When summer comes around it’s hard to imagine that the permanent population of the Outer Banks from Carova to Ocracoke is maybe 40,000—and that’s only if Manteo and mainland Dare County are included. What may be just as hard to imagine is how many truly gifted musicians call the Outer Bank home—it a number that is out of proportion to the population.
Are you dreaming of a beach wedding? Envisioning getting married with a jaw-dropping ocean vista in the background? Want an iconic lighthouse in your photos? Large or small, formal or casual, the Outer Banks has dozens of stunning, romantic backdrops for wedding ceremonies.
Ocracoke Inlet is the oldest inlet in the Outer Banks. As an entry point for English colonists who passed through it in 1585 on their way to Roanoke Island (Manteo), it provided a safe, smooth passage. As the colony grew, Ocracoke Inlet became a thriving hub for trade. As trade and traffic increased, the inlet developed a notorious reputation for being dangerous — but not because of the shoals.
Summer has settled over the Outer Banks and a little past where the paved road ends in Corolla, the heat of the day is settling in. It promises to be a great beach day, warm temperatures, the ocean cool—but not too cold, and the surf rolling in with one and two foot waves. Families are on the beach enjoying the day…and not just human families. A stallion and his harem—three mares and a colt—are playing in the surf. No one is quite sure why the Corolla Wild Horses seem to enjoy the surf so much, but the most reasonable explanation is for the same reason that people enjoy the beach—it’s a great way to cool off.
The first written reports of the fishing on the Outer Banks may have been exaggerated. Writing in 1584 Arthur Barlowe told readers that a native “… fell to fishing, and in less then half an hour, he had laden his boat as deep, as it could swim.” A bit of hyperbole, perhaps, since Barlowe’s broadsheet was designed as much for information as it was for marketing, but his wasn’t the only account pointing to an abundance of seafood in Outer Banks waters.
From early settlers to the birth of aviation, there’s so much history in the Outer Banks that it’s one of the most museum-rich areas in the country.
The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in Buxton is an icon of the Outer Banks. Historically, the lighthouse was a lifesaver for mariners. Located on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, the waters off the barrier islands have fast currents, which is excellent for shipping because they help vessels travel quickly. However, Diamond Shoals, a deadly area just offshore of Cape Hatteras, is where the fast-moving Gulf Stream Current runs into the cold Labrador Current, creating big waves and powerful storms.
One of the quiet pleasures of a stay on the Outer Banks is a morning or evening stroll along the beach looking for interesting shells or sea glass, or whatever the flotsam of the sea brings to our shores.
Ready to explore Duck, NC, but not really sure where to start? While everyone has their own preferences, a perfect day can include good food, beaches, living like a local, shopping, and strolling. Here’s what we have in store for you.
From the 1800s to the mid-1900s, sport hunting for ducks and other birds was a favorite activity for wealthy vacationers. As a result, private hunting lodges sprang up along the coastal bird migration route known as the Atlantic Flyway. Birds travel thousands of miles during migration, and many stop to rest at the same place year after year. From Jekyll Island, Georgia, to Corolla, North Carolina, hunters would gather at these migratory resting spots to take advantage of the easy pickings.
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