The Outer Banks offer solitude and affordability for Winter visitors

Posted on 01/19/15 No Comments


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North Carolina is synonymous with beach life. Every Memorial Day the Triangle gets quieter as a measurable portion of our population goes “down east” to any one of the array of beaches that line the entire right side of our state.

Due east of the Triangle floats a chain of large barrier islands called the Outer Banks (or, according to the ubiquitous window sticker: the OBX) that serves primarily as a natural levy against the Atlantic Ocean’s turbulent tides.

Every summer, the wide-open and wildlife-rich beaches and dunes also provide hundreds of thousands of people a place to vacation. Huge rental houses line the sand as charter boats and surf instructors take to the water with droves of customers. Traffic becomes a headache. It’s still beautiful, sure. But its crowded. And expensive.

Unless you visit in the Winter.

There’s something very visceral about the cold season beach. It’s stark and empty, and is ultimately much better appreciated for what it offers those who visit.¬†Many Outer Banks hotels are open in the Winter, as are a number of restaurants and stores. Plenty of people live along the coast year-round, but not nearly enough to prevent you from finding hours of alone-time on a stretch of grassy, wind-swept dune.

Come winter, the locals are more willing to wave and share with you where the fish are hitting and the swell is picking up. If you come to fish or surf in the winter Atlantic, you’ll earn their respect.

There’s something very visceral about the cold season beach.

Houses are incredibly affordable to rent in the off-season should you choose an extended stay. Maybe a weekend in a hotel isn’t enough. Plus, the restaurants aren’t busy, so chances are you’ll find plenty of opportunity to chat with whoever else is floating around.

Yes, it can get very cold in the Outer Banks this time of year. However, that’s part of it; the best adventures aren’t supposed to be easy. Bring a hat.

So if you’re looking for a getaway in the next couple of months, and want do something that will make the co-workers look at you funny, head east for a few days of “wintering” at the beach.

It can be our secret.

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