12620033252?profile=RESIZE_710x Kitty Hawk (Katie Stewart)                                                        


The Outer Banks (OBX) is a group of picturesque barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina, and is the perfect family getaway.  With its pristine beaches, iconic lighthouses, and rich history, OBX offers something for everyone.  It’s a place where families can relax and connect, take leisurely strolls along the shore, and share some stunning sunsets over the sound.  For a broad range of family-friendly accommodations, check out the tourism website The Outer Banks of North Carolina.



Known as the “Sentinels of the Sea,” lighthouses were lifesavers in past times of the Outer Banks, helping mariners navigate the treacherous waters of "The Graveyard of the Atlantic."  With today’s advanced GPS, they are no longer the primary navigation tool, however, their significance is sustained by being a secondary confirmation in case of a ship’s technological failure, and an important landmark for local boat traffic.  Currituck Beach Lighthouse in Corolla stands 162 feet tall.  Built in 1875 with a distinctive red brick exterior, families can climb the 220 steps to the top for breathtaking panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and Currituck Sound.

12620034279?profile=RESIZE_710xCurrituck Beach Lighthouse (Connor Stewart) 

Bodie Island Lighthouse is located near Nags Head.  This 156-foot lighthouse with black and white horizontal stripes was originally constructed in 1847, and then reconstructed in 1872.  A climb to the top reveals stunning views of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.  The nearby boardwalk trails and the marshlands are excellent for birdwatching, adding a fun educational element.


Perhaps the most iconic of all, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse in America.  It stands at 210 feet and is known for its distinctive black and white spiral pattern.  Climbing the 257 steps to the top rewards family members with a shared window on the magnificent scenery below.  A visit to the adjacent museum showcases the lighthouse’s history and maritime heritage. 


Bodie Lighthouse, left  -  Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, right (Linda Stewart)


Historic Sites & Museums

Fort Raleigh National Historic Site on Roanoke Island has preserved the location of the first English settlement in the New World, established in 1587.  Families can explore the visitor center, which offers exhibits about the Lost Colony and the Native American history of the region.  The neighboring Elizabethan Gardens provide a beautiful place to wander.  From May to August, performances of “The Lost Colony” bring history to life and will captivate audiences of all ages. 


Fort Raliegh National Historic Site (Ian Stewart)


The Wright Brothers National Memorial commemorates the location where Wilbur and Orville Wright made their first successful powered flights in 1903.  At the time, the area was referred to as Kitty Hawk, because that was the closest town.  Fifty years later, the site became included in the incorporated town of Kill Devil Hills.  The visitor’s center will appeal to young and old with its exhibits on the history of flight, impressive granite memorial, and the steel and bronze sculptures depicting the brothers’ first historic flight, with Orville as the pilot and Wilbur running alongside the plane. 


Wright Brothers National Memorial Sculpture (Linda Stewart)


Wild Horses

Corolla Outback Adventures takes families, with children over 5 years of age, on tours “past the road’s end,” along the 14-mile northern-most shore of North Carolina.  This area is only accessible by four-wheel drive vehicles, and surprisingly grand homes and small communities abound here without a paved access.  This family-owned company donated more than sixty acres for a Wild Horse Sanctuary and has exclusive access to the Wild Horse Estates Conservation refuge, where you can see the wild Corolla horses, who are descendants of Spanish Mustangs brought over by Spanish explorers in the 16th century. Sights along the beach include shore birds and tree-stump remains from an ancient forest.


Wild Corolla Horse  (Linda Stewart)


Family-Friendly Dining

Sanderling Resort Life-Saving Station Restaurant in Duck offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a casual kid-friendly setting in the restored 1874 Caffey’s Inlet No. 5 Life-Saving Station.  Before the U.S. Coast Guard was established in the 1950s, this was one of seven stations along the Outer Banks whose crews conducted ocean rescues and provided maritime safety.  The menu of local fish, burgers, mac and cheese, and fresh garden salads will have overall appeal.

Trio Restaurant and Market is located in Kitty Hawk.  It offers a creative menu that includes charcuterie boards, paninis, crabcakes, and a diverse kids’ menu.  Trio market has a gourmet collection of cheeses, and an extensive, comprehensive wine and beer selection that will appeal to the adults.


Trio Restaurant & Market Gourmet Cheese (Linda Stewart)

The Village Table and Tavern overlooks the Currituck Sound in Duck and is perfect for the family to enjoy comfort cuisine with a view.  The menu features local peel and eat shrimp, fresh fish sandwiches, burgers, and mighty fine hush puppies.  The outdoor seating area with live music on designated evenings creates a fun atmosphere.


Blue Water Grill & Raw Bar in Manteo on Roanoke Island specializes in seafood, with oysters headlining the menu –– fresh, raw oysters and Oysters Rockefeller.  There is plenty to offer the less adventurous diners including an array of local seafood dishes, beef, and pork, and a kids’ menu that lists the essential pasta and grilled cheese sandwich. Everyone will enjoy the stunning views of the marina.


Blue Water Grill & Raw Bar Oysters (Linda Stewart)


Miller’s Waterfront Restaurant is located on the picturesque Roanoke Sound, offering stunning views, especially at sunset.  With a casual ambience, it is a welcoming place for families.  The menu focusses on locally sourced seafood and fresh catch of the day, along with land lovers’ options and a children’s menu.  A must-have starter is a basket of Miller’s Famous Hushpuppies (the mix is sold at the restaurant so you can enjoy this Southern fare at home).


Sunset over the Roanoke Sound (Connor Stewart)


The Outer Banks is a place where families create fond memories.  Memories of playing on the beach, flying kites, visiting historical landmarks, admiring the stunning sunsets, and enjoying the local cuisine will be cherished by all for years to come. 


Multi Generatioal Experiences in the Outer Banks (Linda Stewart)




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