Hi friends, welcome to my very first travel guide! I have been wanting to put together a travel guide for awhile now but obviously given the state of the world last year *cue sighs*, it had to wait. Funny enough, if I had started my blog all those years ago (when I told myself I wanted to), I could’ve been writing travel guides for various international countries that I traveled to in college. However, since I don’t have those written, feel free to reach out to me if you’re thinking of visiting the United Kingdom or Europe, and I can jog my memory to give my best recommendations. Moving right along to the travel guide that you have in front of you, throughout this post you will be taken to the beautiful beaches of the Outer Banks (OBX) in North Carolina.🏖
Even though I live in Virginia and have lived here on and off for years, this was my first time to the Outer Banks. This fact is quite surprising since many of my friends and acquaintances in the area usually take time in the summer to spend in the banks. Finally, I can say that I have made my way to OBX with my family for a wonderfully relaxing week. Plus, the Outer Banks is getting even more publicity these days with the new Netflix series. I haven’t seen it yet, but I’ve heard through the grapevine that it’s a pretty decent show. Given that we were able to fully enjoy our time being there, I wanted to round up all of the information in one blog post for you guys if you ever find yourself headed that way. I have separated the blog post into several sections: Food/Drinks, Activities, Outfits, and Location.
There are many beaches that make up the Outer Banks so I know I was confused when I first learned where we were going. Kitty Hawk, Corolla, Nags Head, Duck and Kill Devil Hills are some of the most popular beaches to name a few.🌊 We stayed in Kill Devil Hills at a beach house right down the block from the Avalon Fishing Pier. We ended up parking at the pier everyday we were there at the beach because we could drive over all of our beach equipment, there was quick access to restrooms, and there was a full service bar. There was a daily parking fee associated with being at the pier but it was well worth it especially since we spent the majority of the day there at the beach. Kill Devil Hills was a very friendly and welcoming area. It was very family-oriented and kept pretty clean. While we mostly stayed in Kill Devil, we also ventured to the other areas for different activities and restaurants and by my first impression, it seemed like it was the most quiet of all the beaches.
One of the perks of renting a beach house for the week was that there was an operating kitchen with all of the appliances needed to cook a couple of meals here and there and keep all of our veggies/fruits cold and fresh. Oh and the best part? There was a PUBLIX right down the road from the beach house which I was super excited about since we don’t have those here in Virginia and I only had been to them in Florida. However, idk how it works in your family but in ours, when we are on holiday, the last thing we all want to do is be on the hook to cook for all the meals. So of course, we did our fair share of dining out and I will list the places below so that you can have some places to reference.
Miller’s Seafood and Steakhouse (Kill Devil Hills)- We visited the restaurant right as we entered into the beach town on our first evening. It surely had something on the menu for everyone, and their hush puppies were amazing!
Mako’s (Kill Devil Hills)- Pizza is always a must while you’re at the beach however, when you are gluten-sensitive like I am, the regular pizza shops don’t always work. I was able to enjoy a GF personal pizza and a lovely caesar salad here. 🍕
Booty Treats (Nags Head)- Booty Treats was hands down my favourite place that we ate at while we were at the beach! So good, that we went two days consecutively. The huge draw to this place was the dairy-free options that were available, also very hard to find at the beach. My mom, my sister and I stood in line for about 20 minutes each night (don’t worry this is normal during peak season) and waited patiently for our orders. They were definitely worth the wait! Both nights I got the oatmilk chocolate chunk ice cream with various toppings on the two days. You HAVE to try this place! 🍦
Sun Fish Grill (Corolla)- Unfortunately when we went to this restaurant, they had just opened back up so had a very limited menu but they had great salads and fries… which is all I need for dinner anyway. This restaurant is for sure the beach bar type, if that’s what you’re looking for.
Duck Donuts (various locations)- Of course, the donut shop that was started in the OBX is a must-have. I highly recommend ordering your donuts before 8:30am if you go in person as the line is usually out the door. They also have online ordering available which is very useful if you are planning on getting donuts for large groups. My favourite are the blueberry and maple bacon donut. Gotta make sure you make a pit stop here before you leave the beach. 🍩
Stack’em High Pancakes & So Forth- No GF options here so unfortunately I was not able to go but my parents went after I left a little early and they said it was great. A local fav, make sure to get there early in the morning to avoid long lines and long waiting times. They are famous for their fluffy pancake stacks and the various topping options. Once I get back on the regular pancake train, I can’t wait to go back and try them, I’ve only heard great things. 🥞
I know what you’re thinking, you’re at the beach… that’s the activity. Well yes it is, but I always try to find different activities to do in the evening after a long beach day as well. Now when I go to the beach, I’m definitely one of those people who says “beach at 10am AT 10am and we don’t leave until we have to”. I love being at the beach, having the sun shine on my face and hearing the waves while I’m engulfed in a good book. That’s why for the week, I felt like I was in complete bliss. Since we were there over the July 4th weekend as well, we were able to watch the beach fireworks show from our house. 🎆 Along the pier, the workers advised that firework shows happen often which was great to know.
Jockey’s Ridge State Park (Nags Head)- This place was a recommendation to me from one of my friends who I ran into at the beach. Shoutout Rita thanks for recommending this place as it was one of the highlights of the trip. This park was only 20 minutes away from our beach house and was an amazing gem of the area. There were beautiful sand ridges that you could even see the ocean off into the distance. While I was there, it felt like I was back in the Sahara desert, a place I haven’t had a chance to return to in over 10 years. Pro tip: bring sandals that you can take off while trudging through the sand ridges and a mini scarf or blanket to be able to lay on the sand. We went at sunset and it was beautiful, couldn’t recommend enough.
Lost Treasure Mini Golf (Kill Devil Hills)- On one of the last nights we were at the beach, we wanted to do an activity that would be fun for the whole family. So mini golf it was! ⛳️There were a good amount of people where we had to wait in line to enter but the line moved quickly and we were excited that it didn’t take too long to start the course. I crushed all my family members 😇
Shopping- Now shopping is definitely not exclusive to a beach vacation but it is always fun looking through the beach storefronts. If you’re into the tie-dye trend, the beach is definitely the place to stock up on pieces. I walked away with tie-dyed pants, a cozy fleece sweatshirt, and some random souvenirs.
There aren’t many outfit tips for me to give on this particular trip as most of my suitcase was filled with swimsuits lol as would be expected on a beach trip. I was there for 5 days so I bought 6 different swimsuit sets, one for every day there and an extra for good measure. Given that the weekend I was there was for 4th of July, I also made sure to pack a couple of red, white, and blue outfit options to rotate through. Lots of crop tops, tank tops, mom shorts, and sundresses were stacked full in my suitcase. However, for the first time in as long as I can remember, I packed less pairs of shoes than the number of days I was traveling for. Thats right my friends, I only brought 4 pairs of shoes for a 6 day trip. I would also like to add to this section that even though at the beach, there tends to be “less clothing” on or not as many full outfits, I always like to accessorize. Everything from scarfs to sunglasses to jewelry. Accessories can amp up any outfit even one as plain as jean shorts and a T-shirt so don’t be afraid to mix and match accessory styles. Here are a few pics below to give show you some beach style and style inspiration for your upcoming trips.
All in all, I had a wonderful time in the Outer Banks! I know many of my friends have already been but in the off chance that you are reading this and haven’t been, I do recommend checking out at least one of the beaches here! If you will be able to make it down to North Carolina over this long weekend, I hope you can use this travel guide blog post to help plan your trip a bit. Please let me know if you end up trying out any of these, happy (safe and responsible) traveling!
Thanks for reading along, as always!
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*All thoughts and opinions are my own. I own the rights for the images above that I have taken and are of myself. I do not make any commission off anything in this post.