Every community has certain characteristics that distinguishes it—that identifies it as unique from other places. Certainly the Outer Banks has features that people who live here would say mark it as a different community.
Once upon a time, when the number of visitors coming to the Outer Banks was perhaps half of what it is today, the highways and roads of the area were adequate to meet transportation needs. That is no longer the case.
Three easy rides and a challenge. Mostly flat, but with some gentle hills, the Outer Banks is a bike rider’s paradise, and local towns and counties have put considerable effort into creating a network of interconnecting multi-use bike paths.
One of the problems that arises in writing about the Outer Banks is that there is so much to see and do, picking and choosing what’s best can become difficult. Almost impossible it seems at times. That is certainly the case when it comes to deciding how to describe the smaller parks that are part of the towns or county systems. There are so many of them, fulfilling a number of different functions and all of them are very well maintained. The problem is that writing about all of them runs the risk of becoming an endless list that can seem daunting and could easily become confusing.
The Outer Banks has so much to do that it’s easy to overlook some of the best activities. For golfers, that may very well be the case, although local golf courses have built a reputation for great greens and beautiful scenery requiring a full range of skill levels.
Now that Publix has entered the Outer Banks supermarketer mix it seems as though the local Grocery Store Wars are kicking into high gear. And with German discount supermarket chain Lidl planning on opening where the now closed Mike Kellys Outer Banks Tavern was, well, the competition is becoming even more intense.
The beach, that wonderful merging of ocean and sand that seems so perfect will always be the draw bringing visitors to the Outer Banks. But there is another side to this strip of sand, another world of beauty and wonder waiting for the slightly adventurous.
With over 1,000,000 visitors annually, Jockey’s Ridge State Park in Nags Head is one of the most visited parks in the North Carolina State Park system.
A relatively small park—426 acres—it’s appearance is striking with Jockey’s Ridge, a massive 74’ sand dune higher than any other natural feature on the Outer Banks. The park is home to the Kitty Hawk Kites Hang Gliding School, the oldest and largest in the nation. From the slopes of the dune, novice hang glider pilots learn how to soar.
The Outer Banks stretch over 100 miles from Carova at the Virginia/North Carolina border to Ocracoke. There is even an uninhabited island just south of Ocracoke—Portsmouth Island—that could properly be called part of the Outer Banks.
There was a time on the Outer Banks when a broken wrist or birth of a baby meant a trip to Elizabeth City or Chesapeake. In March of 2002 everything changed when the Outer Banks Hospital opened in Nags Head.