Wonderland North Carolina’s Outer Banks
of getting away with the kids for the Spring Break? Think about
the Outer Banks, the strand of barrier islands off the North Carolina
Coast as your vast playground. Do you fancy a trip without the
kids? There’s that here, too. The Sanderling, a luxurious oceanside
resort, caters to adults; Elizabeth’s Cafe and Winery serves elaborate
wine-pairing meals; the sprawling Elizabethan gardens offer romantic
nooks and crannies, and the merchants at Nags Head display tempting
Friends drew a blank when I mentioned I was going to the Outer
Banks. Accessible mainly by car or ferry, (take US Airways to
Norfolk, VA), the Outer Banks, 417 miles from New York, seems
a million miles removed, especially in the uncrowded off-season.
Maybe you’re vague about their charms, too.
Actually, this is a very old place. The first English settlement
was here. Blackbeard and his buccaneers dropped anchor here, and
Wilbur and Orville Wright found the breezes to test the world’s
first plane. Today’s jet set can visit the Wright Brothers Memorial
at Kill Devil Hills, where a Museum displays a replica of their
flimsy flying machine and a portrait gallery of air pioneers.
New daredevils fly hang gliders at Jockey’s Ridge State Park.
Care to join them? Step right up!
Water defines this place. The temperatures stay warm enough year-round
for quick Atlantic dips. Romping on the beach, flying kites, kayaking
in calm waters, and admiring the famous Cape Hatteras lighthouse
are always in season. Care to bike, run or walk? Miles of pathways
skirt the edges of pretty communities.
Don’t miss Roanoke Visitors Festival Park where interactive displays
allow children to experience centuries of history, a movie dramatizes
the first English landing from the Native American point of view,
and the Elizabeth II, moored outdoors, has costumed mariners aboard.
Target also the ultramodern North Carolina Aquarium, showcasing
wet suit divers who tell kids about the state’s aquatic residents.
A local ritual is breakfast at the Pier House. Order French toast!
(For more information, visit www.outerbanks. org or call 800-446-6262.)#
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