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Outer Banks, North Carolina
By Jennifer Weiss
North Carolina’s Outer Banks are a popular tourist destination due to the rich historical attractions, the miles of pristine beaches, and the abundant natural areas that are ripe for exploration. The string of narrow barrier islands that comprise the Outer Banks are the perfect place for your next vacation if you want to take in America’s early history or spread out on a sandy beach while letting any stress you brought with you melt away. Make your way to the Outer Banks for your next vacation and experience a true coastal getaway.
The Outer Banks represent the first area that England tried to settle in America and are the perfect place to learn more about the history of the early settlements. The Lost Colony of Roanoke Island was in the Outer Banks and you can enjoy daily programs aboard the Elizabeth II, a design of a 16th century sailing vessel, at the Roanoke Island Festival Park. In addition, there are year-round events to enjoy, an art gallery, a boardwalk, and performances down by the water.
Another excellent historical attraction is the Wright Brothers National Memorial, which commemorates the location where the first successful power flight occurred. There are museum exhibits available in addition to tours of the flight trail area for those who are intrigued by the miracle of flight. Other great attractions include the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, which recognizes the more than 1,000 ships that have been lost along the coast, and the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, which is the tallest in the country and allows visitors to climb its steps for an amazing view over the water.
Since the string of islands extends for over 100 miles, there are numerous sandy beaches that are perfect for strolling along the shores or spreading out and catching some sun. However, some of the best beaches in the area can be found on Ocracoke Island, which can be accessed via ferry from Hatteras Island. Here you can pursue a variety of water activities such as swimming, windsurfing, and boating or simply roam the shore in search of the perfect shell or the most breathtaking view.
Another great spot for water activities is the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Stretching from Nags Head to Ocracoke Inlet, visitors can often be found surfing in the waves or fishing off the coast in search of trout, flounder, stripers, and numerous other species. Fishing is available in the sand, in the sound, and off the piers, so bring your pole and tackle box, or rent one from a nearby store, and get ready for a relaxing day listening to the sounds of the waves as you reel in a few beauties.
For those who want to get back to nature and catch sight of some gorgeous flora and fauna, there are numerous parks in the Outer Banks to accommodate your needs. The Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge is located in a remote region and allows for numerous outdoor pursuits, such as canoeing, kayaking, fishing, birdwatching, and hiking, on its 150,000 acres of wetland habitats. If you are interested in seeing an even more diverse selection of birds, the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge features over 360 species of migratory, wading, shore, and upland birds that can be seen from the wildlife trails.
No matter what your interests, your Outer Banks vacation can be filled with an abundance of outdoor activities that will allow you to explore the exquisite nature of this amazing stretch of islands. To get the most out of your free-spirited adventure, consider Outer Banks vacation rentals for your lodging needs so you can stay on the island of your choice, surrounded by the primitive beauty of the islands. Whether you want to stay in a secluded cottage or a waterside house, there is a rental that will make it easy to enjoy everything you love about the Outer Banks and allow you to experience everything you want to see.
HomeAway.com has the most comprehensive selection of vacation rental homes on the Internet. For an alternative lodging option, consider Outer Banks vacation rentals for your next trip to the North Carolina coast.
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