Outer Banks, NC  - Vacation Travel Guide

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Outer Banks Area Features

Bring Home a Local Work of Art

Many of the people who live in the Outer Banks are quite talented in the arts. They use the land, sea and even local plants and wildlife as inspiration for their crafts. They work in many different mediums to create their beautiful pieces. Within the towns of the barrier islands, you’ll find boutique stores and galleries that sell these one-of-a-kind items. Stop in to browse among the artists’ work. Perhaps you’ll find a treasure you can take home with you to remind you of your trip to the Outer Banks.

Stitched and woven items are always in hot demand on the Outer Banks. Decorative pillows with nautical themes such as those made by local resident Betsy Drake are popular and can give your home that calming seaside touch. Hammocks are prized purchases—probably because they remind shoppers of relaxing on the beach and swaying back and forth with a cool drink in their hands. Whether they’re on a stand or tied to the trees in the backyard, hammocks are incredibly relaxing. Take a nap on one and dream about being back on the North Carolina coast.

With ample trees on the Outer Banks, many artisans whittle away at carefully planned blocks of wood to create beautiful carvings. To these craftsmen, each piece of wood almost has a destiny of what it is meant to be. The natural rings and colors that are present in the wood lends to the creation of striking pieces such as hand-carved bowls, furniture, statues, and maybe even a beautiful chessboard. The possibilities are endless but owning a distinctive piece can be easily achieved.

Many artists and photographers have been inspired by the scenery on the Outer Banks for countless years. Some of those talented individuals present their work for sale in galleries, restaurants and shops throughout the region. Maybe it’s the nostalgic, yet relaxed feeling of the OBX that promotes artistic creativity. And perhaps the implied dimension of a painting in combination with colors that accurately capture the North Carolinian beach landscape calls to those who want to relive their vacation getaway. Regardless, many of these works of art are adored and cherished by art lovers around the world.

Throughout the centuries many a ship has been lost off the coast of North Carolina. With that, many glass items have been tumbled around the ocean floor, broken up in the waves, smoothed, sanded, and found by people searching the beach for olden treasures. This “sea glass” is used in everything from jewelry to adornment on household items including vases, picture frames, and more. Colors vary depending on the type of glass, but the most traditional sea glass colors are milky white, green, blue, and amber. When searching along the beach, it’s possible to find sea glass with an engraving that can indicate a clue about your new treasure’s past life. However, it’s getting harder and harder to find these items on the beach, and sea glass is now predominately created artificially using a mechanized process. Try a local vendor for a timeless souvenir made from this beautiful material.

These are just a few examples of the artworks and treasures that are created on the Outer Banks. Locals also create one-of-a-kind pieces using many other materials including stoneware, paper, and driftwood. While shopping for a gift to take home, you may be interested in the candles, paintings, sculptures and even soaps that are available for purchase. Take a stroll through one of the many stores that carry custom items to discover your own take-home reminder of your vacation. It’s always nice to support small businesses while acquiring something memorable you’ll cherish for years.
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