North Carolina Coast - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to North Carolina Coast

North Carolina Coast

Barrier islands stretch the whole length of North Carolina's coastline, with sandy beaches, estuaries and enclosed lagoons, and some remarkable historic sites. The thin curving line of sand bar islands, linked by bridges and ferries, shelters the mainland from the Atlantic Ocean and has become a popular tourist destination, with many developed holiday resorts. These are known as the Outer Banks and include the islands of Bodie, Roanoke, Hatteras and Ocracoke.

Much of the area has been spared over-development by its inclusion in the Cape Hatteras and Cape Lookout National Seashores, with wildlife refuges, stretches of undeveloped beaches, tall dunes and salt marshes that are home to a variety of birds. Among the historic sites of interest is Roanoke Island, where the continent's earliest settlers, known as the Lost Colony, vanished inexplicably shortly after their landing in 1587; and the Wright Brothers Memorial at Kitty Hawk commemorates the world's first powered flight in 1903.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore stretches for 70 miles (113km) down the Outer Banks barrier islands and has a wealth of history relating to shipwrecks and lighthouses. Once known as the 'Graveyard of the Atlantic', wrecks of over 600 ships lie in the treacherous waters along the coast. The park's fishing and surfing are considered to be the best on the East Coast, and beautiful beaches provide opportunities for many different water activities. In contrast to the shops, restaurants, accommodation, and recreational opportunities offered by the small towns on Cape Hatteras, Cape Lookout is a beach wilderness that is unconnected to the mainland and remains undeveloped, offering a comparatively pristine beach experience.

At the southern end of the North Carolina Coast in the Cape Fear Coastal area is the beach resort of Wilmington. Although the largest seaport on the coast, it is an attractive and friendly town with an appealing historic district around its waterfront, and the cobbled streets and boardwalk lined with cafes and restaurants have a welcoming atmosphere.

Information & Facts


Situated midway between New York and Florida, the 'Crystal Coast' of North Carolina is well-placed to have the seasonal weather of the north, but south in latitude enough for extremes to be counteracted by the influence of the offshore Gulf Stream. The coast averages 212 days of sunshine a year, has a low rainfall and snow is a great rarity. Summer breezes keep temperatures balmy and humidity at bay. The area has often been hit by hurricanes, but this does not deter holidaymakers from enjoying the great vacation weather.

English is the most common language but Spanish is often spoken in south-western states.

The US Dollar (USD) is the unit of currency and is divided into 100 cents. Only major banks exchange foreign currency. ATMs are widespread and credit cards and travellers cheques are widely accepted. Travellers cheques should be taken in US Dollars to avoid hassles. Banking hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm.

Famous as the site of the Wright Brothers' first flight in 1903, Kitty Hawk is a sleepy village on the North Carolina coast that offers visitors the chance to enjoy outdoor activities such as kayaking, boating, golf, fishing, surfing, and more. The town itself has a few shops and restaurants, and family entertainment like cinemas and mini golf. The most popular attraction in Kitty Hawk is the Wright Brothers National Memorial and Visitor Centre.

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