Jutting into the Atlantic Ocean, North Carolina’s Outer Banks offer visitors plenty of sand, history, and recreational activities. This 100 mile long group of islands welcomed the first European settlers, witnessed mankind’s first winged flight, and is often the first place that hurricanes visit as they run up the east coast of the United States. Read on to see what makes the Outer Banks the first rate resort that it is.
As barrier islands, the Outer Banks are exposed to the whims of the Atlantic Ocean. Sand is pulled out and tossed away while the islands make a gradual westward move of approximately one to two feet per year. Indeed, many of the shipwrecks that took place several hundred years ago right off shore would be as much as a mile further out into the Atlantic today if they happened in the same spot.
In 1524, Giovanni de Verrazzano, the first European explorer to visit the islands, landed on the banks. Later that century, Sir Walter Raleigh sent two English explorers to Roanoke Island and the first settlement of Europeans was established.
During the ensuing centuries the area of sea just off the Outer Banks was coined by US Statemen...