The Essential Guide to The Outer Banks of North Carolina

Nowhere is the battle between north and south more dramatic than off the North Carolina coast. It is there warm ocean currents from the south clash with cold northern currents, creating treacherous conditions that have been feared by mariners for centuries. The waters off the North Carolina's Outer Banks are so hazardous that they have earned the name "Graveyard of the Atlantic," in reference to all the ships that have found a permanent home on the sandy bottom.

The latest additions to the shifting sands have been not shipwrecks, but vacation houses. It seems the same conditions that spawn occasional violent weather, also produces a remarkable number of recreational opportunities. The confluence of arctic and tropical water brings fish of both varieties, making the Outer Banks a justifiably famous fishing destination. There are also the steady winds that lured the Wright Brothers and now delight hang glider pilots. Then of course there's the beach, much of it practically deserted, due to the National Seashore which prohibits development along much of the coast. Thrown in for good measure are wildlife refuges hosting millions of migratory birds, historical sites, and one of the most famous lighthouses in the world. We try to refrain from making sweeping statements, but it is no exaggeration to say that on the Outer Banks, most every type of person will find something that resonates. The variety is there to discover.

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