Wednesday, November 5, 2014

October Weekend on the Outer Banks, North Carolina

Although it was late October, I stretched summer into fall by spending a couple of days on North Carolina beaches. My first trip to that state was marked with gorgeous sunny weather, authentic barbeque and local seafood, beautiful scenery, and interactions with friendly locals. 
Can you tell it's election season?
The Outer Banks, or OBX for short, are North Carolina coastal barrier islands in the Atlantic Ocean, and a popular summer vacation destination, particularly among families or groups who typically rent large homes for a week or two in July or August. Even in the autumn it is a much-visited area, as evidenced by license plates from at least two dozen states and two Canadian provinces spotted there over just a couple of days.

Parts of the Outer Banks have thousands of rentals homes, along with restaurants, shops, and hotels, while other areas are quite wild. The best known park is Cape Hatteras National Seashore, which spans a great distance, and includes Bodie Island in the middle of OBX, Hatteras Island further south, and Ocracoke Island even further. Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, a separate entity, is located on the north end of Hatteras Island.

For an important bit of American and travel history, the Wright Brothers National Memorial in the town of Kitty Hawk should be visited by anyone who appreciates individuals with crazy dreams or just the convenience of modern air travel. Orville and Wilbur Wright lived in Dayton, Ohio, but found the dunes and winds of the Outer Banks to be suited for their attempts at flight.

Toward the northern tip of the banks, the Currituck Banks Reserve offers a boardwalk and a maritime forest hiking trail, while on the nearby beach wild horses can sometimes be spotted.

Instead of more verbiage, I'll get right to the photographs so you can see why this area is so beloved by beach goers and nature enthusiasts alike.

Replica of airplane garage & camp house the brothers set up in Kitty Hawk
Winds at Wright Memorial are also perfect for kite flying!
Bodie Island Lighthouse was recently beautifully restored.
Sign I'd rather not see, but thanks for the warning and walkway!
Boardwalk to viewing platform behind Bodie Island Lighthouse.
A short drive from the lighthouse is the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center. Stop at the center to find out what wildlife you might spot in the refuge, ask the friendly fellow behind the counter if you can borrow binoculars and a field guide, then head out to the trail, stopping at the overlooks for sweeping views of marshes that attract many varieties of birds and other wildlife.
This bird just didn't wish to show its face!
This butterfly posed rather nicely.

Craving barbeque for dinner, the Outer Banks' best BBQ joint was found in Kitty Hawk. High Cotton served up tender meats and delicious sides. If you are ever in the area, it is highly recommended! 

More about the trip and the lovely scenery in my next post!


  1. Holy cow, blue skies! Your photos are absolutely professional in quality, it looks like you had perfect weather.. Looking forward to your next post.

    1. The weather *was* perfect! Not sure what we'd have done had it rained! Thanks, glad you like the photos. :)


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