Outer Banks, NC
Welcome to Fast Facts - interesting tidbits of trivia about the Outer Banks.
You'll read about Pirates, Wild Horses, ATV's, Golf, Birding and more.
For Places to Stay, see our Accommodations
Pages or use our Hotel
Break out those 2 wheelers
- Bicycling is quite popular here in the Outer Banks. There
are bike lanes on Route 158 and stretches of Route 12 (the
- The Outer Banks are a series of barrier islands made up
entirely of sand - undersea sand bars.
These islands are without the keel
of rock that anchors most islands. Due to vegetation,
the islands have stabilized and are suitable for habitation.
(Vacationers soaking up the sun, surf, and sand!).
Graveyard of the Atlantic
- The waters off the shores of the
Outer Banks are known as the "Graveyard of the Atlantic"
where over 500 ships have gone down.
Some of the most notable include:
- The Monitor
- Built for the Union
forces during the Civil War, the Monitor was one of the
first ironclad warships. This ship and it's Confederate
counterpart, the Virginia, were the predecessors of
the submarine. The Monitor and Virginia battled to a draw
off the coast of Virginia in 1862. And on New Year's Eve
in 1862, the Monitor went down off Cape Hatteras
during a storm.
- The first Nazi submarine destroyed
during World War II by Americans was sunk off Bodie Island.
Apparently, the Germans had a stranglehold on US supply lines
and shipping routes in the early stages of the war. U-85,
a Type VIIb, German submarine went
down after an attack by the USS Roper on April 14, 1942.
- Wild Horses
- There are small herds of true Spanish
Mustangs, wild since the 1500's, roaming the Islands. As
the islands became settled, the horses were pressed into
service for transportation, pulling fishing nets, and
beach patrol with the U.S. Life Saving Service (predecessor of
the Coast Guard). The horse herds split north and south of
Nags Head as the human population grew. Today, horses
can be found in Currituck County (northern beaches)
and in Ocracoke (southern beaches) at the Pony Pens.
These horses are wild and protected by law. Please obey all
local laws pertaining to these animals.
- Blackbeard the Pirate
- Edward Teach also known as Blackbeard
the Pirate lived, pirated, and died on the Outer Banks. Blackbeard
was very successful in his chosen occupation being a tall,
intimidating man decorated with cutlasses and pistols. During
beard was braided with ribbons and he wore lit cannon fuses
in his hair. Edward Teach
died in hand-to-hand combat with members of the Royal Navy at
Ocracoke Inlet on November 22, 1718.
Birding on the Outer Banks
- The Outer Banks are part of the
"Atlantic flyway". Pea Island is
renowned for its year round birding.
Mid-November and December are the best months to observe
southward migrations. Some of the birds you may see include Peregrines,
Glossy and White ibises, American Bitterns, Black and Surf scoters,
Northern Gannets, Double-crested Cormorants, Red-breasted Mergansers,
gulls, terns, ...(a large and seemingly endless list here). Sightings
of rare birds occur frequently.
The US Lifesaving Service
- The forerunner to the Coast Guard was funded by Congress in
1873 to establish 29 stations - all but 4 of these were to
be located on the North Carolina coast. The service was
established to provide rescue operations when storms hit the
coastal areas. These jobs were definitely not for the faint of
heart - service men died trying to rescue stranded sailors and
Golf Comes to the Outer Banks
- And you thought that this was just a beach vacation spot!
There are four 18 hole courses and one 9 hole 'executive'
course currently open with two more courses due to open
for the 1995 summer season. Here's a brief overview of
- Duck Woods Country Club
- Southern Shores * 18 holes * Semi-private course
* 14 holes parallel water
- Sea Scape Golf Resort
- Kitty Hawk * 18 holes * 6200-yard par 72
* Views of the ocean from many tee boxes
- Nags Head Golf Links
- Nags Head * 18 holes * 6000-yard par 70
* 18th hole called "one of the most beautiful holes on
the East Coast" by Golf Digest
- Ocean Edge Golf
- Frisco * 9 holes * 1800-yard 'executive' course * Known as the
"hole-in-one course" with 54 recorded.
- Goose Creek Golf and Country Club
- Grandy * 18 holes * 6200-yard part 72
* Tight course designed for enjoyment
- The Pointe Golf club
- Powells Point * 18 holes * 6000-yard par 71
* Due to open July 1, 1995
- Holly Ridge Golf
- Harbinger * 9 holes * 1800-yard 'executive' course
* Opens Memorial Day, 1995
Travel Options & Tools