Currituck, Camden, Pasquotank, Dare

There’s no place quite like the northern leg of North Carolina’s Outer Banks where ferries and a modern bridge, further down, join the mainland to the narrow strip of sand with the Sound lapping on one side and the Atlantic Ocean pounding on the other.  There’s a silence here, broken only by the cry of seagulls and crashing waves along the road to new and breezy experiences.

You can spend time in an entire village that’s been restored by locals who care deeply about legends and history, and visit the area’s own Currituck Lighthouse.  Hunters will find the remote, untouched areas beyond the paved road especially beaconing, and you’ll gasp in visual delight when one of numerous species of ducks, herons, and egrets lifts majestically on fragile wings from the green protection of the marsh grasses both here and on the mainland’s numerous fingers of land.

Deeper inland you’ll want to visit Elizabeth City, known worldwide as the “Harbor of Hospitality.”  Here, in this well-known Intra-coastal Waterway location, the Rose Buddies present the ladies on any docking vessel with a rose of welcome.  Step into the area and indulge in visual arts, drama, and musical culture; breathe in the hush of an ancient cemetery, or join the clamor of a festival.  You won’t have to look far to find collections of carved waterfowl decoys in nearby shops everywhere. 

Back on the Outer Banks, spot the gleaming monument to the beginnings of flight at Kitty Hawk where echoes of flying machines still somehow hang in the air.  Cross over to Roanoke Island to attend a production of The Lost Colony play, the longest running outdoor drama in North Carolina, where you’ll delve into the mysteries surrounding the disappearance of North Carolina’s earliest settlers.  Enjoy the fragrant beauty of the Elizabethan Gardens, and view the Elizabeth II docked in Manteo’s harbor, while picnicking on the grounds of Festival Park.  Spend the night at a quaint bed and breakfast down the road and watch the moonrise over the water after sundown.  Hear the fishing boats leave the dock at sunrise and contract to fish with them, another day, beyond the ocean’s spray in deep deep waters, that sparkle in the sun.

Visit prolific vineyards and serene little wineries nestled into the sound-side landscape next to rows of sunflowers, and select your favorite vintage in the tasting room.

Indulge in succulent handpicked fresh fruits and crunchy vegetables from open-air roadside markets, and buy today’s catch to cook.  Or you can feast on just-out-of-the-water seafood cooked to savory perfection at a remote little restaurant around the bend.

Thrill to the view from on top of the famous Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and discover the Bodie Lighthouse near Oregon Inlet.  Visit an old store museum full of artifacts collected by a hermit beachcomber, and stroll through numerous art galleries full of nature-inspired oil paintings, watercolors, sculptures, and stained glass creations.

Enjoy choosing, from all over this four-county watery wonderland, wind chimes, mobiles, and jewelry hand-crafted from shells, driftwood, precious and semi-precious stones and metals to depict the area lighthouses, birds, turtles, and fish. Or, perhaps purchase a colorful handbag, rug, or tote woven from rags of abandoned clothing and discarded men’s ties.  The level of creativity and use of resources to express love for life on the water here is breathtakingly unparalleled.

Use the drop down Towns List at right, click on the map, or choose an interest from the buttons at left to plan your visit to the northern most Outer Banks and allow an extra day to visit all the nooks and crannies that are especially inviting inland on the sound side, which is exceptionally beautiful at high tide.



Scenic Byways
Yacht photo by Bill Russ, Courtesy NC Division of Tourism





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