A trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina is an experience in beautiful contrasts. Separating the Atlantic Ocean from the mainland U.S. everywhere you roam seems to be saturated with sand, sea, and sky. These barrier islands are as rich in history as they are in natural wonders. Whether you are fascinated by stretches of sugar-white sand beaches or looking for encounters with wild horses, the Outer Banks has it all. First-time visitors to the Outer Banks are frequently transformed into lifelong travelers who return time and again to this pristine destination in the name of continuing adventures. While it’s not easy, narrowing down a first visit itinerary is essential to making the most of your trip. Here are five things you definitely won’t want to miss while you’re here.
Book an Outer Banks Fishing Charter
Island life is as much about the land as the sea and the Outer Banks is no exception to the rule. Heading this direction means you’ll want to make sure to book an Outer Banks fishing charter for a guided excursion out onto the water. Carolina Sunrise is one of the area’s premier fishing charter companies. Providing guests with customized tours and quality vessels, a day fishing with the experts at Carolina Sunrise is bound to be an adventure you won’t soon forget. There’s no need to be a pro before you go as your knowledgeable captain and guide will have all of the equipment you’ll need ready to go and starts the day off with the proper instruction for reeling in an amazing catch. Inshore and offshore fishing options mean this trip can be customized to your level of angling expertise. With boats that can accommodate up to 4 passengers at a time, Carolina Sunrise provides fishing charters that are fun for the entire family.
Visit the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
As with so many island communities, the Outer Banks is dotted with beautiful and charming lighthouses. These structures that stretch towards the sky are just as essential to marine traffic as they are enchanting to encounter. When you’re here for the very first time, you’ll jump at the chance to see the iconic Cape Hatteras Lighthouse for yourself. This black and white striped lighthouse is easily identified by its unique design that stands 193-feet in the air. The lighthouse sits comfortably on Hatteras Island and is incorporated into the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. If you’re feeling fit and energized, take your turn at climbing the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. The interior sports 257-steps to reach the top but the view is well worth the athletic effort. A stunning vantage point over the Atlantic gives guests unsurpassed options for capturing an amazing photograph.
Participate in a Wild Horse Tour
The Outer Banks is home to a rather large population of wild horses that make for a thrilling encounter. The best way to see these majestic creatures up close is to book a spot on a tour with Corolla Outback Adventures. This company offers 2-hour off-roading tours alongside a knowledgeable guide who keeps the safety of both the horses and guests in mind from start to finish. Ride along rugged terrain to the places where wild horses freely roam. As you ride, you’ll get the inside scoop as to just exactly these horses came to the Outer Banks. You’ll also have some incredible opportunities to take that once in a lifetime photo.
Wright Brothers National Memorial
History buffs who are heading to the Outer Banks for the first time will be thrilled with a stop at the Wright Brother National Memorial. The dream of taking to the skies brought the Wright Brothers to Kitty Hawk where in 1903, they achieved what they had set out to accomplish. These innovative individuals and all they discovered within the field of aviation are honorably remembered at this stunning memorial site in the Outer Banks today. The memorial is located in Kill Devil Hills and comes complete with a nearby airstrip.
Duck Town Boardwalk
While there are so many high-energy activities available to visitors in the Outer Banks, this scenic destination also beckons guests to take some time to relax, unwind and simply wander. There’s no better way to take in the true beauty of this amazing destination than on foot and the Duck Town boardwalk provides the perfect venue to do exactly that. Integrated into Duck Town Park, this mile-long boardwalk that offers up stunning views of marsh, forest, and waterways. Boat launches provide an easy transition from a walking tour to a water-based excursion if you’re in the mood. Nearby restaurants can curb any craving when the walking has left you famished, but the majority of visitors find they can linger endlessly along this beautiful and meticulously maintained path through nature.
The Best of the Outer Banks
Taking a trip to the Outer Banks is the first step in experiencing coastal beauty quite unlike any other. With wild horses, fishing, boating and sun soaking waiting for you, there’s never been a better time to head towards North Carolina.
Author Bio: Caitlyn Knuth is a travel writer whose own adventures have inspired her to write about everything from the most delicious cafés in Paris, France to the breathtaking salmon runs in Juneau, Alaska. Working in association with Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales, she enjoys writing and sharing about the Outer Banks in the hope others will pack up and head out on North Carolina-bound adventures of their very own.