Filed under: Activities & Attractions, Family Day Trips, Family Weekend Trips, Historic Places & Landmarks, Nature & Wildlife, One-Tank Trips, Outdoor Recreation & Hiking
Outer Banks Restful Retreats
Ready for a break from your life? Want to get away for a while? Kitty Hawk and Manteo offer just the right combination of blissfully natural settings, historic venues, rolling dunes, and endless beaches.
On the northernmost beach of the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Kitty Hawk is a charming town that offers a quaint, relaxing environment that boasts a traditional village, cottage-filled beach community, and the Kitty Hawk Woods, a massive maritime forest. To this day, the origin of the name of the town is a matter of local debate and happens to be where the Wright brothers opted to perform their aviation experiments. It is not really all that surprising, once you consider the ideal conditions that exist here for glider launching: steady winds, gently rolling hills, and remote sandy location. Today you can visit the Wright Brothers National Memorial Park and Museum, where for four years they experimented and finally perfected the art of soaring and controlling an aircraft, back in the early 1900’s.
Manteo is a picturesque, waterfront community on Roanoke Island and is, interestingly enough, home to more bed and breakfasts than any other Outer Banks town. It also boasts quite the history to ponder, with the legend of the “Lost Colony” as its longstanding, unsolved mystery that dates all the way back to the 1500’s. Every summer, the townspeople and tourists warmly greet actors and dancers who come to perform the nation’s oldest outdoor symphonic drama, “The Lost Colony,” at the Waterside Theatre. Another living memorial to the lost colonists, the Elizabethan Gardens are truly spectacular and great for a peaceful stroll through history. The Gardens offer a wide array of colorful flowers and native plants, Elizabethan-style buildings, and a collection of Renaissance statues that make you think you are living during the time of Queen Elizabeth I.
On the eastern side of the island, facing the Atlantic, the Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse is a reconstruction of the original cottage-style screw-pile lighthouse and remains an active aid for navigating vessels into Shallowbag Bay. While you are here, you can also visit the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island for under $10 a person, for an incredible time with the local aquatic wildlife.
Escape to the Outer Banks in North Carolina and you will find peace, if only for a weekend.