What is better than spending Labor Day weekend at the beach? How about living there ALL Summer long?! Our MI OLA Brand Ambassador Adrienne did just that. She moved to the Outer Banks, North Carolina this Summer to spend her days surfing, windsurfing, beach bumming…and working at one of the coolest outdoor outfitters, REAL Watersports. Jealous? Yeah, us too! We caught up with this adventurous mermaid to learn how to #GetOutThere when you’re in the Outer Banks.
#GetOutThere Guide by Adrienne Kina
Adrienne (@yokeens) is an extreme sports connoisseur and mermaid that loves to dabble in Graphic Design and jewelry creating. She grew up in Western New York, so she certainly knows how to handle eight feet of snow! Adrienne loves to live in adventurous towns. She lived in Colorado, working as a Snowboard Instructor, while also refining her mountain biking and rock climbing skills.
Adrienne spent the last four Summers in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota, living out of a tent, car and a camper, while laboring as an eager bike mechanic, a snarky bartender and a helpful outdoor gear retail associate. During the past two Winters, Adrienne lived in North Conway, New Hampshire where she thrived in the wicked cold by snowboarding, ice climbing, and hiking.
This Summer Adrienne fulfilled her life long dream of moving to a beach town; she now lives in Avon, North Carolina, which is part of the Outer Banks. When she is not in the water or at the beach, she works for REAL Watersports, the number one kite boarding lesson center and retail shop in the world!
#GetOutThere Guide: Outer Banks, North Carolina
Outer Banks, North Carolina, also known as Cape Hatteras Island or OBX for short, is a 200 mile long barrier island that sits off the coast of North Carolina in the Atlantic Ocean. With ocean on one side and the Pamlico Sound on the other, it’s one of the only places where the sun rises and sets on the water. We sometimes get hurricanes, which can be a little bit dicey. Getting stuck on the island happens because part of the roadway usually gets ripped away! The treacherous seas off the coast of the Outer Banks, along with the large number of shipwrecks that have occurred, have given these strip of ocean the nickname the “Graveyard of the Atlantic”. However, the sun shines the majority of the year and consequently the Outer Banks was recently named as one of USA Today’s “10 Best Island Escapes You Can Drive To”!
Things to Do:
There are so many things to do, from hanging at pristine beaches, fishing, museum hopping, shopping, hang gliding, world class surfing, kite boarding, windsurfing, SUP boarding, jet skiing, boating, kayaking and biking! I personally surf, windsurf and kite board most often, taking long lunches to run to the beach and catch a few waves. The whole island is a beach on one side and sound access on the other, so you can literally walk from one side to the other in about five minutes. This also makes it easy to be the only one on the beach or in the sound at any given time!
There are fishing piers, lighthouses, no parking fees, great water rescue crews, and dogs are even allowed on the beach. For those interested in kite boarding or windsurfing, the wind here blows almost everyday! The wind blows mostly South West in the Summer and more from the North in the Winter months. Some of the BEST kite boarding and windsurfing in the world can be found here. We have the optimum conditions for all levels (from beginners to experts) in the Pamlico sound – a 20 mile long, waist-deep bay that is easily accessible, warm and shark free. (If you have any questions about the area or better yet want to come learn how to kite board, feel free to send me an email at RealPro@Realwatersports.com and I’ll get you set up!!)
Check out the below map that shows all the best spots to kite or surf, along with the suggested experience level needed.
There are all kinds of concerts and events always going on, from local farmers’ markets, local bands playing in bars, to the biggest kite boarding competition in the world, the Triple S. Basically there is always something to do or see while you’re visiting!
The nearest airports are Norfolk International Airport (82 miles North) or Raleigh Durham International Airport (192 miles West). From there you need to make the beautiful drive onto the Outer Banks. Once you get to the Outer Banks, navigating the islands are easy. Try as you might, it’s virtually impossible to get lost here as the ocean makes a pretty good landmark and there is only one main road, Highway 12. For more detailed instructions, click here.
Where to Stay:
There are PLENTY of beach homes for rent on the Outer Banks, the common way to stay here. Suggested rental companies are Midget Realty or Hatteras Realty. There are only a few hotel/motel options, as well as a couple cool campgrounds, like Cape Hatteras National Seashore Campground, that put you right in the sand dunes. One of the best places to stay is Watermen’s Retreat, luxury condos that are on REAL Watersports property, so world class kite boarding and surfing are steps from your door!
Where to Eat:
There is great fresh seafood on the island, with lots of commercial and recreational fishing. Someone is always pulling in tuna, mahi mahi, or crabs. One of the best places to eat is Watermen’s Bar and Grill, that is located at REAL Watersports. The restaurant offers delicious and affordable meals, impressive live music, and a full bar with epic views of kite boarders and sunsets. Plus it’s family friendly! Other places to eat are Lisa’s Pizzeria, Ketch 55 Seafood Grill, and Outer Banks Brewing Station.
Best Time to Visit:
Summer (May-August) is the busy season here in the Outer Banks, with the weather being very favorable: 80 degree, mostly sunny days! There is always a breeze to keep you from over heating. We do get some amazing thunder/lighting storms, and the occasional hurricane, but those happen mostly in September. Although there are a lot of people here visiting during the Summer, you can always find a spot on the beach.
The shoulder seasons of Fall (September-November) and Spring (March-April) are also great times to visit because there are no crowds, the accommodation rates are much lower, and we get lovely cooler weather. Winter (December-February) is a time for the brave, as the air and ocean temperature drops, BUT the surf is awesome in these months. So get a THICK, full wetsuit and dive into the cold ocean to catch some epic waves with no waiting in the line-up!