The Outer Banks are four narrow barrier islands that skim more than 100 miles of the stunning North Carolina shoreline: Bodie, Roanoke, Hatteras, and Ocracoke Islands are linked together by bridges and ferries.
Each island has its own distinctive personality and a plethora of fun things to do, see and eat. It was the perfect destination to choose for our boomer girlfriends getaway!
The beaches are the Outer Banks’ biggest draw, with good reason. From morning coffee on vibrant Nags Head Beach to bodyboarding on Cape Hatteras beach – listed as number 6 of Dr. Beach’s Top 10 Beaches for 2018 – there’s a beach for every type of activity or just to chill.
Beyond the beach
Beyond the inviting beaches, here are some of our favorites things to see and do:
- For history, head to the Wright Brothers National Memorial to learn about how the brothers became famous for their quest to be the first to fly, and why they chose the Outer Banks for their experiments.
- Spend an afternoon in the charming seaside town of Manteo on Roanoke Island. Stroll the narrow alleys, visit the tiny lighthouse and harbor front, and browse the boutique shops and galleries in the historic downtown.
- Tour the Outer Banks Distillery and sample the delicious craft rum made with pecans and honey.
- Climb the 257 steps of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, the tallest brick lighthouse in America for views of the protected Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
- Visit KDH Co-op to find exquisite paintings, sculpture, sea glass jewelry and other crafts from a selection of juried artists in the area.
- Café Lachinee offers a delicious take on a southern breakfast of Eggs Benedict on fried green tomatoes. Go to the Lifesaving Station restaurant for the tastiest fried oysters in North Carolina.
- For an upscale but relaxed beach vibe, stay at the Sanderling Resort. It’s right on the oceanfront in Duck and close to lots of restaurants and amenities.
A great destination for girlfriends of a certain age
For a boomer girlfriends getaway on the Outer Banks, the beaches are not only a great place to sit under an umbrella or splash in the water but are within walking distance to shops and cafes. There are art galleries and shops where you can simply window-shop or purchase full-size paintings, miniature paintings, sea glass jewelry, sculptures, and more.
These charming beach towns offer gorgeous protected seashore along with a mix of opportunities for adventure, fresh seafood, relaxation and soaking in some culture.
What’s appealing to the over-50 luxury traveler?
- Boomers love history, and the Outer Banks is rich in history. The Cape Hatteras National Seashore was the first named beach in the U.S., the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the tallest brick lighthouse in the U.S., and Kitty Hawk was the site of the Wright Brothers first flight.
- The charming seaside towns have the kind of timeless, relaxed vibe reminiscent of childhood vacations.
- The Outer Banks offers an abundance of great food and drink, especially the fresh crab and locally-distilled rum.
- Accommodations run the gamut to suit every boomer style, from the upscale Sanderling, the relaxed boutique Inn on Pamlico Sound, or the Koru Village Beach Club with its chill vibe and Jimmy Buffet music blasting at the pool and tiki bar. Why not island-hop and try all three?
- Don’t forget to pack sunscreen and insect repellant when traveling to the Outer Banks during the summer.
Be sure to get the whole scoop on Girls’ Getaway: Best Things to Do in the Outer Banks on Gone to Carolinas.
Disclosure: The author’s visit to the Outer Banks was hosted by the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau.
All photo credits: Patti Morrow
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