As many children transition to online learning this fall, it means more time for travel with family. With travel comes the opportunity to learn and what better place to learn than the Outer Banks of North Carolina? From the immense history revolving around our island to the science revolving around the ocean, there is so much to learn! Here are our favorite places to visit this fall.
Although the Whalehead Club is closed for tours, you are still able to walk about the grounds and Historic Corolla Park. The club and park are situated on picturesque grounds and full of rich history. Do some research online ahead of time to learn about the history of the club and imagine it as you walk through the grounds.
Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education
The Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education (located right next to the Whalehead Club) may be closed during these times, but they are offering some amazing activities and information sessions on their Facebook page! Tune in to their Facebook lives to learn about foxes, LIVE sea turtle nest excavations, and so much more. They also have been running some fun challenges/activities for kids as they follow along with their posts!
Did you know we have 4 lighthouses that span across the Outer Banks coast? Starting from Corolla and traveling all the way down the coast to the little island of Ocracoke you will be able to stop and visit these wonders. The Currituck Lighthouse reopened for climbing, but the other three (Bodie Island, Cape Hatteras and Ocracoke Lighthouses) are closed for the season. Even at the lighthouses you aren’t able to climb, you are still able to get out and explore around the lighthouses to find some signs that shed some light on the history of each lighthouse.
Wright Brothers Memorial
Did you know the Wright Brothers made North Carolina ‘First in Flight’ 117 years ago?? Their first successful flight happened at 10:35 a.m. on Dec. 17, 1903 in Kill Devil Hills, NC. It lasted 12 seconds. Visit the Wright Brothers Memorial where you are able to walk the grounds where it all began 117 years ago. The visitor center is closed to the public at this time, but their website has curriculum’s available for kids of all ages. Download one today for your trip to the National Park here!
Island Farm is a working farm on Roanoke Island that focuses on experiencing the life of early Outer Bankers on Roanoke Island in the mid-1800s. They are open to the public and holding informational programs each month. Check out their Facebook page to learn more about their activities!
Jennette’s Pier is located in the town of Nags Head and is a great place to learn about renewable energy. Walk all the way out to the end of the pier while reading about renewable energy, or purchase a fishing permit and cast out to see what marine species are swimming about the pier. Check out their Facebook and Youtube pages for more information and education videos.
Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge
The Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge is a paradise for both birds and birders. There are multiple trails around the refuge and offer spectacular bird watching throughout. The best bird watching is during the fall and winter. There is even a way to use your cell phone for a personal guided tour! Click here to learn more.
For even more bird watching nearby check out the Audubon Trail and begins within walking distance of Sanderling. This nature trail is 2.5 miles one way and filled with wildlife. Don’t forget to stop by the second floor of the Beach House Lobby when staying with us to see a few of John James Audubon’s The Bird of America books that were originally published between 1827 and 1838.
Jockey’s Ridge State Park
Jockey’s Ridge State Park is the tallest living sand dune on the Atlantic coast! This ever-changing sand dune is open to the public to explore and located right here on the Outer Banks! Enjoy 360 degree views spanning from ocean to sound and walk along the trails to learn about the different wildlife. Visitor center is closed. Park open 8:00 am to 9:00 pm.
Nags Head Woods Preserve
Nags Head Woods Preserve protects one of the largest remaining maritime forests on the East Coast. More than 150 species of birds, over 50 species of amphibians and reptiles, over 20 mammal species, and over 550 species of plants have been documented on the Preserve. A beautifully preserved ecosystem worth exploring! Grab a map outside their visitor center (currently closed) and head into the woods for an adventure.
Eco Kayaking Tours with Kitty Hawk Kites
Tired of hiking but still looking for some wildlife adventure? Book a kayak tour with Kitty Hawk Kites. They offer 13 different kayak tours spanning from Corolla to Hatteras. Whether it’s a wildlife refuge, a maritime forest, the Lost Colony, or even a bio-luminescence tour guided by the light of the moon they have so much to offer!
NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island
Explore aquatic life on the NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island. From wandering through the “Wild Wetlands” to the “Sea Turtle Assistance and Rehabilitation Center” there is a plethora of information to be learned. Beginning Sept. 14th the Aquarium on Roanoke Island will reopen with limited capacity and online ticket sales only. Visit their website for more information.
Fort Raleigh National Historic Site
Fort Raleigh National Historic Site is a great stop for a history lesson. Do you remember learning about the Lost Colony of Roanoke who carved the word Croatan in a tree? Well this is the island where they settled and disappeared. Walk through the historic site and learn about the history of the Lost Colony. Click here to see which parts of the historic site are open this fall.
Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum
The Outer Banks is often associated with the name the “Graveyard of the Atlantic” due to the many ships that were lost at seas over the years. Head over to the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum to learn the multitude of shipwrecks that litter the North Carolina coast. The museum will be opening September 14th with new restrictions including limited capacity.