North Carolina’s Outer Banks offer wild, pristine beaches; celebrations of everything from kite-flying to pirates to story-telling; and restaurants that know how to serve the freshest tastes from the sea. For an overview of what’s coming up on the barrier islands as well as inland Roanoke and environs, check out www.outerbanks.org.
The Hatteras Storytelling Festival ( www.hatterasyarns.org) is back after a successful debut. The May 2-4 event features regional and national storytellers, along with music and food. This year’s lineup features award-winning Southern novelist Clyde Edgerton.
Let your inner pirate run free at the Flying Pirate half marathon May 3-4 ( www.flyingpiratehalfmarathon.com) and First Flight 5K, where runners dress as pirates – wooden leg optional – and, beginning at Kitty Hawk, cover the first half of the Outer Banks Marathon course, winding through scenic beach beauty. At the half marathon’s finish line, there’s a treasure indeed: Free food and beer. Aar!
Since 1937, Sam & Omie’s ( www.samandomies.net) has been a Nags Head tradition for family-friendly prices and good seafood, burgers and sandwiches.
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Once you’re fortified with fried shrimp, consider exploring the extraordinary beauty of the salt marshes and ocean by booking a kayak tour or scuba dive trip at Roanoke Island Outfitters & Dive Center ( http://bit.ly/1oxhtJz) or stand up paddle board or kayak tour with Coastal Kayak Touring Co. ( www.outerbankskayaktours.com). Kayaks and paddle boards offer a way to view wildlife such as osprey, herons, and river otters up close.
For a meal in historic surroundings, try Kill Devil Grill, ( www.thekilldevilgrill.com) which is fronted by an authentic 1939 Kullman diner, one of six in the National Registry of Historic Places. The burgers, key lime pie and cold beer are served in an atmosphere enhanced with vintage jukeboxes.
See what the winds at Jockey’s Ridge in Nags Head can do at the Rogallo Kite Festival, ( www.kittyhawk.com/events ) June 7-8. Giant “character” kites will be flying on display, and you can watch trick kite demonstrations or purchase a kite of your own to try.
Already seen “The Lost Colony” outdoor drama in Manteo? Then take your Elizabethan-era adventure further with the Tuesday and Wednesday Lost Colony Character Dinners, ( http://bit.ly/1cBdWKB/). June 3-Aug. 20, you can dine backstage with costumed members of the cast.
For a view that will provide a memorable close to any Outer Banks vacation, survey the stars and ocean at night on a Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Night Tour. The weekly night hike up 257 steps into the top of the lighthouse offers an unparalleled view of the summer constellations – or you can gaze at the full moon on the monthly full moon tours, for which tickets go on sale in advance ( http://1.usa.gov/MU4hlM). Amber Veverka