the 214 steps to the top of the lighthouse for a breathtaking view of the surrounding area. It’s also one of the only lighthouses in the country that is open to the public for climbing, making it a unique experience for visitors.

Accommodation Suggestions

These accommodation suggestions will provide options for various budgets, allowing visitors to find the perfect fit for their needs and preferences while they explore the Outer Banks.

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Budget:

The Outer Banks has many campgrounds and RV parks that offer affordable camping options. The Cape Hatteras National Seashore campground offers beachfront camping sites with access to showers and bathrooms and is a great option for those looking for an affordable vacation.

Mid-range:

The Outer Banks has many vacation rental homes that offer comfortable and affordable accommodations for families and groups. These homes often have kitchens and multiple bedrooms, making them a great option for those looking for more space and privacy. Websites like VRBO or Airbnb are a good place to start looking for rental homes on the Outer Banks.

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Luxury:

The Sanderling Resort in Duck is a luxury resort that offers a variety of accommodation options, including rooms, suites, and cottages. The resort has a full-service spa, two restaurants, and a private beach.

Unusual:

For those looking for a unique accommodation experience, the Outer Banks has various “glamping” options, such as tiny homes, yurts, and treehouses. For example, The Treefrog Tower, located in Nags Head, offers visitors the opportunity to stay in a fully-equipped house with and amazing treetop view surrounded by nature.

Overall, the Outer Banks is an ideal vacation spot for travelers looking to experience a unique blend of natural beauty, history, and adventure. Whether you want to surf, kayak, or simply relax on the beach, the OBX has something to offer. Be sure to check out the Wright Brothers National Memorial and Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, and consider taking a boat tour of the “Graveyard of the Atlantic” for an unusual and memorable experience.

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