What fun things have you done in the Outer Banks, NC? (esp. if you have a Jeep)

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Posted 7/6/2012 by shescrafty2 in NSBR Board
 

shescrafty2
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Posted: 7/6/2012 5:32:18 PM
We are going in 2 weeks for the 1st time and staying in Duck. We have rented a beach house with another family so of course we will be doing the beach. 4 adults and 3 kids (10, 8, and 5)

We own a Jeep as of today (woohoo!)-has anyone done a wild horse tour? (I assume we can use our own and not rent one)

Any other ideas?





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Kelpea
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Posted: 7/6/2012 5:59:56 PM
Don't bother with the "tours;" you can do the same thing in your awesome Jeep! We always go on our own up to Swan Beach in our Santa Fe Hyundai; just remember to let some air outta your tires prior so you don't get stuck in the sand. Of course, there are guys out there to tow you back, for a fee.

You have to go to Frank's Hot Dogs in Kill Devil Hills. Yum.

Go to Jockey's Ridge just down the street from the Wright Bros. Memorial in the same area around Kitty Hawk/Kill Devil Hills. You can RUN or BOOGIE BOARD down these huge hills! It's a blast. You can also rent a glider and take a class there, too. Plus the views are gorgeous. Just go after 5, when it's not blisteringly hot.

I also recommend parasailing at any of the places in the area. If you're smart, grab the local coupon books; you can usually parasail for about $40 per kid. Adam did it this year and loved it.

Don't forget to get down to the southern end of the Outer Banks. We were just down in Avon; past that is the awesome, free ferry to Ocracoke Island. Take the car; then disembark and and take the only road to the end and take in some local sights, eat outside on the water, and maybe hit the pirate museum (you are after all in Bluebeard territory!) Pack for the day, though: it's sometimes a long wait to board the ferries; they run every half hour. Bring cooler, swimsuits, drinks and food. If you get stuck in the line, the kids can go see the beach.

Don't forget also the wonderful North Carolina Aquarium, in Manteo, also south of the northern OBX. It's a perfect family place, and you can picnic outside on the harbor. Kids love to pet the stingrays there. Mine are teens, and still have to go ever year, lol.

Can you tell it's our 13th trip there? We adore it and we find something new to do each time.

Don't forget the coupon books when you get down there and use them for tourist stuff like go karts, boat rides, etc.



AnnemarieRF
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Posted: 7/6/2012 6:12:16 PM
Yay!!! I'll be heading to the outer banks in August and now have great suggestions. Thanks Peas!
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shescrafty2
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Posted: 7/6/2012 6:12:40 PM
Great ideas-thank you so much!!!! We are so excited to have the Jeep at the beach-we found a good deal today on a 2011 that has less than 5,000 miles on it and we bought it knowing we would love it at the beach, LOL.

The day after we get there is a kite festival at the Wright Bros. memorial so we are excited to participate!

Love your idea about the ferry and the hills to boogie board down. We have been looking online for some activities but most are pretty costly. Thank you!!!


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Sarah*H
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Posted: 7/6/2012 6:16:18 PM
Thirty years of Outer Banks vacations under my belt; we are here right now for one more day.

The best thing I have ever done down here, and one of my favorite adventures ever, is the ATV tour on Portsmouth Island that leaves from Ocracoke. Portsmouth Island Ocracoke itself is worth a day trip. If you go, make sure you take the time to walk to the British cemetery - it is a very moving place.

There is a lot of fun stuff to do around Manteo - the Elizabethan Gardens, the Lost Colony outdoor play, the North Carolina aquarium, the Fort Raleigh site, Roanoke Island Festival park which has the Elizabeth II historic ship, etc.

Of course there is the Wright Brothers Memorial and museum in Kitty Hawk.

If you like nature, there is a fantastic nature reserve at Pea Island. National Wildlife Refuge The National Park Service has a nice set of programs at the Hatteras Lighthouse and there is another wildlife refuge at Buxton Woods right there.

Closer to where you are in Duck is the Corolla lighthouse and there is an Audobon sanctuary at Pine Island. Audobon reserve I highly recommend renting a kayak to play on the sound.

ETA: We climbed the Hatteras lighthouse, visited that museum and hiked in Buxton Woods yesterday. There was a tour bus of Amish from Ohio. Probably the most incongruous thing I've ever seen down here, lol!



Lingaling
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Posted: 7/6/2012 8:14:12 PM
Thanks Peas for all the ideas. My dh and I are heading to the Outer Banks a week from tomorrow. We've never been there before and can't wait!

Any suggestions for great seafood restaurants? (On a budget?)

robindefender
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Posted: 7/6/2012 8:50:00 PM
We just got back from the OBX this afternoon. Two places that we really enjoyed were the Black Pelican in Kitty Hawk (a little pricey maybe) and the Fisherman's Wharf in Wanchese. This last one just had a nice write up in Our State Magazine in the May issue. We were very pleased with each experience, and the Wharf had great views of fishing boats and the water.

edited to add: THese are two restaurants that you might want to check out.


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Michelle Rae
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Posted: 7/6/2012 9:56:02 PM
Leaving for OBX Nags Head tomorrow! Our first trip. Meeting family that has spent 10 years there. They are our tour guides. Lol. My main interest is seafood. Especially crab legs. Lol. Sad but I'm being honest.


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Legacy Girl
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Posted: 7/6/2012 11:19:01 PM
Basnight's Lone Cedar is our favorite place for seafood, and Tale of the Whale is fabulous, too. I think both have early-bird specials -- that's the way to go if you're on a budget (and don't like to wait in line for a table).

The NC Aquarium is my favorite non-beach activity on the OBX. My mom always suggests the Elizabethan Gardens because she has always enjoyed them so much, but my family and I have never gotten there. Maybe next trip.


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M in Carolina
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Posted: 7/7/2012 1:49:27 AM
I grew up at Atlantic Beach/Morehead City/Beaufort. There's another ferry on Ocracoke Island that's about 2 hrs long and takes you across the wide sound that separates the mainland from the OBX. You land at Swans Quarter and take Hwy 70 to Beaufort then across the large bridge into Morehead and across another bridge to Atlantic Beach.

Beaufort is a lot of fun. It's very historic and has tours of area attractions like the Old Burying Grounds (beautiful and worth walking through) Some famous officers from the Civil War are buried there as well as a British soldier that asked to be buried upright, facing England and saluting. There's also a little girl who was buried in a whiskey barrel after she died coming back from a trip with her father to England. Her mother made the father promise to bring the little girl home, so he did what he had to do to keep that promise.

There are also some really cool old houses, including a haunted one. Beaufort was settled in the late 1600s, so there's a lot of history as well as seafood and museums. There's a ferry from Harker's Island (very residential and off the beaten path) to the Cape Lookout Lighthouse. There are also horses on surrounding but non-inhabited islands, Carrot Island--right across the sheltered Beaufort harbor, and Shackleford Banks, between Beaufort and Cape Lookout.

The best places to eat in Beaufort is Clawson's Seafood and Beaufort Grocery Co--more of an upscale lunch place and dinners that aren't so "seafoody".

Fort Macon, a Civil War fort that is in a state park with nature trails and beaches, is worth going to Atlantic Beach for. Atlantic Beach is on a long island with a few other tiny villages scattered down it to Emerald Isle. This island is the bottom of the OBX and faces South. There are very strong rip currents, and people drown every year because of them, so we'd only go wading, especially near the inlet because it gets super deep really fast. There are great houses to rent at Atlantic Beach and Emerald Isle. There is an Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores, a small village in the middle of the island. There's also a place to rent jet skis and kayaks to play in the sound.

I hope you'll enjoy your trip to the OBX. Driving on the beach is illegal at Atlantic Beach and down the island until after Labor Day and only with a permit. There's just too many people on the beaches as well as really soft sand from erosion prevention programs. There's a lot to do in Beaufort and Morehead City, so this area is worth visiting.

Oh, and Portsmouth isn't inhabited. It was abandoned and the southern part is a Navy bombing area. You take a ferry to go look at the village. I've seen it from the air, but never walked around there. Cape Lookout hooks out at the South of Portsmouth Island then Atlantic Beach/Emerald Isle which technically the Southernmost part of the OBX --but it's too confusing for travel, so ATL/EI is considered a separate destination.

Oh, and Blackbeard died off of Ocracoke Island. He scuttled a ship on purpose on the sandbars off of Cape Lookout/Shackleford, so Beaufort has a Maritime exhibit with parts of that ship. It's really confusing since both towns tried to claim him. ...but he buried his treasure on Ocracoke.

I hope you have a great trip.



bridgyree
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Posted: 7/7/2012 6:41:21 AM
We were just down there (again!) in June and stayed in Corolla for the first time. We usually stay on the lower end around Hatteras so this was a new experience for us.

We decided to go up to Carova (the 4x4 beach) for an afternoon to look for horses ourselves but didn't see too many. We ended up booking a tour for the next day through this company Corolla Outback Adventures

By ourselves we saw 6 horses...with them we saw 31. There is some land that is protected that you can't go on yourself and honestly never being there before we just stayed on the beach. They take you back through all of the houses and tell you the history of the area, the towns that used to be there...very cool stuff. I think it lasted about two hours and it was $50 for each of us (adult price). It was cheaper for kids and there are some discounts for military, AAA, etc. I would seriously recommend it to anyway up that way, very cool adventure. Here is a link to my pics, not sure if it will work Carvoa Pics

That's all the 4x4 recommendations I have...but while you're up there I would definitely check out Fat Crabs or Uncle Ike's if you're hungry! Great food at both!

bridgyree
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Posted: 7/7/2012 6:41:39 AM
We were just down there (again!) in June and stayed in Corolla for the first time. We usually stay on the lower end around Hatteras so this was a new experience for us.

We decided to go up to Carova (the 4x4 beach) for an afternoon to look for horses ourselves but didn't see too many. We ended up booking a tour for the next day through this company Corolla Outback Adventures

By ourselves we saw 6 horses...with them we saw 31. There is some land that is protected that you can't go on yourself and honestly never being there before we just stayed on the beach. They take you back through all of the houses and tell you the history of the area, the towns that used to be there...very cool stuff. I think it lasted about two hours and it was $50 for each of us (adult price). It was cheaper for kids and there are some discounts for military, AAA, etc. I would seriously recommend it to anyway up that way, very cool adventure. Here is a link to my pics, not sure if it will work Carvoa Pics

That's all the 4x4 recommendations I have...but while you're up there I would definitely check out Fat Crabs or Uncle Ike's if you're hungry! Great food at both!
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