I recently took a trip to the Outer Banks and it was oh so lovely! We stayed in Corolla which is the farthest north you can go before you have to drive on the sand. A few of my favorite things:
1. Watching the sun set over the sound. Duh! Grab a glass of rosé or local beer and head out to the pier closest to you. If you're lucky you'll choose one that isn't too crowded. The view from The Whalehead Club is AMAZING.
2. Getting fresh fish every day at the market. I went to Dockside North Seafood Market, flirted with some surfers and bought whatever looked delicious...and it WAS! (here's a tip - bring a big pot of water with a Zatarain's Crab boil packet, a halved lemon and a cup of vermouth to boil, add a couple pounds of shrimp for like 3 minutes and immediately strain and dump them into a big bowl of ice. #YUMS)
3. Wild horses! Need I say more?
4. Beer and seafood at North Banks Restaurant and Raw Bar. Delicious and reliable! I went there every other day... I highly recommend the steamers and they have a great lunch.
5. The Shack: a coffee house and beer garden. Ok. This place is crazy. It's a coffee shop during the day and turns into a beer garden at night. There is a huge outdoor area with rocking chairs and driftwood furniture. Huge beer selection and local music. Very chill, very beachy. Kinda feels like its not 2015 when you're there.
6. The Blue Point. Fancy. Delicious. Sunset. Date Night!
7. Rundown Cafe. This place is a great stop when you are turning from the bypass onto the beach road. It's kinda Caribbean, kinda fusion-y (I mean, this is the south people), but in a good way and definitely a good stop after you've been driving for a while. FYI: it is a good 45 minutes drive north from Kitty Hawk to Corolla even though its only like 20 miles...
8. Kayaking, body surfing, jet skiing, surfing, HANG GLIDING!!