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Travel Bags: Outer Banks

This week on Travel Bags with Annita and Friends we visit the Outer Banks! It’s a place with a little something for everyone: adventure, relaxation, and food! Read on for additional notes from the show to plan your visit to this unique part of the Carolina coast.

The Outer Banks cover over 200 miles of barrier islands along North Carolina and into Virginia. They are formed by sandbars and other beach landforms known as “the spits.” It is an area with a rich history, notably dating back to the late 16th-century English settlement Roanoke. Today, Roanoke is known as the Lost Colony because its last known settlers vanished without a trace. Before the settlers disappeared, however, they were able to pass along the news that Virginia Dare was the first English child born in a settlement. Today, Virginia Dare’s influence is present in food and drink brands as well as in the names of several state landmarks.

One way to take in Dare and Roanoke’s impact is to watch a showing of The Lost Colony at the Waterside Theater. Starting in 1937, it is the longest-running outdoor drama in the country. There is also a Roanoke Island Festival Park and Fort Raleigh National Historic Site where visitors can see what daily life was like for colonists.

Another historic area in the Outer Banks is Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills. It was in Kill Devil Hills where the Wright Brothers made their first controlled airplane flights in 1903. After their successful flights, they walked from the Kill Devil Hills area to Kitty Hawk so that they could relay the good news via telegram. Visitors can check out the Wright Brothers National Memorial – a 60-foot monument in the shape of an airplane, a restored hangar the Wright Brothers used and their Kitty Hawk home.

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In addition to these historic landmarks, there are a number of outdoor activities to help make the most of the beautiful scenery. Kitty Hawk Kites has several locations across the Outer Banks where visitors can learn how to fly kites, hang glide, rent kayaks, try out the rock climbing wall or the mechanical shark. Jockey’s Ridge State Park is home to the tallest sand dune on the East Coast. It can be hiked via sand trail or along a boardwalk. Visitors can also sand board down from the top of the dune.

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At Pirate Adventures, children can dress up as pirates and ride aboard a pirate ship to experience the life of a pirate – complete with finding treasure and firing cannons. The North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island is home to turtles, sharks, alligators and more. At the Sea Turtle Rescue exhibit, visitors can touch turtles and learn more about the efforts being made to protect them.

The beaches of the Outer Banks have distinct personalities. Cape Hatteras is known for excellent fishing and sailing while the northern shores are ideal for watersports. Dogs are allowed off their leashes at Duck Beach. Lifeguards are on duty at all beaches.

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Lighthouses at the Outer Banks are also unique. The Currituck Beach lighthouse is known for its red exterior and has sprawling grounds visitors can explore. The Roanoke Marshes lighthouse is one of the smaller lighthouses, but it is part of an authentic coastal cottage located on a wooden boardwalk. On Bodie Island, the lighthouse has black and white horizontal stripes and is surrounded by marshlands and small ponds. The lighthouse at Cape Hatteras is decorated with black and white candy cane stripes, and it is the world’s tallest brick lighthouse at 208 feet tall. Finally, the Ocracoke Island lighthouse is the oldest in operation in North Carolina, and second in the United States.

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Photos from Annita’s press trip to the Outer Banks

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View from our vacation rental cottage named Fan-ta-Sea and managed by Kees Rentals.IMG_0122 (1)

A great location for seafood and fish.  And, it’s family owned, and they sell great desserts too! IMG_0108 (2)

Had a chance to see a fish where a shark took a bite of the fish as they were pulling it in.  Everyone and everything love fish!

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Shrimp from O’Neal’s Seafood

IMG_0072Cape Hatteras Oyster Company.  Father and son – Bill and Ryan Belter. Here they stand in the shallow waters of their oyster farm.  IMG_0061

Cape Hatteras Oyster Company’s oyster cages.  Several can be seen in the background.IMG_0022

The oysters start very small as seeds in smaller cages.

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Bill Belter is showing his boutique oysters ready for a tasty dish.
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Great place for lunch, people watching and enjoying the ocean view.

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Making donuts at Duck Donuts.

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Beautiful sunrises are just a few steps from your vacation rental home.

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Now, make this your view with a trip to the Outer Banks.

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