What I especially like is that each town has it’s own unique personality. There are fishing towns to the south on Hatteras Island, beachy towns with fun hotspots in the middle of the OBX, and more laid back and refined towns to the north; complete with wild horses.
As an added bonus, there is Ocracoke Island to the far south and Roanoke Island, just across the causeway. On our most recent trip I fell in love with Roanoke Island.
On the north end of Roanoke Island, is a quaint little tourist town that spans the waterfront, named Manteo. There are shops, eateries, inns and museums. I could easily spend a few days in Manteo.
The town is anchored by 2 distinct museum. The first is the Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse. This tiny little lighthouse is a replica of the original that sat on top of the waters of the Croatan Sound. This is the 4th lighthouse, each of the other 3 ultimately met the fate of the water. There are exhibits on the inside and the deck provides a good spot for fishing on the outside.
On the other end of town is the Roanoke Island Festival Park. A frequent visitor to interpretive historical museums (I live in Virginia after all) I have to say this was outstanding! They cover life as a native on the island, life as a colonist and life on board a tiny ship crossing the Atlantic. The museum itself is phenomenal. I want to go back one day, sans kiddos, so I can read through all the exhibits properly.
One activity that was a highlight of our trip was the Pirate Adventure; it is SO much fun! The kids not only get to go on a pirate ship, they get tattoos and borrowed costumes, read a treasure map, battle a pirate and get treasure and grog at the end!
In the midst of all this fun, one must eat; after all, the body needs fuel for adventure. For a quick bite to eat try out Poor Richards on the waterfront. There is a wonderful variety of sandwiches and the atmosphere is a lot of fun.
If you are looking for great food and terrific beer, check out Full Moon Brewery. You can order a pint or a flight and the prices are very reasonable.