Outer Banks Journals

Wasting Away on the Outer Banks

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A September 2006 trip to Outer Banks by moatway

Wright Brothers National Memorial Photo, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina More Photos
Quote: September in the Outer Banks: sunny beaches, restaurants and interesting sites, a perfect holiday.

Wasting Away on the Outer Banks

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Overview

Surf's up in Duck Photo,
Quote:
A 125 mile long strip of land, often less than a mile wide, off the North Carolina coast, the Outer Banks are a popular tourist destination primarily for the beaches. In real terms, they are divided into four parts: the northern banks (Southern Shores, Duck, and Corolla), the central banks (Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head and Roanoke Island), Hatteras Island, and Okracoke. The northern section is split by highway 12 which goes north through Southern Shores to Corolla. In Corolla there is the Currituck Heritage Park with three separate attractions: the Whalehead Club (a mansion built in 1922), the Currituck lighthouse and the Wildlife Center. This section is the most newly developed section of ...Read More

Barrier Island Station

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Hotel | "Barrier Island Station Duck"

Barrier Island Station Photo, Duck, North Carolina
Quote:
Barrier Island Station Duck is on a large piece of land that stretches from a sandy, Atlantic beach to Route 12, almost to Carrituck Sound. The weathered, shingle buildings with their exterior staircases and bits of gingerbread seem almost ominous, particularly at night, right out of a Dickensian novel. The resort offers a brief list of programming: bingo, a BBQ, a get-together, etc., and it offers a reasonable selection of amenities. There is a large free-form outdoor pool with kiddie pool near the beach access, an indoor pool with a games room, several tennis courts, and a scattering of charcoal BBQ pits about the property. If you are beach-oriented, units in the 200, 800, 400 and 700 ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 11, 2006

Barrier Island Station
1245 Duck Road
Duck, North Carolina
(252) 261-4610

Fishbones Sunset Grill and Raw Bar

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Restaurant | "Fishbone's Sunset Grill and Raw Bar"

Quote:
It’s big, busy, and noisy, an extremely popular place from its 8am breakfast opening to its late-night closing. It’s big enough that it’s hard to see all of it; there are two levels and an outside deck. Fishbone’s doesn’t take reservations, but they will give you a flashing pager to summon you from the bar or the parking lot for dinner. To mitigate the wait, it might be well to avoid the 6:30 to 8pm crush.The menu is extensive. There is something for everyone; the portions are large-large and the service is so fast that it’s frightening. Oh yes, and the food is really good. The menu includes all the usual appetizers, from calamari to hot wings and potato skins ($4 to $10). There is a steamer servin...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 11, 2006

Fishbones Sunset Grill and Raw Bar
1264 Duck Rd.
Duck, North Carolina 27949
(252) 261-3901

Blue Point Bar and Grill

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Restaurant | "The Blue Point Bar and Grill"

Quote:
Make your reservations and plan to spend a couple of hours in this inviting space. The Blue Point has been around for awhile, but this location in the Waterfront Shops is expanded, new, and it is exceptional. Cork ceiling tiles hung with contemporary lighting reveal a stylish ambience. The walls are a honey wood with darker casings around the windows. The banquette seating is red and the floor is a black and white checker board while table tops are wood, reflecting the coloration of the walls, and without linens other than the heavy napkins. Apparently, part of the look that the owners were going for was big, old beach cottage… but it is a very sleek beach cottage. Part of the room is dominated by a g...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 11, 2006

Blue Point Bar and Grill
1240 Duck Road
Duck, North Carolina 27949
(252) 261-8090

Elizabeth's Cafe and Winery

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Restaurant

Quote:
For many travelers, one of the great joys is finding a restaurant at the end of the day that is truly memorable. Elizabeth’s is one of those; your research will show you that it has won an uninterrupted list of Wine Spectator awards for "one of the most outstanding wine lists in the world" since its inception in 1991. In 2003, it was a Sante Magazine (the magazine for restaurant professionals) Grand Award Winner for "The Best Fine Dining Wine Restaurant in the United States" and in 2004 – 2005, it was one of two American restaurants inducted into the Sante Hall of Fame. It has consistently won International Restaurant and Hospitality Rating Bureau Awards as one of America’s top 20 restaurants. ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 11, 2006

Elizabeth's Cafe and Winery
1177 Duck Road
Duck, North Carolina
(252) 261-6145

Fort Raleigh National Historic Site

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Attraction | "Fort Raleigh"

Quote:
The story of the "Lost Colony" is one of America’s interesting mysteries. Between 1584 and 1587, three expeditions of exploration and colonization were launched by Sir Walter Raleigh. The first was brief and found that Virginia had promise, while the second, in 1585, consisted of 108 male colonists brought to Roanoke by Sir Richard Grenville. The relationship with the Indians was soured by the predatory nature of the English and later by the murder of some of the Indian leadership.In 1586, those colonists returned to England. In 1587, another attempt at colonization was made, but this time with 89 men, 17 women, and 11 children under the leadership of John White. They were to settle on the Chesapea...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 11, 2006

Fort Raleigh National Historic Site
1401 National Park Drive
Manteo, North Carolina 27954
(252) 473-5772

Elizabethan Gardens

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Attraction

Elizabethan Gardens Photo, Outer Banks, North Carolina
Quote:
The lines of Robert Browning’s Home Thoughts, From Abroad tumbled through my mind during our entire time in the gardens… "Oh, to be in England/Now that April’s there,/ And whoever wakes in England /Sees some morning, unaware,/That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf /Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,/While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough /In England – now!" Such is the effect of this garden established in 1951 as a memorial to the "Lost Colony". It is a fitting tribute, located as it is, on the shores of Roanoke Sound, near the site where the colonists were last seen. The gardens (2006, adult: $8) are a wonderful place to pass time; a complete sensory experience as b...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 11, 2006

Elizabethan Gardens
3 miles north of Manteo on highway 64/264
Outer Banks, North Carolina 27954
(252) 473-3234

Wright Brothers National Memorial

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Attraction

Wright Brothers National Memorial Photo, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina
Quote:
We start in the visitor center (2006, adult: $4) which is not particularly large, but then, the story is not particularly complicated. It’s the story of two brothers from Ohio, the proprietors of a bicycle repair and manufacturing company, who fulfilled a dream at Kitty Hawk on this site. Orville and Wilbur Wright were the sons of a religious leader. Their mother, college educated, ensured that their scientific and inquisitive edges were sharply honed. Fascinated by the idea of flight through toys and early European non-powered experiments, they decided to explore the possibilities. Inside the visitor center, you will read the timeline of their work and see a replica of their 1902 glider...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 11, 2006

Wright Brothers National Memorial
Mile Post 7.5 On U.s. Hwy 158
Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina 27948
(252) 441-7430

Cape Hatteras National Seashore

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Story/Tip

The Bodie Island Lighthouse Photo, Outer Banks, North Carolina
Quote:
No trip to the Outer Banks would be complete without a visit to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Driving south from the Roanoke turn-off, it is 60 miles to Hatteras through a barren strip of dunes, sea grasses, stunted pines, and scrub. Before traversing the bridge over the Oregon Inlet, a road turns right to the Bodie Island Lighthouse. The light house, with its unique horizontal stripes in black and white, is 156 feet tall, was completed in 1872, a twin to the Currituck Lighthouse, built on the same architectural plans with bricks from the same Baltimore brickyard. Next to it is the original lighthouse keeper’s house which now contains displays on lighthouses and a gift shop. Unlike ...Read More

Currituck Heritage Park (Corolla)

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Story/Tip

The Whalehead Club Photo, Kitty Hawk, North Carolina
Quote:
Take time to drive north to Corolla to see the Heritage Park, where the visitor can access three attractions: the Currituck Beach Lighthouse, the Whalehead Club, and the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education. We were most attracted by the Whalehead Club, a 21,000-square-foot mansion that once had an estate of 2,000 acres.Begun in 1922, the mansion was built for Mr. and Mrs. E.C. Knight as a summer home from which they could indulge their love of duck hunting. (Ducks from Currituck Sound’s marshes were once considered a delicacy and were shipped to the cities of the north by the barrel.) Knight was the son of Edward Collings Knight Sr., who had made a fortune in sugar refining and railroa...Read More