National and State Parks Located in the Outer Banks

Come see why the parks at the Outer Banks are preserved.

Come see why the parks at the Outer Banks are preserved.

2016 is the Centennial Anniversary of all national and state parks. Throughout 2016, guests and residents alike are invited to participate in the beauty these locations represent to their regions across America. Every state park will be holding a special event sometime in 2016 to mark the occasion.

The Outer Banks is such a beautiful part of the country it is no wonder that both the state of North Carolina and the federal government have chosen to protect parts of it. This is your guide to enjoying these incredible parks during your Outer Banks stay.

 

Jockey’s Ridge State Park

300 West Carolista Drive
Nags Head, NC 27959

Contact: 252-441-7132

Website

 

The East Coast's largest sand dune is found at Jockey's Ridge.

The East Coast’s largest sand dune is found at Jockey’s Ridge.

 

Home to the East Coast’s largest living sand dune, Jockey’s Ridge is a 420-acre state park with amenities for every type of traveler from museums, for those who love history, to hang gliding for those who love excitement. The boardwalk is 360 feet long and the park offers sunbathing, wading, and paddling. Nature trails are available for self-guided tours, and various events and activities take place all spring and summer long. Including two centennial events: Killer Dunes 2-Miler & Fun Run on July 4, or on August 30, “Save our Sand Dunes” Heritage Day.

Jockey’s Ridge state park is situated in Nags Head. The exhibit hall fills in visitors on all of the area’s legends, including how the park came to be called Jockey’s Ridge and how Nags Head got its name. Jockey Ridge became a state park in 1975 once the funds were acquired to support a 1973 decision.

CLICK HERE to read more about Jockey’s Ridge State Park.

 

Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Cape Hatteras1401 National Park Drive
Manteo, NC 27954

Contact: 252-473-2111

Website

 

The most well-known feature of this national park is the Bodie Island Lighthouse, which can be climbed by visitors who come to the island between the 3rd Friday in April and Columbus Day in October. But there are many other activities to enjoy including:

 

Birdwatching – Many coastal birds call Cape Hatteras home during the breeding season.
Sea Turtles – Summertime is when you can enjoy the best turtle watching.
Camping – Wake up to the sound of the waves.
Swimming – There’s nothing quite like swimming in the Ocean.
Star Gazing – Get ready for the best night sky views on the East Coast. The park works to limit light pollution allowing visitors to see incredible amounts of stars.

 

Learn More About North Carolina’s Amazing State Parks

 

 

The Wild Horses of the Outer Banks

 

While vacationing in the Outer Banks, don't miss a glimpse of the famed wild horses.

While vacationing in the Outer Banks, don’t miss a glimpse of the famed wild horses.

 

All over the Outer Banks in North Carolina, you will come face to face with the beauty of nature. But a glimpse of the wild horses residing in the Outer Banks will give you a sense of wonder and majesty like no other outdoor experience. There are only a few locations in the United States where you can see mustangs roaming freely. So while vacationing, this rare treat is not to be missed.

But what is the best way to encounter the wild horses of OBX? There are several locations along the coast where you can find them. There are also rules of conduct that you should abide by, for the safety of yourself, your family and the horses.

 

Where to Find the Wild Horses

Wild Horses 3Depending on the breed you want to see, there are a number of locations in the Outer Banks where you can find wild horses.

Corolla

In one of the northernmost points of the Outer Banks, visitors can take 4-wheel drive vehicles to look for horses or can enjoy a guided tour to these Spanish mustangs.

Ocracoke Island

Technically these wild horses have been penned in, but the fenced land (protected by the federal government) covers 180 acres, and the horses have the sense of roaming free.

Shackleford Banks

In the nearby Crystal Coast of North Carolina, you can get a glimpse of over 100 wild horses that have been nicknamed the Shackleford Ponies.

 

Respect the Wild Horses

Wild Horses 4There are two important things to remember when going to see the wild horses of the Outer Banks. The first is that they are protected—so don’t think you can keep one, even if it gets friendly. Second, these are wild horses. 50 feet is about as close as you want to be, so bring binoculars and a camera with a good zoom lens for photos. Also, if you have any pets with you, make sure they are properly leashed.

 

While it may be tempting to do otherwise, keep these three rules in mind:

 

*Don’t feed the horses

*Don’t touch the horses

*Don’t disturb the horses in any way

 

Not only is it illegal under both state and federal law, but it can also be extremely dangerous as most of these horses will defend themselves if they feel threatened. Wild horses are an enjoyable site—just remember to respect these wild and majestic creatures.  

 

Wild Horses

 

Outer Banks Wild Horse Tours:

 

Back Beach Wild Horse Tours

1159 Austin Street, Corolla, NC • 252-453-6141 • Website

Bob’s Wild Horse Tours

1066 Ocean Trail, Corolla, NC • 252-453-8602 • Website

Corolla Wild Horse Fund

1129 Corolla Village Road, Corolla, NC • 252-453-8002 • Website

Corolla Wild Horse Tours

1210 Ocean Trail, Corolla, NC • 252-207-0511 • Website

Wild Horse Adventure Tours

610 Currituck Clubhouse Drive, Corolla, NC • 252-489-2020 • Website

 

 

 

Rainy Day Activities for Kids in the Outer Banks

 

Tips for enjoying a rainy day with the family

Rainy Day

 

An Outer Banks vacation is supposed to be all about hitting the waves and lounging in the sun. Isn’t that the reason you brought your kids? So that they could get out and play, get rid of all that excess energy.  Unfortunately, you can’t ensure good weather every day of your trip. When those rain clouds start rolling in, you may panic and wonder, what do I do with my little ones?

Don’t fret! Here are a few activities for when the weather won’t cooperate with your vacation plans.

 

Fool Proof Rainy Day Activities for Kids:

 

 

aquarium-2The North Carolina Aquarium

Staring through the glass of an aquarium, it can almost feel like you’re swimming with the fishes in the deep sea. Located in Manteo, the North Carolina Aquarium boasts 68,000 sq. ft. for visitors and a giant saltwater tank measuring 285,000 gallons.

Museums

Kids don’t always jump for joy when they hear that they’re going to a museum. But the museums in the Outer Banks will keep the whole family entertained, and out of the rain. There are museums to meet every taste from the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum where the kids can learn about Blackbeard the pirate to the Wild Horse Museum for equine lovers.

Indoor Entertainment

If the kids are complaining about being bored, then head over to Destination Fun. Laser tag, an arcade, a bounce house and even indoor mini golf! Or if bowling is more your speed, why not try OBX Bowling in Nags Head, classic, family-friendly fun!

Art Galleries

Locally owned galleries are located throughout the Outer Banks. Let your kids get a taste for the finer things in life.

Crafting

There are plenty of shops where kids can create their own souvenirs such as at Life on a Sandbar. They also do braiding/hair beads, a staple for any kid’s OBX vacation. Or try What the Shell which features a craft corner where kids can paint shells.

 

Did the sun come back out?

CLICK HERE for some fun outdoor activities you can do with your kids.

 

 

Outdoor Fun for Kids in the Outer Banks

 

Kid-Friendly Activities in OBX

Sandcastle

 

You’ve packed the kids in the car, and you’re off to your Outer Banks vacation with the whole family. But how can you be sure that the kids will have plenty of fun things to do? There is tons of fun in the water and on land for the whole family. Check out this list of kid-friendly activities in the Outer Banks.

 

We’ll start with some fun in the water…

The beach may be all that you need to have a fun day with the kids. Many children are more than happy to build castles in the sand. Outer Banks is also a great place for kite flying (no wonder the Wright Brothers tested their planes here). For older kids, there are body and boogie board rentals. The gentle slope of the beach allows kids to walk out further rather than having to swim, and the breakers are further out, so boarders don’t hit the beach. For the adventurous family, there are other watersports such as kiteboarding and windsurfing. You can also rent paddleboats, kayaks, or surfboards. CLICK HERE to read more about great Water Activities in the Outer Banks!

 

Now to learn about fun on dry land…

Photo Credit: Paradise Fun Park

Photo Credit: Paradise Fun Park

Not all outdoor activities are water related. Nearby state and national parks have hiking trails. See the east coast’s tallest sand dunes at Jockey’s Ridge State Park! There are also plenty of mini golf and go-kart locations such as Paradise Fun Park in Kill Devil Hills. Playgrounds abound for little ones.

 

Still looking for more to do? Check out the Top Ten Most Amazing Attractions in the Outer Banks. CLICK HERE to read more!

 

 

But what if it’s a rainy day?

CLICK HERE for some great ideas about what to do with your kids on a rainy day.

 

 

The Joy of Asian in the Outer Banks: BuddhaLicious and Other Asian Restaurants

 

Cravin’ Asian? Here’s Your Guide to the Best South-East Asian Restaurants in the OBX
Original and delicious Asian cuisine at BuddhaLicious. Photo Credit: BuddhaLicious

Original and delicious Asian cuisine at BuddhaLicious.
Photo Credit: BuddhaLicious

Everyone loves a good Asian restaurant. Who doesn’t have their go-to Chinese dish that they love? Who doesn’t love to indulge in great sushi or a hibachi grill experience? And even the spicy sweetness of Thai cuisine is taking the nation by storm. But what if you’d like to have a little bit of everything.

A new culinary experience has come to the Outer Banks. An Asian fusion restaurant that brings authentic flavors but with a twist. BuddhaLicious is setting itself up to be a destination restaurant right smack dab in the middle of Corolla.

 

Delicious Delights

Photo Credit: www.buddhaliciousobx.com

Photo Credit: BuddhaLicious

BuddhaLicious offers lunch and dinner, as well as appetizers and sushi. It has meals you’ll recognize like Orange Chicken, Tikka Masala and Thai Drunken Noodles. But they’ve also poured their culinary creativity into such meals as Loco Moco, a Hawaiian dish that gives you an angus burger with a Japanese rice cake and chow-chow, and Butternut Nut Squash Curry.

 

Scintillating Sake

Sake is not just rice wine. It is a refreshing fermented drink that is an essential aspect of the Japanese dining experience. BuddhaLicious has compiled the most comprehensive selection of sake anywhere in the Outer Banks. Enjoy different flavors, and develop your palate as you sample a broad array of sakes. There are also inventive Saketinis, a signature drink.

Photo Credit: www.buddhaliciousobx.com

Photo Credit: www.buddhaliciousobx.com

Beautiful Atmosphere

BuddhaLicious recognizes that atmosphere has become almost as important to the dining experience as the food itself. That’s why they’ve created a Zen environment of fun, relaxation and food vibes. You can bring a date, your friends or even your family. The unique “Hot Rock” platter lets your table cook their individual meats and seafood the way you like it.

 

BuddhaLicious

887 Albacore Street
Corolla, NC 27927
252-453-4503
Website

Come enjoy an original dining experience that will keep you coming back again and again!

 

Other Asian Dining in the Outer Banks:

Fuji Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar

1201 South Croatan Highway, Kill Devil Hills, NC • 252-449-0628 • Website

Sanya Asian Bistro, Chinese Cuisine & Sushi Bar

3919 North Croatan Highway, Kitty Hawk, NC • 252-261-1946 • Website

Shun Xing Chinese Restaurant

5537 North Croatan Highway, Kitty Hawk, NC • 252-261-0202 • Website

Taiko Sushi

Outer Banks Mall, 5000 South Croatan Highway, Nags Head, NC • 252-449-8895 • Website

Thai Room

710 South Virginia Dare Trail, Kill Devil Hills, NC • 252-441-1180 • Website

Vilai’s Thai Chicken

5230 N Virginia Dare Trail, Kitty Hawk, NC • 252-441-8424 • Website

 

Italian Food in the Outer Banks: The Jolly Roger & Other Great Eateries

 

Make Great Italian Food a Part of Your OBX Vacation!

Make great Italian food a part of your Outer Banks vacation.

Make great Italian food a part of your Outer Banks vacation.

 

A great restaurant defines a community. Locals come back over and over again, because they know that not only will they be greeted by the friendly waitstaff, but that a world of delectable eats can be theirs! One such restaurant is the Jolly Roger Restaurant in Kill Devil Hills. When it comes to finding Italian food, there are not a lot of options. Tons of pizza places, but home cooked Italian? Few and far between. It’s a good thing that the Italian Restaurant that are in the Outer Banks have everything you could want. Atmosphere, fun, and most important, flavor!

 

Jolly Roger Restaurant

1836 North Virginia Dare Trail, Kill Devil Hills, NC • 252-441-6530 • Website

Photo Credit: Jolly Roger Restaurant

Photo Credit: Jolly Roger Restaurant

The Jolly Roger is not your mama’s Italian joint. No drippy candles on the tables and no red checkered table cloths. But this seaside restaurant fits perfectly into its beachy surroundings. Kitschy pirate décor, a gift shop if you’re looking for vacation souvenirs and signs emblazoned with their pirate logo. But from the outside, you wouldn’t think that amazing Italian cuisine lies within!

But the locals know better! They are open all day—breakfast, lunch and dinner, including their famous happy hour. The portion sizes are huge, so be prepared to take some home. And if you’re looking for nighttime entertainment, they offer trivia, games & karaoke, as well as the occasional local band.

All who come to the Jolly Roger leave with a smile on their face, completely satisfied with their meal—whether at breakfast with a plate-sized pancake or in the evening with their homemade pasta or seafood.

And if you’re in town for Easter 2016, CLICK HERE to see Jolly Roger’s Easter Specials.

 

Other Italian Restaurants:

Bambino’s Little Italy
106 Corolla Boulevard, Corolla, NC • 252-453-4004 • Website

Josephine’s Sicilian Kitchen
3701 N Croatan Hwy, Kitty Hawk, NC • 252-261-2669 • Website

La Dolce Vita
798 Sunset Boulevard, Corolla, NC • 252-453-0069 • Website

 

If it’s pizza you’re looking for, check out this article:

7 PIZZA SPOTS IN OUTER BANKS

 

 

Introduction to Fishing in the Outer Banks

 

Don’t be intimidated if you don’t know much about fishing, come to the Outer Banks and learn!

Come to the Outer Banks for an exciting fishing expedition!

Come to the Outer Banks for an exciting fishing expedition!

There is so much to do in the Outer Banks! Great shopping, historical landmarks and museums, outdoor endeavors, and of course, fishing. Fishing in the Outer Banks is an extremely popular pastime. Even before beach tourists discovered this beautiful location, the fishing in the Outer Banks drew fishermen from around the world. It could be the beautiful summers or the mild winters or the intersection of the Labrador Current and Gulf Stream, but the Outer Banks has some of the best fishing in the world no matter what time of year.

If you’ve never fished before, or if you’re a novice, maybe you want to use your vacation in the Outer Banks as an opportunity to develop your angling skills. But you could be intimidated by the plethora of fishing opportunities in the Outer Banks, and you don’t know where to begin. Here is your guide! Read below to get a fishing education. Find out the types of fishing available, and what that means. In that way, you will be fully prepared to choose the best fishing expedition for you!

OBX Fishing 1 OBX Fishing 2

 

Click here to view North Carolina Recreational Fishing License Types and Fees

Click here to purchase a North Carolina Fishing License

 

 Click here to read about charter fishing for summer 2016

 

Beach Boutiques: Shopping Local in the Outer Banks

 

Check out the locally owned boutiques in the Outer Banks!

Check out the locally owned boutiques in the Outer Banks!

 

When going to a beautiful locale like the Outer Banks, there will be ample time to enjoy the scenery and the plethora of activities. But what if you want to get a little shopping done? You could go to a department store or mall, or you could try something a little different. I say, shop local. There are great shops and boutiques that sell a variety of items that you will love!

Local shops have flavor and character. They aren’t cookie cutter chains that you can find in any town. And if you shop local in the Outer Banks, you will be able to find one of a kind pieces. Whether it be home décor, jewelry or clothing, find something that will get people asking, “where did you get that?” Your answer, Only in the Outer Banks!

 Click here to read more about why you must do some shopping while in the Outer Banks.

 

Be sure to visit these shops & boutiques during your visit to the Outer Banks!

Photo Credits (from left to right): endlesspossibilitiesragweavers.com, Carolina Moon, foxyflamingoboutique.com, gulfstreamgifts.com, You-Nique Boutique, foxyflamingoboutique.com, You-Nique Boutique, What the Shell, gulfstreamgifts.com

Photo Credits (from left to right): endlesspossibilitiesragweavers.com, Carolina Moon, foxyflamingoboutique.com, gulfstreamgifts.com, You-Nique Boutique, foxyflamingoboutique.com, You-Nique Boutique, What the Shell, gulfstreamgifts.com

Carolina Moon
Scarborough Faire Shopping Village, 1177 Duck Rd, Duck, NC • (252) 619-4298 • Website

If you want to find beautiful jewelry that can’t be found anywhere else, Carolina Moon is where you need to go. Whether you want pieces with a vintage feel or a sleek, modern look, you will be leave this shop happy.

Endless Possibilities
105 Budleigh Street, Manteo, NC • (252) 475-1575 • Website

This fascinating store takes tattered, second-hand items and turns them into something fresh and interesting! Handcrafted rugs, totes and other items, as well as the opportunity to learn to weave. This amazing store also raises funds for the Outer Banks Hotline Crisis Intervention and Prevention Center.

Foxy Flamingo Boutique
2515 South Croatan Highway, Nags Head, NC • (252) 480-3699 • Website

Ladies, check out the Foxy Flamingo Boutique for great original clothes and accessories. Come back from your vacation looking rested and stylin’!

Gulf Stream Gifts
2512 Virginia Dare Trail Nags Head, NC • (252) 441-0433 • Website

Serving the Outer Banks since 1987, Gulf Stream is the perfect place to find a gift to take home to your loved ones…or to find a little memento for yourself. Beautiful jewelry as well as nautical themed gifts, make this a one-stop shop for finding that little something to commemorate your visit to OBX.

Lil Grass Shack
2707 South Croatan Highway, Nags Head, NC • (252) 441-1922 • Website

This beach boutique is the perfect place to find your beachy look. Brightly colored dresses, jewelry and accessories that will tell everyone at home without a word that you just had a fabulous OBX vacation.

What the Shell
1157 Austin Street, Corolla, NC • (252) 597-1669 • Website

What says beach more than shells? Sometimes we can’t find that perfect shell on our own. But at What the Shell, you don’t have to! Find a beautiful piece of nautical nature to take home. Whether a decoration for your own home, or as a gift, shells add the beauty of the sea to any space. Your kids will also love the craft corner!

You-Nique Boutique Of Manteo
107 Budleigh Street, Manteo, NC • (252) 473-3050 • Website

It doesn’t get more local than You-Nique Boutique! If you’re looking for a perfect gift, or just something pretty for yourself, this boutique will have what you want. Custom Jewelry, fantastic clothes and so much more!

 

Click here to read about some other great shops in the Outer Banks!

 

 

Darrell’s 2 BBQ & Seafood: And Other Great BBQ Places in the Outer Banks

 

BBQ @ OBX

 

Mouthwatering NC Barbeque Can Be Yours in the Outer Banks.

Mouthwatering NC Barbeque Can Be Yours in the Outer Banks.

 

Slow cooked pork, dripping with sauce, filling the air with its enticing aroma. Barbecue is an integral part of North Carolina’s culinary culture. It’s roots date way back, and the act of barbecuing is more than just eating, it defines Carolina’s community. Barbecue sparks a lot of controversy. Pork vs. Beef. Barbecue vs. barbeque vs. BBQ. Eastern NC Barbecue vs. Lexington. But at the end of the day, it all comes down to taste.

There may be quite a few barbecue places dotted along the Outer Banks, but to find the best, don’t just stop at a place that has BBQ emblazoned on its sign. The places I suggest won’t be fine dining, you may even wind up with a barbecue stain on your shirt. But your taste buds will be quite overjoyed.

Here is your guide to the best BBQ places in the Outer Banks:

 

Darrell’s 2 BBQ & Seafood

Darrell’s 2 is the younger brother of Darrell’s 2 Restaurant, one of the oldest restaurants in the Outer Banks. This new addition to the Outer Banks food scene offers both quality barbecue and seafood. Their specialty, take out. They know that if you’re renting a beach home, sometimes it’s too much of a hassle to cook. So stop in to Darrell’s 2 for amazing food!

Darrell’s 2 is known for:

•Quality carry out and catering for any event
•Fresh local seafood, such as crab legs and steamed clams
•Barbecue and ribs smoked on site
•Southern Fried Chicken
•Mouthwatering sides, including cole slaw, potato salad, mashed potatoes, and fried okra
•A large selection of craft beers and wines

Address: 5000 South, Croatan Highway MP 14, Nags Head, NC
Phone: 252-449-5400
Website: darrells2obx.com

 

Kill Devils Frozen Custard & Beach Fries

As the name suggests, this restaurant is best known for its out of this world custard and authentic, hand-cut beach fries. But if you’ve got an appetite for more than just dessert and sides, sample the NC Bar-B-Que Sandwich. Just because this may not be a “barbecue joint,” the Kill Devil Hill’s exclusive sauce is a treat not to be missed.

Other things to sample are:

•Classic and Kill Devils’ original sundaes
•Shakes, floats, malts and hurricanes
•Hamburgers, so big and juicy, don’t forget to grab a napkin
•Hotdogs, wraps and specialty sandwiches

Address: 1002 South Croatan Highway, Kill Devil Hills, NC
Phone: 252-441-5900
Website: killdevilsfrozencustard.com

 

Spanky’s Grille

Spanky’s Grille keeps winning award after award for it’s incredibly tasty food. But at its heart, they admit to being nothing more than an old fashioned hotdog/hamburger stand. At first their menu was very basic, nothing fancy, but as they grew they introduced new things that locals and visitors grew to love. Their ever expanding menu includes the NC BBQ Sandwich, a fan favorite worth a visit.

Other things to try at Spanky’s:

•Cooked to order food
•Seafood combos & sandwiches
•Original and gourmet burgers, including the new Voodoo burger… muy caliente!!!
•Quirky sides like hand breaded fried pickles, funnel fries with powdered sugar and sweet corn nuggets
•Rotating weekly specials

Address: 4105 North Croatan Highway, Kitty Hawk, NC
Phone: 252-261-1917
Website: www.spankysnc.com

 

High Cotton Barbeque

When it comes to barbecue, High Cotton is the real deal. Their motto, “if you don’t see wood, it ain’t no good.” Authentic Eastern North Carolina Barbeque is their specialty. Locals keep coming back for more, and visitors make a special trip just to sample their delectable fare. The difference is in the hours or preparation and cook time that goes into the meat.

Other High Cotton offerings:

•Authentic southern sweet tea
•The original Matt’s Chick N’ Rib Sauce
Family Packages, one price will feed everyone
•Catering
•Delicious ribs, beef brisket and chicken
•A simple yet delectable southern dessert, chess pies

Address: 5230 Virginia Dare Trail, Kitty Hawk, NC
Phone: 252-255-2275
Website: www.highcottonbbq.com