Even the most avid travelers enjoy a beach vacation from time to time. Few things are better for kicking back and forgetting your worldly worries. And, isn’t that what getting away is all about? Aside from getting a badass tan, spending time by the beach can be meditative and refreshing. It also provides the opportunity to catch up on those books you never get a chance to read.
The only trouble is, when most of us think about beach destinations, we consider places like the Bahamas. You know what we’re talking about; it’s all white sand beaches and blazing sunshine. You could even drink from coconut skins and find shade in those iconic beach huts. The trouble is, of course, that the Bahamas is a mean 1,362 miles from our shores. Depending on where you are located this can be a stretch of time and money.
But, all hope is not lost. In truth, there are some killer beaches closer to home which you could make the most of. We have some fantastic beach resorts here in the U.S., including the iconic Miami beach. And, of course, we have destinations like North Carolina’s Outer Banks on our doorsteps.
When it comes to beaches, it’s hard to imagine anywhere better than this 100 mile strip of islands off North Carolina’s cost. Bear in mind that, despite there being a whole host of vacation rentals in Outer Banks, many require booking up to a year in advance. And, it’s easy to see why when you look at the beaches on offer. But, can we compare this to the Bahamas? We think so, and here’s why.
Ease of access
Let us not forget that our main argument against beaches in the Bahamas is that they’re a pain to get to. But, the same can’t be said for Outer Banks. A road running around these islands means that you don’t even have to leave your car behind if you don’t want to. You can just pull up at your chosen destination and be done with it. You would then also have the benefit of being able to hop from one beach to the other without worrying about how to move around. Even if you don’t fancy driving, there are plenty of short flights which could get you here as well. Either way, your travel time will be much less stressful than a Bahamas alternative.
Plenty of beaches to choose from
As you might expect from a 100-mile strip of islands, there are also plenty of beaches to choose from here. If you went further afield, the chances are that you would pick one beach and stick with it. But, Outer Banks ensures you can visit a different beach each day of your stay if you want to. That means there’s sure to be something for everyone. Those looking for isolated beaches should head to what’s known as the ‘Northern Beaches’. If you fancy somewhere more bustling, Kill Devil Hills, Kitty Hawk, and Nags Head are your best options. If you like your beaches perfect, head to Hatteras Island. This is prided for having the most pristine beaches on the North Carolina coastline. Given that each beach offers such different benefits, it'd be possible to spend a whole week here and see something new each day. And, the fact you can access all these beaches by road surely means that this tops Bahamas beaches any day.
Admittedly, most beach resorts offer a fair few activities for tourists. But, if you went abroad, you would have to deal with language barriers and the like. Thus, your options may be limited, if you embark on anything at all. But, Outer Banks offers a whole host of water-based activities. These include lessons which just wouldn’t be an option for you further afield. So, if you fancy learning some new water sports, this could be the destination for you. There are lessons in everything from jet skiing to kayaking, so take your pick. Companies like Hatteras Island Boardsports offer private or group surfing lessons, as well as rental equipment. And, you can bet there are similar opportunities on every beach you visit. In the southern towns of Hatteras Island, you also have the option of guided horseback tours along the beach. You name it; a village somewhere is going to have it. So, do your research and look at all the sea-based learning you could do on a trip here.
A Wildlife Haven
It’s also worth noting that Outer Banks has some pretty fantastic wildlife for you to explore, too. While it may not be as exotic as you’d find on Bahamas beaches, there are still some great sights to behold. Most famously, the deserted beaches off Corolla boast of wild mustangs. These have inhabited Outer Banks since a shipwreck in the 1500s. At few other times in your life will you get the chance to see wild horses on a beach so close to home. You may also be lucky enough to see some native deer and fox during your stay. With North Carolina’s gray fox finding its place here too, that’s sure to be a spectacular site. There are also a handful of nature and wildlife reserves worth attention during your stay. These include The Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. Spanning 152,000 acres, this is one of the last remaining habitats on the Eastern Seaboard for black bears. And, as the name suggests, there are alligators along the way, too. So, if wildlife takes your fancy, this destination has you covered there, too. It really does have something for everyone, and it’s a must-visit destination for any beach dwellers looking a little closer to home.
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