So here's the deal. Since we live on the Outer Banks in the summertime, we see a lot of families come and go. There are so many fabulous things to see and do on the Outer Banks. I believe it's a unique beach experience for a number of reasons, but one of them is definitely the rich history of the area. Here's a list of MUST-SEEs on your next trip to the Banks.
1. The #1 MUST SEE is Jockey's Ridge. EVERY ONE who comes to the Outer Banks must go to Jockey's Ridge. If your health permits, climb to the top and see the amazing, panoramic view. In my opinion, it is the perfect family outing. Go in the evening after dinner, climb to the top with the kids, then hang out and visit with your spouse while the kids climb and roll down, climb and roll down, climb and roll down more times than you would think possible. Don't worry about their sandy hair. Just enjoy the moment. Then roll, don't run, down the dune yourself. You'll be glad you did.
2. The #2 MUST SEE is Festival Park in Manteo. There is something for everyone. The museum, settlement and Elizabeth II is awesome for kids. Truly, the hands-on museum is fabulous, educational and kids will love it. And throughout the summer, TONS of special events fill their schedule. It's always my first stop on the beach in the summer, so I can pick up the concert schedule and plan accordingly. In the last six weeks, lots of great music and theatrical performances have occurred in the beautiful waterfront pavilion including Darius Rucker (yes, Hootie) and the NC Symphony. Sitting outside in your lawn chair enjoying a concert under the stars with a sea breeze...perfect summer night. There's something for everyone here.
3. The Lost Colony play is a basic for anyone who comes to the Outer Banks. Want to understand the significance of where you are? Come to Fort Raleigh and see the Lost Colony nearly any night all summer long. Another splendid waterfront theatre spot offers a great show with tons of history to boot. Kids will love the exciting battles between the native Americans and the colonists, even if they don't understand the story just yet.
4. Best Pick for small children. Beach too rough for the kids one day? Pack 'em up along with a cooler and chairs and head to the beach behind Jockey's Ridge. It's a little known public beach on the sound with clear, private water and plenty of privacy if you're willing to walk down the beach a bit. When our kids were small, this place was heaven on earth. Sandbars poke down into the sound in areas, so moms and dads can put lawn chairs out in the shallow water and watch the kids have a ball. If older kids get bored or mouthy, send them to climb Jockey's Ridge--from the back side. You can see them from the beach. Turn by Nags Head Church (our first pick for sunday morning, too) just before Jockey's Ridge and follow the road all the way back until you see an entrance for the public access on your right.
5. Where to stay. We love South Nags Head where the beaches are quieter and less crowded. BUT if action is what you love, choose Nags Head. Don't miss Sam and Omie's for breakfast (fish cakes on Saturdays- yum) or the new Blue Moon Grill for lunch. If upscale is more your style, go to Duck. Stay in Schooner Ridge and bring your bike. You won't need your car at all.
Hope everyone is having a great week. Weather is fantastic here. Hope those of you in my neck of the woods don't mind me blathering on about this place. I want to share the love.
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