I got to thinking about this wonderful place because I entered a photography contest for www.outerbanks.org and their 2011 travel guide. I entered three of my favorites from over the past five years, some of them may be below, but I am not telling specifics. I do not want to jinx my entries, so keep your fingers crossed for OBX 2011 Official Travel Guide! You can view the 2010 guide here.
I moved to North Carolina by complete chance in 2005, because it was either take a subbing job in Iowa, or start the hunt for my own classroom. I quite accidentally found job openings in North Carolina and having never set foot in the state, discovered one of my favorite places in the United States. North Carolina is fortunate enough to have both the mountains and the ocean for its residents to enjoy. With the eyes of a tourist, and the license plates of a local, I have come to realize what an undiscovered gem this state truly is. I learned first hand that the South does not always get the credit it deserves — the Outer Banks of North Carolina blows the crowded boardwalks of the Northeast and New England out of the water.
In the five years I have lived in North Carolina, I have been to the Outer Banks at least every year, and Ocracoke Island if I am lucky. In 2010 I managed to get there twice. Ocracoke Island is a part of the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The Outer Banks are a series of islands running semi-parallel to the mainland, made of sand and continually shift and change with the waves, wind, and storms. This thin strip of land and its waters are a unique ecosystem home to a variety of birds, turtles, crustaceans, wild horses, porpoises, and many more species. The area has a rich cultural and historical background. I have included some of my favorite things to do when visiting the Outer Banks.
walking the streets of Ocracoke to NC’s oldest lighthouse,
taking a ferry – the only way to get to Ocracoke,
stormy days, tidal changes, sea spray, beach combing, sea foam on the beach – the natural beauty of these islands,