thousands of visitors flock to the Outer Banks each year. It's
not surprising then that there are many different reasons they
families converge on the northern areas, from Nags Head northward
as far as Corolla, to enjoy
the sand and surf of beaches quieter and less crowded than those
of South Carolina. Nags Head, Kill Devil Hills, Kitty Hawk,
Southern Shores, Duck, Sanderling, Corolla, and the booming
developments along the northern "banks" provide a family atmosphere
with plenty of spacious rental properties suited to family vacations.
Jockey's Ridge State Park at Nags Head
and Wright Brothers National Memorial
at Kill Devil Hills attract visitors year-round.
Roanoke Island provides historic, educational
and scenic attractions to compliment an Outer Banks trip. These
include the Elizabeth II State Historic Site, Fort
Raleigh National Historic Site, Elizabethan Gardens, and
one of North Carolina's three state aquariums.
The Outer Banks Visitors Bureau on Roanoke Island, at the foot
of the US-64/264 Bypass "Virginia Dare" Bridge, provides a wealth
of Outer Banks information, pamphlets, booklets and maps. A
few minutes spent there could prove very fruitful.
Cape Hatteras and Cape Lookout National
Seashores take up most of the remaining landscape on the Outer
Banks. There is little privately owned land within these park
areas south of Nags Head. Private property is confined to eight
villages that provide the only commercial flavor to this otherwise
wild and undeveloped area.
This protected coastal environment, which includes Pea Island
National Wildlife Refuge, brings many who enjoy the fishing,
wildlife, bird watching, surfing, camping, kayaking, shell collecting,
sailboarding and other activities.
Visitors traveling with the added benefit
of their own boat have the greatest freedom to enjoy scenic
views and water activities many landlubbers miss out on. Four-wheel
drive vehicles also add a great measure of freedom. Much of
the national seashore area permits beach access, so exploration
by 4WD of the undeveloped scenic beauty of this remote and unique
coastal treasure is very popular.
Another facet that brings visitors is
the folklore and history of the Outer Banks. Both are so deeply
woven into the fabric of this unique place that they are often
inseparable. The Wright Brothers'
first powered flight, the legend and history of Blackbeard,
the Lost Colony, the bravery and service of the Lifesaving
Stations, hundreds of shipwrecks,
wild horses roaming Shackleford Banks
and Carova, and the almost mystical attractions of its lighthouses
all add to the mix of compelling reasons why the Outer Banks
is a fantastic, fanciful and fun place to see and experience.