Author Topic: Outer Banks Vacation  (Read 5966 times)

Starstuff

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Outer Banks Vacation
« on: April 10, 2013, 07:54:09 AM »
My boyfriend's ENTIRE family is going to the Outer Banks June 28-July 6. Yes, I will be at a tourist beach for the Fourth of July.
Good news: housing, food and transportation are covered
Bad news: It's a beach. On the Fourth of July. 
My BF and I are very Mustachian in our travel habits, and we greatly prefer relaxing on an out of the way mountain trail to staking out a spot on a tourist beach. So, what are some fun, cheap, out of the way things we can do for a break from the touristy family mayhem?

maryofdoom

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Re: Outer Banks Vacation
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2013, 08:43:01 AM »
I was looking at being stuck at OBX this year for a week in June to attend a wedding. Luckily that has been cut down to three days. (I hate the beach SO MUCH.)

They have good bike trails out there. I bet the trails won't be nearly as crowded as the beach.

bogart

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Re: Outer Banks Vacation
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2013, 08:44:25 AM »
Which part of the OBX?

Starstuff

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Re: Outer Banks Vacation
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2013, 09:10:16 AM »
I was looking at being stuck at OBX this year for a week in June to attend a wedding. Luckily that has been cut down to three days. (I hate the beach SO MUCH.)

They have good bike trails out there. I bet the trails won't be nearly as crowded as the beach.

I despise the beach. Sand, and a family history of melanoma, make it sort of like a torture chamber. But I digress... Do you know where we could rent bikes? We're packing 4 people in a Lexus, so I doubt we could pack bikes....

Which part of the OBX?

"Oceanfront in Whalehead in Corolla" according to the listing. I'm not above renting a car for a day just to get away....

mikefixac

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Re: Outer Banks Vacation
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2013, 09:40:03 AM »
I love it. I've never heard of anyone hating the beach. But, why not:-)

bogart

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Re: Outer Banks Vacation
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2013, 09:42:18 AM »
OK.  NC's coast (once you're off the beach itself) is scrub woods and marsh grass, which aren't the most pleasant (IMO), and it will be hot and buggy.  But that said, here are some options.

Bike rental:  a quick google search turned up, e.g. http://justforthebeach.com/store/Outer-Banks-Bike-Rentals/ , with a branch in Corolla.

You're an hour's drive from Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, see e.g. http://www.fws.gov/peaisland/public.html .  There are trails.  And about an hour and a half drive from the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge.

Kayaking inland in NC and in the sounds is pretty widespread; your best bet would likely be to find a place that will take you and the kayaks upstream and drop you off and pick you up, offering a guided tour or a mapped route depending on your preferences and abilities.  An extensive list of NC paddle trails appears here:  http://www.ncpaddletrails.info/trail-maps.aspx , and google should turn up outfitters.

The Lost Colony is a large outdoor drama about the history of the first settlement of the state by Europeans, info. here:  http://thelostcolony.org/ .  There are also the Elizabethean gardens nearby:  http://elizabethangardens.org/visit-elizabethan-gardens-outer-banks-nc/ .  Corolla is also near Kill Devil Hills and associated history about the Wright Brothers (as well as Jockeys Ridge, the biggest natural sand dune on the east coast). 

Night walks on the beaches can be stunningly beautiful and relaxing.

Starstuff

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Re: Outer Banks Vacation
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2013, 09:56:14 AM »
OK.  NC's coast (once you're off the beach itself) is scrub woods and marsh grass, which aren't the most pleasant (IMO), and it will be hot and buggy.  But that said, here are some options.

Bike rental:  a quick google search turned up, e.g. http://justforthebeach.com/store/Outer-Banks-Bike-Rentals/ , with a branch in Corolla.

You're an hour's drive from Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, see e.g. http://www.fws.gov/peaisland/public.html .  There are trails.  And about an hour and a half drive from the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge.

Kayaking inland in NC and in the sounds is pretty widespread; your best bet would likely be to find a place that will take you and the kayaks upstream and drop you off and pick you up, offering a guided tour or a mapped route depending on your preferences and abilities.  An extensive list of NC paddle trails appears here:  http://www.ncpaddletrails.info/trail-maps.aspx , and google should turn up outfitters.

The Lost Colony is a large outdoor drama about the history of the first settlement of the state by Europeans, info. here:  http://thelostcolony.org/ .  There are also the Elizabethean gardens nearby:  http://elizabethangardens.org/visit-elizabethan-gardens-outer-banks-nc/ .  Corolla is also near Kill Devil Hills and associated history about the Wright Brothers (as well as Jockeys Ridge, the biggest natural sand dune on the east coast). 

Night walks on the beaches can be stunningly beautiful and relaxing.

You rock, and apparently I suck at Google. Thanks so much!

bogart

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Re: Outer Banks Vacation
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2013, 10:02:08 AM »
You bet.  I do have some inside information ;) though many of the things I've listed I either did as a kid (meaning decades ago) or have never done (e.g. that sort of kayaking) but where I know people who are enthusiasts. 

jrhampt

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Re: Outer Banks Vacation
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2013, 01:57:14 PM »
Ooh, being there the 4th of July sucks.  I actually love OBX, but we go when it is deserted in late August when the kids have gone back to school, and we camp in one of the campgrounds that is right on the beach.  Very inexpensive and relaxing.  You just have to remember to bring a portable shade tent so the sun is less intense and you don't have to be paranoid about burning (I also burn).  Shade tent is key.

MountainFlower

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Re: Outer Banks Vacation
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2013, 02:15:58 PM »
Ooh, being there the 4th of July sucks.  I actually love OBX, but we go when it is deserted in late August when the kids have gone back to school, and we camp in one of the campgrounds that is right on the beach.  Very inexpensive and relaxing.  You just have to remember to bring a portable shade tent so the sun is less intense and you don't have to be paranoid about burning (I also burn).  Shade tent is key.

Yes yes yes!  You must have shade and then the beach is pure heaven.  There's no better exercise and fun than boogie boarding those perfect OBX waves.  My DH and I can do it all day long.    There are companies that rent these large blue and yellow umbrellas that really block the sun.   Biking in the humidity and buggy areas off the beach sounds like hell on earth to me.   

jpo

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Re: Outer Banks Vacation
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2013, 06:04:29 PM »
Perhaps not the most Mustachian, but my girlfriend and I had a good time doing the wild horse tours up near Corolla when we last went.

Faraday

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Re: Outer Banks Vacation
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2013, 07:14:29 PM »
OBX is still a good place to go. Not free of tourists, but way better than Myrtle. I recommend:

- If you are equipped to fry or broil fish and shellfish, take a cooler and some ice (or "blue ice") and buy your seafood inland instead of on the beach. Columbia and Manteo are good spots to look for open fish markets. If the house has an oven, broiling the seafood is easy, fast, and a highly concentrated protein source
- Take protein with you to supplement so you don't buy all your protein there
- NEVER buy alcohol there, it's crazy priced
- Seek out and use "Food Lion" for your food and sundries, don't buy from convenience stores
- Avoid buffets in OBX, they are never a winner unless you do a breakfast/early lunch buffet and don't eat the rest of the day
- Gas purchases are gonna suck, bad. Use "Gas Buddy" on your smartphone to find the best price. If you are coming in on I-95, tank up at the time you exit the interstate, even if you aren't empty. If you can make it there and back out on a tank of gas, you will be glad.
- Don't take bottled water with you, but buy it at Food Lion. About 89 cents/gallon.
- Buy your sunscreen before you leave home, that's one of the "gougey" priced products
- Take a wide-brimmed hat. I have a tweed gardner's hat. I am anti-fashion with it but much happier when my ears aren't burned.
- NC Aquariums are good, and the one up at Manteo, near you, is not very old. $8 max admission
- NC Lighthouses are good places to see. Hatteras will be to your south.
- If you or your SO have any interest in flight, Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills aren't far from you. $5 and you can make a day of it IF you take your own water and snacks. Visiting the Wright Brothers' monument is very moving when you realize what they accomplished out there in the middle of nowhere in December.  Orville and Wilbur certainly must have been our Mustachian fathers!


I love the beach and I love OBX, but it's anti-mustachian in the on-season.  You have my condolences, but go and support your family and seize opportunities to save money when you can but don't let that be anything people remember.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2013, 07:26:19 PM by mefla »

Starstuff

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Re: Outer Banks Vacation
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2013, 01:33:18 PM »
OBX is still a good place to go. Not free of tourists, but way better than Myrtle. I recommend:

- If you are equipped to fry or broil fish and shellfish, take a cooler and some ice (or "blue ice") and buy your seafood inland instead of on the beach. Columbia and Manteo are good spots to look for open fish markets. If the house has an oven, broiling the seafood is easy, fast, and a highly concentrated protein source
- Take protein with you to supplement so you don't buy all your protein there
- NEVER buy alcohol there, it's crazy priced
- Seek out and use "Food Lion" for your food and sundries, don't buy from convenience stores
- Avoid buffets in OBX, they are never a winner unless you do a breakfast/early lunch buffet and don't eat the rest of the day
- Gas purchases are gonna suck, bad. Use "Gas Buddy" on your smartphone to find the best price. If you are coming in on I-95, tank up at the time you exit the interstate, even if you aren't empty. If you can make it there and back out on a tank of gas, you will be glad.
- Don't take bottled water with you, but buy it at Food Lion. About 89 cents/gallon.
- Buy your sunscreen before you leave home, that's one of the "gougey" priced products
- Take a wide-brimmed hat. I have a tweed gardner's hat. I am anti-fashion with it but much happier when my ears aren't burned.
- NC Aquariums are good, and the one up at Manteo, near you, is not very old. $8 max admission
- NC Lighthouses are good places to see. Hatteras will be to your south.
- If you or your SO have any interest in flight, Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills aren't far from you. $5 and you can make a day of it IF you take your own water and snacks. Visiting the Wright Brothers' monument is very moving when you realize what they accomplished out there in the middle of nowhere in December.  Orville and Wilbur certainly must have been our Mustachian fathers!


I love the beach and I love OBX, but it's anti-mustachian in the on-season.  You have my condolences, but go and support your family and seize opportunities to save money when you can but don't let that be anything people remember.

Thanks for all the ideas! Fortunately, most of our food will be covered under the "family" umbrella. I didn't know there were good aquariums though, so that's definitely going on the list. I'm going with a bunch of native Ohioans though, so I'm not sure we're allowed to go to Kitty Hawk. I've been, and love it.

ace1224

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Re: Outer Banks Vacation
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2013, 05:30:09 AM »
i LOVE the beach on the 4th! we go every year with my family.  you can go to Jockey's Ridge State park and like someone mentioned the elizabethan gardens and the aquarium, and the light houses. 
I usually just like sitting around the house with the family and hanging out, or just laying around on the beach playing cornhole.

the good news is the fireworks will be a great show!