Category Archives: North Carolina

Roanoke Island in Outer banks – maybe it’s fate?

So when I googled “quaint, historic, duck, outer banks” (or something like that) to find a place to stay with our English friends, google sent me to some sweet cottages in Manteo on Roanoke Island, which as fate would have it turns out to be  the site of The Lost Colony –  a 16th century colony of 117 Brits that disappeared mysteriously. So perhaps this is the perfect place to visit with our British friends (a little re-colonizing perhaps) or not?

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Contemplating a fall trip to North Carolina’s Outer Banks: initial pros/cons

A pal from London is attending a conference in early October in Baltimore and I promised to meet her for a road trip. One early option – visiting the Outer Banks, which I’ve never been to – and long wanted to see. After some initial scrutiny of maps, airline websites and guidebooks, here are my initial pros and cons:

PROS:

  • – Fall is ideal for a visit to the Outer Banks, especially since the summer gets so crowded. The weather and even the water, often, remains warm in late Sept/early October. (see hurricanes below under CONS)
  • – There appear to be lots of good options for renting a cottage or staying at a b&b for a few days (if not a full week) – which would be good if our spouses join us.
  • –  Gorgeous seashore (175-mile ribbon of sandy islands plus national seashore with sand dunes and old lighthouses) , lots of history (including English history, plus hiding place of the everyone’s favorite pirate, Blackbeard, where the Wright brothers learned to fly and site of many shipwrecks – hence its reputation as “the graveyard of the Atlantic), quaint fishing villages, stunning beaches, things to do/see and places to eat (Carolina BBQ for the meat-eaters among us. local seafood – clam chowder, crab cakes, deep-fried hush puppies.)
  • – About that English history: Near the Outer Banks on Roanoke Island is the site of Sir Walter Raleigh’s “lost colony.”  In 1585, this was England’s first permanent foothold in the “New World” – a colony of over 100 Brits (men, women, kids). This was the location of the birth of the first child of English parents on what later became U.S. soil. The colonists appeared to disappear and history vague on details although there’s some talk of a horrific drought. (More reading advised.)

CONS:

  • – The Outer Banks are a bit of a pain to get to (which is of course, part of their attraction) and pricey to get to. The nearest airport is Norfolk, Va. which is expensive to fly to from here in Des Moines and not so easy from Baltimore (it appears that a connecting flight is necessary) – haven’t check into London. Even when you get to Norfolk the Outer Banks are still 80 miles away. Nor does there appear to be train service from Baltimore to anywhere near the Outer Banks (although I have not done exhaustive research on this.)
  • So the best bet appears to be: for me to fly from Des Moines to Washington (much cheaper than flying to Baltimore) and we meet up either in DC or Baltimore and drive – about 5/6 hours. Long, especially by English standards, but we’ve survived these drives before (including a five hour drive from London to the Lake District with five kids in tow.)
  • – The possibility of hurricanes

HOTSPOTS:

  • – Duck, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Ocracoke Island, Beaufort (Kitty Hawk to Nags Head sound overdeveloped), Nags Head architecture tours of old beach cottages;
  • – Edenton (nearby colonial waterfront town
  • WHERE TO STAY:
  • When I looked for oceanfront rentals, I found large modern beach houses – some very pricey. When I looked up “quaint cottage duck north carolina) I found some sweet looking cottages including http://www.vrbo.com/334384#rates (Midgett House in Old Town Manteo on Historic Roanoke Island)
    Neva Midgett House corner of Uppowac and Budleigh
    Neva Midgett House corner of Uppowac and Budleigh – Manteo, North Carolina Vacation Home Near Restaurants and Shops
  • Duck b&B: Advice 5 cents. (strange name, I know) wwwadvice5.com; Cottage rentals in Duck: sun realty, Carolina designs realty, duck’s real estate (www.outerbanksrentals.com) http://www.twiddy.com

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