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Outer Banks Area Features

Five of the Best Ways to Explore the Outer Banks

  By: Jacquelyn Eurice

With various ways of getting around the Outer Banks, there’s nothing stopping intrepid tourists—from learning about the land (and sea) around them. See the sights, tour the towns, and journey to remote areas using any one of the following modes of exploration. These are 5 of our favorite ways to discover the wonders of the Outer Banks:

1. Roam on 4 Wheels

Many tourists to the Outer Banks adore the fact that certain types of 4-wheel-drive vehicles and ATVs are allowed on the beach in designated areas. This allows for venturing to remote areas and seeing some of the natural attractions including the beautiful sand dunes and the wild horses. Vacationers have the option of taking guided tours that can highlight known areas of interest or renting a vehicle to explore on their own. In some areas, you may even drive your own vehicle, but a local permit may be required.

2. Take a Segway Tour

Another way to explore the Outer Banks is on a Segway. If you think that Segways are only used on paved surfaces, think again! Some of the tours offered in the Outer Banks use these 2-wheeled machines that can go off-roading—even on sandy beaches! The OBX was one of the first areas in the nation to offer this concept. There are also Segway tours of the towns that are fun and informational, but also a little calmer for the less adventurous. Segways are exciting and still a novel way to see the local area through tour guides who know the region well.

3. Bicycle Around Town

Have the freedom to check out numerous shops and restaurants without the hassle of having to find a parking space. Bicycling is an effective way to journey across the area, down scenic paths, and close to the beach. For cyclists who are in search of a long ride through multiple towns, there are bike paths (predominately existing along the shoulders of roads) that stretch from Corolla to Nags Head and from Manteo to Hatteras. In addition to the benefits of exercise, you can take in the sights at a leisurely pace, stopping wherever the moment seems right and finding the perfect spot for lunch or a great backdrop for a family photo.

4. Enjoy a Cruise

Put your sea legs to the test while checking out one of the Outer Banks’ most precious natural resources—the water. Not only can you see the coastline from a few miles out in the Atlantic, but you’ll also be able to view local aquatic wildlife. A few different companies offer tours that are both enjoyable and educational. This is an entertaining excursion the entire family will remember!

5. Take Flight on a Sky Tour

Aerial vantages are perhaps the best way to see the entire region. To take to the sky for a bird’s-eye view, choose a tour from OBX Air Tour Adventures or Kitty Hawk Kites and sit in the cockpit of a helicopter or in a bi-plane. Not only are these excursions thrilling, but when you arrive back on solid ground, you’ll have a great lay of the land. Seeing where you’ve been and where you want to go might make your exploring much easier!

Enjoy your time discovering the region where America’s first English colonists first landed and also explored. Fortunately, the ways to get around (and communicate) have improved greatly since the days of the lost Roanoke colony.

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