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April '12 Outer Banks sugg'tns needed for 3 older gal pals

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April '12 Outer Banks sugg'tns needed for 3 older gal pals

We are 3 well-educated professional women pals contemplating a long weekend together in April on the Outer Banks. Two of us will be flying in from Boston to meet another in Raleigh, NC, and then driving down. We're used to Cape Cod & the Maine coasts and are hoping to find charm, personality, good (not necessarily upscale) restaurants, great walks, charm, lighthouses, beach, maybe a boat ride or a spa... and it would be great if there were crafts or art galleries. Sitting in a rocker on the porch and reading would be fine too. Reading these posts, it sounds like we'd be better off in Hatteras Village or on Ocracoke. Would love YOUR knowledgeable suggestions. Thanks!

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Ocracoke
Ocracoke
Outer Banks, NC
Kreskin2207
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1. Re: April '12 Outer Banks sugg'tns needed for 3 older gal pals

Ocracoke would be a perfect spot. You would have a great drive along the cape hatteras seashore, see the lighthouse along the way and can visit Hatteras before hitting the ferry to Ocracoke. You'll find pretty much everything you want on the island while keeping the charm and feel you're looking for. Duck might also be another option that isn't quite as isolated. That said, I love Ocracoke and if you have the time and will to get there definitely do so.

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Ocracoke
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Outer Banks, NC
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Hatteras Island, NC
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2. Re: April '12 Outer Banks sugg'tns needed for 3 older gal pals

I love Ocracoke and it is lovely but do be aware that you are looking at at least a 5 1/2 hour drive from Raleigh. It doesn't look like that long of a trek on the map, but it is.

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Ocracoke
Ocracoke
Outer Banks, NC
Boston...
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3. Re: April '12 Outer Banks sugg'tns needed for 3 older gal pals

Yes, a wicked long drive and not exactly what I'd prefer to do for a long weekend! Can you cut down on the drive if you take the other ferry from Swan-something? Would staying purely on Ocracoke be too removed?

Thanks for you the info, I appreciate it.

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Ocracoke
Ocracoke
Outer Banks, NC
Greenville, North...
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4. Re: April '12 Outer Banks sugg'tns needed for 3 older gal pals

If you like history and beauty, check out Beaufort,NC. The city is not well not on the coast of NC, but the city is beautiful. It has lots of history with nice scenery. Even though summer is best to visit, visiting this city is great anytime. Not overly touristy.

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Beaufort
Beaufort
North Carolina Coast, NC
Baltimore, Maryland
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5. Re: April '12 Outer Banks sugg'tns needed for 3 older gal pals

have you looked into flying SW into Norfolk, VA. That is a much shorter drive to OBX. Duck or Corolla would have what you are looking for.

Not familiar with the southern part of OBX so can't say better or worse. My vacations are usuall to Chatham or MV. If you are looking for that, I think you will be disappointed but Duck or Corolla came closest. I must say that the wild horse tour in Corolla is totally worth the money. very unique. ( I know - that is redundant)

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Outer Banks, NC
Kitty Hawk, North...
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6. Re: April '12 Outer Banks sugg'tns needed for 3 older gal pals

While the Ocracoke area is nice, you are on a small island with not a lot of choices unless you ferry off it. Look at staying in Nags Head. Lots more to do and you can hit the galleries on Gallery row or go over to the Manteo waterfront where you will find dozens of small shops to look through, be sure to go here while you are near by. Take a ride to Hatteras and see Bodie lighthouse and Hatteras Lighthouse. Go up to Kitty Haw where there is a spa or up to Duck with all it's shops and they have a nice spa there along with many places to shop. Beaches will be empty everywhere so don't worry about crowds anywhere. There is just a lot more to see and do if you stay in Nags Head or Duck.

Edited: 26 October 2011, 19:16
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Outer Banks, NC
Nags Head
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Outer Banks, NC
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Hatteras Island, NC
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7. Re: April '12 Outer Banks sugg'tns needed for 3 older gal pals

Nora, the ferry route may even take you a little longer. Swan Quarter is 3 hours from Raleigh. You must be there 30 minutes early (or you lose your place) and then the ferry ride takes 2 1/2 hours. It's a good idea to make reservations. Either way, it is a long trek just for a long weekend from Raleigh. I personally would save Ocracoke for a trip when you have more time. And that advice is coming from someone who loves Ocracoke!

BTW, Ocracoke is 30 minutes from Hatteras by ferry. That ferry does not take reservations.

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Ocracoke
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Outer Banks, NC
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Hatteras Island, NC
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8. Re: April '12 Outer Banks sugg'tns needed for 3 older gal pals

RE Nags Head

Just to give you a frame of reference. Think Nantasket on steroids. Row after row of homes on a small strip of land between a main highway (much larger than Nantasket Av, more like Rt 9) and the beach.

This is the more commercial area. North or South, it is more like the CC national seashore area.

Mississippi
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9. Re: April '12 Outer Banks sugg'tns needed for 3 older gal pals

The Sanderling Inn and Spa is outstanding. Enjoy your trip.

http://www.thesanderling.com/

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10. Re: April '12 Outer Banks sugg'tns needed for 3 older gal pals

The ferry from Ocracoke to Hatteras is 40 minutes--not 30 minutes. Sorry--I wanted to be very specific with times.

What I like about Ocracoke Island is that it has miles of beach with nothing on it. I quite simply love that. It also has the small town of Ocracoke with numerous quaint shops, two small art galleries, a number of very good restaurants, and a good coffee store, wine store and book store to boot. It is a very laid back kind of place. The town of Ocracoke itself can get busy with day-trippers in high season so I rent a bicycle and I am good to go.

I can also parasail or rent a waverunner. I can go sound fishing or deep sea fishing in the Gulf Stream. I can easily rent a kayak (with a guide or without) or take a sunset sail on the schooner Windfall. I can catch a performance of the Ocrafolk Opry. I can enjoy the two short nature trails on the island---Hammocks Hills and Springer's Point. (There is a small day spa but I have not tried that yet.) For me, though, it all comes back to a beautiful deserted beach at sunrise or a campfire on the beach under a dark, starry sky or a long walk down the beach with just the birds and the occasional passersby.

But, all that being said, this is not a place for everyone. Ocracoke does not have a golf course or a movie theater. It does not have a putt-putt or go-karts. It does not have a shopping mall or a night club. Kitty Hawk/Manteo, with all of its wonderful history, is 2 1/2+ hours away. Ocracoke is most certainly removed and getting there is time-consuming. These are all valid considerations when one is choosing a home base on the Outer Banks.

Nora, I think Ocracoke would most closely approximate the feeling of the laid back areas of Cape Cod. I wish you had more time so you check it out!

Edited: 27 October 2011, 16:43
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Ocracoke
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Outer Banks, NC
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Kitty Hawk
Outer Banks, NC
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Massachusetts