I know we are all guilty of escaping from our desk jobs every now and again with a little soul searching and day dreaming. Well when I day dream, I dream of this place.
This place called the “Outer Banks” (or “OBX” as the numerous bumper stickers read) offers crisp, sandy beaches, rolling tides, and the trademark southern hospitality. As soon as you drive over the bridge, entering a tucked away island, you feel the ease of this place. You immediately know why the OBX is so dear in many hearts. Its soft, southern wind wisps all your worries away, the crash of the waves calm you, and the taste of the salty ocean air soothes your traveling mind. Every time I visit here, it is my reminder to slow down from my hustling Northern Virginia life. Ah, sweet, southern escape.
I, myself have been lucky enough to enjoy this place, summer after summer. What is small in scale is rich in beach culture, brah. There are many reasons this beach was named one of Americas top five beaches. It offers….
For you water lovers:
The Outer Banks is filled with deep history of the Atlantic from pirate tales to the mysterious “Lost Colony”. Ask any local about the ruthless pirate, Blackbeard and you’re sure to hear some whale-of-a-tales. I’ll give you just a shark bite of one story–the story of how Nagshead got its name. The tale goes Mister Blackbeard roamed the beach at night with a lantern tied to the neck of an old nag (donkey, not an old woman), trying to lure ships into the shallow waters near the breakers. The ships would beach themselves and he would raid their ships. Arrrrgh!
Okay, enough about the past and onto what you can enjoy right. this. moment.
Do you like calmer waters? Try some excursions in the sound. Like a little more adventure? Well then the “Big Blue” is just the place for you.
The Outer Banks is the ultimate playground for water lovers. As Kelly Slater (the king of surfing) has stated, “The Outer Banks is the mecca of east coast surfing.” Just to name a few, the OBX offers surfing, wake boarding, wind surfing, kite surfing, deep sea fishing, and ocean kayaking.
To fulfill all your water sports needs, I recommend visiting Kitty Hawk Water Sports. I know some great people who work there and they provide just wonderful costumer service, along with a wide range of water sport activities from extreme kiteboarding lessons to a laid back activity like renting a SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard).
My personal favorite water sports are wakeboarding and ocean kayaking.
If you’re a guppy in the water don’t venture too far from the anemone, anennemone, anennnenenemone–or maybe do..they sting (Finding Nemo anyone?)!
But really don’t push yourself to the limits if you truly are a beginner swimmer. Arm floaties just don’t work in these waters. My one piece of advice is watch out for rip currents, be weary of shorebreak waves, and listen to the guard up there sitting on their perch.
People watching can be just amazing here. The locals here most definitely are one with ladddddddy ocean (ommm), and they know how to shred up on some gnarly waves (okay, okay I’ll stop with the surf lingo cause I sound ridiculous 🙂 ). But really these surfers, skim boarders, and kite boarders know how to rip it, rock it, and roll it. I have often been mesmerized by their skills handling these waves. For some great action, grab a towel and head to the beach before a big storm when the waves are double overhead (peeky barrels) and you can really catch a glimpse of their talent (just make sure it’s not lightening!)
For ye land lovers out there, here’s some treasure just for you:
Enjoy the rays-Of course, plop your little bottom down on the beach and soak up the sun rays.
Visit the historic Cape Hatteras Light House (pictured to the left)–Climb up to the tip, top and see a beautiful view of the ocean.
Rodanthe-Stroll around Rodanthe and feel like you’re a character in a Nicholas Sparks novel (Nights in Rodanthe was filmed here at the beach house Serendipity) and watch some local surfers do what they do best.
Shop at Scarborough Fair in Duck- These cute shops are just perfect for shopping on a rainy day.
Go sand dune surfing at Jockey’s Ridge (pictured to the right)– All you need is a boogie board and a friend to give you a push. It’s just like sledding but in the sand.
Pick up some brewskies from a Brew Thru (pictured below)- How cool is a fast food drive-in just for beer? You literally drive in the middle of the shop and they pull the beer out of their freezers and put it in your car. Pick up their new t-shirt of the year. It’ll be vintage by the end of the summer :).
Drive on the beach in Corolla– You may just see a wild horsie or two (gidddddy up) but be careful if you’re not used to driving in the sand…it can be a little tricky.
Cruise down beach road in a convertible or jeep- With the wind in your hair and the sun on your face, there’s really nothing better.
Visit the new Jennette’s Pier in Nagshead- View the aquarium, and learn about the history of Outer Banks and Jennette Pier. You can even buy a plank, have your name placed on a fish plaque, and be a permanent part of OBX (or at least for as long as the pier lasts). The money from the plank will support the aquatic exhibits and summer camps!
Rent a beach cruiser– Ride by the sound, and enjoy the quiet scenery.
For a relaxing weekend trip ferry over to Ocracoke Island- Ride your bikes around, lay on the beach, and enjoy some local shops.
For de night dwellers:
Brewing Station-Usually has a live band or DJ, big dance floor, and the famous Tim Reynolds of the Dave Matthews Band usually plays here at least once a summer.
Mexi Calis Brewz–Enjoy the summer night outside and play some corn hole.
The Pit– Great on Taco Tuesdays and at night they frequently have fun bands–Reggae to rock you name it.
Lucky 12– On Thursday nights they usually have local DJs.
For Good Eats:
Tortuga’s Lie– My favvvvvorite place to eat in the OBX! Great atmosphere, tasty local food, and if you have a unique license plate that you are willing to part with, bring it here and it just might get hung on the wall.
Sunset Grill– The name describes it all. Best seafood and sunset in the OBX. And the employees dress like their straight out of the movie, Cocktails (which I love).
Bad Bean– Tacos, tacos, tacos mmmmm.
For some sweets:
Duck Donut–O-M-G! Warm donuts that just melt in your mouth.
Fatboyz Ice Cream- Satisfy your sweet tooth with a nice cone of ice cream (they serve blue bunny!).
When I day dream, I dream of this place…