Beyond the Beaches in the Outer Banks

Article and photos by Patti Morrow

While the crystal-clean beaches are the biggest draw to the Outer Banks, there are plenty of other things to do during a stay.


Wright Brothers National Memorial at Kill Devil Hill near the seafront town of Kitty Hawk commemorates the spot where the famous brothers experimented and then executed the first flight in a controlled, powered aircraft. Gather up your stamina and climb the 257 steps up to the top of the black-and-white stripped Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, the tallest brick lighthouse in America.


Take a charter boat with OBX Crabbing, to try your luck at catching the sought-after crustaceans. The Outer Banks is known for its delicious species of blue crabs.

Jockey’s Ridge State Park contains the tallest living sand dunes along the East Coast. Frolic in the dunes, fly a kite at the windy summit, try sand boarding, or take a hang gliding lesson where you can launch yourself unaccompanied.

For the adrenaline junkies, how about hang gliding one mile up, over the Outer Banks coast? A tandem hang glider is towed up by a small plane, released, and then you’re soaring through the air like a bird!


Spend an afternoon strolling around the postcard-perfect seaside town of Manteo on Roanoke Island. The harbor front hosts a charmingly tiny lighthouse and there are several eateries, shops and galleries in the historic downtown.

Outer Banks Distillery offers tours and rum tastings of their locally-made spirits. Make sure to sample the craft rum made with pecans and honey. At the Seaside Art Gallery you’ll find both large and miniature paintings with diverse styles and talents from local and global artists.

Patti Morrow

Patti Morrow is a freelance travel writer and founder of Luggage and Lipstick – an award-winning travel blog for Baby Boomer adventurers. She was named by TripAdvisor as one of “20 Baby Boomer Travel Bloggers Having more Fun Than Millennials.” Patti is the author of the book “Girls Go Solo: Tips for Women Traveling Alone,” and has over 150 bylines in 40 publications, including The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, International Living Magazine, Travel Girl, and Ladies Home Journal. She has traveled to six continents, more than 65 countries, islands, and territories abroad, and most of the U.S., frequently in search of the World’s Best Beach and the World’s Best Margarita!

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