The Outer Banks is a series of barrier islands that jut out off the coast of North Carolina. A collection of sand bars, really. From north to south: Northern Beaches, Roanoke Island & Dare Mainland and Hatteras. These islands, now connected by a series of bridges, each have their own history, geographical features and culture creating three different and exciting vacation experiences. The Northern Beaches is filled with towns loaded with shopping, restaurants, plenty of beach space and activity. And with names you probably recognize – Nags Head, Kill Devil Hills and Kitty Hawk to name a few. Roanoke Island is quieter, quant and pedestrian friendly with a deep history dating back to the first English colony. Hatteras is even quieter still, with vast stretches of land devoted to sand dunes and sea oats. It feels a world away, relaxed for travelers looking for a little solitude.