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Posted: 2/23/2010 11:16:22 AM EDT
If I were cooler, i'd have said OBX . Basically we just want to relax. We're renting a house in Carova, the 4x4 area. Probably take the little one (5yo) to the aquarium in Roanoke one day. Maybe do some surf fishing or crabbing, do you need a license for either? Any other stuff for kids that age? Any tips about staying in the 4x4 area. We'll be driving an Explorer Sport Trac (yeah, i know, 18psi and bring a tow strap)

Thanks
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 11:17:53 AM EDT
Find the "Try my Nuts" store.
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 11:18:57 AM EDT
The fishing is much easier from a pier. Surf fishing is cool, but you can catch more fish in less time if you pay to fish off of a pier. You can crab off the pier, too.

Kitty Hawk is definitely worth a visit.
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 11:23:27 AM EDT
Fort Macon

Then get blown out somewhere on the beach.

Go camping on Shackleford Banks and chill with the horses.

Link Posted: 2/23/2010 11:27:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Chris_C:
Fort Macon

Then get blown out somewhere on the beach.

Go camping on Shackleford Banks and chill with the horses.


I'm not paying $1500 for a house so i can sleep in a tent
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 11:28:28 AM EDT
If you have the time, its worth a trip down to Ocracoke Island. Its a slice of heaven on Earth.
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 11:30:05 AM EDT
There is a frozen custard stand there whose name escapes me. Fantastic stuff, whenever I go back, I will probably hit that place about every day, I don't care if I get fat.
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 11:31:25 AM EDT
It blows my mind how many wrecks are lying off the outer banks. I think there's even a U-boat or two. Graveyard of the Atlantic I think it's known as. I got to do that drive up and down the coast once and want to go back. Kitty Hawk, lighthouse at Hatteras, and a few more stops I'd like to make again. Have fun.
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 11:31:35 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Hawken50:

Originally Posted By Chris_C:
Fort Macon

Then get blown out somewhere on the beach.

Go camping on Shackleford Banks and chill with the horses.


I'm not paying $1500 for a house so i can sleep in a tent


At least try to see the horses.


Link Posted: 2/23/2010 11:34:23 AM EDT
May is the perfect time to surf fish for giant Rockfish.
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 11:35:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/23/2010 11:38:59 AM EDT by demobud]
Go down to Manteo and eat and drink at the Weeping Radish.

http://www.weepingradish.com/index.htm

You'll thank me!


ETA: It looks like they have moved north a bit (Jarvisburg), unless they still have a restaurant and brewery in Manteo. It's been a long time.
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 11:36:38 AM EDT
I went there. Avoid the Chinese restaurant. Get use to seeing Russians/Eastern Europeans.

I thought the place was overrated.
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 11:37:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/23/2010 11:39:21 AM EDT by LoBrau]
Pigman's BBQ! Good stuff. Ocracoke Island is really nice too if you get tired of over-populated beach strand.

Edit––Never mind, Ocracoke is like a jillion miles away from where you're going to be. Manteo is great, though. Also, I don't know if the Wanchese Seafood Festival will be going on when you're there, but if it is you should hit that too.
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 11:42:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AR-180:
Originally Posted By Hawken50:

Originally Posted By Chris_C:
Fort Macon

Then get blown out somewhere on the beach.

Go camping on Shackleford Banks and chill with the horses.


I'm not paying $1500 for a house so i can sleep in a tent


At least try to see the horses.



That's on our list. Thanks!
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 11:43:51 AM EDT
Jockey's ridge is pretty cool. It is the largest sand dune on the east coast, State park as well. The wright brothers memorial is also down there. Big church shaped like noahs ark. Oh yeah hit up a brew thru they bring the beer to your car so you don't have to get out. Very laid back atmoshpere just do not drink and drive you get caught they take your ride very bad juju.
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 11:44:51 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Hawken50:
If I were cooler, i'd have said OBX . Basically we just want to relax. We're renting a house in Carova, the 4x4 area. Probably take the little one (5yo) to the aquarium in Roanoke one day. Maybe do some surf fishing or crabbing, do you need a license for either? Any other stuff for kids that age? Any tips about staying in the 4x4 area. We'll be driving an Explorer Sport Trac (yeah, i know, 18psi and bring a tow strap)

Thanks


Roanoke is a LONG drive from the outer banks. Stay in NC and enjoy the sights
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 11:51:58 AM EDT
Kitty Hawk is a must even if you're not a history guy.

We had our best seafood at the Fisherman's Wharf in Wanchese. Looks like crap from the outside but is quite good.

Ocracoke Island is nice but you sometimes wait a while for the ferry boats.

Look for the UFO just outside Hatteras.

Link Posted: 2/23/2010 11:52:31 AM EDT
tag
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 11:53:34 AM EDT
Outer Banks Seafood Co.

Was there last July, found good reviews online, tried it ourselves, and will definitely come again.
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 11:56:27 AM EDT
Originally Posted By demobud:
Go down to Manteo and eat and drink at the Weeping Radish.

http://www.weepingradish.com/index.htm

You'll thank me!

ETA: It looks like they have moved north a bit (Jarvisburg), unless they still have a restaurant and brewery in Manteo. It's been a long time.



I was there about a year ago, and the WR was still in Manteo, unfortunately the food wasn't as good as it has been in the past. The Store in Jarvisburg house's the brewery and a small shop, since Wanchese would not allow the WR to concoct a sinner product in gods county.

The Outer Banks Brew House is good. I know I don't need to say this , but Don't drink and drive the Outer Banks is the DWI capital of the East Coast.

You might want to bring bottled water, I've heard the Houses in Carova are all on wells and have brown water coming out of the taps.

Be careful on the beach, people drive like crazy up there and have had fatalities on the beach due to carelessness.

Link Posted: 2/23/2010 12:01:07 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Hawken50:
If I were cooler, i'd have said OBX . Basically we just want to relax. We're renting a house in Carova, the 4x4 area. Probably take the little one (5yo) to the aquarium in Roanoke one day. Maybe do some surf fishing or crabbing, do you need a license for either? Any other stuff for kids that age? Any tips about staying in the 4x4 area. We'll be driving an Explorer Sport Trac (yeah, i know, 18psi and bring a tow strap)

Thanks



Being an owner of a Vacation/Retirement home in Corolla, good choice!

Carova is a great place, but be prepared in terms of your vehicle! While 4WD isn't mandetory, it's highly recommended. If you own a 4WD and are familiar with driving on sand, you know what to do, so I won't venture any further. There won't be a shortage of things to do, as a matter of fact, you'll find yourself just not having enough time to do half the things you want to do. As far as adult things to do, there is fishing, crabbing not so much that time of the season, but the sound will provide good fishing. If the SO wants to shop, theres plenty of that to go around, and around. Restaurants in Corolla cover the spectrum from Mexican, to Italian, to good old fashioned surf and turf type places. If you're looking for a quick meal, try the Tomato Patch in the Food Lion shopping center in Corolla, great food! and if you're an alcoholic, they've got a bar!

As far as kids, things will start to open up around that time for the season, there are some "amusement" like things up in the Corolla area, but if you want the good old fashioned stuff, you'll need to South a ways down to Kitthawk/Kiill Devil Hills, put put golf, movie theater, some amusement tyle stuff on the beach road down there as well. In all honesty, if the weather is nice, you'll find tons of things to do with the family up in Carova, "nature walks" time on the beach, sun etc.

Either way, you'll have a great time, as I've mentioned time and time again to folks it's nice just to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Also, while you're there and if time permits and you happen to bring your four legged friend, check out our friends at the Outer Barks in Duck, a great little place that sells everything from food and treats, to breed specific items, and on Saturday mornings they have a little get together for pups and the owners cater to them with activities and treats galore. It's fun to include our pets in the vacation as well. If you end up liking it, which I know you will, don't hesitate to go around and scope out prospects for future rentals, and stop by the various property management places for catalogs highlighting their rental properties, even though they've all got websites, the catalogs are still good to have as far as reference material.

Enjoy and take lots of pics.
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 12:14:23 PM EDT
The area is full of history. It is named Dare County after Virginia Dare, the first English person born in the new world, who disappeared with her parents and fellow settlers from the lost colony on Roanoke Island. Visit the museum, on the ground they believe was the site.
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 12:14:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By WGPKlaus:
Originally Posted By Hawken50:
If I were cooler, i'd have said OBX . Basically we just want to relax. We're renting a house in Carova, the 4x4 area. Probably take the little one (5yo) to the aquarium in Roanoke one day. Maybe do some surf fishing or crabbing, do you need a license for either? Any other stuff for kids that age? Any tips about staying in the 4x4 area. We'll be driving an Explorer Sport Trac (yeah, i know, 18psi and bring a tow strap)

Thanks



Being an owner of a Vacation/Retirement home in Corolla, good choice!

Carova is a great place, but be prepared in terms of your vehicle! While 4WD isn't mandetory, it's highly recommended. If you own a 4WD and are familiar with driving on sand, you know what to do, so I won't venture any further. There won't be a shortage of things to do, as a matter of fact, you'll find yourself just not having enough time to do half the things you want to do. As far as adult things to do, there is fishing, crabbing not so much that time of the season, but the sound will provide good fishing. If the SO wants to shop, theres plenty of that to go around, and around. Restaurants in Corolla cover the spectrum from Mexican, to Italian, to good old fashioned surf and turf type places. If you're looking for a quick meal, try the Tomato Patch in the Food Lion shopping center in Corolla, great food! and if you're an alcoholic, they've got a bar!

As far as kids, things will start to open up around that time for the season, there are some "amusement" like things up in the Corolla area, but if you want the good old fashioned stuff, you'll need to South a ways down to Kitthawk/Kiill Devil Hills, put put golf, movie theater, some amusement tyle stuff on the beach road down there as well. In all honesty, if the weather is nice, you'll find tons of things to do with the family up in Carova, "nature walks" time on the beach, sun etc.

Either way, you'll have a great time, as I've mentioned time and time again to folks it's nice just to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Also, while you're there and if time permits and you happen to bring your four legged friend, check out our friends at the Outer Barks in Duck, a great little place that sells everything from food and treats, to breed specific items, and on Saturday mornings they have a little get together for pups and the owners cater to them with activities and treats galore. It's fun to include our pets in the vacation as well. If you end up liking it, which I know you will, don't hesitate to go around and scope out prospects for future rentals, and stop by the various property management places for catalogs highlighting their rental properties, even though they've all got websites, the catalogs are still good to have as far as reference material.

Enjoy and take lots of pics.

Please do venture further, My Sport Trac is 4x4, but I have zero experience driving on sand. Plenty of snow, but never sand. Thanks for the advice too! where's your house at?
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 12:19:16 PM EDT
Originally Posted By kjb197:
Outer Banks Seafood Co.

Was there last July, found good reviews online, tried it ourselves, and will definitely come again.


I ate there with my family when we all rented a house near Kittyhawk and didn't like the food and thought it was very dirty for a place to eat. I won't go back there any time soon.

Link Posted: 2/23/2010 12:20:53 PM EDT
Originally Posted By TerribleTom:
The fishing is much easier from a pier. Surf fishing is cool, but you can catch more fish in less time if you pay to fish off of a pier. You can crab off the pier, too.


BLASPHEMY!



Learn to read the water. Look for structure (cuts, bars, troughs). Time the tides. The best time to fish is two hours prior to high slack and two hours following.

SW wind is the best wind.

I toss lures but there it's W8Nbait for big drum. Fresh mullet chunk on a fish finder rig ... 12 foot conventional rod with reel.

I would never leave if I lived there ... OBX = one of four surfcasting meccas of the word (los cabos, mexico ... OBX ... Montauk Pt. Noo Yawk and Cape Cod, MA/Islands).


Link Posted: 2/23/2010 12:21:46 PM EDT
If it is still there and you want a 'gourmet" meal, check out Meridian 42. When you come across the bridge from the mainland and turn left to head up to Carova, there is a small strip mall on your left. It is a GREAT place to eat, but so is pigman and Mama Quans but these are in KDH, KH and a long drive for you.

Get the kids some kites from Kitty Hawk Kites and fly! You can drop some major bux on a kite but they also have inexpensive stuff too.
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 12:27:02 PM EDT
If you decide to go see Kitty Hawk (very interesting museum and slide show) eat breakfast at Bob's "Eat and Get the Hell Out" Restaurant. It is on the ocean side of the highway not far from Kitty Hawk. I love eating there. You get a really big breakfast for a great price.

The last time I was there, two years ago, my family chartered a sailboat for half the day. We had a blast out on the ocean.
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 1:12:35 PM EDT
You will need a fishing license, I'm sure you can get a temporary one for your trip.
Make large turns on the sand when driving, air down, bring a shovel and snatch strap and maybe some old carpet scraps to stuff under tires for when you get stuck.
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 1:15:19 PM EDT
Pigman's BBQ in Duck and Nag's Head.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 1:19:46 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 30calslut:
Originally Posted By TerribleTom:
The fishing is much easier from a pier. Surf fishing is cool, but you can catch more fish in less time if you pay to fish off of a pier. You can crab off the pier, too.


BLASPHEMY!



Learn to read the water. Look for structure (cuts, bars, troughs). Time the tides. The best time to fish is two hours prior to high slack and two hours following.

SW wind is the best wind.

I toss lures but there it's W8Nbait for big drum. Fresh mullet chunk on a fish finder rig ... 12 foot conventional rod with reel.

I would never leave if I lived there ... OBX = one of four surfcasting meccas of the word (los cabos, mexico ... OBX ... Montauk Pt. Noo Yawk and Cape Cod, MA/Islands).

As much as I enjoyed surf casting when I lived in Raleigh and drove the coast 15-20 times/year, pier fishing is much easier and will be much more productive for a first time visitor.
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 1:19:53 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 1:23:56 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/23/2010 1:24:35 PM EDT by Fuggit]
We thought that Jimmy's was a good place for grub. Walk the sand dunes on Nagshead. Buy a book on pirates and have the wife read it while you're driving.
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 1:28:05 PM EDT
If you like to fish offshore, think about chartering a boat out of the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center or Pirates Cove Marina. They both have great fleets and can put you on the fish. Oregon inlet is one of the best places to fish on the East coast.
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 1:30:07 PM EDT
Awful Arthurs in Kill Devil Hills. Great bar with good food. (Tee Shirt please)
The Sandpiper in Duck for $$great food$$.
Carova is a world of its' own. Big places, wild horses, surf fishing.
OBX is a great place to relax.
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 1:35:45 PM EDT
Don't forget Jockey's ridge... great place to watch the sun drop over the sound!

And the drive down to Hatteras is nice... hit the Bodie Island light, then cruise down to see the Hatteras Light, both the old location and it's new home.

Link Posted: 2/23/2010 1:36:55 PM EDT
Drive up the beach to the Virginia line, cross through that fence, and savor the wonderful feeling of being in the Old Dominion. Note the pristine quality of the state park on the north side of that line.

Breathe deeply, then step back through the fence and reflect on being in North Carolina.

Repeat as necessary to get proper cultural / historic mindset.

Climbing the lighthouse at Corolla is pretty cool, too.

Link Posted: 2/23/2010 1:47:44 PM EDT
Don't know how far it is to the following suggestions from where you'll be staying but here are some of my favorites for the area.
"The Lost Colony," (outdoor drama of the first English colony in America) Roanoke island
Alan Ross, Karaoke Show @ The Jolly Roger restaurant and bar.
USS North Carolina@ Wilmington (WWII battleship - awesome!)
and definitely the Wright Brothers memorial and the light house.
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 2:45:59 PM EDT
We did a family reunion thing there a few years back. Rented a HUGE house in Corolla (on the golf course). We had 22 people there. It was fantastic. Played golf at that fantastic course (Lost 35 bucks worth of Pro V1's too.)

My only advise is leave early on departure day. We got hammered in traffic on that 1 lane road. And I got a ticket in Delaware (right in front of the speedway too).
I think "Grave Digger" monster truck shop is right at the beginning of the Obanks too.
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 2:52:19 PM EDT
my fav vacation area,dirty dicks got good sea food. campin at the KOA is great 4 of july is the best
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 3:08:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/23/2010 3:09:52 PM EDT by SaltyDog]
Quagmires nice place to eat, has a patio bar overlooking a playground with a big wooden ship for the kids to play on. I lived in Nags Head and Kill Devil Hills for a number of years great place to live if you can stand all the idiots on vacation.


As far as the 4x4 watch out for the dumb ass in a two wheel drive car trying to hit the beach like they are in Daytona.
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 3:30:00 PM EDT
If you're going from the beach over to Roanoke Island, you'll pass my favorite restaurant, Basnight's Lone Cedar Cafe. It's on your left, on the causeway, before the bridge. Good food, reasonable prices, nice people.

Jane
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:47:55 PM EDT


Red Drum Tap House on the Beach Road in Nags Head is a good family spot. Good food with a wide selection of beers on tap.

The Lost Colony outdoor drama is pretty good. Your little guy might enjoy the Indian scenes.
The theater is only a few miles from the aquarium. Bring bug spray.

You can shoot skeet/trap at the Outer Banks Gun Club 7-8 miles west of the causeway in NH.

You could watch the catch being brought in at Oregon Inlet Fishing Center. It's about 10-15 minutes south of the Nags Head causeway on Highway 12.

Blackbeard was killed in Ocrakoke. Other than that, not really much there.

John's Drive-in in Kitty Hawk (Beach Road) for ice-cream and tuna boats.

The Wright Monument and museum in Kill Devil Hills are highly recommended.

The Outer Banks has some War of Northern Agression history as well.
There is a historian with a small, private museum in Manteo.
I.M. for details for more info if this is down your alley.

Seafood markets: seafood should be cheaper/fresher in the Kitty Hawk/KDH/Nags Head area
as opposed to Corolla. I usually get mine from Billy's seafood (on Colington Road, near Wright monument)
or the Sugar Shack on the causeway in Nags Head.

Jane is right about Lone Cedar, good food, great service.









Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:54:28 PM EDT
jockeys ridge state park :)

and if your less then 225 lbs go hand gliding :)
Link Posted: 2/24/2010 12:03:42 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Hawken50:

Originally Posted By WGPKlaus:
Originally Posted By Hawken50:
If I were cooler, i'd have said OBX . Basically we just want to relax. We're renting a house in Carova, the 4x4 area. Probably take the little one (5yo) to the aquarium in Roanoke one day. Maybe do some surf fishing or crabbing, do you need a license for either? Any other stuff for kids that age? Any tips about staying in the 4x4 area. We'll be driving an Explorer Sport Trac (yeah, i know, 18psi and bring a tow strap)

Thanks



Being an owner of a Vacation/Retirement home in Corolla, good choice!

Carova is a great place, but be prepared in terms of your vehicle! While 4WD isn't mandetory, it's highly recommended. If you own a 4WD and are familiar with driving on sand, you know what to do, so I won't venture any further. There won't be a shortage of things to do, as a matter of fact, you'll find yourself just not having enough time to do half the things you want to do. As far as adult things to do, there is fishing, crabbing not so much that time of the season, but the sound will provide good fishing. If the SO wants to shop, theres plenty of that to go around, and around. Restaurants in Corolla cover the spectrum from Mexican, to Italian, to good old fashioned surf and turf type places. If you're looking for a quick meal, try the Tomato Patch in the Food Lion shopping center in Corolla, great food! and if you're an alcoholic, they've got a bar!

As far as kids, things will start to open up around that time for the season, there are some "amusement" like things up in the Corolla area, but if you want the good old fashioned stuff, you'll need to South a ways down to Kitthawk/Kiill Devil Hills, put put golf, movie theater, some amusement tyle stuff on the beach road down there as well. In all honesty, if the weather is nice, you'll find tons of things to do with the family up in Carova, "nature walks" time on the beach, sun etc.

Either way, you'll have a great time, as I've mentioned time and time again to folks it's nice just to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Also, while you're there and if time permits and you happen to bring your four legged friend, check out our friends at the Outer Barks in Duck, a great little place that sells everything from food and treats, to breed specific items, and on Saturday mornings they have a little get together for pups and the owners cater to them with activities and treats galore. It's fun to include our pets in the vacation as well. If you end up liking it, which I know you will, don't hesitate to go around and scope out prospects for future rentals, and stop by the various property management places for catalogs highlighting their rental properties, even though they've all got websites, the catalogs are still good to have as far as reference material.

Enjoy and take lots of pics.

Please do venture further, My Sport Trac is 4x4, but I have zero experience driving on sand. Plenty of snow, but never sand. Thanks for the advice too! where's your house at?



If you can drive in snow, you'll be fine in sand, and I see you aknowledged the tire pressure needing to be lower to which there are gas stations not too far from the beach access to Carolva, so you'll be fine, just be mindful of tides, and surf conditions. My house is in the Currituck Club Golf Course community, it's about a mile South of the Timbuck II shopping Center near the Food Lion, the last grocery store before 4WD area, theres a Harris Teeter right at the main gate into the country club.
Link Posted: 2/24/2010 12:13:49 PM EDT
Completely neglected to mention that among the "family" things to do, theres a nice little park up in Corolla where the Currituck Lighthouse is, and theres a neat little place the kids would enjoy, the Outerbanks Center for Wildlife Education, and you can check out my favorite structure on the Outerbanks, the Whalehead Club, to which you can also arrange for tours, neat place!

Depending on the temp of the water oceanside and soundside, you may want to consider renting jetskis, or at least some kayaks/canoes to explore the waterways? tons of places you can rent these items up in Corolla, and if you don't feel like toting bikes along, they rent these as well, as it's real nice just to bike around and see the sights.
Link Posted: 3/8/2010 3:30:28 PM EDT

Originally Posted By NorCal_LEO:
We go in the off season.

Best time to relax without the yahoos.
Try Holden Beach south of Wilmington. It's more like the Outer Banks of 20 years ago and slower paced.
Link Posted: 3/8/2010 3:32:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Tirador223:
Drive up the beach to the Virginia line, cross through that fence, and savor the wonderful feeling of being in the Old Dominion. Note the pristine quality of the state park on the north side of that line.

Breathe deeply, then step back through the fence and reflect on being in North Carolina.

Repeat as necessary to get proper cultural / historic mindset.

Climbing the lighthouse at Corolla is pretty cool, too.


I grew up in Charlottesville. BTDT, got the t-shirt.

Meh.

Link Posted: 3/8/2010 3:36:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/8/2010 3:38:57 PM EDT by InfiniteGrim]
Johns in Kitty Hawk its right on Beach Road. Its a little food place, we would eat there as often as possible.

Also Outer Banks Brewing Station is a good choice if you like micro brewed beer.

If you want great food Otto's is a good choice, but beware it was over a $300 bill for 6 of us.

If you want fishing, go to the pier at the hotel in Kitty Hawk, i forget its name but it used to be a public pier, the hotel bought it and built a giant hotel there, but its free just trade your drivers license for a pass.

Edit: If you want fireworks, i know a good store that has a GIANT backroom collection in Kitty Hawk!
Link Posted: 3/8/2010 4:47:09 PM EDT
Spent a lot of time surf fishing and hanging out from late 70s thru 80s.
Went back about 10 years ago, and hardly recognized the place.

SOLID houses and people nowdays.
Full of NJ,NY,PA, and OH folks as well.
Also, fell victim to the Malling of America.
Link Posted: 3/8/2010 5:13:44 PM EDT
Regarding driving on the dunes, there are some legal requirements at least in some places out there. You have to have a jack, a piece of wood of certain size, a tow rope, and I forget what else. It's best to have an air compressor to air up unless you are sure you can get to a gas station with air at 20 mph. Don't drive too close to the sea, if you get stuck and the tide comes in your car is absolutely toast. Look for Cape Hatteras National Seashore in Google and go to the NPS site for details.

No fireworks in many places, and the fines are stiff.

The weeping radish is no longer on Manteo but I don't know about their new location.

The Outer Banks is a long, thin thread of sand. So you want to have a bit of logistical planning if you go very far south. The places to see that I liked, in order from north to south are Kill Devil Hill, Wright memorial, Bodie Island lighthouse (nice museum and some cool trails but can't go up in the lighthouse, just at the base), Chicamacomico Life Saving Station (a museum at an old Coast Lifesaving Service station), Hatteras Light (which you can climb, tickets are assigned specific time slots and it is worth it unless it is a massive tourist weekend-Tues thru Thurs are generally ok) then Graveyard of the Atlantic museum at the southern end of Hatteras Island. (I may be out of order on some of these but it's mostly correct)
Also, the kiteboarders at Canadian Hole are cool to watch if you like that sort of thing (before Hatteras Light)

If you go pier fishing I think the license is included as some sort of group deal, same on a boat. If you fish on your own you need a license.

I don't know much about what is north of Kitty Hawk until you get to Sandbridge VA.

Many places advertise that they are at 'milepost x on the beach road' or 'milepost x on the bypass', so pay attention to the mile markers to have a clue.
Link Posted: 3/8/2010 5:33:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/8/2010 5:59:52 PM EDT by NEPAshooter]
Originally Posted By Hawken50:
Please do venture further, My Sport Trac is 4x4, but I have zero experience driving on sand. Plenty of snow, but never sand.


Having done more than a fair share of beach combing, (particularly in the banks, down the stretch that leads to the inlet) there's a few things that a sensible person brings, and hopes they never need.

Bring a solid, pointed shovel with a long straight handle. If you have to dig, although very portable, a military spade's short handle will piss you off in short order.

Bring at least one 18" plank of 2"x8". A triplet is better. These are for use as a base plate in the event you need to jack your vehicle while it's on the sand. Jacks don't work on bare sand, no matter how wet-packed it may seem. (They can also be used as traction boards if one wheel digs in and you have to dig an escape trough for the wheel)

Bring along a decent hydraulic bottle jack, and know how to use it and where it can be used on your vehicle's frame. (crawl around and figure out the lift points BEFORE you leave for the trip, while you can do it easily and 'comfortably' while the vehicle is on asphalt) It may require additional chunks of 2x4 in order to safely lift your vehicle. (drill an appropriately sized hole in the wood so that it won't slip off the top of the bottle jack)

If the weather turns the week or so before you arrive and there are heavy rains, the sand can be heavily rutted from other traffic. This is akin to driving on totally frozen tracked-groove snow that is 6" deep. The steering wheel will want to turn to allow the tires to follow the grooves; if you cross over a groove, expect the steering wheel to jostle violently as the tire 'finds' the next groove. Do not loop your thumbs through the steering wheel, instead, hold the wheel with an 'open palm' grip where each thumb follows alongside the index finger. This allows the wheel to slide within your palms if it decides to spin abruptly, and helps prevent your thumbs from getting broken in the process. More importantly though, rutted sand driving is dangerous because you have deflated your pressure dramatically (intentionally) in order to increase tire footprint for better traction. At these lower pressures, blowing your bead becomes a serious reality, and a headache you do not want while out on the snow. If it happens, you will need a full size spare, and the above three listed items. If you are missing a full size spare, pray to God that someone like me comes by and is willing to drive your blown tire to the nearest shop, get the bead reseated, and bring your tire back to you. (yes, I've literally had to do this at least three times in the past when city folk with nary the clue take their rental jeep out on the sand and air down too much)

If the weather is blazing for the week before you arrive, the sand can become almost powder like; in those conditions, try your best to never come to a stop in dry sand. The risk of burrowing a wheel in is greatest in that case, and moving continuously can reduce that dramatically. Only come to a stop where the sand is more hard packed and less loose. I find that choosing a line that is about half way between the waters edge and the inland edge of the sand is best. (the instinct of hugging the inland edge is usually bad, as that sand is the most powdery in those conditions)

Also, know the tidal schedule for the days you will be in town. I always print out the schedule and keep it rubber banded to my sun visor for fast reference. (you'll learn to memorize it and the timing after your first trip though, and you'll only need the actual time of the first tide each morning)

Lastly, know where your re-inflate station is before you enter the sand; I always use the marina pretty much across the street from the entry point in South Nag's Head, but I'm entering the offroad area that's down by the Oregon inlet, not up north near Duck/Corolla/etc. If you think you may have to travel more than 1/2 a mile to reinflate, contemplate bringing your own 12 volt inflator to at least get you up above 25psi before traveling; you can do serious wear and tear damage to your tires if you drive around aired down.

Good luck, and safe travels!

E.





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