Family Travel International USA

Gem of the ocean – Outer Banks

Soaking in the waves at Outer Banks

For all wondering where this gem is, Outer Banks is a 200-mile-long chain of islands off the east coast of US in the state of North Carolina. Sounds like any other island with beaches to enjoy, but you got to visit to feel the magic it spells on you that you want to visit it again.

Outer Banks mesmerised us with so much to do –

* The pristine beaches, where we just sat the whole day doing nothing but everything. Albeit, it may appear as if doing nothing is too much indulgence, however, every now and then it proves to be the re-invigoration one needs.  Yes! We spent quality time together enjoying the endless water surface, reading a book, making castles of our dreams, going for leisure walks along the sandy beaches, letting the waves kiss our feet, and collecting sea shells as our lovely souvenirs.


Outer bank beaches

Thrill and adventure of driving on the beaches. There are many beaches in Outer Banks where you can drive your AWD vehicle, some require a permit though. Beware, the adrenaline rush of driving here thrusts you to be more adventurous and you might get stuck in sand. We were lucky to have shovel to our rescue.

Driving on the Corolla beach
Driving on the Corolla beach.

* Chasing to spot some wild horses.

* Climbing up the spiral stairs of black & white lighthouses.

* Catching the first flight of Wright Brothers.

* Flying kite on the sand dunes in Jockey ridge state park.

* Enjoying the majestic sun as it paints the magical colors on the sky.

Magical sunrise Outer Banks
Sunrise- outer banks

* Getting super excited by taking the car on ferry to Ocracoke island.

* Or simply driving across the scenic byway to enjoy the beauty and nature of this picturesque place.

Picturesque Outer Banks

There are only a few entry points to Outer Banks –

From North via US 158

From West via US 64 through Roanoke Island and

From South using the ferry either from Swan Quarter or Cedar Island (Both are toll ferries and you can take your cars in them) to Ocracoke island.

We entered from North via US 158 and even drove the Scenic byway till Ocracoke Island which took us about 2 hours 30 mins which was worth every moment. The journey included taking the free state ferry (can take cars in ferry) to Ocracoke island. From Ocracoke Island we took the 2 ½ hour toll ferry to Swan Quarter (made online reservations in advance) to end our magical Outer Banks vacation with the promise to come back soon.


* During the high season, the vacation rentals and hotels are booked therefore plan and make reservations well in advance.

*  Plan to arrive early since there is long waiting queue for the ferry to and from Hatteras . The ferry terminals and ferries have restroom facilities though.

* The ferries have vending machine/ small cafe.

Neha Kulshrestha
Neha Kulshrestha
It is said " Happiness increases with sharing".
Hi! I am Neha, and I love to share the joy that I get from travelling. Planning trips, exploring new places with my husband and 2 kids keeps me going.

16 thoughts on “Gem of the ocean – Outer Banks”

    1. Indeed Outer banks is a wonderful destination. Yes it was fun to drive on the beach, you can drive your own 4*4 vehicle also, but have to be cautious and prepared.

    1. Thanks a lot..glad you liked it and reminded you of your old friends..This is so fulfilling experience.:-)

  1. That looks so good for a road trip. I haven’t done the east coast of the US yet, I’ll add this to my plan whenever I’m able to visit. 🙂

  2. My sister and her family just got back from a vacation in the Outer Banks and she has nothing but praises for the beaches. She said it was like paradise to sit on the sand and watch the sunrise and sunset for 4 days. I have to plan a trip there too, maybe next summer would be great!

    1. Yes , Outer Banks is so enchanting that it hovers in your minds all the times. I am glad that your sister loved it.
      Surely do plan a trip soon, spring and fall is also a good time if you want to avoid crowd. I am sure your sister will have lots of tips for you, but do let me know if you need any help planning.

    1. It was quiet an adventure to spot that single wild horse. Our AWD got stuck in sand also just to spot one. 😉
      Thanks for appreciating. These are beautiful beaches…must visit..

    1. Thanks…Its always good to share your experience that can inspire others.
      Yes you should add it to your bucket list and plan to visit.

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