Ever Vacationed on the Outer Banks?

by Katie Francis

Every August since I turned two, my family has spent all of our summer vacations in Corolla Light. No, Corolla Light is not the name of a light beer, but rather is a tiny resort community among hundreds like it along the North Carolina peninsula known as the Outer Banks, or OBX. While the thousands of OBX bumper stickers I spot each year indicate the sheer volume of families and fishermen alike that make the trek out each summer for the area's beautiful beaches, luxurious resort homes, and endless array of water and sand sports, for those of us who have been going for years, the Outer Banks is an escape from reality that remains uniquely and intimately our own.

Whether you’re there to soak up some rays, try your hand at surfing, fish until the bucket’s full, go on some ghost hunts, SUP on the bay, or just to spend some quality time with family and friends, the Outer Banks has all the ingredients for the perfect summer vacation. Regardless of who you bring with you, how many times you visit, or where you stay, the OBX gains a special place in the heart of anyone who vacations there.

So rub on some sunscreen, listen to some summer anthems, grab your favorite beach read, and get ready for the 37 things only we OBX lovers can truly understand.

you know the PURE TERROR of the 23,000ft on the Chesapeake Bay bridge

And the under water tunnels within the bridge. Clearly this is some sick engineering joke we will never understand.

and you still fear the pre-bridge road from Jeepers Creepers

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images News/Getty Images

I don’t want to know what’s in the basement, I don’t want to know what’s in the basement.

at least you know you’re getting close when you see the signs for peaches

and once you Pass the monster truck, you know you're truly almost there

yes, the struggle of GETTING TO YOUR HOUSE is so real

It’s route 12’s world, we are all just living in it.

but once you finally arrive

you quickly remember you've grown attached to the familiar taste of salty tap water

Cate Gillon/Getty Images News/Getty Images

And yet we never remember to "hold the ice."

you expect 80 degree water everyday

It’s been that warm before, WHY NOT ALWAYS?

and know that fulgurite is not what it looks like

While it may not actually be as cool or as romantic as the fulgurite in Sweet Home Alabama , it’s all over the beaches, and it's so much fun to accumulate.

you've gone to four wheel drive country to tear it up

Sand and trucks = All day fun.

you've seen plenty of Wild horses

While they can be hard to find, they really are magnificent to behold.

you've had to make the amazing choice between a day at the bay vs. a day at the beach

Kayaking or surfing? That's a problem only the perfect summer vacation dares to ask

you know that Timbuck II is not just an African city

It’s OBX outdoor shopping at its best.

You've attempted to see all 5 lighthouses

The first three are easy, but getting to Ocracoke and Bodie Island requires true commitment.

you've tried to keep all of the ghost stories straight

But the ghost ship is always your favorite.

you go to Big Bucks for ice cream as often as possible

Between the homemade ice cream and the fireworks for sale, how could you go wrong?

Spending time at Jocky’s Ridge is always awesome

and the Wright Brothers Museum, is, um, fascinating

We get it, they flew an airplane. Now can we jump off the HUGE PILE OF SAND?

you're obsessed with the Brewing Station

You need some craft beer to accompany those shrimp and grits.

You love that there is a town called Duck

And that this is their bumper sticker.

You giggle every time you visit Dirty Dicks' gift shop

Because the 12-year-old boy inside of us all deserves to come out sometimes.

Nothing beats watching the sun set with some sushi

My dating profile would read: Likes romantic walks to the Sunset Grille and Raw Bar.

You suspect you'll never have enough friends for Pine Island

A house that sleeps 28?! I don’t even know that many people.

you've gone to Avon to windsurf

A surfer once told me that Avon has the best windsurfing in the world.

and have fallen hard during some surfing lessons

Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images News/Getty Images

a dumb part of you still Thinks you're immune to Rip Currents

Until you or your friend actually need rescuing (we all know someone).

You've googled this spider

And are happy to know they are not venomous —since they are EVERYWHERE (just look at any bush by the beach).

you've tried to plan your stay around hurricane season

Handout/Getty Images News/Getty Images

There are only a few ways off the peninsula, making evacuations a travel nightmare.

you always hope for an epic sandbar

But don't want to think about what’s potentially in the water underneath.

you know that pizza on a Friday means hours of waiting

Alex Wong/Getty Images News/Getty Images

But you wait.

The forgotten circle of hell: Food Lion on a Saturday

I would rather fast till Monday.

It inevitably rains on your last full beach day

You'll still find families huddled under tents.

Saying goodbye to your house at the end of the summer is severely emotional

But writing on some guest shells is good therapy

most of all, you know that this is possibly the greatest place on earth

because really, there's just nothing better than a sunset here.


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