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The Outer Banks
Outer Banks
(OBX) is a 200-mile-long (320 km) string of barrier islands and spits off the coast of North Carolina
North Carolina
and southeastern Virginia, on the east coast of the United States. They cover most of the North Carolina
North Carolina
coastline, separating the Currituck Sound, Albemarle Sound, and Pamlico Sound
Pamlico Sound
from the Atlantic Ocean. The Outer Banks
Outer Banks
are a major tourist destination and are known around the world for their subtropical climate and wide expanse of open beachfront. The Cape Hatteras National Seashore
Cape Hatteras National Seashore
has four campgrounds open to visitors.[1] The treacherous seas off the Outer Banks
Outer Banks
and the large number of shipwrecks that have occurred there have given these seas the nickname Graveyard of the Atlantic. The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum is located in Hatteras Village
Hatteras Village
near a United States Coast Guard facility and the Hatteras ferry. The English Roanoke Colony—where Virginia
Virginia
Dare was born[2]—vanished from Roanoke Island
Roanoke Island
in 1587. The Lost Colony, written and performed to commemorate the original colonists, is the second longest running outdoor drama in the United States
United States
and its theater acts as a cultural focal point for much of the Outer Banks. The Wright brothers' first flight in a controlled, powered, heavier-than-air vehicle took place on the Outer Banks
Outer Banks
on December 7, 1903, at Kill Devil Hills near the seafront town of Kitty Hawk.[3] The Wright Brothers National Monument
Wright Brothers National Monument
commemorates the historic flights, and First Flight Airport
First Flight Airport
is a small, general-aviation airfield located there.

Contents

1 Geography 2 Vegetation 3 Weather 4 Culture 5 Fishing 6 Communities

6.1 Currituck Banks 6.2 Bodie Island 6.3 Roanoke Island 6.4 Hatteras Island 6.5 Ocracoke Island 6.6 Core Banks 6.7 Bogue Banks

7 Parks 8 Notable residents 9 See also 10 References 11 External links

Geography[edit] The Outer Banks
Outer Banks
is a string of peninsulas and barrier islands separating the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
from mainland North Carolina. From north to south, the largest of these include: Bodie Island
Bodie Island
(which used to be an island but is now a peninsula due to tropical storms and hurricanes), Hatteras Island, Ocracoke Island, Portsmouth Island, and the Core Banks.[4] Over time, the exact number of islands and inlets changes as new inlets are opened up, often during a breach created during violent storms, and older inlets close, usually due to gradually sifting sands during the dynamic processes of beach evolution. The Outer Banks
Outer Banks
stretch southward from Sandbridge in Virginia
Virginia
Beach down the North Carolina
North Carolina
coastline. Sources differ regarding the southern terminus of the Outer Banks. Generations of North Carolina schoolchildren have learned that the term includes the state's three prominent capes: Cape Hatteras, Cape Lookout, and Cape Fear.[5][6] Other sources limit the definition to two capes ( Cape Hatteras
Cape Hatteras
and Cape Lookout) and coastal areas in four counties (Currituck County, Dare County, Hyde County,and Carteret County).[7] Some authors include Carteret's Shackelford Banks and Bogue Banks
Bogue Banks
in their descriptions,[7] while others exclude Bogue Banks.[8] Still other references restrict the definition to the northern three counties of Currituck, Dare, and Hyde.[9] The abbreviations OBX (Outer Banks) and SOBX (Southern Outer Banks) are modern terms used to promote tourism and to market a variety of stickers, t-shirts, and other items to vacationers. OBX, which originated first, is generally used in the northern Outer Banks. SOBX is used primarily in Carteret County, which is also known as the Crystal Coast. The northern part of the Outer Banks, from Oregon Inlet
Oregon Inlet
northward, is actually a part of the North American mainland, since the northern inlets of Bodie Island
Bodie Island
and Currituck Banks no longer exist.[10] It is separated by the Currituck Sound
Currituck Sound
and the Intracoastal Waterway, which passes through the Great Dismal Swamp
Great Dismal Swamp
occupying much of the mainland west of the Outer Banks. Road access to the northern Outer Banks
Outer Banks
is cut off between Sandbridge and Corolla, North Carolina, with communities such as Carova Beach
Beach
accessible only by four-wheel drive vehicles. North Carolina
North Carolina
State Highway 12 links most of the popular Outer Banks
Outer Banks
communities in this section of the coast. The easternmost point is Cape Point at Cape Hatteras
Cape Hatteras
on Hatteras Island, site of the Cape Hatteras
Cape Hatteras
Lighthouse. The Outer Banks
Outer Banks
are not anchored to offshore coral reefs like some other barrier islands and as a consequence they often suffer significant beach erosion during major storms. In fact, their location jutting out into the Atlantic makes them the most hurricane-prone area north of Florida, for both landfalling storms and brushing storms offshore. Hatteras Island
Hatteras Island
was cut in half on September 18, 2003, when Hurricane
Hurricane
Isabel washed a 2,000 foot (600 m) wide and 15 foot (5 m) deep channel called Isabel Inlet
Isabel Inlet
through the community of Hatteras Village on the southern end of the island.[11] The tear was subsequently repaired and restored by sand dredging by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It was cut off once again in 2011 by Hurricane Irene. Access to the island was largely limited to boat access only from August to late October until another temporary bridge could be built. Vegetation[edit] The vegetation of the Outer Banks
Outer Banks
varies. In the northeast part of the Outer Banks, from Virginia
Virginia
Beach
Beach
southward past the North Carolina border to Oregon Inlet, the main types of vegetation are sea grasses, beach grasses and other beach plants including Opuntia humifusa
Opuntia humifusa
on the Atlantic side and wax myrtles, bays, and grasses on the Sound side with areas of pine and Spanish moss-covered live oaks. Yucca aloifolia and Yucca gloriosa
Yucca gloriosa
can be found growing wild here in the northern parts of its range on the beach. Sabal Minor palms were once indigenous to the entire Outer Banks, and they are still successfully planted and grown. Its current most northerly known native stand is on Monkey Island in Currituck County.[12][13] From Cape Hatteras National Seashore
Cape Hatteras National Seashore
southward, the vegetation does include that of the northeastern Outer Banks
Outer Banks
such as Sabal minor, Yucca aloifolia
Yucca aloifolia
and Yucca gloriosa; however, the main vegetation consists of Cabbage palmetto (Sabal palmetto), which can be found in the north, although they are native in the southern part of the Outer Banks, specifically prevelent from Cape Hatteras
Cape Hatteras
and all points southward. Pindo palms and windmill palms are also planted widely throughout the Outer Banks; although, they are not indigenous to the area. A wide variety of native plants can be found at the Elizabethan Gardens in Manteo on Roanoke Island.[14] The gardens are open year round, 7 days a week. Weather[edit] The Outer Banks
Outer Banks
have unusual weather patterns because of their unique geographical location. As the islands are jutted out from the eastern seaboard into the Atlantic Gulf Stream, the Outer Banks
Outer Banks
has a predisposition to be affected by hurricanes, Nor'easters (usually in the form of rain, and rarely snow or mixed precipitation), and other ocean-driven storms. The winters are typically milder than in inland areas, averaging lows in the upper 30s and highs in the lower 50s, and is more frequently overcast than in the summer. However, the exposure of the Outer Banks makes them prone to higher winds, often causing wind chills to make the apparent temperature as cold as the inland areas. The summer months average lows from the mid-70s to highs in the upper 80s, depending on the time of the summer. The spring and fall are typically milder seasons. The fall and winter are usually warmer than areas inland, while the spring and the summer are often slightly cooler because of the moderating effects of being surrounded by water. Although snow is possible, averaging from 3 inches in the north to less than 1/2 inch per year in the south, there are many times when years pass between snowfalls.[15] The majority of nor'easters are "born" off the coasts of the Outer Banks. Culture[edit]

Graveyard of the Atlantic
Graveyard of the Atlantic
Museum, Hatteras, North Carolina, June 2007

Archeologists believe that the Outer Banks
Outer Banks
were inhabited for well over a thousand years before the arrival of Europeans, with small branches of larger tribes, such as Algonquins, Chowanog, and Poteskeet, setting up homes all along the barrier islands from Corolla to Hatteras. European explorers to the Outer Banks
Outer Banks
as far back as the 1500s noted encountering the friendly Hatteras Island
Hatteras Island
and Outer Banks natives, noting their hospitality to foreign explorers as well as their happiness and overall quality of life. European-borne diseases and migration to the mainland were likely the main causes for the decline of the native population.[16] Before bridges were built in the 1930s, the only form of transport between or off the islands was by boat, which allowed for the islands to stay isolated from much of the rest of the mainland. This helped to preserve the maritime culture and the distinctive Outer Banks
Outer Banks
accent or brogue, which sounds more like an English accent than it does an American accent. Many "bankers" have often been mistaken for being from England or Ireland when traveling to areas outside of the Outer Banks. The brogue is more distinctive the further south one travels on the Outer Banks, with it being the thickest on Ocracoke Island
Ocracoke Island
and Harkers Island. Some residents of the Outer Banks, known as wreckers, made part of their living by scavenging wrecked ships—or by luring ships to their destruction. Horses with lanterns tied to their necks would be walked along the beach; the lanterns' up and down motion would appear to ships to represent clear water and a ship ahead; the unsuspecting captain would then drive his ship ashore following this false light.[17] The islands are home to herds of feral horses, sometimes called "banker ponies," which according to local legend are descended from Spanish Mustangs washed ashore centuries ago in shipwrecks. Populations are found on Ocracoke Island, Shackleford Banks, Currituck Banks, and in the Rachel Carson
Rachel Carson
Estuarine Sanctuary. Ocracoke was the last refuge of pirate Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard. It is also where the infamous pirate was killed November 22, 1718 in a fierce battle with troops from Virginia.[18] The Outer Banks
Outer Banks
is home to Yaupon Holly (Ilex vomitoria), the roasted leaves of which were brewed into a high caffeine beverage called black drink by the Native Americans. The Outer Banks
Outer Banks
may be one of the few places where it is still consumed.[19]

A young man paddleboards along the Outer Banks
Outer Banks
of Duck, North Carolina.

Fishing[edit]

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The Outer Banks
Outer Banks
offers a multitude of fishing options for tourists as well as locals.[20] There has been a long history of fishing in the Outer Banks, dating back to the end of the 17th century.[21] Pirates ravaged the coast for the majority of the 1600s, but once they were ridden, the local settlers used fishing as their lifeline.[21] Then, in the mid-19th century, large-scale commercial fishing erupted, mostly due to the construction of the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal, which simplified shipping methods for fishermen.[21] Saltwater fishing became the cash-crop of the Outer Banks, and blossomed it into a popular tourist destination.[21] In modern times, tourists will flock to the area just for the abundance of fishing opportunities.[20] Anglers, otherwise known as fishermen, have a wide range of fishing methods, some of these methods date back to when the first settlers arrived, to choose from in the Outer Banks.[21]

Fly fishing This was brought about in the 1950s when modern fly fishing experts like, Joe Brooks and Jimmy Albright, were successfully catching a variety of gamefish on the flats of the Florida
Florida
Keys and on the Currituck Sound, which is included in the stretch of the Outer Banks.[22] Modern fly fishers in the Outer Banks
Outer Banks
pursue a variety of gamefish from red drum, to marlin and tuna.[22] Brackish fishing This is a separate type of fishing than complete saltwater because of the abundance of new species that are able to live in brackish water.[23] The Outer Banks
Outer Banks
has multiple Sounds that receive water from the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
and many North Carolina
North Carolina
fresh-water rivers, creating an estuary for many types of fish including, striped bass, puppy drum, and speckled trout.[23] Offshore fishing Thriving in the Outer Banks, this is the type of fishing this area is known for.[20] Offshore fishing is the method of heading out to sea to the Gulf Stream, where giant species such as billfish, tuna and dolphin lurk.[24] Anglers can book charters or use their own personal boat, but a larger boat is necessary to reach the deep water where the big fish are prevalent.[20] Inshore fishing Guides local to the Outer Banks
Outer Banks
will often escort new anglers around the area to sounds and piers where they are guaranteed a catch.[25] Whether the customer is a novice or veteran with their fishing skills, the inshore guide is someone that is there to help.[25] Pier fishing The Outer Banks
Outer Banks
are one of the few coastal areas left with more than one fishing pier along the coast, so anglers attract to the area for an opportunity to pier fish.[26] Pier Fishing is an easy way for anglers to get a little off-shore mixed with some inshore fishing.[26] It is where fishermen can catch any type of fish they please, as long as it is the season for it.[26]

The Outer Banks
Outer Banks
are a popular destination for bottom fish like spot and mullet, these two types of fish are caught throughout the year.[27] The peak for fishing bottom and top water feeders is early to the middle of May.[27] If the angler is solely searching for top water fish, then late May and June would be the ideal time to fish, especially if they are searching for Mackerel.[27] In the offseason, or winter months, the true fishermen are out searching for Trout, Sea Bass, Bluefish, Bluefin Tuna, Oysters, King Mackerel, Bay Scallops, and Striped Bass.[24] In the spring, the popular catches are Grouper, Sea Trout, Sea Bass, Bluefish, Bluefin and Yellowfin tuna, Oysters, Snapper, Striped Bass, Red Drum, Croaker, Sea Mullet, King Mackerel, and Wahoo[24] Late Spring and the beginning of summer is the favored time for top-water fish to move into the coastal waters near the Outer Banks, because of the warming waters and the increased visibility in the water[27] The top water fish can see baitfish easily due to the decrease in murky water[27] Plus they will start to migrate back North as the coastal waters to the south become too hot, the waters farther North will warm to their desired temperatures.[27] Yet, in the prime tourist season of the summer, fishermen and many tourists have plenty of game options such as blue Marlin, White Marlin, Dolphin, Wahoo, Cobia, King Mackerel, Bluefish, Tuna, Flounder, snapper, Grouper, Spanish Mackerel, Crabs, Soft Crabs, Shrimp, Spot, Croaker, Sailfish, and Sea Mullet.[20] By the fall, most tourists have started to leave, but fishermen are still out searching for Snapper, Channel Bass, Bluefish, King Mackerel, Grouper, Tuna, Oysters, Striped Bass, Sea Mullet, Spot, Clams, Speckled Trout, Flounder, and Shrimp.[20] The prime season for fall fishing is late September to October 23.[27] Though the water is more turbulent and murky due to the strong northeast prevailing winds, there is still some big game fish left.[27] Most of these fish are vacating back to the South for the warm waters.[20] This makes it a prime time for smaller bottom fish who love to feed in murky, colder water.[27] Communities[edit] Towns and communities along the Outer Banks
Outer Banks
include (listed from north to south): Currituck Banks[edit]

Sandbridge (VA) Carova Beach Corolla Knotts Island

Bodie Island[edit]

Sunset over the Currituck Sound
Currituck Sound
in Duck (2009)

The Bodie Island
Bodie Island
Lighthouse (October 2008)

Duck Southern Shores Kitty Hawk Kill Devil Hills Nags Head

Roanoke Island[edit]

Manteo Wanchese

Hatteras Island[edit]

Sunset over Avon

Rodanthe Waves Salvo Avon Buxton Frisco Hatteras

Ocracoke Island[edit]

Ocracoke

Core Banks[edit]

Portsmouth Island

Bogue Banks[edit]

Atlantic Beach Pine Knoll Shores Indian Beach Salter Path Emerald Isle

Parks[edit]

Jockey's Ridge State Park

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge Cape Hatteras
Cape Hatteras
National Seashore Cape Lookout National Seashore Currituck Heritage Park Currituck National Wildlife Refuge False Cape State Park Fort Macon State Park Fort Raleigh National Historic Site Jockey's Ridge State Park Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge Pea Island
Pea Island
National Wildlife Refuge Wright Brothers National Memorial

Notable residents[edit]

Andy Griffith
Andy Griffith
(1926–2012), actor[28] Dennis Anderson, professional Monster Truck
Monster Truck
driver and creator of Grave Digger.

See also[edit]

Crystal Coast
Crystal Coast
(Southern Outer Banks) Hazard mitigation in the Outer Banks Historic Albemarle Tour Inner Banks North Carolina
North Carolina
Highway 12 Outer Banks
Outer Banks
Daredevils

References[edit]

^ "Campgrounds". Retrieved 1 April 2016.  ^ See National Park Service: Fort Raleigh National Historic Site ^ "Telegram from Orville Wright in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, to His Father Announcing Four Successful Flights, 1903 December 17". World Digital Library. 1903-12-17. Retrieved 2013-07-21.  ^ "Geography of North Carolina". NC State Board of Education.  ^ "Geography of North Carolina". www.ncpublicschools.org. Retrieved 2016-04-09.  ^ "Library of Congress LCCN Permalink sh85096155". lccn.loc.gov. Retrieved 2016-04-10.  ^ a b " North Carolina
North Carolina
Gazetteer NCpedia". ncpedia.org. Retrieved 2016-04-10.  ^ " Outer Banks
Outer Banks
island chain, United States". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2016-04-10.  ^ " Outer Banks
Outer Banks
Map - OuterBanks.com". www.outerbanks.com. Retrieved 2016-04-10.  ^ "Corolla History". Retrieved 1 April 2016.  ^ "Shoring Up N. Carolina Islands: A Losing Battle?". Retrieved 1 April 2016.  ^ "Monkey Island Sabal Minor". Old Dominion University. Retrieved 1 November 2013.  ^ "Gary's Nursery". Gary Hollar. Retrieved 1 November 2013.  ^ "Elizabethan Gardens - Outer Banks
Outer Banks
Attractions - Relaxing Vacation Activities". Retrieved 1 April 2016.  ^ "BACK BAY WILDLIFE REFUG, VIRGINIA - Climate Summary". Retrieved 1 April 2016.  ^ OuterBanks.com https://www.outerbanks.com/first-settlers.html.  Missing or empty title= (help) ^ " Graveyard of the Atlantic
Graveyard of the Atlantic
- North Carolina
North Carolina
Digital History". Retrieved 1 April 2016.  ^ D. Moore. (1997) "A General History of Blackbeard
Blackbeard
the Pirate, the Queen Anne's Revenge and the Adventure". In Tributaries, Volume VII, 1997. pp. 31–35. ( North Carolina
North Carolina
Maritime History Council) ^ Dough, Wynne. "Yaupon". NCpedia. Retrieved 24 January 2017.  ^ a b c d e f g " Outer Banks
Outer Banks
Fishing". The Outer Banks
Outer Banks
of North Carolina. Retrieved 21 January 2016.  ^ a b c d e "Gloucester vs. Outer Banks". National Geographic Channel. Retrieved 1 April 2016.  ^ a b [1] ^ a b "Fishing Opportunities in the Coastal Region of North Carolina". Retrieved 1 April 2016.  ^ a b c "The Outer Banks
Outer Banks
in Winter". Field & Stream. Retrieved 1 April 2016.  ^ a b " Outer Banks
Outer Banks
Charter Fishing". Retrieved 1 April 2016.  ^ a b c "North Carolina's Ocean Piers". VisitNC.com. Retrieved 1 April 2016.  ^ a b c d e f g h i Jonathan Finch. "Pier Fishing on the Outer Banks". Retrieved 1 April 2016.  ^ Vincent, Mal (February 17, 2008). "The real Andy Griffith
Andy Griffith
lives among us, quietly". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved September 20, 2009. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Outer Banks.

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Outer Banks.

Outer Banks
Outer Banks
Visitors Bureau Dare county College of The Albemarle

v t e

The Outer Banks
Outer Banks
of North Carolina

Landforms

Albemarle-Pamlico Peninsula Bodie Island Roanoke Island Pea Island Hatteras Island Cape Hatteras Ocracoke Island Portsmouth Island Core Banks Cape Lookout

Places

Currituck County Dare County Hyde County Carteret County

Carova Beach Corolla Duck Southern Shores Kitty Hawk Kill Devil Hills Nags Head Whalebone Junction Manteo Wanchese Rodanthe Waves Salvo Avon Buxton Frisco Hatteras Ocracoke Portsmouth Cape Lookout Village

Waterways

Atlantic Ocean Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Currituck Sound Albemarle Sound Croatan Sound Roanoke Sound Oregon Inlet Pamlico Sound Hatteras Inlet Onslow Bay Raleigh Bay Ocracoke Inlet Core Sound Drum Inlet Barden Inlet Back Sound New Inlet Isabel Inlet

Lighthouses

Currituck Beach
Beach
Light Bodie Island
Bodie Island
Light Cape Hatteras
Cape Hatteras
Light Ocracoke Light Cape Lookout Light

Protected areas

Cape Hatteras
Cape Hatteras
National Seashore Cape Lookout National Seashore Fort Raleigh National Historic Site Jockey's Ridge State Park Mountains-to-Sea Trail North Carolina
North Carolina
Aquarium on Roanoke Island Pea Island
Pea Island
National Wildlife Refuge Wright Brothers National Memorial

Transportation

North Carolina
North Carolina
Highway 12 U.S. Highway 64 U.S. Route 158 Historic Albemarle Tour Virginia
Virginia
Dare Memorial Bridge Dare County Regional Airport First Flight Airport Billy Mitchell Airport North Carolina
North Carolina
Ferry System

History

Pea Island
Pea Island
Life-Saving Station Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station

v t e

 State of North Carolina

Raleigh (capital)

Topics

Climate Geography

State Parks Wildlife

History Media

Newspapers Radio TV

North Carolinians Politics

Government Law

Tourist attractions

Seal of North Carolina

Society

Culture

Music Sports

Crime Demographics Economy Education Elections Gambling

Regions

Western

Foothills High Country

Piedmont

Metrolina (Charlotte) Piedmont Triad Triangle

Eastern

Sandhills Cape Fear Crystal Coast Inner Banks Outer Banks

Largest cities

Asheville Cary Chapel Hill Charlotte Concord Durham Fayetteville Gastonia Greensboro Greenville High Point Jacksonville Raleigh Wilmington Winston‑Salem

Smaller cities

Albemarle Apex Asheboro Burlington Conover Eden Elizabeth City Garner Goldsboro Graham Havelock Henderson Hendersonville Hickory Kannapolis Kings Mountain Kinston Laurinburg Lenoir Lexington Lumberton Monroe Morganton New Bern Newton Reidsville Roanoke Rapids Rocky Mount Salisbury Sanford Shelby Statesville Thomasville Wake Forest Wilson

Major towns

Beaufort Boone Brevard Carrboro Clayton Cornelius Dunn Fuquay-Varina Harrisburg Holly Springs Hope Mills Huntersville Indian Trail Kernersville Knightdale Leland Matthews Midland Mint Hill Mooresville Morehead City Morrisville Mount Pleasant Oxford Shallotte Smithfield Southern Pines Tarboro Waynesville Winterville

Counties

Alamance Alexander Alleghany Anson Ashe Avery Beaufort Bertie Bladen Brunswick Buncombe Burke Cabarrus Caldwell Camden Carteret Caswell Catawba Chatham Cherokee Chowan Clay Cleveland Columbus Craven Cumberland Currituck Dare Davidson Davie Duplin Durham Edgecombe Forsyth Franklin Gaston Gates Graham Granville Greene Guilford Halifax Harnett Haywood Henderson Hertford Hoke Hyde Iredell Jackson Johnston Jones Lee Lenoir Lincoln Macon Madison Martin McDowell Mecklenburg Mitchell Montgomery Moore Nash New Hanover Northampton Onslow Orange Pamlico Pasquotank Pender Perquimans Person Pitt Polk Randolph Richmond Robeson Rockingham Rowan Rutherford Sampson Scotland Stanly Stokes Surry Swain Transylvania Tyrrell Union Vance Wake Warren Washington Watauga Wayne Wilkes Wilson Yadkin Yancey

Coordinates: 35°22′25″N 75°29′43″W / 35.37365°N 75.49530°W / 3

.