With so many great destinations along the Carolina shore, it can be difficult to know what to enjoy first when visiting. The barrier islands are so diverse and have so much to offer -- without planning, it is difficult to get the most out of a vacation. With information and preparation, visitors will be ready to get the most out of a stay in Outer Banks vacation rentals.
These ten sites are among the most popular on the entirety of the barrier islands. They delight people of all ages with beauty, and are educational as well. Generations have visited them and enjoyed it, making these ten the must-see attractions for any OBX traveler.
Visiting A Lighthouse
The OBX are still a major shipping landmark, but before GPS they were also a treacherous passing. To protect sailors from the danger, a lighthouse was installed at Cape Hatteras. Although it is no longer necessary for shipping, the Hatteras light still works, and is available for visitors to climb and explore. The grounds around the lighthouse are also beautifully landscaped, and include picnic areas and an oceanfront park.
Hatteras is a short drive from many of the Outer Banks vacation rentals on the island. It can be up to an hour for visitors staying in Corolla vacation rental homes, but it is a magnificent landmark and most find it well worth the trip.
Seeing The Whalehead Club
This historic building was originally built for the pleasure of millionaires. As the OBX became a viable vacation destination for more than just the ultra-wealthy, the Club shifted its exclusive focus and became a museum. It is an architectural rarity, a 21,000 square foot mansion amidst smaller homes. It has been meticulously restored by Currituck County, and now is available for touring as s historic home. It is also worth seeing for its 39 acres of property right on the shores of the sound. It is also a great place for birdwatching, and is decorated to reflect the first owners' passion for the sport.
Wright Brothers National Memorial
This spot located close to the various Outer Banks vacation rentals in towns from Corolla to Nags Head, commemorates the first man created flight, from the dunes of Kill Devil Hills. There is a museum and extensive grounds celebrating the Wright Brothers' achievement.
The Elizabethan Gardens
These gardens were constructed to commemorate the first English colonists to arrive in North America. They are designed in the traditional English style, and located on the exact spot where the colonists first landed. The plants change seasonally, but the manicured and beautiful style of the gardens remains. There are also antique statues, including one of Queen Elizabeth I in whose honor the gardens are named.
Ocracoke Island is one of the most secluded locations on the entire Carolina shore. Homes here are more secluded than the majority of Outer Banks vacation rentals, accessible only by ferry, private boat, or private plane. The area is rich in history, complete with pirate legends of Blackbeard and fantastic stories of Native Americans. It is well worth a visit to this site; no stay in Corolla vacation rental homes is complete without a trip here.
Outer Banks Center For Wildlife Education
The Center for Wildlife Education is located in Corolla, with easy access from any Outer Banks vacation rentals, particularly Corolla vacation rental homes. It has long been a favorite destination for children and adults of all ages. Located on the waterfront, it is dedicated to all the unique wildlife that inhabit the rare ecosystem of the OBX. In addition, it has the N.C. Wild Store, offering a variety of gifts for the nature lover.
Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station
Located on Hatteras Island, Chicamacomico is the best preserved old-style lifesaving station on the OBX. It is near the Rodanthe Outer Banks vacation rentals, making it easy to access, and features five outbuildings that guests can see. It is available for tours from mid-April through November.
Jockey's Ridge State Park
Located in Kill Devil Hills, this magnificent park is a great place to go hang gliding. It features some of the tallest dunes in the United States, and is a great place to explore. It is in Nags Head, which is fairly central on the OBX making it easy to reach from anywhere on the islands.
Graveyard Of the Atlantic Museum
The same dangerous passage that necessitated the building of the Hatteras Lighthouse led to the construction of the Graveyard of the Atlantic museum. Dedicated to the ships that sunk because of the OBX, this museum is fascinating for anyone who enjoys maritime history or the legend of shipwrecks.
Wild Horse Adventure Tours
No stay in Corolla vacation rental homes would be complete without seeing the wild horses indigenous to the area. Some lucky visitors may have the horses come right up to their rental property, but for others there are the tours which guarantee fun interaction with these spunky and unique OBX residents.
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