Outer Banks Area Information

Map of the Outer Banks

The Outer Banks of North Carolina is a chain of barrier islands midway on the Atlantic Seaboard, 90 miles south of Norfolk, Virginia and 321 miles north of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. From Virginia, the Outer Banks is accessible by Highways 168 and 158 and in North Carolina by Highway 64. Surrounded by 900 square miles of water, the Outer Banks has the third largest estuary system in the world, wildlife refuges, maritime forests, the Cape Hatteras National Seashore and the highest sand dunes on the East Coast at Jockey's Ridge State Park.

The Outer Banks maintains a small-town charm with a population of just under 30,000 residents who live, work and play here year-round. There's another population รข€" the 250,000 people who visit here weekly in the summertime. What is it about the Outer Banks?

The sun, surf and sand are legendary. Sportsmen come from around the world to fish the waters of the Outer Banks. You can take a deep-sea charter, fish from one of the many piers or simply cast your line from our beautiful coast for some of the best catch found year-round.

The 30,000 acres of beaches and the waves of the Atlantic have made Cape Hatteras and surrounding areas a surfer's paradise and home to many annual surfing competitions. On the dunes of Jockey's Ridge you can fly a kite, or enjoy hang gliding lessons. Go sailing on the sound or bird watching at Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

History buffs will have plenty to see and do. The Outer Banks is an area steeped in the rich history of our nation's beginnings. The first English colonists landed on the Carolina coast only to become the "Lost Colony," but not before celebrating the birth of the first English child born on American soil, Virginia Dare, namesake of Dare County. The first flight of Orville and Wilbur Wright took place on the dunes of Kitty Hawk in 1903, marking the Outer Banks as an important place in aviation and transportation history.

Visit one of the many lighthouses that have long guided seafaring fishermen safely to shore by day, and spend the evening in one of the many fine restaurants that feature dishes created with the legendary seafood that's available year-round.

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