The Outer Banks are a 200 mile long strip of barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina and Virginia on the east coast of the United States.
These islands have a mildly temperate climate and large stretches of open beachfront that make them an ideal vacation destination.
The main islands that make up the Outer Banks include Bodie Island, Hatteras Island and Ocracoke Island. Each island has a slightly different flavor and attracts a different kind of tourist.
During the autumn and winter the Outer Banks are prone to massive storms with angry waves eroding large segments of the beach every winter. But during the summer these same waters make for a water lover’s paradise.
Much of the northern islands are dedicated to the tourist trade with beachfront cabins that you can rent by the week or by the month and plenty of activities for the kids (like miniature golf, arcades and playgrounds). Hatteras Island and the smaller southern islands are more remote and appeal more to individuals looking for privacy.
No matter what your interests or family size, there is sure to be a section of the Outer Banks that you will be able to enjoy.
Key Facts About the Outer Banks
- Location – Off the coast of North Carolina and Virginia on the east coast of the United States.
- Time – GMT/UTC – 05:00
- Climate – Temperate with
- Size -200 miles of barrier islands
- Capitol – Raleigh is the capital of North Carolina. Richmond is the capital of Virginia.
- Religion – There is no state religion in the United States, though Christianity is the most widely recognized religion. Currency – United States Dollar
- Safety – The Outer Banks are considered to be a safe vacation destination. While hospitals and emergency teams may take a bit longer to get to you than they would in other areas of the US, they are fairly prompt for all of that.
Things To Do In The Outer Banks
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse – located on Hatteras Island, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is one of the oldest and most photographed light houses on the east coast. You can climb to the top of the lighthouse during the summer months for a spectacular view of the beaches in either direction.
Wright Brothers National Memorial – dedicated to the first air flight ever, the Wright Brothers National Memorial is located in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina where the first flight took place.
Graveyard of the Atlantic – located on Hatteras Island, this museum is dedicated to all of the major shipwrecks that have taken place off of the Outer Banks over the centuries.
The Rachel Carson Estuarine Sanctuary – this horse sanctuary is home to some of the last wild horses and ponies left in the eastern United States. You can see the horses in their natural habitat, though you are not allowed to interact with them.
Cape Hatteras National Seashore – this stretch of coastline on Hatteras Island is pristine beach front. Unlike much of the rest of the Outer Banks, development has not been allowed, so you get a distinct idea of what the area would have been like before people began living here. It also has some of the best beaches on the coast.