Several years ago, my wife was reading an article about America's top beaches and learned that the beach on Ocracoke Island, in North Carolina's Outer Banks, was on that list of top spots. So, we decided to make it our family vacation that year to check it out. That was 2007, and since then we have made four trips to the Outer Banks, each time appreciating even more the island's beauty. We love the simplicity of the Outer Banks, the laid-back, relaxing, and non-commercial nature of what we have come to know as "paradise."
Since 2007, I've talked to a lot of people who have also visited the Outer Banks and learned more and more about places to visit and eat. For example, the Orange Bloosom Cafe in Buxton, made famous for the "Apple Ugly." Although the majority of the people I've talked to head north to Duck or Corolla, we have enjoyed the drive south over the Oregon Inlet bridge to Hatteras Island. This route takes you along one of the most beautiful highways in the country, US 12. After 14 hours in the car, you're really ready for vacation time, but the additional time to Hatteras, with all its spectacular views, is well worth the trip! There are a lot of websites out there on planning your Outer Banks trip. Start here for location information, history, and places to see.
My wife and I recently spent a week in the Outer Banks without our two boys. This was the first week we had spent together without kids since our honeymoon 27 years ago. We planned this vacation late, but we were able to find a one bedroom condo in Hatteras Village, near the ferry to Ocracoke. It was a perfect location to the beach and very near a lot of the family-owned restaurants that are a favorite on the island. Because it was the end of August when we made the trip, there were very few people on the beach. In fact, most mornings you could look a mile in either direction and not see a soul. Perfect!
The Outer Banks is also an awesome place for photography. The sunrises and sunsets are excellent, and because of how the Outer Banks are situated between the Pamlico Sound and the Atlantic Ocean, you can see both sunrises and sets on any given day. In addition, the sand dunes are always interesting, and the beach, the many Outer Banks lighthouses, and wildlife are easy and fun captures. This is a place where great photography exists at every corner and with some driving around you can find new and interesting discoveries that make this a very worthwhile trip to take.
Below are photos from our week on the Outer Banks.