North Carolina's Outer Banks

Mon, May 21, 2012 at 12:00AM

The Outer Banks (OBX) is a 200-mile stretch of barrier islands just off the coast of North Carolina. Naturally breathtaking, formed by centuries of wind, water and sand movement, and filled with more than its fair share of history, the Outer Banks is a wondrous place that still inspires adventure today. From the tiny town of Duck down to Cape Hatteras, there are way more than a summer visit's-worth of exceptional places to see and exciting activities to enjoy, especially on your Monterey.

Even before the area became a vacation hot spot, the Outer Banks was attracting people from all over the world. In 1585, two decades before the settlement of Jamestown, a group of English settlers built a colony there. The islands experienced a number of shipwrecks and some pirate shenanigans in the early days (in 1718, Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard, was killed by Royal Navy Lt. Robert Maynard there), but the Outer Banks was also the choice for one of the world's most famous events. In December 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright successfully flew the world's first airplane off Kill Devil Hill, blazing the path to modern aviation. An inspiring monument now marks the Wright brothers' historical achievement.

The OBX is a sport fisherman’s paradise, with so many angling opportunities its waters have been called “some of the best in the world” and the place itself "The Billfish Capital of the World" - for good reason. The long billfish season peaks in June for blue marlin and August-to-September is the time for white marlin and sailfish. All are caught consistently from late spring to early fall, and yellowfin tuna are caught year-round!

From your Monterey, you can expect to catch a variety of fish including spot, flounder, Spanish mackerel and cobia. You can also fish in the sound and inlet waters.

For non-fishing folks, more than 400 species of birds have been recorded at the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge. The Outer Banks receives perennial Best Beach awards, and the #1 professional kite boarding event in the world is hosted in Cape Hatteras. The Cape Hatteras National Seashore, close to 30,000 acres, was the first to be established by the U.S. government. Its Lighthouse, at 200+ feet, is the tallest brick lighthouse in the United States. The Ocracoke Lighthouse is the state's oldest and shortest, and it is the second oldest operational lighthouse in the country. The 640-acre Nags Head Woods Preserve is a national natural landmark of maritime forest, and the Elizabethan Gardens feature statues and buildings that make you feel like you've gone back in time with Queen Elizabeth I.

There are many marinas and public boat ramps on and near the Outer Banks, including: North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission Public Boat Ramps at Kitty Hawk Bay, Washington Baum Bridge, Bowerstown Road, Stumpy Point, Dock Street, and the Town of Manteo on Roanoke Island; the Dare County Public Boat Ramp at Wanchese; the National Park Service Boat Ramp at Oregon Inlet at Nags Head; and the Fish & Wildlife Boat Ramp on Mashoes Road, Manns Harbor. Parking is available for vehicles and trailers. For details, check this link:

And don't forget to familiarize yourself with the Boating Rules and Regulations for the OBX.

When you're not out on your Monterey, towns all along the Outer Banks offer superb beaches, water sports and outdoor adventures, plus first-class events such as the June 9 Jazz Festival, fine dining, and eclectic shopping. Bounded by the Currituck Sound to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, visitors enjoy all types of water-related activities. Consider exploring the Outer Banks on your Monterey!

Bookmark & Share

User Comments

Be the first to comment on this post below!