Outer Banks, NC Communities


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Dare County

Dare County is home to the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and the Bodie Island Lighthouse on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore and the Roanoke Island Marshes Lighthouse which is located on the Manteo Waterfront.   A monument to the successful First Flight of the Wright Brothers in 1903 is located in Kill Devil Hills and the Icarus Monument to Flight is in Kitty Hawk.  The 16th Century Ship Replica at Roanoke Island Festival Park, Fort Raleigh Historic Site, The Lost Colony Outdoor Drama and The Elizabethan Gardens are a tribute to the early English settlements in the New World. Jockey’s Ridge State Park in Nags Head is home to the World’s Largest Hang Gliding School and other attractions such as the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island and Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head are popular with families.The area’s number one draw is the ocean and over 100 miles of beautiful beaches.  The Outer Banks has also been dubbed the "Kite Boarding and Wind Surfing Capital of the East Coast." The steady and consistent winds, temperate weather, shallow sound waters and rolling ocean waves – all provide great opportunities for both novices and extreme sport enthusiasts alike.  Other sports such as fishing, running, bicycling, surfing, kayaking, paddle boarding, parasailing, and skydiving are also popular. 

Dare County covers an area of 800 square miles, of which 391 square miles is land. The elevation of Dare County is 11.3 feet. Located in the northeast section of the state, it is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean; Pamlico, Croatan, and Albemarle Sounds; and Hyde and Tyrrell Counties.

Dare County was formed in 1870 and is named in honor of Virginia Dare, the first child born of English parents in America. The County contains much of what is known as North Carolina's "Outer Banks" resort and vacation areas and contains approximately two-thirds of the North Carolina coastline. The main switchboard of the Dare County offices can be reached at (252) 475-5000 or on-line at www.darenc.com.

Dare County Airport

Dare County Regional Airport is a public airport located one mile northwest of the central business district of Manteo, a town in Dare County, North Carolina, USA. This general aviation airport covers 340 acres and has two runways.

(Private charter services to and from the Outer Banks as well as information on the Norfolk International Airport which is the closest international airport, can be found in the chamber's membership directory: www.outerbankschamber.com/members).


Currituck County

Currituck County was established around 1668. It was one of the five original ports for North Carolina and one of the original counties. The Currituck County Courthouse and Jail are two of the oldest buildings in North Carolina. The original Courthouse was constructed in 1723. This building was replaced in 1842, was renovated and housed the County's government offices until the new Governmental Center - North was completed in 1998. In 1776, the Colonial Legislature granted permission to build a jail in Currituck County. The Currituck County Jail is one of the five oldest jails in North Carolina.

The word Currituck in the Algonquian Indian language means "The Land of the Wild Goose." The abundant waters, marshes, and woods still available in the County enable Currituck to enjoy a national and international reputation as a "Sportsman's Paradise." One of the oldest hunt clubs in the County is the Currituck Shooting Club, organized in the 1850's. Another outstanding Currituck hunt club was the Whalehead Club. It was built in the 1920's by the wealthy industrialist Edward C. Knight at a cost of $400,000 to construct.

Whalehead in Corolla is a restored 1920s residence now operating as a historic house museum. With the architecture and design centering heavily around Art Nouveau, the museum boasts many original furnishings and decorative items including Tiffany lamps, Louis Majorelle furnishings, and Royal Copenhagen figurines. The Whalehead Club has been restored to its original splendor, including the copper roof, matchstick or “corduroy” wall coverings and cork floorings. Several tours of the facility are available emcompassing the history of the house, the Nights and their servants, as well as maritime history, local history and the architecture and operations of this 23,000 square foot five floor home. The Whalehead Club is open year round 9-5 Monday-Saturday.www.visitwhalehead.com/

Next to Whalehead in Corolla stands two additional restored structures, the Currituck Beach Lighthouse and the Lighthouse Keeper's House. The red brick lighthouse located in Corolla is made up of over 1 million bricks and has 214 steps to the top. The Currituck Beach Lighthouse was the last lighthouse to be built on the North Carolina coast. The lighthouse is the original structure and towers 163 feet in the air. It was first lit on December 1, 1865. Tours of the lighthouse are held daily during the Summer season.</p>

The main switchboard of Currituck County can be reached at (252) 232-2075 or on-line at www.co.currituck.nc.us

Currituck County Airport:

Currituck County Airport
(unattended, no lights or facilities) 
Publicly owned, public use general aviation airport with access of US Highway 158 approximately 6 miles from the conjunction with NC Highway 168. The concrete runway is 4,000 feet long and 150 feet wide. (252) 232-2075.www.co.currituck.nc.us/Airport.html


Ocracoke Island

Ocracoke Island is the southernmost town within the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The entire island is owned by the National Park Service, except for the village. It is the most remote inhabited island of the Outer Banks and can be reached by ferry from Hatteras Village, Swan Quarter or Cedar Island. The island is 13 miles long, 2 miles wide and located in Hyde County.

Origin of Name: The origin of the name is unclear. Some think the name is linked to the Algonquian word "waxihikami" which means enclosed place, fort or stockade. Over the years, on old maps, the spelling seems to change from Wokokon, Woccocon, Occacock, Ocacoe, Ocacock, Occacock, Ocreecock, and now Ocracoke. Others tie the name with Blackbeard the Pirate. It is said that Blackbeard, waiting for the fateful dawn of November 22, 1718, prayed in vain "O Crow Cock! O Crow Cock!" in hopes of escaping his pursuers.

Attractions: Ocracoke Pony Pens, Ocracoke Lighthouse, tied to Edward Teach or "Blackbeard the Pirate", natural beach and nature trails.

The climate of Ocracoke Island is tempered by the Gulf Stream with an average annual rainfall of 53 inches, average January temperature of 44 degrees, and average July temperature of 79 degrees.

Hyde County is governed by a board of five commissioners, each representing a district, but elected at large for four years with staggered terms of office. The Hyde County Manager's Office can be reached at (252) 926-9171 or (888)493-3826.

Ocracoke Airstrip

(unattended, no lights or facilities) 
Maintained by the National Park Service, Ocracoke Airstrip is unattended with no lights. Runway: 3,000 feet. Pay telephone and parking on-site. (252) 995-3646.

The Ocracoke Library is located beside the Ocracoke Fire Station on Back Road.


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