“Located on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, the Town of Kitty Hawk offers year-round residents and visitors alike a unique and relaxing environment. The town consists of a thriving village that has been around for generations, a newer beach community of residential cottages, and a maritime forest called Kitty Hawk Woods, featuring a wide variety of plant and animal life.”—kittyhawknc.gov
While this was originally supposed to be one cohesive travel piece, as I wrote it, it became clear that I needed to break it into two-parts. Therefore, this is part one of a two-part travel series featuring the OBX of NC, in particularly, the Kitty Hawk-Kill Devil Hills-Nags Head areas. While this piece will mostly focus on the advantages of staying in the town of Kitty Hawk, next week’s piece will focus on the tourist attractions and restaurants.
“Mom, that was such a great trip, you know? So relaxing and nice. Tatum and I had such a good time!”
I smiled with sweet remembrance as Madelyn, my nearly 20-year old daughter, spoke of our trip last summer to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, or OBX, as most locals call it. We stayed in an adorable cottage in the town of Kitty Hawk that was ideally situated between the two main thoroughfares. We were less than a three-block walk to direct beach access, and about three blocks from the business route that easily leads to all of the unique attractions the OBX has to offer.
Maddie was right; it was a fantastic trip last summer. And, right now, in the middle of February, especially after such a brutal week of cold, ice, and snow, a trip to the beach sure sounds wonderful. In fact, now is the ideal time to begin to make those summer plans and reservations! This is especially true if desiring to rent in a certain area and/or type of living space!
Last summer’s Kitty Hawk trip was not our first trip to the OBX by any means. We have frequently made trips to various spots of this 200 mile-long stretch of barrier islands that splits off the coasts of both North Carolina and Virginia. When my family first discovered the OBX, I was around 14 or 15 years old, and it was a well-kept secret. In fact, I recall our first few trips to the northern beaches, somewhere between the areas of Duck and Corolla, required passing through a guard station and keeping a visitor’s pass visible in our front windshield for the length of our stay. At the time, it was a fairly easy drive, but also seemed so remote the closer to Corolla we traveled.
A cup of coffee in the morning and a glass of chilled glass of wine in the evening from the cozy crows nest with a view of the ocean and quiet neighborhood of Kitty Hawk.
Since then, I have had the pleasure of staying on the northern beaches on the 4-wheel drive beach near the VA border, all the way down to the Hatteras/ Ocracoke areas, and numerous spots in between. However, I do not ever recall staying in Kitty Hawk, just beyond the intersection where one must choose whether to turn right to travel to the southern beaches or to turn left to travel to the northern beaches.
Like many of the OBX beaches, they are not crowded with room to roam, lounge, play, soak, sun, read, sea-shell seek, and all other favorite beach activities.
In the past, once reaching this main, congested intersection, we could still count on a good 30-90 minute drive, depending upon the location of our vacation rental home. Staying in Kitty Hawk, however, is completely different. Once you cross that intersection, you are only minutes away from your vacation cottage! I tell you, I am now 53 years old, and there was nothing like turning right off that intersection, and realizing, “Wow, we are already here!”
In fact, had we known when we first arrived, we could have gone straight, then made a quick right onto NC 12, traveled two or three blocks, then made another right, we would have been two blocks or so away from our vacation cottage for 2018. Despite not knowing this, we still had to drive to our realty company to check in with them, but depending upon from whom you rent, this may be a completely unnecessary step—making it easier than ever to get started on your beach vacation!
What made our 2018 OBX vacation different than previous other trips, in addition to staying in Kitty Hawk, was the fact that John, my husband of nearly 30 years, was not traveling with Maddie and me. He was with several of his buddies fishing in Canada; thus, Maddie and I were accompanied by one of her college roommates of last year, Tatum Dyer. What’s more is that Tatum had never before been to the beach, so that made the trip seem even more special!
Tatum’s first trip to the ocean was such a delight for my daughter, Maddie, and I to share!
Keeping the trip pocket-friendly was, and still is, a must, especially when your child is attending college. The cottage was priced quite reasonably, but still full of all the amenities we required. It had a full kitchen/dining/family combined area perfect for preparing nearly all of our meals as well as hanging out, playing games, or working puzzles. Additionally, this three-bedroom location also had two full bathrooms—one for the girls to share, and one for me—a large wrap-around porch, a crow’s nest (My favorite spot for reading, sunning, beach and star-gazing.), and a ground floor laundry and outdoor shower as well as an ample carport space for parking two-four cars.
I spent several morning enjoying the sunrise from the crow’s nest while the girls slept on.
This cottage was not only within walking distance of direct beach access, but also shopping, dining; and, my personal daily spot, a yoga studio! However, we were also a short drive to all those attractions we had wanted to visit for years, but had not gone to them because of all the beach time that would be lost in order to have ample time to drive. Ironically, while we could see the OBX intersection from the crow’s nest if facing the back of the house, the neighborhood in which we stayed, however, was an extremely quiet, mostly residential area.
One of the attractions to which we were close was the famous Kitty Hawk pier.
As I hope is evidenced by my enthusiasm, I wholeheartedly recommend the town of Kitty Hawk as an ideal location for your next OBX adventure. While there’s no denying the wonder, beauty, and uniqueness of all OBX towns, if you’re looking for convenience, nearby shopping, restaurants, and tourists’ attractions as well as uncrowded beaches, then consider staying in Kitty Hawk for your next beach trip. As previously mentioned, next week, I will feature several of those nearby OBX highlights. Trust me on this; they are worth your time to visit!
A view from the top of Jockey’s Ridge, one of the sites we visited, but more about that next week!
From my family to yours, I wish you safe, budget-friendly, and relaxing travels for your next upcoming trip!
These three empty chairs were arranged from the previous night in which Maddie, Tatum, and me sat as we watched fireworks going off up and down the beach areas in honor of July 4 holiday.
One day we watched a wedding take place on the beach directly out from the beach access we used on a daily basis!