And did we mention the eating and drinking?
The Outer Banks offer a multitude for having a freshly caught meal and a cold beer while the waves crash before you, the breeze blows, and your worries melt away. Here's a town-by-town guide to the best bars and restaurants on the Outer Banks.
Grab a cup of coffee and a hot, customized donut at Duck Donuts near the Currituck Club. After you've shredded the waves, hook up with a brew or two at North Banks Restaurant & Raw Bar or settle into a table at Mike Dianna’s Grill Room, both in the Timbuck II shopping center.
Duck is a fairly upscale, pedestrian-friendly wide spot in the road. Take in the afternoon concert at the quaint town park then stroll across Hwy 12 to the comfy and rustic Roadside Bar & Grill for killer shrimp and grits. The extensive cocktail menu caters to every taste and there's often live music. Dress up a little and enjoy the ultimate in Southern cuisine and hospitality at The Blue Point, just up the road in the Waterfront Shops. The place opened in 1989 and set the bar for great food, spirits, and service in the area. Before dinner, enjoy a drink at its YardBar and soak in the sunset over Currituck Sound.
Kitty Hawk/Kill Devil Hill/Nags Head
The cluster of towns to the south, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hill, and Nags Head are the population center of the Outer Banks and offer the greatest diversity of dining options. For breakfast, families flock to Stack'em High, the original pancake house on the Outer Banks, with locations in Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills.
In Nags Head, at least one morning has to start at Biscuits N' Porn. Officially Stop Quik, this gas station/convenience store/breakfast and lunch counter churns out stuffed, calorie-laden biscuits that will show that hangover who's boss. Step in line with the anglers and tradesmen and grab a hefty cheese biscuit and ask for egg, cheese, and either ham, sausage, or chicken and a side of gravy. The "porn" part comes from the magazine rack, right up front for the world to see.
If fish tacos and pad Thai ring your bell, let Mama Kwan's Tiki Bar & Grill in Kill Devil Hill set the plate. A good starter is the Thai Money Bags. Trust us.
You'd be hard-pressed to find a better wine and beer selection than at Trio in Kitty Hawk. If an English pub, an Italian bistro, and a cheese and wine shop had a baby, this would be it. With 24 bottles available in self-service tasting machines, and 24 beers on tap, lunch here can go on into the night. If you are there on the right night, you can catch our favorite man with a horn, Dr. John Sanchez and his group, Chez Says. They'll conjure the ghost of Miles Davis right at the top of the stairs.
In Nags Head, there are two piers where you can eat and drink out on the water. At the Nags Head Pier, Captain Andy's Oceanfront Bar & Grill is a major stress-relief system. Knock one back with the sea breeze in your face and the ocean crashing just below. Further south, you can likewise get a similar prescription filled at Fish Heads Bar and Grill on the Outer Banks Pier.