One of the things I love about the Outer Banks is that it has more authenticity than other vacation spots. Less t-shirts and fudge, more history and nature. If you’re looking for a quieter more peaceful side of OBX, which is a chain of barrier islands, consider staying on Hatteras Island.
+Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge
One of the great things about this island is it’s largely comprised of protected lands. There are two short hikes including the North Pond Wildlife trail which starts behind the visitors center. It is a 1 mile RT out and back leading to an observation tower. The other trail is called Salt Flats Wildlife trail and it’s a bit shorter, ending at a brief elevated boardwalk.
Both have similar views of the environment and are filled with wildlife. The preserve is considered a birder’s paradise, especially in winter as it is a habitat for migratory birds.
It is also an important grounds for endangered and threatened species, like the Loggerhead sea turtle.
+Hatteras Lighthouse, 46379 Lighthouse Rd, Buxton, NC 27920
No trip to the OBX is complete without stopping at a lighthouse, why not make it the tallest brick lighthouse in North America at 210’! You can climb up the 248 stairs seasonally for a fee. There are full moon tours, which sound neat.
+Orange Blossom Café, 47206 NC-12, Buxton, NC 27920
Whether you’re staying on the island or not, make a point to stop by this restaurant when in the OBX. They are well known for their apple uglies, which are as big – if not bigger – than your head!
Good to have a friend to share these massively delicious monsters with.
Also, their other pastries look as good as they taste.
There are savory breakfast options available as well. The location was once a motel with orange trees on its grounds, the name of the bakery keeps with the history.