outer banks

Old Jun 21st, 2001, 06:57 AM
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outer banks

Can somebody please give me an idea what to expect in the outerbanks, nc? i'm from nyc and i don't really drive.....would i be able to still see a lot of sights without having to rent a car? what about hotels, motels or b&b's? i understand it's a very wide area....i need advc please where to go exactly.....i just need solitude and some quiet time so i'm not really after hot spots etc.....just need a room, the beach, cheap food and hiking trails and i will be very, very happy. any advc would be soooo appreciated.

Old Jun 21st, 2001, 07:30 AM
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We stayed at one of the rental homes there three years ago. Unless you enjoy the beach, there is NOTHING to do. The area is basically scrub-land with the ocean on either side. (We found no hiking trails.) And yes, you need a car. Aside from the mammouth rental homes, I only saw motels that I wouldn't step into, let alone stay overnight. I dunno, maybe it was me, but I wouldn't return.
Old Jun 21st, 2001, 08:00 AM
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wow pixie...outerbanks couldn't be that bad no? i haven't been there but my friends who have been there, swear by it. i'll get them to write u freddie.

Old Jun 21st, 2001, 08:09 AM
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First off -- Pixie doesn't know jack about the Outer Banks. There's plenty to do, easily a week's worth of activities (although they may not necessarily be activities you would enjoy), but YES, YOU NEED A CAR to see the sights.

The Outer Banks actually covers the top-third of North Carolina's coastline -- from Corolla to Ocracoke by car is a two-hour drive, including a 20-minute ferry ride. (The Outer Banks also includes uninhabited, accessible-only-by-boat Core Banks south to Cape Lookout.) Most people think of the communities including Nag's Head, Kill Devil Hills and Kitty Hawk as "ground zero" for the Outer Banks.

There's no major airport serving the Outer Banks -- you'd fly into Norfolk, probably, and find some way to shuttle to your lodging if you didn't rent a car.

Here's a list of possible activities and sights: NC Aquarium at Manteo, "The Lost Colony" outdoor drama (summer only), Elizabethean Gardens, "Elizabeth II" reproduction ship, Wanchese fishing village, Wright Brothers "First Flight" Historic Site, Weepish Radish German microbrewery, four lighthouses (some accessible by stairs to the top), fishing, kayaking, birdwatching (not my preference, but a lot of people are really into it), parasailing, surfing, windsurfing, hanggliding (Kitty Hawk Kites has classes every day), plus the usual tourist stuff like miniature golf, swimming and seafood restaurants.

For what you want (solitude, quiet, walking), I'd recommend just staying in Ocracoke. It's crowded with tourists in summer but very nice in the fall (as long as there are no hurricanes). You can walk to everything in the village or rent a bike to explore the rest of the island (maybe eight miles long, mostly beaches, dunes and marshes), most of which is national park land. You'll miss the other sights, but you'll have the retreat you want.

I'm not sure how you'd arrange to get to Ocracoke if you didn't have a car (it's two hours or more from Norfolk, at least three hours of driving plus a two-hour ferry ride if you flew into Raleigh-Durham and drove to the ferry dock east of Morehead City)

Try going to <ncgov.com> and following the tourism links.
Old Jun 21st, 2001, 08:38 AM
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See also the post re:Nags Head.

Pixie doesn't know whattheheck she's talking about, although I'd like to know just what's wrong with a week of sea and scrub pines and sea oats and sand?
Old Jun 21st, 2001, 08:47 AM
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Freddie, on re-reading your post, a few other thoughts. A car is important on the O.B. but you could probably manage without one, esp. if you have a few of those NY bucks. And a lot of people use bicycles (which you can rent).

It's possible that a place like the Sanderling resort up north of Duck would pick you up at an airport and transport you up there, and it's a VERY charming place at which you wouldn't need a car.

If you rent right in Nags Head, Kitty Hawk or Kill Devil Hills, it's close and congested enough there that you could conceivably walk to a few restaurants, etc. but I don't consider those places quiet or particularly scenic.

You might consider renting an actual cottage in Duck, near the cluster of shops. It's quiet, upscale, and distances are still walkable from many cottages -- and not so honky-tonk as the Kitty Hawk area.

You might also consider Bald Head Island, where you aren't even allowed to have a car -- everyone uses golf carts! This is not part of the Outer Banks but southwest of Wilmington -- and they will arrange to fetch you from the Wilmington airport.

Old Jun 21st, 2001, 11:36 AM
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T x 3
Old Jun 21st, 2001, 03:51 PM
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It's nice to hear that fellow NYers are interested in the Outer Banks. I went there last summer and had a fabulous, relaxing time. I had been working incredibly long hours and was looking, like you, for solitude and quiet. The Outer Banks were a perfect choice.

I also wondered about the need for a car. I found it essential. With traffic, it takes about 2 hours or so to get to the Outer Banks from the Norfolk airport.

If you could find a way to get there without renting a car, you would probably want to stay in one of the more congested areas such as Nags Head or Kitty Hawk. Otherwise, you will probably need a car to get groceries, etc.

If it is quiet you want, I would recommend the northern beaches. I have heard fabulous things about Ocracoake, but it seemed to difficult and long to get there. I stayed in a rental cottage in the Ocean Sands area and loved it.

I would recommend renting a cottage. Try the website www.outerbanks.org. It has links to most of the rental companies. I believe it also has info on hotels and other accomodations. The rental company websites are great. You can search for properties and book online.

YOu should try to book as early as possible, especially if you want to be near the ocean front.

If being really close to the ocean is not important to you, you should be able to find some great deals. Also, rental prices are a steal after the summer rush.

Prices in the OBX are great, especially compared to NY. There is a fabulous restaurant in Duck with a superb wine list. It is Elizabeth's Cafe & Winery. I highly recommend it.

If you do decide to go, have a great time. I had such a wonderful experience last summer that I decided to go back at the end of this summer.

Old Jul 8th, 2001, 08:50 AM
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I would also like to add that the Outer Banks are wonderful! We have travelled to the Outer Banks from PA for the last 4 years and love it. We have stayed in the southern end (Salvo area) which is great for solitude and quiet, though if you want to do anything (grocery shop, restaurants, etc.), it is a 20 minute drive. We have also stayed in the northern end - Corolla (Ocean Sands area) where there are far more houses packed in, but plenty to do, and fairly close to many things. It all depends on what you are looking for.

As to needing a car - we drive down from PA (an 8 hour drive) and although it is a very long drive, a car is pretty essential to getting around, especially if you rent a house. There are taxi services available, as well as limo service from the nearest airport (off the barrier island), but I would guess that could get fairly expensive over the course of a week.

There are various hotels, motels and b&b's, you could look up most of this info on any of the web sites about the outer banks. There are at least a half dozen different sites. Sanderling is a beautiful resort - my parents stayed there over a three day trip and said that it was very plush, beautiful and quiet. If you like pampering, this may be a good place to look into. It is a little more expensive though.

Duck is actually a good place to stay if you want to travel around by bike or foot. There are plenty of great little places to get an inexpensive meal, but it is pretty congested in the summer, so quiet time may not be real great there.
We're headed back to Corolla in August, but staying in the southern end of the Ocean Sands community. It does not seem quite as built up yet as where we stayed last time, and still is only about 5-10 minutes from grocery store, and the shops at Timbuck II Shopping Village (complete with Beer dist., ice cream shop, restaurants & pizza place, gift shops & miniature golf). We love the beaches in the Outer Banks - not as crowded as Maryland, and much quieter (depending on where you are staying).
The Outer anks are beautiful, serene and filled with wildlife refuges and long expanses of beach with stunning sunsets. I think it is a great place to escape the stresses of everyday life and relax. I wish you luck and hope you find what you are looking for. We know that we have!
Old Jul 8th, 2001, 12:00 PM
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The most relaxing vacation I've ever taken. Its all about sand, sea oats, and the ocean. Waking up in the morning, sipping coffee while listening to the ocean (probably looking at dolphins each morning) was the best part of all. Anybody who doesn't enjoy it here, isn't cut out for the Outer Banks and just picked the wrong vacation. I would recommend a house on the ocean. I would get something no older than 10 years as they get used pretty hard by tourists. Some actually have pools if you would prefer a pool over the ocean. Great fresh fish found in the many markets throughout the outer banks. Not many chain restaurants either. You'll find original restaurants with the owner probably waiting on you. Its pretty windy with larger than normal waves, so a lapping ocean isn't what you'll find. Did you see the movie "Message In A Bottle"? Filmed in the outer banks. Duck, Nagshead, Waves, etc. are some of the areas you can choose from. Cape Hateras has lots of great new homes. I wouldn't try it without a rental car though. Too many places you'll want to check out even if your at a resort. Hope you have a good trip.

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