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Planning Your Outer Banks Vacation

Updated on January 30, 2012
DonnaCSmith profile image

Donna Campbell Smith is a published author, freelance writer, and photographer. She also specializes in horses.

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Hatteras Lighouse, an icon of the Outer Banks.  (photo copyright Donna Campbell Smith)
Hatteras Lighouse, an icon of the Outer Banks.  (photo copyright Donna Campbell Smith)
Hatteras Lighouse, an icon of the Outer Banks. (photo copyright Donna Campbell Smith)

The Outer Banks Official Travel Guide

North Carolina’s Outer Banks offers 100 miles of coastline. To get the most of your Outer Banks vacation you need to do some pre-planning. The Dare County Tourism Board makes it easy to plan your vacation with a free copy of The Outer Banks Official Travel Guide. Along with the book you will also receive the 2012 Getaway Card. You’ll need to plan your trip off-season (winter, fall and spring) to benefit from a long list of accommodations, restaurants, recreation and shopping business that offer discounts with the card.

Elizabeth II at Manteo's Festival Park

Replica of the ship that brought the first English colonists to Roanoke Island. (photo copyright Donna Campbell Smith)
Replica of the ship that brought the first English colonists to Roanoke Island. (photo copyright Donna Campbell Smith)

Planning Ahead

The Outer Banks Travel Guide has a wealth of information in the form of maps, articles, driving directions, a calendar of events and festivals that take place all year around on the Outer Banks, ferry schedules, rules for off-road vehicles, things to see and do, public beach accesses and rules and regulations for beach use, how to get married on the beach, and where your pets can and can’t go.

In a section titled “Adventures” find out where you can go to learn hang gliding off Jockey’s Ridge, dive, hike, surf, take a cruise, deep sea, pier, and surf fishing, windsurf, kayaking and canoeing, and biking. For the less adventuresome there is shelling, crabbing, and bird watching. In the hottest time of day plan to visit the art galleries, museums, and historic sites.

The guide has a complete list of where to stay and where to eat, divided into geographical sections: northern Beaches, Roanoke Island, and Hatteras Island. Here you will find out which accommodations are pet friendly, have beach access, swimming pools, and are handicapped accessible. It includes hotel, motel, efficiency apartments, beach houses and cottages.

You’ll also find listings of Outer Banks official welcome centers. Near the back of the book are colorful ads. Best of all, inside the booklet is The Outer Banks Getaway Card and a six page listing of Outer Banks Businesses that offer card-holders nice discounts. These businesses include accomodations 9hotels, motels, camp grounds and rental properties), restuarants, recreational venues (including Kitty Hawk Kites, Roanoke Festival Park, and Frisco Native American Museum and Natural History Center), and gift shops.

To get your copy of The Outer Banks Travel Guide call the toll free number 877-629-4386 or email information@outerbanks.org.

All Aboard for Dolphin Watching

One of many activities for Outer Banks visitors.    (photo copyright Donna Campbell Smith)
One of many activities for Outer Banks visitors. (photo copyright Donna Campbell Smith)

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    • CondoWorld profile image

      CondoWorld 

      8 years ago

      Excellent hub for anyone planning a vacation to the Outer Banks. Most people would never know about the travel guide and would definitely miss out on some great spots to visit while on vacation. Thanks for the information!

    • DonnaCSmith profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Campbell Smith 

      9 years ago from Central North Carolina

      LOL, Dan, I don't think my knees would make it now, but when I was a little girl I remember going to the top. What I remember is being scared of the height.

    • profile image

      Dan Spaventa 

      9 years ago

      I really enjoy your writing. BTW, the only picture better than of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the picture from the top ... assuming you can make it up the 557 steps. Thanks

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      9 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Inviting article regarding visiting the Outer Banks. LOVED your Cape Hatteras Lighthouse photo!

    • DonnaCSmith profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Campbell Smith 

      9 years ago from Central North Carolina

      I didn't do it;o) Maybe was an auto thing, but I am sure we have been each other's fan for a very long time!

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 

      9 years ago from California Gold Country

      OK-- your profile said join Donna's fan club -- so I did-- then When I looked in your fan club, I found the comment I made when i joined the first time..???

    • DonnaCSmith profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Campbell Smith 

      9 years ago from Central North Carolina

      Yes, that is the one. Mmm, I don't know why. I get yours. Or at least I've gotten ones this week.

      It is a magical place! That is where the muse lives.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 

      9 years ago from California Gold Country

      Sounds like a magical place. Is that the lighthouse that was "moved back" from the shorline some years back?

      I don't know why I am not getting notices of your hubs any more. I have to go searching, and it looks like I have missed a bunch.

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