January 12, 2017
This week on the Outer Banks, all focus was on the tubes. But not the gnarly waves as you would think, the water pipes! More precisely, how to keep them from freezing as temperatures dipped into the 20s and snowfall cast a frozen sheen on the beaches. Locals know all too well how to make the most of the Outer Banks any time of year. Even at its frostiest, the Outer Banks offers a peaceful getaway for tourists.
The wintertime offers visitors an opportunity to explore the quieter side of the Outer Banks. If you are considering a winter escape, here are a few benefits you can enjoy:
1. Saving money. Most rentals and restaurants offer lower off season prices. This means you could rent a much larger oceanfront home (with a hot tub!) than you ever expected. $1 slices of pizza? Half-price wine? Yes, please! The off season pricing also extends to local restaurants as well as spas and other activities.
2. No waits. There’s no patience needed in the wintertime! With no traffic on the highway, you pretty much have the road to yourself. And you can walk into just about any restaurant and be seated for your meal right away! You’ll enjoy a quieter, calmer atmosphere as well.
3. Sea shells. The best seashore treasures, including large unbroken conch shells and colorful seaglass, are found on the beaches during the off season.
4. Fishing. Charter a boat off shore and look for tuna, stay inshore for rockfish, fish from the piers for rockfish, bluefish or striper, and try the surf in milder temperatures for puppy drum, speckled trout and sea mullet, to name a few options. Remember to check with North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission on licensing and regulations.
5. Unobstructed views. Enjoy the beach all to yourself! Take sunrise and beach photos without anyone photobombing!
6. Freedom. The beach rules are more relaxed in the wintertime. Most towns allow driving on the beach from October 1 to April 30 with a permit. Dogs also enjoy more freedom on the beach during these months! Be sure to check the web sites for each town for updated regulations.
7. Calm. Bring a project you are working on – writing, art, music, a business plan – with you to the Outer Banks and work in a beautiful location without distraction.
While undoubtedly the summertime makes the Outer Banks the hot spot place to be, the wintertime offers a uniquely different experience still to be enjoyed. Leave your flip flops behind, and show your boots a sandy good time!