The Outer Banks of North Carolina
The Outer Banks is a great destination in North Carolina with so much to see and do from surfing to fishing, enjoying fun in the sand, sun and surf. The Outer Banks of North Carolina is famous world wide.The beatiful North Carolina coastal scenes include the vast Atlantic Ocean waters, gorgeous sunrises and sunsets, calm sound waters, windswept sand dunes and wide clean sandy beaches. It truly is a beautiful place with a unique landscape of beaches, sea oats, waves, fishing piers, bridges and lighthouses. A trip to the North Carolina Outer Banks makes for a memorable trip or vacation for many.
The North Carolina Outer Banks are formed by a 200 mile long chain of barrier islands that shape the eastern border of the state The barrier islands on the Outer Banks have the Atlantic Ocean to the east and sound waters to the west. The islands are very narrow in some areas and only about 3 miles wide at the widest points. The Outer Banks have breathtaking scenes of sand dunes, beaches, ocean views, sound waters, sunrises and sunsets.
The Outer Banks start at the north at the Virginia-NC border and
continue down the coast to the south to Cape Lookout. The Outer Banks of North Carolina include the following coastal counties: Currituck County, Dare County, and Hyde County. The southern Outer Banks are the islands and beaches south of Portsmouth Island, they are also referred to as The Crystal Coast.
For such a narrow strip of sand dunes, sea oats, shrubs and trees the Outer Banks of North Carolina offers a long list of activities and
adventures for those looking for sun, sand and fun. Activities are surfing, fishing, wind surfing, hang gliding, kayaking, pier fishing,
surf fishing, golf, sand dune climbing, parasailing, jet skiing, lighthouse climbing, sailing, shell hunting, and beach combing to name just a few of the exciting sports and activities one can experience on the Outer Banks of North Carolina! And an Outer Banks wedding is an unforgettable event!
Outer Banks Lighthouses
The Outer Banks has several lighthouses along the coast each unique in appearance.
The Currituck Beach Lighthouse located in Corolla is a red
brick 158 foot tall structure and can be seen 18 miles out over the ocean waters.
The Bodie Island Lighthouse is located on the sound side in South Nags Head. Standing 150 foot in height with horizontal black and white stripes it has a 19 mile beam of visibility.
One of the most famous lighthouses in the United States is located at the Outer Banks on Hatteras Island. The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse stands a majestic 208 feet tall and has the black and white candy cane strips. Its beam can be seen 20
miles away and help ships navigate the dangerously shallow Diamond Shoals located just off the coast.
On the remote island of Ocracoke is the Ocracoke Lighthouse. The shortest of the Outer Banks Lighthouses, it stand at 75 feet tall and is painted solid white. The beam can be seen 14 miles away and the lighthouse marks the entrance to Silver Lake on Ocracoke Island.
Cape Lookout Lighthouse is part of the Crystal Coast and is part of
the Cape Lookout National Seashore. The lighthouse and island can be reached only by private boat or boat taxi. Cape Lookout National Seashore Visitors Center is located in Beaufort and Harkers Island. Both centers have Island Express Ferry Services to Cape Lookout Lighthouse.
Outer Banks Fishing
The North Carolina Outer Banks is one of the best places to fish. It
offers a wide variety of fishing opportunities from the ocean or the sound. With fishing piers, surf fishing, charter boats and head boats, the fishing is great year round. The tackle shops have everything you need including helpful staff who will set you up with the right tackle and bait. The locals can also give some good old advice about how and where to catch the fish on the Outer Banks.
Outer Banks Weather and Ever Changing Landscape
The Outer Banks landscape is always changing. The ever changing landscape is due to the tides, erosion, nor’easters, hurricanes, storms and human impact. The changes to the geographical landscape are constant and is always changing the appearance of the islands. High tides and blowing sand can alter the
sand dunes and cause severe beach erosion. The frequent nor’easter storms can result in extensive damage.
But the most damaging weather condition are caused by the
hurricanes that frequently brush the coast. A direct hit to the Outer Banks can cause major destruction to the islands. In 2003 when Hurricane Isabel hit the Outer Banks a new inlet was formed in Hatteras Island, separating the island just south of Frisco. Hatteras Village was unable to be accessed for months except by boat until the inlet was filled in by pumping sand into the inlet and sections of Highway 12 had to be replaced or repaved. The most recent Hurricane Irene in August 2011 did it again. Highway 12 was breached in several locations on the Outer Banks.
Take a look at the Outer Banks of North Carolina…