Outer Banks Review

The Outer Banks, NC in November 2014:

Having been extremely lucky enough to win a short break for two in Kill Devil Hills in the Outer Banks, to be used by the end of 2014, we chose to visit over the Thanksgiving weekend. Our certificate entitled us to a two-night stay in the Comfort Inn on the Oceanfront in Kill Devil Hills.  The hotel was comfortable and functional and whilst there is lots of accurate feedback on TripAdvisor, etc, stating that it is in need of redecoration or modernisation, we still found it to be perfectly okay for our visit.  On the trip down to the Outer Banks, we visited the Currituck Lighthouse, in Corrolla, just north of the town of Duck on the northern end of the Outer Banks. This was a very informative attraction, giving a lot of history of not just this lighthouse, but also the others on the Outer Banks. At this time of year, this one was the only one that was open for ascent, at a cost of $8.00 per person.  There are also other historical tourist attractions in the area, including the Whalehead club (1920’s house for Edward Collings Knight, Jr), gardens, wildlife conservation centre and historic Corrolla village. It was a very pleasant place to spend an afternoon.  We then made our way to Kill Devil Hills and quickly realised that the resort was closed for the season, with numerous signs saying “See you in April” posted on many shops on restaurants. We did, however, find a very busy and popular Tiki Bar, Mama Kwan’s, within walking distance of the Hotel, which had some lovely food.  During the remainder of the weekend, we visited the Wright Brothers Museum and monument, the Bodie Island and Hatteras Island Lighthouses and enjoyed the drive along the length of the Outer Banks, but finding similar deserted towns and villages due to the closed season. We also found the Tanger Shopping Outlet Centre in Nag’s Head, which had some great bargains just in time for Christmas.

Without doubt, however, the highlight of the weekend was the visit to the Alligator River Wildlife Refuge. We first visited the Coastal NC National Wildlife Refuges Gateway Visitor Centre in North Manteo (http://www.fws.gov/ncgatewayvc/) where we found very helpful volunteer staff to help us make the most of our time in the Refuge.  During the weekend, we were very fortunate to see Hawks, Harriers, Kestrels, Owls, Tundra Swans, Woodpeckers, Pellicans, Kingfishers, Bears, Deer and an Alligator, all in their natural habitat. As wildlife enthusiasts, we were thrilled to see so many varieties of birds and animals.  Overall, we will certainly return to the Outer Banks to see more of this area of North Carolina. If visiting as a family, I would advise avoiding the closed season as activities and attractions are extremely limited, but I would certainly recommend a visit and, if, like us, you like to see wildlife, make sure that you go to the Alligator River Wildlife Refuge – just remember to take your camera and binoculars!

Alligator Bear Lighthouse Owl Wright Brothers Monument Wright Brothers Plaque

***Thank you to Dave and Monica Jones for sharing the experiences!****