Outer Banks, NC
There are many reasons why a place attracts people. At times there is a single compelling reason why tourists prefer a place. Outer Banks has its own overwhelming reason – it’s the place where the Wright brothers made their first power controlled flight buoyed by the gutsy winds and positive hope. But that’s not the only reason, there are many other as well. The first colony was established and lost here in Roanoke islands in 1587. The notorious pirate Blackbeard lived here. There are many lighthouses. The beaches are good. The list is rather long…
A string of Islands stretching up to 145 kilometers on the East Coast of North Carolina, USA, Outer Bank is pounded by hurricanes regularly. The Islands are restless one minute and calm the next moment. The coasts of Outer Bank are so rugged that nearly 1000 ships have crashed so far and it was dubbed as the ‘Graveyard of the Atlantic’. If the waters were peaceful, the pirates made life difficult for the merchants. Much of the shores of Outer Banks are undeveloped. Wild horses still roam the place.
Despite the rough unpredictable weather, rough seas and a tumultuous history, Outer Banks is dear to most people. And car stickers bearing the island’s name Outer Banks are common in the southeast. The land’s beauty has trumped over the savageness of the waters off Outer Banks. The ships that sunk in these waters now offer great boost to scuba diving opportunity. The beaches and waters of Outer Banks are the activities that offer sunshine, boating, fishing, diving and many watersports. How you perceive the towns of the Outer Banks completely depends on you. They are complete with go-carts and recreation centers that families would like. They are also suitable for athletic outdoor sports.
The first place you ought to visit on a trip to Outer Banks is the Monument to a Century of Flight. Created in 2003, as the completion of the first flight made by the Wright brothers, this monument has 14 stainless steel pylons of 10-20 feet arranged in an orbit of 120 feet to symbolize the aviation landmark. The Wright Brother memorial is another place from where the actual flight was made. You will be standing right on the spot from where the brothers flew. In the museum, there are replicas of the original powered flyers that were used.
Civil War trail is a trail winding through Outer Banks. Along the trail you will get to see historical monuments and Battles like Chicamacomico. Fort Raleigh National historic site is the place in Roanoke Island where Sir Walter Raleigh’s people wanted to establish colonies in 1585. During the Civil war, the Union occupied Roanoke Island and it became home to thousands of former slaves in a place called the Freedmen’s Colony.
One of the most enduring legends is that of the English colonists – Men, women and children who came to North Carolina to start a better life, struggled and then vanished without a trace. Relive the mystery and legend in a musical drama called ‘The lost Colony’, written by the Pulitzer Prize winning writer – Paul Green, in the Waterside Theatre in Fort Raleigh National Historic Site n Roanoke Islands. If intellectual pursuits interest you, a visit to the Outer Banks History Center could satisfy the thirst for information about Outer Banks. It’s a center of research and archive of photographs, maps, newspapers, letters, periodicals and books from the colonial era to today. Roanoke Festival Park is a 25-acre site where visitors can celebrate history, education arts and entertainment.
Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station Historic site is a most complete life saving station in the entire USA, that was first built in 1874 and a second station was added in 1911. On the south end of Roanoke Island, you can watch fresh fish and seafood being packed and exported to places all over the world.
Outer Banks is home to a number of museums that not only provide insight into the recent past but also the distant past when the Native Americans lived here. The Frisco Native American Museum and Natural History Center contains a nationally recognized collection of Native American artifacts and exhibits. The artifacts are from native Americans from all over the USA as well as Hatteras Island.
The waters off Outer Banks are the graveyard of thousands of ships and mariners who struggled and lost their battles against pirates, wars and nature. The Graveyard of the Atlantic museum is a unique museum that is dedicated to interpreting and preserving the enigmatic maritime history of Outer Banks.
The Outer Banks Islands are home to five lighthouses and other lighthouses, which are in ruins. The Currituck Beach Light Station at the northern most tip of Outer Banks charges a modest fee to it’s visitors. While travelling to this lighthouse you would pass the charming villages of Duck and Corolla. A 75 minutes drive from the Currituck Beach Light Station is what it takes t reach Bodie Island Light Station. There are 214 spiral iron stairs that take you to the top of the Lighthouse. The surrounding area is great for family picnics.
The span of beach between Bodie Islands and Cape Hatteras is ideal for walking, swimming, surfing, fishing and kayaking. On the way to Hatteras from Bodie Islands, there are several places that offer these opportunities and on the way is the Chicamacomico Life Saving Station. Cape Haterras Light station situated in the village of Buxton. The lighthouse allows 60 visitors at a time for 20 minutes. Ocracoke Lighthouse is the next one that can be reached by boarding a ferry from the southern most tip of Hatteras. Ocracoke Lighthouse is situated in the village of the same name. The last one is the Cape Lookout Light Station situated at the end of the Cape Lookout Island. The lighthouses themselves may be worth exploring. However, when combined with joys of stopping by small villages on the way, eating in a small eatery or taking a tour of sites that start from the villages, it is hard to describe in words the joy you will experience.