For travel contributor Elaine Lebalme, a trip to the Outer Banks, North Carolina, is a nearly perfect summer getaway. It’s the land of windswept beaches, wild horses, lighthouses and quaint seaside towns.
If this sounds like something out of a romantic novel, that’s because it is. The region’s become famous thanks to Nicholas Sparks’ novels, and according to Lebalme the reputation it’s gotten is well deserved. Plus, there are plenty of beach homes to rent throughout the summer, so “you’re bound to find a house either on the beach or close to the beach,” Lebalme says.
Among the attractions the area offers are the Wright brothers national memorial, trips to see the island’s famed wild horses, an abundance of lighthouses throughout the island and plenty of fresh seafood. An easy recommendation is the famous graveyard of the Atlantic museum in Hatteras, N.C., an area known for historic shipwrecks. But despite all the wrecks, Lebalme insists that “you can surf, you can windsurf you probably will not drown.”