3 Aug 2023
The Outer Banks of North Carolina is a destination filled with mystery, adventure, and natural beauty. From the haunting tale of the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island to the wild Spanish mustangs that roam freely, there's something to captivate every traveler. In this blog, we'll uncover 10 hidden gems that make the Outer Banks a unique and unforgettable place to explore. Whether you're a history enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or someone who simply loves to unwind by the sea, these attractions offer a glimpse into the rich tapestry of this coastal paradise.
1. Explore the History of Shipwrecks in the Outer Banks
The Outer Banks is home to a fascinating maritime history, with over 2,000 shipwrecks since the 16th century. The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras offers a glimpse into this mysterious world. With free admission, visitors can explore exhibits showcasing the treacherous waters that have claimed countless vessels. Whether you're a history buff or just curious, this museum provides an intriguing look into the maritime legacy of the region.
2. Discover Maritime Forests at Nags Head Woods
Nags Head Woods is a natural wonder, offering a rare glimpse into the maritime forests of the Outer Banks. This ecological preserve is home to diverse flora and fauna, providing a serene escape for nature enthusiasts. Hiking trails wind through lush landscapes, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty of this unique ecosystem. It's a must-visit for those seeking tranquility and a connection with nature.
3. Ride the Wind at Canadian Hole
Canadian Hole is a haven for wind and water sports enthusiasts. Known for its consistent winds, it's a popular spot for windsurfing and kiteboarding. Whether you're an expert or a beginner, Canadian Hole offers an exhilarating experience as you ride the wind across the sparkling waters. With rental equipment available nearby, it's easy to dive into the action and embrace the thrill of wind-powered adventure.
4. Find the Winged Horses
In 2003, 99 winged horses were installed across the Outer Banks to commemorate the Wright brothers' 100th anniversary of their first flight. These vibrant sculptures, decorated with scenes of local history, can still be found at various businesses. Set out on a treasure hunt to find as many as you can, and don't miss the Monument to a Century of Flight in Kitty Hawk, a striking structure commemorating the length and success of the first flight.
5. Lost Colony of Roanoke Island
Roanoke Island holds the mystery of America's first colony, which vanished without a trace. At the Roanoke Island Festival Park, visitors can tour the settlement site, explore the Elizabeth II ship, and engage with interactive exhibits. Reenactors bring history to life, offering hands-on lessons and insights into the life of the settlers in 1585. It's an educational and engaging experience for all ages.
6. See the Wild Horses
The Outer Banks is home to wild Spanish mustangs, a living link to the area's colonial past. These majestic creatures roam freely, offering a unique and breathtaking sight. Guided tours are available to observe these wild horses in their natural habitat, providing an unforgettable experience and a chance to learn about their history and preservation efforts.
7. Learn to Hang Glide at Jockey's Ridge
Jockey's Ridge State Park offers a safe and thrilling opportunity to learn hang gliding. With sandy grounds and professional lessons, even beginners can experience the joy of soaring through the air. Feel the rush of freedom as you glide over the landscape, guided by experienced instructors. It's an adventure that promises excitement and a new perspective on the beautiful Outer Banks.
8. Try Some Local Flavor at Lost Colony Brewery
Located on the Nags Head-Manteo Causeway, The Lost Colony Brewery Waterfront Beer Garden offers great views and excellent beer. Whether you bring a picnic, order delivery, or just come for a drink, it's a delightful spot to relax and enjoy local flavors. With a variety of craft beers, it's an excellent spot for beer enthusiasts and those just looking to unwind.
9. Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge
Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge is a sanctuary for diverse wildlife on the northern tip of Hatteras Island. Spend a day exploring the dunes, and looking for various species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, as you enjoy a fun-filled day on the shore.
10. Visit the Chicamacomico Life Saving Station
The Chicamacomico Life Saving Station in Rodanthe is a historical treasure with many stories to tell. Serving as a museum, it offers exhibits and weekly reenactments during the summer months. Learn about the legacy of what would become the U.S. Coast Guard and witness a live water rescue demonstration. It's a captivating experience that adds depth to any Outer Banks visit.
Book Your Outer Banks Vacation, Today!
The Outer Banks is calling, and there's no better way to experience all its hidden treasures than by booking your vacation directly with Carolina Shores Vacation Rentals. We offer a wide selection of properties to suit every taste and need, ensuring a comfortable and memorable stay. From cozy cottages to luxurious beachfront homes, we have the perfect accommodation for your adventure. Don't miss the chance to explore the rich history, thrilling activities, and breathtaking landscapes of the Outer Banks. Browse our rentals and let us help you create the vacation of a lifetime in the Outer Banks.