Regional Guide

Family - North Carolina Coast

Honor the fathers of flying at the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills. Come see a full-scale model of Flyer, the airplane that first helped the brothers succeed in their attempts at powered flight. (The original was damaged beyond repair in the plane's longest sustained flight: 59 seconds; 852 feet.)

No family vacation to the Outer Banks is complete without a trip to the area's most recognizable symbol, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. Accessible once again after extensive repairs, the lighthouse is open for climbing from Easter to Columbus Day.

Innumerable bird-watching opportunitites, guided tours, and the rare chance to spot a red wolf are all part of the fun at Wings Over Water, the Outer Banks' favorite wildlife festival at Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge. Located on the Atlantic flyway, the Outer Banks attract more than a million migratory species each spring and fall. Also keep a lookout for loggerhead turtles, which use this area as their northernmost nesting ground.

Come see the wild ponies on Ocracoke Island. Some say the ponies are descended from horses left behind on one of Sir Walter Raleigh's expeditions. Others claim that they are descended from mustangs that swam to shore after the Spanish galleon they sailed on sank in the"Graveyard of the Atlantic." Check out the ponies and wage a guess at their true lineage.

Take the whole family kayaking off the coast of Cedar Island National Wildlife Refuge. Protected by the barrier islands, the refuge doesn't have the undertow of other coastal waters. Bonus: Deserted beaches a plenty.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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