|We left home around 10:30am this morning and headed to the Outer Banks. It's a long way out there! Our RV park is very near Elizabeth City, about 7 miles off Highway 158 and 158 is the only way to get to the Outer Banks from our location. Once we crossed over the bridge we turned south on Highway 12 and that put us as close to the beach as we could get. The road is narrow and there's homes and condos on both sides of the road with high sand dunes surrounding the homes. We couldn't see the water but we did get a good feel for the area - it's rustic. What I noticed was how brown everything seemed. The sand is brown, or a dark tan if you will, and most of the homes are brown cedar shake siding and roofs. The scenery wasn't the bright pinks, blues, yellows, and greens of a seaside atmosphere. Every now and then there would be a splash of color on a commercial building or the occasional out of place home but mostly it was brown. There's also no tall buildings and most homes are 2 stories on the ground or on very low stilts. And everything is natural landscape, no manicured lawns or flowers, just sand dunes and sea oats. This was the least pretentious seaside atmosphere I've ever seen.
We continued on Highway 12 all the way to Nags Head where Highway 64 comes in to the Outer Banks. From this intersection is the beginning of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The land narrows and the water is on both sides. Occasionally we could get a glimpse of water on the bay side but the high sand dunes blocked the ocean view. We continued all the way to the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, stopped and looked at the lighthouse and then continued all the way to the end of the island where the ferry will take you to the mainland. The drive from where we turned on Highway 12 to the end of road was 73 miles. There's a small museum, Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, at the very end of the road. We stopped in and looked around. It's really small with a few artifacts and stories of past shipwrecks in the area.
The only way back is to turn around and drive the 73 miles back to Highway 158 so that's just what we did with a stop to walk over the sand dunes and put our toes in the water. It was late in the afternoon by then and the temperature on the beach was absolutely perfect!
The Outer Banks is a great place and what we saw it's totally devoted to being on the beach and fishing. Yes, there's some shopping, even a Tanger Outlet Mall but overall it's not a high end resort atmosphere in the least, just a laid back beach scene.