Hatteras & Ocracoke Islands, NC  - Vacation Travel Guide

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Hatteras & Ocracoke Area Features

Day-Tripping to the Northern Outer Banks

Photo Credit: Dare County Tourist Bureau

Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands are indeed “paradise found.” They’re quiet and relaxing while offering plenty of fun in the sun. However, the rest of the Outer Banks is amazing to explore, with an abundance of historic attractions, shopping, dining, and nightlife. Take a day trip to the northern beaches and behold everything the entire Outer Banks has to offer.

In the early 1900s, the Wright Brothers made history in Kitty Hawk by successfully taking flight. Visit the same area, which has been subdivided and is now in Kill Devil Hills, to see the Wright Brothers National Memorial. Walk through the museum and by the outdoor monuments while learning about the journey these brothers took to achieve flight for mankind.

At Jockey’s Ridge State Park in nearby Nags Head, there are many great outdoor and wildlife places to explore. This area is home to the East Coast’s largest sand dune, perfect for hiking, flying a kite or learning to hang glide.

Take time to also visit the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site on Roanoke Island and retrace the steps of the colonists in the first attempted English settlement in the New World. The fascinating historic mystery of the colonists’ disappearance is retold at other sites on the island including The Lost Colony Outdoor Drama, where this piece of history is explained through song, dance and theater. The drama is performed under the stars Monday through Saturday in the summer. Roanoke Island Festival Park tells the story of the early colonists with the Elizabeth II, a replica 16th-century sailing ship, a Settlement Site, a historical film, a museum and more.

The Elizabethan Gardens pays homage to America’s first English settlers with plants and trees of many varieties, plus statuary and fountains. Beautiful and fragrant plants can be enjoyed on these manicured grounds throughout the year.

To see a large variety of fish and sharks, along with alligators, turtles, otters and more, take a tour of The North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island. Exotic and local organisms that live beneath the sea can be witnessed in habitats that resemble those found in the wild. The entire family will enjoy a trip to see these creatures of the deep!

The northern Outer Banks also has several shopping hot spots. You’ll find brand-name stores and good deals at Tanger Outlet Mall in Nags Head. The Manteo Waterfront and the Duck Waterfront Shops are great walkable shopping areas.

Activities abound in the northern towns and everyone in the family will find things to do. From mini-golf to bumper boats, wild horse tours to kayak tours, there are tons of activities to delight your crowd for hours!

For additonal information, please visit the Northern Outer Banks portion of our website.

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