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What do you get when you try to find out how much paradise you can fit into the least amount of land possible? The Outer Banks, a 200-mile needle thin strip of border islands off the coast of North Carolina. The circumstances and history of this thin archipelago is as quirky as the communities that they’ve birthed - and they wouldn’t have it any other way. Lacking any large cities, Outer Banks is a series of spectacular beaches and weather worn small towns (with fantastically named communities such as Duck, Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head) that possess enough longitude between them to never fully feel the tourist waves of the summer. Wild horses roam freely, dispersed across the beaches and wildlife refuges; dolphin sightings are a common occurrence and spectacular surf-fishing opportunities await in this gorgeous beach retreat. The Outer Banks also possess five distinct historic lighthouses, with the largest in the nation as well as one of the oldest among them.
OBX, as it’s commonly known, has it’s share of strange history as well stretching down the lone highway connecting the island. The treacherous seas off the Outer Banks have caused numerous shipwrecks, earning OBX the nickname Graveyard of the Atlantic (now with a commemorative museum of the same name to boot). Ocracoke Island, at the southern tip of Outer Banks territory, was the site of the last stand of the famed pirate Blackbeard before he died in a fierce battle with troops in Virginia. Roanoke Island was the site of the lost colony that vanished with little trace during the period of early European settlement; now memorialized on the island with museums, heritage sites and live theatrical performances. The town of Kitty Hawk was home to the Wright Brothers’ historic controlled flight, with a memorial standing today to commemorate the achievement. You’d be hard pressed to find another lone road with this much to offer.