Our first stop was the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, which was about an hour drive from where we were staying. Unfortunately, the lighthouse was closed for climbing (it is off-season), so if you are visiting, make sure you check ahead of time. But we still enjoyed the drive along the Outer Banks National Scenic Byway. Since it's November, the drive was nice and quiet, and we got to take our time and enjoy the views of the coast, the beaches and all of the cute towns along the way. We even drove around some of the neighborhoods and did some house hunting.
We then took the girls on a short hike in Nags Head Wood Preserve. We chose the Roanoke trail, which is an easy 1.5 mile out and back trail. It starts off as a pretty typical walk through the preserve but then opens up onto a beautiful small beach with an awesome view of the Roanoke Sound. It was a really nice surprise. There were so many trees reaching out of the water and turned over on the sand and the roots were all entwined in crazy formations. It was moody and unexpected and led to an impromptu photo shoot. We just had to take advantage of the scenery!
Our last destination was Jockey's Ridge State Park. From our research we knew to time it so that we would be at the park on the dunes for sunset. What a unique landscape. Just a few steps from the parking lot and all of a sudden you are surrounded by huge dunes in every direction. It felt like we dropped into the middle of a desert. It really is a perfect place to watch the sunset and we lucked out with a gorgeous one! It's a popular place at that time of day, with good reason, so get there a little early to stake out a good spot.
We made the best of our short visit to OBX and discovered some pretty awesome places. So, whether you're passing through or spending some time there, make sure to drive out to the lighthouse, walk one of the trails at Nags Head Preserve and catch an amazing sunset on Jockey's Ridge.
By Ashley Quiambao