May 16 – 19, 2018
This iconic chain of barrier islands linked by coastal highway NC 12 is recognized for being home to some of the largest tracts of undeveloped beaches on the East Coast. Center stage is the Outer Banks Scenic Byway, a road trip enthusiast’s dream immersion among seemingly endless miles of natural, undeveloped coastlines preserved for recreation and wildlife. There are miles and miles of off-road beach driving accessible year round for adventurous access to great fishing and surf.
Known collectively as the “OBX” by fans, the four islands are home to half a dozen national and state parks with rich stories dating back to the first English colony in the New World at Roanoke Island, the Wright Brothers’ first flight near Kitty Hawk, and the tallest lighthouse at Cape Hatteras, one of four you can visit. Whether you’re hang gliding over the massive sand dunes of Jockey’s Ridge, enjoying diverse local fare including wild caught seafood, or walking off dinner along the boardwalks of Duck or Manteo, OBX provides an unforgettable stage for your ultimate beach vacation. There are six towns and 12 coastal villages to explore.
HOSTED: This media trip is fully hosted, including all meals, lodging, activities, tastings, air and ground transportation.
Wednesday, May 16
Late Morning flight arrivals in Norfolk (transfer to Outer Banks)
Lunch at Coastal Provisions Oyster Bar & Wine Bar Café
Founded in 2006 by Dan Lewis and Scott Foster, former head chefs for specialty food chain Sutton Place Gourmet, Hay Day Markets and Balducci’s. With the goal of bringing great tasting foods to the beach, Coastal Provisions opened its flagship Market in Southern Shores and has quickly grown into one of the top food businesses on the beach with two additional locations in Duck, three restaurant concepts in all, and has become one of the most sought-after Outer Banks caterers with its award-winning cuisine and service.
See where on a cold day in December 1903 Wilbur and Orville Wright changed the world forever as their powered airplane, the “Wright Flyer,” skimmed over the sands of the Outer Banks for 12 seconds before returning to the ground. See the flight museum which still has exhibits from the First Flight Centennial Celebration.
This 426-acre park has the tallest and largest natural sand dune system in the Eastern United States. Always changing, always beautiful. Two self-guided trails and nature programs available year-round. Hang gliding, kite flying, hiking, visitor center, museum, picnic facilities and restrooms.
Check into large beach house
Depart for Tour/Cocktails/Dinner at Kimball’s Kitchen at Sanderling Resort
If a special evening of dining is in your vacation plans, look no further than Kimball’s Kitchen, formerly the Left Bank. Located on the Soundside of the Sanderling Resort, Kimball’s offers glorious view of the Currituck Sound and its inspiring sunsets, outstanding service and a world-class menu. Spotlighting freshly caught local seafood, Certified Angus Beef, handmade pasta and an extensive selection of local oysters, this Outer Banks restaurant creates a great dining experience with an upscale coastally casual environment. A Wine Spectator Award winning wine list and array of hand-crafted cocktails are available.
Thursday, May 17
Sweet treats made to order at Duck Donuts
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Grounds Tour
Also known as America’s Lighthouse, the Cape Hatters Lighthouse is the tallest brick beacon in the world standing 210 feet. The familiar spiral-striped landmark serves as a warning to mariners of submerged and shifting sandbars which extend almost twenty miles off Cape Hatteras into the Atlantic Ocean, known as Diamond Shoals. In 1999, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse was moved a half mile inland, to save it from the encroaching sea. The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is now as far from the ocean as when originally constructed in 1870. The lighthouse is open for climbing mid-April to Columbus Day.
Lunch at Diamond Shoals Restaurant in shadows of Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
Brian, Shaena and Declan McMahon have been experimenting with different methods of producing sea salt for years. From the Caribbean to the Pacific, and back to the Atlantic Ocean they have studied the crystals, evaporation methods, and practices possible to produce the purest sea salt available. The quest led them back to Hatteras Island, where they now strive to give you a clean, mineral-rich ocean salt. We strive for excellence, we believe that slow solar evaporation in our solar ovens is the best method of reducing salt water for mineral retention, texture, and flavor to capture the pure essence of the source. “Pure nutrient-rich ocean water yields pure nutrient-rich ocean salt.”
A branded oyster program that ships directly to restaurants and fishmongers around the country. The concept was dreamed up by the father-son team of Bill and Ryan Belter while collecting oysters along the sound side of Buxton Village in Cape Hatteras. As local waterman, they realized this pristine microenvironment was an incredibly healthy and fertile ecosystem beautifully suited for supporting oysters and other sea life. Seeing this, the two turned their attention to cultivating a unique version of the Atlantic Oyster in the fertile water wherein they had previously made a living fishing and crabbing.
Friday, May 18
OBX Crabbing and Shrimping Charter adventure with Captain Marc Mitchum
A full-time commercial fishing family providing families a real Outer Banks experience. Our trips are very hands-on, lots of fun, and educational. We often see dolphin, osprey, pelicans, and all types of marine life, along with catching some fresh North Carolina seafood.
O’Neals Sea Harvest in Wanchese
Lunch at Lost Colony Brewery & Café in Manteo
Full Moon Cafe has been a favorite dining destination on the Outer Banks since 1995. In 2011 we became The Full Moon Café and Brewery, your favorite brewpub. In 2013 we became the fastest growing locally crafted beer on the Outer Banks. By 2014 the beer we distributed to other restaurants became known as Lost Colony beer. Confusing? Was to us and to a lot of our loyal customers (even the sober ones). The search for The Lost Colony of Roanoke Island took on a new meaning as thousands of thirsty travelers with charts, treasure maps and smartphones in hand looked for the brewery.
Tour and tasting at Outer Banks Distilling/Kill Devil Rum in Manteo
The four owners all met years ago working at a local brewery in Kill Devil Hills and became fast friends over their shared love for good beer and rum. Over the course of many sessions spent sipping rum and talking shop, they came to the conclusion that starting a craft distillery on the Outer Banks made a lot of sense. Adam Ball and Kelly Bray worked at the area’s local breweries for many years, while Matt Newsome and Scott Smith have more than 20 years of bartending experience on the OBX between them.
Dinner at OBX Trio Wine, Beer & Cheese
Kenneth and Melissa Hyman met in Richmond, VA in 1994, and moved to the Outer Banks in 2003 to open Native Vine. Their vision was to introduce visitors to the Outer Banks to the rapidly growing wine industry in North Carolina AND to introduce interesting wine from around the world to anyone that would listen. The first store was located in Point Harbor, just over the Wright Memorial Bridge from the Outer Banks proper, and was just 1500 square feet. Their concept of service, value and educating their customers allowed the store to triple in size in 2006. Trio, a retail and tasting destination, is the next step in the continued evolution of the original business concept. In 2011, John and Jennifer Minnich partnered with Kenny and Melissa to create the new concept of “Trio.” Having vacationed in the Outer Banks since the 1970s, John introduced Jennifer to the area shortly after they met, and they were married in Duck. After many visits, they made the Outer Banks their permanent home in 2008. Jennifer’s passion for cheese and John’s insistence (from too much time spent in bars in the US and England) that “beer must be done right” fit perfectly with Kenny and Melissa’s love of wine and everything that goes with it!
Saturday, May 19
Checkout, breakfast, and departure for mid-day/late afternoon flights from Norfolk
Photo credits: Outer Banks Visitors Bureau
Application for Outer Banks, North Carolina Media Trip (Deadline 3/15/18):