Welcome to Dare County, North Carolina - Home of the Outer Banks
The Outer Banks of North Carolina have never been more accessible or affordable. America's Beach, the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area is less than 90 miles from Norfolk International Airport and only a half day's drive from most major cities on the East Coast. Here you'll find some of the most remote tracts of undeveloped beaches anywhere in the country, but easily accessible by car. Trade in your high heels and loafers for flip flops and stroll along some of the most top rated beaches in America, picking up sea glass and shells this summer or fall. On clear nights along the barrier islands of the Outer Banks, far from city lights, the Milky Way makes a nightly appearance and will take your breath away. Set up base camp in one of our plentiful oceanfront cottages, hotels and motels, or charming inns. There is something for every budget and taste in Dare County. Dine at one of our locally owned, original restaurants run by true characters with all the coastal hospitality you expect.
Take the time to rediscover America’s heritage on the Outer Banks. Over 400 years ago, the first English settlers arrived on the Outer Banks. Though they disappeared mysteriously, their Roanoke Island settlement paved the way for future colonization of America. Today, you can visit attractions that celebrate our Elizabethan history, like The Lost Colony, America's oldest outdoor drama, Roanoke Island Festival Park and the Elizabethan Gardens. It was here, on December 17, 1903, near Kitty Hawk in Kill Devil Hills, that Wilbur & Orville Wright broke man's bond to the earth with their first powered flight. Visitors can experience the magic of that first flight at the Wright Brothers National Memorial. And the spirit of flight remains alive at Jockey's Ridge State Park, a favorite spot for hang gliding and kite flying. See the Bodie Island Lighthouse and the majestic Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, which stands at 208 feet, the tallest in the Nation. These sites are among the many treasures found along the shores of the Outer Banks. Boutiques, unique gift shops and factory outlet stores provide shopping adventures for every taste and budget. Events and festivals are held throughout the year and celebrate our rich history, scenic beauty and wide array of adventure sports.
Call the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau toll free at 877-629-4386 to get your free official travel guide, or go online at outerbanks.org.