It is hard to put into words the pure bliss that comes from this 200-mile-long stretch of barrier islands that cover most of the North Carolina coastline. It is the epitome of a family vacation spot, with something for everyone. If you are looking for a place to escape the daily grind and reconnect with family and nature, the Outer Banks is calling your name!
This region is very rich in history – the rough seas off the Outer Banks and the large number of shipwrecks that have occurred there have given these seas the nickname Graveyard of the Atlantic. It is also Virginia Dare’s birthplace and the site of the Wright Brothers inaugural flight launches.
Wild Spanish Mustangs and playful bottle-nose dolphins call this wide expanse of open beachfront their home. So while you are relaxing on the beach don’t be surprised you see a dolphin flip out of the water! We were lucky enough to come face to face with these beautiful creatures while swimming on this trip! We were also there during the Perseid Meteor Shower, we packed a cooler and blanket, and stayed on the beach late with the kids watching the shooting stars light up the sky!
The community in the Outer Banks is strong, and we love how much they love their beaches. Safety is a top priority and we felt so at ease and relaxed on our trip. Bring your family and enjoy the simple pleasures of being outdoors.
We have compiled a list of the three A’s: Accommodations, Adventures, and Appetite! If you have any questions about the Outer Banks or our trip please shoot us an email!
Oceanfront? Yes please! We stayed at Shutters on the Banks, and were highly impressed with the service and amenities. This was the first hotel that had a complimentary to-go hot breakfast, and it was delicious! The hotel is also very centrally located, perfect for families (no long car rides for dinner or adventures!).
Our room had two queen beds, refrigerator, balcony, and the bathroom right at the front of the room (no sandy tracks on the carpet). There is an indoor/outdoor pool which is great for all weather!
Miss Oregon Inlet Twilight Fishing – Fishing and a sunset, a combination for great family fun! We were so fortunate to have only 15 people on our trip out – leaving our family with a whole side of the boat to ourselves! Our kids both caught four fish on their first cast, a great way to start! Unfortunately we did not catch any keepers but we had a great trip with one of the most beautiful sunsets, and both our girls are now professional fishergirls!
Sunset Sailing – If you are looking for a truly relaxing experience, take a private sunset sail out of Manteo! We brought dinner and drinks on board and enjoyed the ocean air. The captain was kind and accommodating to our children, he even had a magnet board for them to play with! Huge bonus – we were all able to steer and learn how to sail! The sailboat was spacious, the views were stunning, and the sunset spectacular! Children must wear life jackets.
The Beach – Let’s not forget the star of the Outer Banks – the beach! We were so fortunate to be there when the Atlantic Ocean was calm and peaceful – perfect for kiddos! The sun was shining, sandcastles being built, and splashing in the waves – truly a picture perfect beach getaway! Oh and bring a kite – so much fun!
Ghost Crab Night Walks – Grab a flash light and head to the beach when the sun goes down. Looking for ghost crabs is probably one of the most fun free activities!
Mama Kwan’s – The pork plate and fish tacos are a must when visiting the iconic Mama Kwan’s! The food here is delicious and local – highly recommend this fun tiki bar setting.
Tortugas’ Lie – A delicious local Caribbean restaurant that was featured on Diners Drive-Ins & Dives. The ingredients are fresh and we loved all the food!
Poor Richard’s Sandwich Shop – GO! This sandwich shop in Manteo is delicious, and perfect food to bring on your sunset sailing! Don’t miss the cuban reuben (I’m still drooling over it).
Duck Donuts – You can’t visit the Outer Banks without getting some delicious donuts from Duck Donuts! Eat them while they are hot, they are delicious and were a highlight for our kiddos!
Scoop’s Homemade Ice Cream – Beach = ice cream, at least for our family! Scoops has so many delicious flavors and unique ones also (cantaloupe for example!). They also have yummy dairy-free sorbet.
Goombay’s Grille – Fresh local seafood with a Caribbean flare, this casual restaurant is a staple of Outer Banks (my husband ate here as a kid). Can’t go wrong with this menu!
Until next time…