I can’t believe it’s been a month already since I got back from a week in the Outer Banks with my family. A bit of a different pace than our typical Orlando vacations, I enjoyed having a week of morning runs on the beach, afternoons spent watching for dolphins in the ocean, evening glasses of wine, adventures together with my family, and many, many rounds of Heads Up (I think I may have gotten my mom addicted, haha).
It wasn’t perfect. We’re bad at planning and communicating with each other. People were disappointed. My grandparents literally ate alllllllll of the snacks. The teenagers would often rather sleep and play on their phones than hang out with the rest of us. But man, I wouldn’t give up these moments when we’re all together for anything. Although I can’t prove that we were all together because no one (other than me) cares about photos, I promise it happened.
This is the third time we’ve vacationed in the Outer Banks, and each time we’ve stayed at different parts of Corolla. This time, we stayed at Corolla Light Resort, which worked out well for my family. Our house was only a short walk away from the beach. The part we could easy walk to wasn’t crowded and it was really peaceful to explore at night – we saw tons of crabs scurrying around in the sand and I saw my very first shooting star when night walking along the water and gazing at the sky! A bit of a further walk away was the resort’s main beach access that also had a pool and bar/restaurant. We rented a few chairs and umbrellas for when we wanted to spent a longer time at the beach.
Although we never were adventurous enough to take a vehicle on it, there’s a 4 wheel drive beach that I could run to from our resort that I spent a lot of time on. It’s a little flatter for running on and I’d see dolphins there in the mornings (we did end up seeing more when we were at the resort, too!). If you’re lucky, occasionally you can see wild horses on this beach, too. They’re probably one of my family’s favorite parts of going to the Outer Banks and we’ve done a wild horse tour to get a better look at them every time we’ve been there. There’s a million horse tours to pick from. Typically, we’ve done this wild horse tour because all the proceeds go back to benefit the horses, but since they were booked this trip (we called the day of because my family doesn’t believe in planning), we went with Bob’s Wild Horse Tours. Our tour guide was personable, informative, and happy to oblige if we (and by we I mean me) wanted to linger in a spot a little longer to get the perfect photo.
Another favorite thing of mine to do at the Outer Banks is watch the sunset. It’s just a mesmerizing sight to watch the glowing colors reflect off the water. There’s a boardwalk that runs along the sound side (as opposed to the ocean side), that you can get a beautiful view from! My mom and I were hoping to watch the sunrise or sunset from the Currituck Beach Lighthouse, but unfortunately we never made it.
While I have your attention, the biggest Outer Banks tip I can give you is: do not drive in the direction of Corolla on a Saturday. There’s only one road in and out and practically every single vacation home rental runs from Saturday to Saturday, so you will spend forever (literally hours) in traffic. Unless that’s how you want to start your vacation, I strongly suggest driving close on Friday, staying at a hotel nearby, and then driving to the Outer Banks as early as you can on Saturday so that you can instead begin your week with peace and calmness.
I don’t want this post to get too long, so I’m going to end it with that, but if you have Outer Banks questions or would like food or shopping recs, just let me know in the comments!