The beaches, of course! And the incredible wealth of family activities, from Blackbeard exhibits and bumper-car courses to open-air truck tours to view the Spanish mustang ponies that run wild on the beaches in Corolla. To learn more about the many options for families on the Outer Banks, click here.
While you're there
Climb to the top of the 1871 Bodie Island Lighthouse, North Carolina's tallest beacon, or build sandcastles on Coquina Beach, one of Cape Hatteras National Seashore's loveliest. And don't miss the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kitty Hawk, where in 1903 Wilbur and Orville Wright taught the world to fly. Kids can also join one of the daily ranger-led kite-making workshops at the memorial, and then learn how to fly their new creations.
See some of the more than 365 kinds of birds that live on or pass through Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, on Highway 12 just south of Oregon Inlet.
Where to stay
Although it's just 200 feet from the Atlantic, the big outdoor pool at the Holiday Inn Express in Kitty Hawk draws kids like moths to a flame. The spacious rooms include a fridge and a microwave; a hearty breakfast buffet, 24-hour coffee service, and Wi-Fi are included in the room rates, which start around $189 a night.
* All hotel prices are approximate.
Go ahead and soar! Learn to hang glide off the tallest sand dunes on the East Coast (85 feet!) at Jockey's Ridge State Park, where you can experience what it feels like to take flight and float on a breeze.
If you like this destination, and are interested in a variety of other travel spots, feel free to visit the following websites:
You will find travel information for a number of agencies including Bureau of Land Management, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Army Corps, U.S. Fish & Wildlife, National Park Service, and Bureau of Reclamation.