Best of the Outer Banks
For anyone living on the Outer Banks, or regular visitors, it’s not surprising that the Outer Banks keeps showing up on “Best Of " lists. The latest? The town of Duck was nominated by USA Today as one of the top 10 Readers’ Choice Awards in the Best Coastal Small Town category. Or perhaps it was travelchannel.com choosing Cape Hatteras as one of the top five beaches.
It’s nothing new that the Outer Banks has been recognized as a place of charm and beauty. It’s been ongoing for 430 years. When Arthur Barlowe returned to England after discovering the Outer Banks in 1585, he took pen in hand and wrote the first “best of” description we have on record. “The soile is the most plentifull, sweete, fruitfull and wholesome of all the worlde …” he told British readers.
Hyperbole? Perhaps, but he was writing about Roanoke Island, and to this day there are still farms there.
There is no way of knowing just how many “best of” nominations have been awarded to the Outer Banks over the years. It seems as though for as long as there have been lists of the best of something, the Outer Banks keeps popping up.
As a way to show how often that happens, we have compiled a sampling of some of the mentions for the Outer Banks.
101 Sand ’n’ Surf Hotspots, Cape Hatteras one of top five beaches, travelchannel.com, 2015
Outer Banks Ranked #1, 10 Best Family Beach Vacations in the USA, U.S. News Travel, January, 2015
Carova Beach one of “10 Secret Beaches Worth Discovering,” CNN, July 2014
Carova Beach, Reader’s Choice, Coastal Living , February 2014
Rodanthe, “Most Romantic Beaches in Georgia and the Carolinas,” USA Today, July 2014
Bodie Island Light Station a “10 Best: Scenic Lighthouses Around the USA,” USAtoday.com, May 2014
Road Trips: Duck is top of the food chain on the Outer Banks menu, Winston-Salem Journal, February 2015
Three Must-Try Spring Food Festivals, Outer Banks Taste of the Beach, Forbes Travel Guide, February 2015
Read more about Taste of the Beach here.
Kitty Hawk, one of 10 Best Beach Towns for Families, Parents Magazine
Photo Gallery: Best Family Trips, Jockey’s Ridge State Park, National Geographic Traveler online, February 2013
Duck, “July 4th Weekend Getaway Ideas: Small Towns that Are Big on Charm,” Travel Truth, July 2014
Best Drives to Take Your Top Off, NC12 Hatteras Island, TravelChannel.com
North Carolina Road Trips, Outer Banks National Scenic Byway (Route 12), TravelChannel.com
“America’s Most Iconic Drives,” The Dare Trail (NC12), Travel + Leisure, October 2011
20 Best Beaches in America Best for Sports, Jockey’s Ridge State Park, mensjournal.com, Spring 2014
6 Scenic Coastal Marathons, Outer Banks Marathon, Coastal Living
“From Tee to Sea: The Top 10 Golf and Beach Combos,” Currituck Club, Links Magazine
Wright Brothers Memorial Monument, 10 great places to fly a kite, USA Today, March 2013
“10 American Spots You Don't Know About Yet But Should,” Nags Head ranked #2, Huffington Post, December 2014
“Best Places to Watch a Sunset” Outer Banks #5, Readers' Choice, USA Today, 2013
10 Best: Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, Top 10 Outdoor Concert Venues You Shouldn't Miss! Lost Colony, USA Today, June 2014
10 destinations where the weather’s just right, Kill Devil Hills, USA Today, April, 2014
Personal Best Of:
Best place to fly a kite, anywhere: Jockey’s Ridge State Park. Spectacular view that includes the Ocean and Roanoke Sound with a breeze every day.
Best place to learn to hang glide: Jockey’s Ridge State Park. See above for conditions. Sand is a much more forgiving landing zone than turf or stone.
Best “Taste Of”: Almost every urban center sponsored a Taste of Philadelphia or Hampton Roads or Chicago. Only the Outer Banks offers the Taste of the Beach, combining a tour of the northern Outer Banks in four days of culinary excellence.
Best place in the world to learn kiteboarding: Bordered by Hatteras Island, Pamlico Sound is wide and shallow with very few obstructions and constant winds.