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OBX on a Budget (Part 3)

Updated on August 17, 2011

This is my third and final installment to this series. If you have missed any of my hubs please check out the links below to see more money saving ideas to make the most of your wonderful Outer Banks family vacation.

Get the most bang for your vacation dollar

Ok, so not everything can be free. So lets go on to some activities that may not be free but are well worth the cost that is incurred.

Pick and choose from some of these ideas and build your own itinerary. Go on vacation with a plan and a budget and you will make some memories that last a lifetime.

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge

Located in Manteo this area is open year round and there is no entry fee. Wildlife abounds in this 152,000 acre preserve. A great spot for hiking and bird watching. Guided canoe tours are available for a fee and the best way to see this great treasure. Fishing is allowed according to state laws and seasons.

Wright Brothers Memorial

While you are in the Outer Banks you may want to visit one of the sites that made it famous. The Wright Brothers Memorial is located in Kill Devil Hills at Mile Post (MP) 7.5

Although this is a fee museum, children 15 and under are free and an adult pass is $4.00 and good for 7 days. A great thing to do early in your trip to take advantage possible return visit.

Fishing lines in the morning sunshine
Fishing lines in the morning sunshine
Waves crashing on the Pier
Waves crashing on the Pier

North Carolina Aquarium and Jennette's Pier

Locted on Roanoke Island, it is a wonderful underwater experience for the kids. ($8.00 for adults and children 17 and under are $6.00) There are many extra programs like Breakfast with the Rays and Snack with the Sharks that offer kids a unique opportunity to share see and learn about some of the creatures that are in the waters right off shore. Make sure that you make reservations for these types of programs and be aware that closed toe shoes are required for participation in the events. Be sure to check out the Aquarium link provided to see how old your child must be. (different programs are for different ages- but there is something for everyone so check it out) The most expensive program is only $15.00 and that includes your admission fee to the aquarium as well so it really is not terribly costly. These higher priced programs have a snack or meal involved so hence the higher cost.

Newly reopened Jennette's Pier makes its debut in 2011. The new pier replaces the original structure that was destroyed by Hurricane Isabell in 2003. If fishing is an activity enjoyed by your family then consider spending the $65.00 for the 7 day pass for an adult (children 12 and under are half price) each week pass will also give you entrance to the aquarium on Roanoke Island.

Gateway to the Elizabethan Gardens
Gateway to the Elizabethan Gardens
Just some of the many flowers on the grounds
Just some of the many flowers on the grounds

Roanoke Island Festival Park and the Elizabethan Gardens

Located on Roanoke Island is the Festival Park. There your can climb aboard a respresentative ship, the Queen Elizabeth II, see what life was like in the days of the early settlers, visit an Indian village and go in the Roanoke Adventure museum. This and much more is included for your pass ($8 for adults $5 for 5-16yr and under 5 are free). Each Pass is good for entry for two consecutive days so take your time and enjoy yourself.

While you are in Roanoke make sure you check out the Elizabethan Gardens. For the same admission fee as the Festival Park you will receive a one day pass for the gardens. Flowers and statuaries are abundant. Check out their website to time your visit with one of their special children's events for a truly kid friendly time.

Be sure to grab a grounds map when you enter. You can get really turned around inside the gardens and you want to be sure you do not miss anything. Also a fun thing for families to do is the scavanger hunt where you look for items along your trip through the many sections of the gardens. Some are obvious and some are not. Good luck and happy hunting.

Some places of interest

show route and directions
A markerElizabethan Gardens Manteo NC -
The Elizabethan Gardens, Fort Raleigh National Historical Site, 1411 National Park Dr, Manteo, NC 27
get directions

B markerNorth Carolina Aquarium Roanoke NC -
North Carolina Aquarium, Dare County Regional Airport (MQI), 374 Airport Rd, Manteo, NC 27954-9485,
get directions

C markerRoanoke Island Festival Park -
Roanoke Island Festival Park, Manteo, NC, USA
get directions

D markerAlligator National Wildlife Refuge NC -
Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, Croatan, NC, USA
get directions

E markerWright Brothers Memorial Kill Devil Hills NC -
Wrights Brothers Natl Memorial, Virginia Dare Trl US 158, Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948, USA
get directions


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    • Hreichel profile image

      Heather Reichel 6 years ago from Northwestern Pennsylvania

      Thank you for the comments :)

      Since I am new to the hub thing I am really unsure how to source pics- or even what pics (other than your own) you can use. So to stay out of trouble I raided my vacation file :)

      I totally agree that many do not stray far- that comfort zone is hard to break! Hopefully this will entice some to see what they are missing

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

      Your photos are outstanding and this whole Outer Banks Series has been great. I would highly recommend the series to anyone planning to visit the OBX, even if they've been there before. Many visitors tend to stay within a few miles of the house they're renting, but it's fun to take a day to explore regions north or south of where one is staying.