With its collection of scenic shorelines, towering lighthouses, and charming seaside locales, the Outer Banks of North Carolina has long been a beloved destination amongst travelers that are looking for a beautiful escape from the daily grind. Whether you’re one for restaurant hopping, boutique storefront shopping, or someone who can’t wait to settle back with an incredible view, the Outer Banks is sure to have something that inspires. The same goes for the history buff looking for a place to indulge their interests to the fullest. The Outer Banks has a long and rich history and has been a stomping grounds for some significant historical figures as well. When you’re looking to plan a historical journey in this direction, there are a few attractions in Outer Banks you won’t want to leave off your itinerary.
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
Situated on Hatteras Island in Buxton, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is a must-visit for the marine history enthusiast looking to encounter some spectacular architecture during their stay. Easily identified by its striking white and black stripes, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse dates back to 1803 and has stood the test of time on the Outer Banks shoreline. Standing 193 feet high, the lighthouse is open for touring and those that are excited to savor sweeping views can climb the 257 steps up to the top observation deck and indulge in the sights that await.
Wild Horses of Corolla
The Outer Banks is one of those unique destinations where the most intriguing natural sights actually speak to stories that span centuries. Perhaps no more so than within the herds of wild horses that still call Corolla home. These wild Spanish mustangs can’t be approached, but can be viewed alongside knowledgeable guides on certified tours during a stay. These horses thrive in their lush and scenic environment and are believed to be the descendants of horses left behind by European explorers hundreds of years ago. Equally intriguing is the theory that these wild horses are the descendants of those that managed to swim to shore after explorer shipwrecks occurred just off the coast.
Wright Brothers National Memorial
At 1000 N. Croatan Highway in Kill Devil Hills, those with a passion for history that tend to lean towards a fascination with aviation will find the Wright Brothers National Memorial well worth a visit. This towering stone monument is framed by a fantastic view of the ocean and shoreline and was constructed to commemorate the innovation and perseverance of the Wright Brothers who dedicated themselves to finding a way into the sky. Wilbur and Orville Wright spent a significant amount of time in Kitty Hawk and it was here that they achieved the first successful flight in December of 1903. Science, innovation, and the advancement of technology are celebrated by those that come to admire the memorial today which is open to the public between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm daily.
The 1700s and 1800s along the North Carolina coast saw a large number of shipwrecks due to the ever-changing nature of the unpredictable Gulf Stream. In an effort to curb these often fatal accidents, lighthouses began popping up along the shoreline to light the path to a safer voyage in these waters. While shipwrecks were often kept top of mind as the most likely danger in the waters, the 1900s saw a new type of obstacle on the horizon. During World Wars I and II, the coast of North Carolina proved to be a volatile battleground as enemy war boats and submarines relied on the treacherous waters and currents that constitute this area to plan unforeseen attacks on allied forces and hinder trade routes. In an effort to protect the American shoreline and transfer of goods, many military forces were called upon during these war times to provide surveillance and fight any intruders, which often proved to be German U-Boats. Ultimately, many of the soldiers that worked to protect the North Carolina coast hailed from England, and during the course of battle, a vast number of soldiers lost their lives at sea. Today, visitors to Ocracoke can pay their respects to this ultimate sacrifice by visiting the British Cemetery. This beautiful and moving destination is maintained by the Coast Guard and offers up a chance to reflect on the area’s military past and those that gave so much for freedom.
Book Your Stay Today
The Outer Banks of North Carolina is a destination that captures the mind and imagination and whether you’re here for the scenery, savory seafood or to learn more about the history that makes up the past of this pristine locale, it’s worth a visit. Make the most of your journey by letting the team at Shoreline OBX handle every detail of your accommodations so you can get out and explore and experience the best of the Outer Banks. We’ll make sure you’re settled into a vacation rental that keeps you close to those historical places you’re excited to discover while incorporating those luxurious touches that are sure to elevate the experience from start to finish. Reach out today to learn more and to start planning your next Outer Banks adventure!