jonathan farber phd gallery_beaches_1_lrgThe Outer Banks in North Carolina are a great summer vacation spot for both North Carolina residents and out-of-staters alike.  From the beautiful, quaint town of Avon, to the northern towns of Corolla, Nags Head, and Duck, there are plenty of fun activities you can engage in to make your stay worthwhile, especially if you are traveling with family. The following are some tips on what to do the next time you find yourself surrounded by the blissful serenity of the Outer Banks:

Jonathan Farber PhD ferryFirst, you should know about the free ferry ride from Hatteras to Ocracoke, which many people think costs money. Try to go during off-peak hours, because lines tend to get quite long during prime hours. The ferry ride lasts for 40 minutes and brings you right to the village of Ocracoke, filled with some of nature’s most breathtaking beauty like wild horses and near-vacant beaches filled with sea shells. Local attractions of the village include small coffee shops, ice-cream parlors, and various places to shop. But keep in mind, it will be hot out and you will most likely be walking around for a while because the shops are spread out – so don’t forget to pack sunscreen!

Another great activity to partake in during your stay at the Outer Banks is to kayak on the canals. You can either rent kayaks from local tour spots, which will offer lessons and safety precautions (especially for the younger ones), or bring your own if you’ve got them! A peaceful kayak ride amongst the soothing waters of the canals is one of the best forms of meditation there is. Plus, if you go with a loved one, it can be very romantic.Jonathan Farber phd Lighthouse

Next, you should visit the Hatteras lighthouse, one of the Banks’ most famous landmarks that is usually a bit crowded. But, there’s always reasons for a crowd – and this lighthouse is no exception. Despite the hot climb to the top, the views once you conquer it are worth every penny – you won’t regret it. There’s also a visitor’s center with free park programs, a small museum, and access to the beach if you feel like taking a dip in the water to cool off.

Speaking of the beach, it may sound cliche but make sure you enjoy every second of relaxing in the sun with the soft sounds of waves crashing and seagulls singing as you close your eyes – you are on vacation after all. Be content with being in the moment, and utilize that salt water to it’s fullest, it really is healing.

For more information on things to do during your stay on the Outer Banks, check out this blog by Carrie Higgins.