North Carolina’s Outer Banks region consists of a series of barrier islands between the Atlantic Ocean and the mainland offering open-sea beaches, shipwreck sites, state parks and history. Roanoke Island is arguably the most iconic town of the Outer Banks, as it is the site of the very first English settlement in the New World, which Sir Walter Raleigh settled. The Adventure Museum allows you to explore the island’s past. You can see miles of scenic views by climbing the lighthouse on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Just 2 minutes from the Cape, the Museum of the Sea provides a look at a historic double-lighthouse keepers’ residence.

Bird Watchers and nature lovers love to visit Pea Island, famed for its dunes. It is a stopping point for migratory birds and a nesting ground for sea turtles. Pea Island also offers white sand beaches and an iconic art gallery filled with handmade glassware, pottery and a selection of regional paintings. Other beaches on the Banks include Avon Beach, Rodanthe Beach and the popular Canadian Hole with surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing activities.

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