The Outer Banks (also known as OBX) is a 200-mile (320-km) long string of narrow barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina and a small portion of Virginia, beginning in the southeastern corner of Virginia Beach on the east coast of the United States. They cover most of the North Carolina coastline, separating the Currituck Sound, Albemarle Sound, and Pamlico Sound from the Atlantic Ocean.
The Outer Banks is a major tourist destination and is known for its temperate climate and wide expanse of open beachfront. The Cape Hatteras National Seashore has four campgrounds where visitors may camp.
The Wright brothers’ first flight in a powered, heavier-than-air vehicle took place on the Outer Banks on December 17, 1903, at Kill Devil Hills near the seafront town of Kitty Hawk. The Wright Brothers National Monument commemorates the historic flights, and First Flight Airport is a small, general-aviation airfield located there.
The Outer Banks were first settled by English settlers, many of whom still have descendants living on the islands to this day. Before bridges were built in the 1930s, the only form of transport between or off the islands was by boat, which allowed for the islands to stay isolated from much of the rest of the mainland. This helped to preserve the maritime culture and the distinctive Outer Banks brogue, which sounds more like an English accent than it does an American accent. Many “bankers” have often been mistaken for being from England or Ireland when traveling to areas outside of the Outer Banks. The brogue is most distinctive the further south one travels on the Outer Banks, with it being the thickest on Ocracoke Island and Harkers Island.
The islands are home to herds of feral horses, sometimes called “banker ponies,” which according to local legend are descended from Spanish Mustangs washed ashore centuries ago in shipwrecks. Populations are found on Ocracoke Island, Shackleford Banks, Currituck Banks, and in the Rachel Carson Estuarine Sanctuary.
Ocracoke was the home base of pirate Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard. It is also where the famed pirate was killed.
2. Getting to the Outer Banks
3. Accommodations and Restaurants
- Sanderling Resort Located at 1461 Duck Rd. in Duck, NC. Phone (252) 261-4111
- Hilton Garden Inn Outer Banks/Kitty Hawk Located at 5353 N Virginia Dare Trail, Kitty Hawk. Phone (252) 261-1290
- Private Houses/Real Estate Tim Cafferty at Outer Banks Blue. Phone (252) 255-1220
4. Golf and sports
- Golf courses:
- Other recreation:
- Plenty of tennis courts
- EVP Pro Beach Volleyball – Starts May 31. Two days of competitive beach volleyball at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head. The EVP Beach Volleyball Tour’s primary aim is to support beach volleyball events that engage families, fans, athletes, students, communities and sponsors in a great day at the beach. At each event, spectators will not only see elite athletes compete on the sand for top honors, they also have the chance to interact with the pros by participating in contests and promotions at hosting venues. This year there will be Pro, Amateur, Coed and Junior divisions. Professionals will compete for a $4,000 purse.
If you want to gain a little perspective on how man got in the air and how thousands of aircraft take to the air and land each day, you should wing your way to the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
Operated by the National Parks Service, the Wright Brothers Memorial in Kitty Hawk shows the steps two self taught engineers and gear heads took to putting an airplane in flight.
The education and memories you get from this well layed out memorial in the Outer Banks of North Carolina are priceless.
From how the idea hatched, to why they picked Kitty Hawk and the Kill Devil Hills area, and even how they learned how to steer their craft are covered as you wind your way through the visitor’s center which houses full-scale replicas of the Wirght’s glider and 1903 flyer.
More exhibits, movies and opportunities to learn about the first flight are offered in the Centennial Pavilion.