We had a wonderful opportunity while visiting D.C. to sneak away for a few days to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. My brother’s significant other’s family lives there in a beach front community in Corolla and invited us along for Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is always best with friends and family, so we drove the 5-6 hours through Virginia to the Outer Banks barrier islands.
First off, it was a wonderful home with wonderful hosts. I can’t say enough about the hospitality of our new friends. And her parents’ house was simply beautiful – the beds were super comfortable, each room had access to the sea breeze outside, I didn’t have to share a bathroom with a 7 year old boy – it was a very relaxing time. And when we travel, we very seldom relax. There was much book reading and hammock napping and slow dinners on our agenda.
But of course, we wouldn’t be us if we didn’t explore. Here are some of the great family-friendly, little-guy-approved things:
- Wright Brothers Memorial at Kitty Hawk: Where would we be without airplanes? The flight line, Wright Brothers Monument and camp buildings are available to explore. Being a National Park, there was an EXCELLENT ranger talk on the history and a fun junior ranger program to join. Another badge!
- Currituck Beach Lighthouse: There is a 220-step winding staircase that leads to the top of the lighthouse, where there is an incredible view of the sound and Atlantic Ocean. Inside the lighthouse are two exhibits on shipwrecks and coastal lighthouse history.
- Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education: The sweet visitor center had a solid movie about the history of the area, specifically about how hunting changed it. There is a nice exhibit on the different birds and animals and a note-worthy collection of decoys.
And of course, the beautiful beaches of Corolla. Beachcombing, horseshoe crab singing, bird watching and we even saw the famous Corolla wild horses. And the beaches were practically empty because it was November yet the weather was good. Off season is still our favorite time to travel.