Finally, seeing the Outer Banks

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May 14th, 2013, 12:38 PM
  #1
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Finally, seeing the Outer Banks

After 6 years of living in NC, we are now hoping ot plan a 3 or 4 day excursion to the Outer Banks. We are not sure where to start. We do have a guidebook but want some insider info as to where to locate and what to see.
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May 14th, 2013, 01:31 PM
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Which end do you want to start with? Kitty Hawk or Okracoke?
If you are coming from the south, take the early morning toll ferry from Cedar Island northeast of Morehead City. Have lunch in the town of Ocracoke. Call ahead to reserve a spot for your car on the Cedar Island ferry. The other ferries are free as you travel northeast toward Kitty Hawk to look at the Wright Brothers monument.
Don't miss the Hatteras lighthouse.
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May 14th, 2013, 02:24 PM
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I've loved the Banks all my life.

Where are you coming from? And when? If you go in summer you'll have to get a hotel and you may want to go ahead and book. Houses only do (mostly weekly rentals in summer. Do you want to stay at the busy end or down at Ocracoke? Are you planning to take the ferry? I always enjoyed that but it makes for a longer trip.

Where to locate really depends on what you want to do.
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May 16th, 2013, 06:18 AM
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We will be coming from Chapel Hill on #64 and do not plan to take any ferries, so I assume the north part.
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May 16th, 2013, 06:34 AM
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What we love best is to just get out on a deserted section and simply enjoy the nature.
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May 16th, 2013, 06:56 AM
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Go to the Wright Brothers museum in Kitty Hawk and catch one of the park ranger talks. The one that explains their plane and how it worked is fascinating. Jockeys Ridge State Park is also very cool place to go around dusk/sunset, climb the dune and watch the sun setting, hang gliders, etc.

We enjoy Bodie Island lighthouse also. And Manteo has a host of interesting places, the NC Aquarium and the Lost Colony outdoor play in summer, Weeping Radish Brewery and Restaurant, etc.
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May 17th, 2013, 08:06 AM
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To visit Ocracoke, you will have to take the ferry but it is free and a short ride. Don't know what time of year you plan to visit, but we went last year in Sept and it was a great time to visit. The weather was still great but the crowds were not those of the summer.
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May 17th, 2013, 10:21 AM
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I don't understand why anyone who wanted to go to the OBX wouldn't take at least 1 ferry to see the best IMO lighthouse on the NC coast (Hatteras).
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May 17th, 2013, 10:53 AM
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If you drive from the north down highway 12, you don't have to take a ferry to get to Hatteras.

Whenever I go to any beach, the attraction for me is the ocean. I like relaxing on the beach or the porch with my peeps. If you need activities, take emd3's recommendations.
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May 18th, 2013, 06:20 AM
  #10
 
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Hi bob - didn't realize you lived in NC. Have enjoyed your posts over the years. I'm just down the road in Cary, any interest in a NC GTG? (Can't help with the Outer Banks, if I want the beach, which isn't often, I go to Wrightsville.)
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May 18th, 2013, 05:31 PM
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Bob, have you decided where you will base yourselves?

If you are near Nags Head, the Nags Head Pier is a nice place to walk, watch the fisherman, and the restaurant at the start of the pier is a nice place for breakfast or lunch. it is a very "salty" place, with fishermen, locals, and lots of great people watching, fish-catching watching, locals to talk with, etc....
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May 18th, 2013, 05:42 PM
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We have just started to do our homework regarding where to stay, but I do suspect near Nags Head. Any gems I should check out? Are reservations a must in late Sep.?
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May 19th, 2013, 05:08 AM
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We always rent a condo oceanfront. Very affordable in off season for 3-4 days. For hotel, personally I would reserve for late Sept.

Jennetee's Pier in Nags Head is also fun. It was destroyed by Hurricaine Isabel but has been reconstructed by the NC Aquarium as an educational outpost and fishing pier.
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May 19th, 2013, 10:29 AM
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Visited Okracoke a few years ago and loved it. The beaches are great, and the little town has some nice walks through old neighborhoods. We were there in summer, and it was pretty crowded - lots going on near the harbor.
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May 19th, 2013, 10:32 AM
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Make sure to allow 2 hours to see the Elizabethan Gardens!
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May 19th, 2013, 11:22 AM
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When in Manteo, be sure to see "The Lost Colony." Very entertaining. Bring your DEET.
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May 19th, 2013, 12:51 PM
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Whether or not you'll need bug spray depends on is there is a land breeze (you will) or a sea breeze (you won't) and the time of year and if there was a very wet Spring.

When we have rented in the period post-Labor Day and it has been dry (not as many mosquitoes) it has been glorious.

Anywhere below Whalebone Junction (where 64 comes onto the beach) and Hatteras Village will offer plenty of deserted or nearly deserted beaches in September. But realize that even in some village areas at that time if you go out on the beach and see as many as 30 people in any direction some would call that a "mob scene."

I am surprised nobody has yet to insist you go north of Nags Head up toward Corolla Light, etc. which is also wonderful.

I would certainly recommend the Wright Memorial as well as the Cape Hatteras lighthouse in Buxton as places to visit.
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May 19th, 2013, 01:44 PM
  #18
Amy
 
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"My" OBX is Corolla; it's lovely and calm in the off-season, although certainly much more built up than it was, oh, twenty years ago. Generally we stay in Ocean Hill or thereabouts, but this Christmas we went as a family to Duck: http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...ek-in-duck.cfm

It's wonderfully relaxing and we tend not to really go to many sites, but of course that's with (lots of) kids so a bit different.
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May 19th, 2013, 05:57 PM
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Bob, are you interested in a hotel, or a condo oceanfront for the nights you are there?
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May 20th, 2013, 07:10 AM
  #20
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I assume hotel since we may only spend 2 nites.
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