Outer Banks Travel, Visit Outer Banks Day #1 in Dare County, North Carolina: A Sun and Surf Vacation Destination. Are you trying to find that perfect vacation spot to please all the members of your family this summer? Impossible you say? How can everyone be happy when one likes to bike ride, another likes to immerse themselves in history and yet another just wants to hang out and on the beach? And you? If you are like me you just want a few hours in a nice quiet spot with a good book. Well recently my family visited the Outer Banks in Dare County North Carolina for a little bit of adventure, sun and sand. This diverse vacation destination really did have something for everyone! Beaches as far as the eye can see, a theater under the stars, historical sites, biking, surfing, horseback riding. There’s something for everyone here in OBX. Follow along as I share our adventures with my family of 4. I’ll let you know about the best spots for families with a diverse age group (my daughter is 8 & my son is 14) and where the entire family can have some FUN!
On our first day of the road trip vacation we went through the Bay Bridge Tunnel to Dare County North Carolina where we crossed over the legendary coastal highway that connects the mainland to the beaches. More than 100 miles of free public sandy beaches awaited us.
First things 1st, as we drove into town, we made the decision to stop at the Whalebone Visitors Center on our way into Hatteras so we could check out the maps, attractions and get a little local information. This is a great place to find out everything the area has to offer and ask questions about great local hangouts. After all, if you really want to get a flavor for an area – do as the locals do! So, we learned about kite-boarding, fishing, surfing, kayaking, parasailing, jet skiing and even horseback riding on the beach. Wow…. lots of options and we needed to narrow down our adventure possibilities, so I had a quick corner of the room pow-wow with my husband and we decided to check into our hotel at the Breakwater Inn for our two nights stay and walk out to see the fisherman bring in their catch.
We had no idea what to expect but let me say it was an an amazing surprise. We strolled out onto the docks and we were astounded watching fisherman laying out fish, cut up fish on the back of their boats and some walked them over to cutting tables for filleting right there at the wharf. Everyone was so friendly and proud of their catch that they were happy to answer questions about the kinds of fish and even what they used to bring them in. There were multiple Mahi Mahi, some tuna and a few fish I couldn’t recognize. I saw one large vessel come in with the Marlin flag up but I never did see that particular fish. What a fabulous way to start our first day! Most of us are used to just ordering the local catch when we head out to dinner but here, we were able to EXPERIENCE the catch first hand. Fishing boats are everywhere in the Outer Banks! OBX is known worldwide for the golf stream waters that pass by the barrier islands and it was more than evident that those waters are filled with ocean life.
After walking the docks and talking with the locals, Samantha was begging for time at the beach. We chose the free public beach on Cape Hatteras that came highly recommended by the locals at both the Whalebone Visitors Center and the watermen. We were not disappointed! The ocean was vast and gorgeous, waves rhythmically building up and crashing onto shore. Dunes and grasses abound along this amazing stretch of paradise and my family excitedly got their gear together and hit the beach running….literally! There’s just no feeling like digging your toes into the sand and frolicking on the beach. There’s something about playing on the shore that turns the beach into the medicine my family craves.
When visiting the beaches of the Outer Banks you will need to bring all the usual supplies. Sunscreen is a must, as are beach chairs and toys, towels, coolers, boogie boards and flip flops. Shells are plentiful and I was pleasantly surprised to find the beaches were super clean so we didn’t worry about water shoes or keeping our flip flops on. My daughter cartwheeled and romped in the sand and my entire family wore themselves out in the water and running through the surf. The end of the day felt magical watching the pelicans fly by and we stayed to catch the breathtaking sunset the area is known for.
Follow along with day 2, 3, and 4 to help you plan your next family vacation in the Outer Banks of North Carolina (Dare County). I will release a new article on the Outer Banks each day this week. I think one of my favorite things about this diverse location is the ability to have a VERY inexpensive fabulous family vacation or go upscale and pamper yourself but the bottom line is….. GET IN THAT FAMILY TIME!
A big thanks to OBX for hosting part of our adventures!