When I had the opportunity to visit the Outer Banks for a long weekend in the fall with a group of writer colleagues, I was so excited to explore a brand-new area and meet up with old friends, and make new ones. When I planned my trip to Outer Banks, I created a list of places I wanted to experience and explore. Nature was definitely at the top of that list!
Little did I realize however; how therapeutic this trip would be for me. I not only had the opportunity to enjoy the immense beauty of this region, but to let its healing vibe be a balm for my soul. Here are just some of the places that provided that wonderful feeling of peace and tranquility.
boardwalk jon taylor sweet

Exploring the Duck Boardwalk

I love taking nature walks everywhere I visit. On my first day in Duck, I arrived early, so I drove further up the road to see what was there. On my way back, I explored some quaint shops along the waterfront. I hadn’t realized that there was a boardwalk along the Currituck Sound, with piers jutting out over the water. I love meandering along nature’s paths, and doing so gave me such a feeling of peace.  
Aerial Ocean View of Highway 12 Beach in Outer Banks, NC

Dipping Toes in the Ocean

On the last day of our trip, we strolled down to the Atlantic Ocean and put our toes in the waters. The waves were coming in hard, and we spotted the dorsal fins of Bottlenose dolphins swimming in the distance. We all jumped as the water began riding up on the sand. I managed to get the lower part of my pants pretty wet. But all laughed and wanted to stay here as long as possible. It was such a special moment spent with my new friends.


Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse Manteo

Exploring Lighthouses 

I love lighthouses and when I discovered the Outer Banks had five, I knew I had to visit at least one or two this trip. The first lighthouse is in a remote location tucked away at the quiet east end of the Manteo waterfront. Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse is the smallest on the Outer Banks, standing at just 37 feet tall jetting out 40 yards into the Roanoke Sound.
The second one I explored was the Currituck Beach Lighthouse in Corolla. Since 1875, this beacon of safety has kept mariners from danger night and day. When I arrived, I couldn’t believe how tall the lighthouse was. I walked around the grounds, visited the Museum Shop, and then started my way up 220 steps to this majestic red brick structure. I must admit I had to stop a few times to catch my breath, but I was determined to reach to the top of the lookout. Along the way, there was a myriad of interesting facts to read and views from the top were worth the climb.
Bodie Island Lighthouse and Cape Hatteras Lighthouse are two other lighthouses located in the southern end of Dare County's Outer Banks. 
sunset duck

Experiencing the Colors of the Sky

Watching the sun go down in the Outer Banks is a magical experience. Though we all witnessed a few gorgeous sunsets during our trip, on the first night in Duck, we were treated to a magnificent setting of the sun on the outdoor deck at NC Coast Grill & Bar. It was an unforgettable moment!
On the following evening, we had just finished a tour of the Sanderling Resort and were heading to the Life Saving Station Restaurant for dinner. Once again, the same striking colors lit the sky ablaze.

american widgeon bird

Bird Watching

Three of our group decided to go bird watching while the others went fishing and kayaking. Jonathan Cooley of Native Birding Tours met us at Duck’s Cottage Coffee and Book for our two-hour private tour. We only had a short distance to walk to the Duck Boardwalk. Jonathan certainly knows the birds in this area and called to them with his whistle. One bird I recognized was the Blue Heron. I learned that the Great Blue Heron migrates from Eastern Canada and that the Pacific Great Blue Heron lives near me at the Great Heron Nature Reserve in British Columbia.

Final Thoughts on the Outer Banks

This trip to the Outer Banks was a fantastic experience and one that enabled me to rest and relax. There were so many experiences I would have loved to do on my getaway, but that will be on my next trip to North Carolina. And there definitely will be a next trip!