If you have never been to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, I don’t know what you’re waiting for. With over 100 miles of shoreline, delicious eateries, quaint shops and all the activities you’ve ever dreamed of doing, the Outer Banks has something for everyone. You’re sure to find that perfect spot on the beach to spend a lazy day relaxing with a good book. And one thing I can promise you for certain is you won’t go hungry. There are so many delicious spots to dine in the Outer Banks, you’ll soon discover that not only does the Outer Banks have some of the best beaches in the country, it’s also a Culinary Destination! Who knew? But what first drew me to the Outer Banks wasn’t the beaches or the dining. I came to see where the Wright Brothers made history by being the first in flight.
The Wright Brothers National Memorial is a must visit when you’re in the Outer Banks. The National Park encompasses more than 400 acres and marks the places where brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright made their first four powered flights. It’s amazing to think of how far we’ve come since that first flight.
And If you’re into lighthouses, the Cape Hatteras lighthouse is among four that dot the main stretch of North Carolina’s Outer Banks. All were built during the 1800s and still cast their beacons today guiding ships through the treacherous waters. Over the centuries, some 1,500 ships have perished here, earning the Outer Banks the moniker Graveyard of the Atlantic.
The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse was moved in 1999 some 3000 feet to its present location due to the natural erosion of the beach. Originally built 1500 feet from the water, Mother Nature has been reclaiming the shoreline over the years causing the move to keep this historic landmark safe.
Climbing the historic Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is a unique experience. The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse has 257 steps from the ground to the balcony level, equal to climbing a 12-story building. The narrow stairs have a handrail only on one side, two-way traffic, and a landing every 31 steps. The climb is self-paced and provides views from the tallest brick lighthouse in North America. If you’re a kid at heart and love kites, the spot you don’t want to miss is Jockey’s Ridge State Park. With the tallest natural sand dune system in the eastern United States with dunes topping 80 feet, this 420-acre park is the perfect location for kite flying and a perfect vantage point of the ocean and the bay. As local waterman, the father-son team Bill and Ryan Belter realized this pristine microenvironment was an incredibly healthy and fertile ecosystem, beautifully suited for supporting oysters and other sea life. While in the area make your way to Roanoke Island and the Fort Raleigh Historical Site. There you can see the recreation of the events that took place at the time of The Lost Colony. There’s a rich history in the Outer Banks and you’ll find that history spilling over into area businesses.
While on Roanoke Island, we stopped in Manteo for lunch and tour of the Outer Banks Distilling Company. I had the opportunity to sample the Kill Devil Hill Rum and brought a few bottles home to share with my friends. One of the highlights of traveling is being able to bring home something from the areas I visit. It adds to the experience and keeps the memories of the trip alive each time I use the products. Distillery tours are available Tuesday thru Friday at 1 pm; Saturday at 1 & 3 pm. Reservations are required and you must be 21 to go on the tour. So if you’ve never been to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, why not visit this year?