The Outer Banks - North Carolina
Updated: Jan 8
Our ignorance about North Carolina and the East Coast is going to shine through just a bit here, but we didn't really know what the "Outer Banks" were until we got here. I finally made
the link to Nights in Rodanthe (yes, the 2008 movie with Diane Lane and Richard Gere.) Once we figured it out, we knew we had to make a drive over to check it out.
From where we were in Edenton, it was about a 1.5 hour drive to the Outer Banks - an interesting drive through essentially a swamp alligator preserve. (We did not see any alligators, but we did see a few turtles and a little black bear.)
We drove over a series of bridges connecting the inner and outer banks of North Carolina and pulled into Nag's Head. The scene went immediately from colonial to beachy with seaside architecture, bright colors and homes built on stilts. It looked like a really fun little town, and I'm sure it's a fabulous vacation spot. There were several fresh seafood markets too!
Just a few miles down the road, north up the Outer Banks, is Kitty Hawk.
FUN FACT - Kitty Hawk was home to the first-in-flight Wright Brothers.
We really only had one afternoon to spend on the outer banks, so we decided to head for the beach and introduce the kids to the Atlantic Ocean.
The beach was marvelous! It was a bit overcast but still warm. A few other people were out, but it was not crowded at all. Waves crashed along the shore while birds flew between the waves just above the water. We found an enormous variety of shells on the beach, and it was so difficult to not bring them all home with us.
Also on the beach were a few jellyfish and the strangest things - PUFFER FISH! Yes, puffer fish were stranded up and down the beach just above the tide line. WHY? Well, I couldn't find reason in it at all, so I had to do some immediate research. It turns out that the puffer fish balloon up in size (puff) when they feel nervous or afraid as their defense mechanism. Sometimes rough seas and strong winds can startle puffer fish, causing them to inflate. The puffer fish balloons are then easily washed ashore, leaving the wee little things stranded. Stuart just couldn't help but try to rescue the puffers by rolling them back to sea with large shells, although I'm pretty sure most of them were probably already dead.
FUN FACT: The Northern Pufferfish (also called "blow toads") found on the Outer Banks are not poisonous like most other pufferfish.