Recently, my family traveled to the Outer Banks of North Carolina for vacation. None of us had ever been there before, but we had all heard wonderful things about this beautiful part of America. The rumors we heard were not wrong! We were pleasantly surprised to find that the destination exceeded our expectations.
We specifically traveled to Buxton, a small village of Hatteras, NC. For us, it was the perfect place to relax. There’s not a lot to do and that’s just how we wanted it. Some of the destinations further up the coast of the Outer Banks offer more to do in terms of activities and shopping, but on this vacation with our 11 month old baby, all we wanted was a quiet little place with a beautiful beach and the occasional fresh seafood restaurant. That’s just what we got!
Each day we got up early and had breakfast. After breakfast, Lilly always requires a nap. This gave us time to get our beach gear and attire ready. When she’d awaken from her nap, we’d all head to the beach. We had a large 10 x 14 tent that was perfect for all 6 adults, one baby, and two dogs to get out of the sun. The water in the Outer Banks is unlike most beaches found that far north. It is the bluest I’ve seen north of Florida. It’s absolutely beautiful. Brian and I enjoyed playing in the waves. Lillian did not, however, so we were prepared with a tiny baby pool under our shelter for her to play in. She was not a fan of the sand, so she preferred to stay on the beach rug and play in her pool.
The majority of our vacation was spent on the beach enjoying the sun and sand, but we did venture out a few times; mostly for food. We prepared most of our meals for the week at home, but we didn’t want to head home without being able to try some local food. Again, we were not let down! Our first restaurant was Diamond Shoals Restaurant, which we’d heard great things about. It was conveniently located right by where we were staying. We could have easily walked to it. Brian tried a sampler seafood platter and I had a crab cake meal. It was wonderful! Another time, we tried out the Froggy Dog Café. The food was good and I thoroughly enjoyed my club sandwich, but we were a little off put by the lipstick smudge that was on my father-in-law’s glass. I assure you, he at no time was wearing lipstick. Also, a couple nights, we all went to Uncle Eddie’s a fabulous little ice cream shop right by our house. The ice cream was great!
One day it was a little too windy to enjoy the relaxation of the beach, so we decided to ride the ferry over to Okracoke Island to see the sites there. The line for the ferry was pretty long and we ended up waiting for nearly 2 hours to ride the 30 minute ferry over to the island. Once we were there, we stopped at the “wild pony” pens that are on the right just after exiting the ferry. These were a little underwhelming. They really didn’t look like ponies and instead appeared to be horses. I’m a country girl so seeing the penned up horses didn’t do much for me, but I’m certain they’d fully entertain someone who hasn’t had as much exposure to them and children would be sure to like them. Next, we stopped for a late lunch at Howard’s Pub and Raw Bar. Howard’s has such a nice laid back atmosphere and the hush puppies are to die for. The seafood was excellent. I had the crab cake sandwich and it was superb. Brian also had a sampler platter this time around and he was a fan as well.
We took Lilly to the pool a couple times while we were there and she really loved that! Another day towards the end of the week, we had a rainy day. Rainy days at the beach are a real bummer, but they don’t have to be if you can find the right kind of entertainment. After a Google search we discovered Studio 12 in Avon. Studio 12 is a neat little art gallery where you can go and paint your own pottery. We knew this would be a good idea because we’d be able to entertain ourselves and also make our own souvenir for the trip. Brian and I, along with his Mom and aunt, made our very own artwork. We each painted our own pieces and then painted Lilly’s feet to include her prints in our work. I highly recommend Studio 12! When we go back to the Outer Banks, we will be going back there.
On Thursday night of our trip, Brian’s parents graciously offered to babysit Lilly so Brian and I could go out on a date. We went to dinner at Billfish Bar and Grill. I decided to be brave and venture out from my norm. I ordered the Surf and Turf and it was by far the best meal of the whole vacation. I am a creature of habit and had always refused to try lobster. I ended up loving it. I have been missing out all this time. The steak was cooked to perfection as well, along with the baked potato. Brian ordered yet another sampler platter (he likes to do that so he’ll know what’s good when we come back), and it was enormous! I’ve never seen so much food! He said it was incredible. We did a little shopping in souvenir shops and then stopped at Happy Belly for ice cream. That’s a very appropriate name as the birthday cake ice cream did leave me with a very happy belly. On the way back home, we stopped at Scotch Bonnet to get some fudge to take back to our family at the beach house. The Scotch Bonnet has been featured on the food network and I can definitely see why! There was literally any combination of fudge you could think of in that store. It was neat to see it all and it was also good!
Over all we had a wonderful and relaxing vacation. I would recommend the Outer Banks to anyone looking for a new place to go. There’s not a lot to do and just enough all at the same time. We can’t wait to go back!