For the longest time, I have often wondered what the state of North Carolina would look like. Twice, I had not taken up Ph.D. offers from one of the top schools in North Carolina, and no matter what you choose in life, you are left sometimes wondering about what you did not choose in life. Then, I was introduced to the movies based on books written by Nicholas Sparks, and some of those movies were shot near the beaches of North Carolina.
The scenery, the blueness of the Atlantic, and the overall landscape looked brilliant. When I watched the movie “Nights in Rodanthe”, I was left speechless by the sheer beauty of the house the movie was shot in, which was right by the sea. Then I watched movies like “Message in a bottle”, and “A walk to remember”, and I was very inspired by the beautiful locales of these movies, the little piers, the flavor of life by the ocean, all shot in North Carolina of course. To cut a long story short, I started looking for opportunities to visit North Carolina. Within a year, I got opportunities to visit the state, not once, but twice.
Kitty Hawk in North Carolina
One of those two trips happened to be at the beaches of Kitty Hawk in North Carolina. This is a great example of movies inspiring me to visit a certain place or state. Now did the beaches live up to my expectations built from the movies? Yes of course. If you look at the map, this is a narrow stretch of land in the Atlantic, that leads you to the Ocracoke Island. I did not visit the Ocracoke Island, but I hear it’s beautiful, and you and your car needs to take a ferry to go there. I have had some interesting ferry experiences in the past, especially during my trip to Italy, hence I will definitely be up for checking this out someday.
Anyway, if you are planning for a weekend getaway of quiet and peace, there is nothing better than the beaches of North Carolina. It doesn’t matter where you end up, Kitty Hawks, Outer Banks, Nags Head. The water is a beautiful shade of blue, green, and turquoise. People swear by the beaches of Florida, and true, Florida beaches are beautiful. But these beaches are equally pretty. North Carolina beaches ought to be pretty cold during the winter, but they are warm and welcoming in the summers. They are not as commercial as Virginia Beach, and if you are looking for a place far from the maddening crowd, this is your best bet.
As ironic as it might sound, I am much of a beach person, though not a water person for sure. I am one of those poor souls who could sit for hours watching the sea, but would not want to venture into the waters. So what do you do when you visit the North Carolina beaches? There is plenty to do actually. For one, you could do some water sports, jet skiing and all, but do your research well before you go there.
Then you can venture into the water and spend hours there. You can soak in the heat of the sun, lazily reading a book or just sunbathing (something that I would do). You can take beautiful pictures of the sunrise, and the locations in general (again, something that I would do). Then, you can have seafood in one of the nearby local joints, and the food there is great. It has a little bit of history too.
We had lunch at the Black Pelican Restaurant, and the seafood there was amazing. Not only that, we learned that in 1903, the Wright Brothers (yeah, those same guys who flew the first planes) sent the telegraph announcing their successful First Flight from Station 6 located where we were dining. That was indeed thrilling to know.
So I spent two days relaxing at the beach, soaking in the sun, having hearty meals of seafood by the nearby local joints. I got to do some photography as well, narrowly missing the sunrise on day 1 (I had to be content watching it from the hotel’s window) but waking up on time to make it to the second sunrise.
There were ghost stories involved at night, whereby we would relax in the beach for hours, listening to ghost stories in the darkness, with barely a soul nearby. The roars of the sea and the moon in the night sky provided a great deal to the ghostly ambience. We walked in the sand for miles, played like little children frolicking in the sea, whetting our appetites and giving us a healthy tan.
If you are looking for a nice weekend getaway this summer, and want to spend two days marveling at the beautifully majestic Atlantic Ocean and getting rejuvenated, if you want some great seafood, and spend some time away from the civilization, go pack your bags, and take that flight or drive (depending on how far you are) to this little strip of land on the Atlantic. You will be pleasantly surprised by the amazing number of things the beaches of North Carolina have to offer.