Staying at the Outer Banks Central Location is Key
Our 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath home for the week
My first trip to the Outer Banks, North Carolina, we four travel writers were honored to be hosted by Kees Vacation Rentals Outer Banks. We were looking for a house that was near or on the beach, a full kitchen, four separate bedrooms, and, hopefully, bathrooms, for each of us, and had a pleasant community space for us to spend time writing and learning from each other.
Whalebone Cottages fulfilled those needs to a T. Most everything we had on our To Do List was within a half hour of the home. Only the trip down to Hatteras Island was longer.
Driving in, these cottages, homes on stilts, are on the beach in Nags Head. They're built so the A Building is on the beach to the F or G building being at the road. We were in Unit E which allowed me to take an early morning stroll without disturbing my night owl colleagues.
The car port, beneath the house, had space for three vehicles. We got our luggage up the flight of stairs to the main living space without difficulty, then ran around the house, checking out the four bedrooms before deciding who got to stay where. Imagine your children doing the same thing.
The nicest bedroom in the house, is front left. The beach motif throughout was especially soothing, I thought, in this room with a queen size bed and en suite bath. Heather, who will write the article about the house, took that bedroom. The next, I think, is also on that main level, a larger, master en suite with queen size bed. That went to Robin, the oldest and most experienced of our group.
The powder room on the main floor was convenient for the two of us staying upstairs. We'd have sessions at the dining room table, all at our laptops, checking facts or starting stories.
The kitchen was perfectly appointed for my needs. A full-size refrigerator and freezer and fully furnished kitchen meant I could make my medically restricted meals each day without inconvenience. I can't over-emphasize how important that was to me. If you're traveling with a family, it can also be a great cost saver.
You'll want to eat at Sam & Omie's at least once during your visit, but you may not want to eat out each meal. If you have early birds and night owls, it also makes it easy for everyone to get a snack on their own.
The living room decorations make you want to sit back and relax. They have televisions, with cable, in every room, and I couldn't hear the others' TVs from my room.
I was upstairs in the back bedroom with a partial view of the beach from the window. A queen size bed pushed against the wall is perfect for a single visitor or several children that don't mind climbing over each other. The closet is spacious, and the bureau allowed immediate unpacking so you can experience that home away from home effect immediately.
The fourth bedroom, which shares a bath with the one I was in, comes equipped with bunk beds, ready for the littles or the adventurous adult in your group. Teresa claimed that one, telling us it reminded her of being on deployment. We were gratified to have a veteran in our midst. She's done great things for our country.
Most importantly, the property provides easy access to the beach. It's a walk down the driveway, up the deck, around the pool, up more steps and over to … the beautiful Atlantic Ocean.
The wild winds nearly took me down as I approached at the tail end of a nor-easter. It allowed me to appreciate the wide-open space, the majesty of this cleansing ocean, and the reasons why it's so important to have a port in the storm.
Back inside, that first night, the house rocked with the winds, feeling more like a ship than a house, but, after confirming we were, in fact, still safely on the stilts, we allowed the clacking of the metal security door chain to soothe us to sleep.
Our part of the beach at the end of the Nor'easter
From this site, we'd walk up the beach to Jennette's Pier
, eat our way across the area, visit Bodie Island Lighthouse
, Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
, and Manteo's Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse
. We'd learn about the Graveyard of the Atlantic
and see the latest (heretofore unidentified) shipwreck. We soared the sand dunes and explored the Wright Brothers National Memorial
honoring first flight. We went sailing
on the Sound and almost made it kayaking and horseback riding on the beach (cancelled due to weather). We learned about the Lost Colony
, the ongoing question of whatever happened to the first English baby born in the continent, the Freedmen's Colony
, and had access to experts to ask questions. We visited the Aquarium
and watched the "repeat offender" being healed again at the sea turtle rescue area.
Your Time Will Fly During Your Vacation in the Outer Banks
We walked and wrote and watched the world from a new perspective on the Outer Banks. The dynamic weather made for dramatic lighting for my photography colleague, Teresa.
The natural beauty of the Outer Banks was exactly what I'd hoped for when I made the journey. I can't wait to return and experience even more.