Traveling Solo to the Outer Banks
Ok, for whatever reason, you are coming to the Outer Banks on vacation, all by yourself. You are fine with that, but you would like some help finding things to do, places to go, etc. We can help.
First thing is to decide if you just want to be alone while here, you know, not really talking a lot with other people. If so, then why not rent a one bedroom condo or small house. You can eat when you want, cook what you want and have a lot of privacy. Depending on the house or condo, there might be a hot tub or even a pool.
If you are OK with mingling with others when you Want To, then a bed and breakfast is a good idea. One we really like is First Colony Inn, on the Oceanside in Nags Head. Historic, full of charm and they are very hospitable. You can talk with other guests during breakfast and mingle during the afternoon social, if you are so inclined. www.FirstColonyInn.com
Now, for things to do. We have several very good art galleries here and that is always one of my favorite things to do when I am out of town. How about a massage? Several professionals on the Outer Banks will come to you, so you don't even have to leave your little beach house. Walk the beach, collect some seaglass and shells. Then, go to Cloud Nine Creative Emporium in Nags Head and make a key chain, a necklace, earrings, etc. It is fun, it is creative and you will have a memory every time you look at it.
The Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge is home to birds, ducks, bears, red wolves and of course, alligators. Charge your smart phone and/or bring your camera, you will want to take photos. Like to hike? You will find trails and observation platforms, wildlife trails and fishing and canoeing routes too. Website.
The National Wildlife Refuges Visitor Center on Roanoke Island is open daily, all year and is free. You can easily spend a few hours here with all the exhibits to see. Did you know that this area used to have quite the Moonshine industry? Yep, it was in Buffalo City and you can read all about that and the logging industry on the OBX too. In fact there is a brand new attraction in Manteo, the Buffalo City Exhibit, where you can see photos, old moonshine stills, railroad relics and more. Free admission. Located at 107 Budleigh Street. www.BuffaloCityExhibit.com
Manteo is the perfectly little charming town to walk around, sit on the docks, shop, have something to eat and just take in the sights. Make sure you allow time to visit the Elizabethan Gardens, where you will find inspiration, peace, beauty and fanciful things blooming. While designed for self-guided tours, you can use your smart phone and take advantage of the free audio tour or an enhanced media audio tour using ONCELL. If you prefer a guided tour, call well ahead of your visit. You can even bring your dog, and there is small fee of $3. www.ElizabethanGardens.org
The Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse is at the end of the pier on the Manteo waterfront and is worth a visit too. Free to visit, but the hours vary by the season so make sure they are open. Phone: 252.475.1750
For something a little different, and a little spooky, take an OBX Ghost Tour and learn why the OBX is the most haunted beach in the country. Your guide will take you around downtown Manteo and tell you the spooky stories and legends that you can believe, or not. Good fun. www.OBXGhostTours.com.
Take in a movie one night at the old time Pioneer Theatre in Manteo. The theatre was built in 1918 and has been run by the same family ever since. One movie nightly at 8 pm. Cash only. Movies are $7 each (yes, you read that right) and snacks are $2 each (I know!). "You can't find anything like it anywhere else! It is one of a kind. We are very lucky to have it. It is beautiful. You will never see a movie the same way ,anywhere else .for sure, after being in the building or seeing a movie there." ~ Jennifer B.
Are you kind of a dare-devil or just like flying? OBXJetPak will help you "walk on water" or go up to 30 feet in the air. Yes, really. Fun, Fun, Fun. Most people can master this, at least the basic skills, in about six minutes. Some may take a little longer but whatever, you will have a blast. www.OBXJetPak.com.Private classes available.
Stop into Duck's Cottage Downtown Book in Manteo and pick up some new reads. Talk with some locals and get their tips on where to go, where to eat. Located on Sir Walter Raleigh Street. Friendly place.
You must, you must see the Corolla Wild Horses. And the best way to do that is by taking a tour. We recommend Corolla Outback Adventures and Corolla Wild Horse Fund . You will see some of the beautiful wild Colonial Spanish Mustangs who live in the four wheel drive area up in Corolla. Speaking of horses, if you like to ride, you will need to take a short drive top Hatteras to get to Equine Adventures. You can explore the only Maritime Forest on the Outer Banks, miles and miles of pristine beaches be assured that your guide is experienced. The horses are well taken care of and chosen for each rider. www.EquineAdventures.com
Beach, of course. Bring a blanket or towel, sunscreen, and some water and just enjoy. Miles of beauty. Shells, seagulls, quiet. Time for reflection and restoring.
Eating. One of the best parts about vacation. If you might feel a little self-conscious about eating alone, then we have some suggestions (you knew we would):
I Got Your Crabs in Kitty Hawk. Small, friendly and they have a counter where you can eat and talk to the wait person (if you want). Great, fresh seafood. Highly recommend.
Waveriders Coffee and Deli in Nags Head at Milepost 11 in the Pirates Quay Shops. Again, you can sit at the bar or a table or order take out. Love it.
TenOSix on the beach road in Kill Devil Hills. Take out only or your can eat outside at the picnic table. Breakfast and lunch. One of my go-to places.
Sandbars Raw Bar & Grill in Kill Devil Hills. Again, very friendly, they have a counter, great food. Very casual.
Bonzer Shack Bar and Grill. Coastal comfort food, very laid back and you will feel comfortable, I promise.
That is enough for now but I am going to write more about this, traveling alone, due to the requests I get.
Until Next Time, I am
Your Outer Banks Blogger