The Outer Banks is a collection of barrier island off the coast of North Carolina, in between the mainland and the Atlantic Ocean. Its slow-paced beach town feel, outdoor adventures, restaurants, boutiques, state parks, open beaches and favorite diving sites make it an ideal spot for a family vacation. Local beach areas include Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head, Hatteras, and Avon.
It’s an extremely pedestrian-friendly area; a place where people walk, run, bike, skate and push strollers from one activity to the next. If you really want to experience the area like a local, the only way to do it is on two wheels. Renting bikes is a must to get the full Outer Banks experience. Here are the top four ways a bike rental will upgrade your next beach vacation!
1. Avoid Parking Issues
The islands are small and intimate, which sometimes means the most popular places get crowded rather quickly. If you want to enjoy an ice cream at Kitty Hawk’s favorite ice cream shop, OBX Frozen Yogurt, you may have to circle a little bit in your car to find a spot. If you had a bike, you could zip from the beach to the front door of this popular ice cream pace, bypass the parking hassle and get right in to enjoy your treat. This goes for many of the favorite restaurants and shops on the islands; a bike allows you to get where you need to be faster than walking but will enable you to avoid traffic and parking hassles that come with having to use a car to get everywhere.
2. Group Bike Rides
If you’re an avid biker and enjoy the community and comradery that comes with a group bike ride, you’ll be excited to hear that there are many early morning group rides that you can get in on while you’re here on vacation. Early morning bike rides get started before the traffic gets too bad on the islands and allows riders to watch the sleepy beach town come awake. There are group rides for families, seniors, serious bikes and those just looking to cruise the island. Renting a bike allows you to have a bike ready and available for you at your vacation rental when you arrive, so when the morning of the ride comes you can simply jump on and meet up with other bikers. This is a great way to get to know locals in the community, see sights that you may miss during the day, and start your day with a high energy workout. OBX Cycling has created a Facebook page for bikers to find each other and coordinate group rides. Check it out when you’re here!
3. Experience The Back Roads
The Outer Banks sees thousands of visitors of each year, most of them drawn to the beautiful open sea beaches, popular dive sites and island tours. But to experience the more authentic side of this area, a bike is the best way to do it. A morning ride with the family down The Woods Road in Kitty Hawk is a great vacation adventure. For those who are up for more of a challenge, the Lighthouse to Lighthouse ride is a sure way to work up a sweat. This ride starts at Currituck Beach Lighthouse and ends at to Bodie Island Lighthouse, covering almost 50 miles. Of course, there are entry points along the way to shorten the route, but it’s a heart-pumping ride that allows you to see some of the most beautiful parks of the Outer Banks. Renting a bike allows you to ride through the Outer Banks and see many tucked away areas that you’d miss if just cruising in a car.
4. Get Some Exercise
We could go on and on about the incredible pizza, BBQ, and seafood places that are a must-try while visiting this area, as the Outer Banks offers some of the most unique eateries and dining options around. And while we’re big believers that calories don’t count on vacation, biking the island for an hour or so a day will make it much easier to joy that extra slice of pizza or a double scoop of ice cream guilt free. For those dedicated to maintaining their fitness routine while on vacation, renting bikes is a great way to switch up their workout and experience the islands at the same time. There are many local parks and playgrounds where visitors can get some cardio in, practice some yoga or go for a run as well.
The Outer Banks is a real gem when it comes to a relaxing beach vacation. It combines sun, waves, sand and swaying palm trees with a tight-knit waterfront community, exciting outdoor adventures, a rich history and beautiful natural landmarks.
When you’re ready to experience the area like locals do, add “rent bikes for the family” to your pre-vacation To-Do list.