Oregon Inlet from the South Spit.
The Outer Banks is one of the most photogenic places anywhere. Just check out Google Images for proof. Thousands and thousands of photos, some spectacular, some not quite as spectacular, displaying our beautiful beaches, our spectacular sunsets and picturesque architecture.
Having a camera in hand is a great way to create memories, but rather than recreate the same pictures that have already been taken, here are some suggestions for some different places worth an image or two.
South Spit, Oregon Inlet
Typically when people think of Oregon Inlet, the picture the North Spit where people drive out onto the beach to go fishing.
The South Spit, however is much more accessible—there’s a parking lot and no 4WD or permit is needed. A trail leads around a shallow bay, to the abandoned Coast Guard Station—by all mean snap some pictures, then out to the beach.
Bodie Island Lighthouse is clearly visible, the Bonner Bridge is to the west and there’s a lot of boat traffic.
Sandy Point, Roanoke Island Festival Park
The waterfront of Manteo is one of the most photographed areas of the Outer Banks, but this angle is rarely seen. This is also a great excuse to visit Roanoke Island Festival Park, which is a wonderful place.
After entering the Park grounds, bear to the right until a path appears on the right. Take the path to the dock that overlooks, Roanoke Sound, Shallowbag Bay and Scarboro Creek.
A telephoto may be helpful here, but not necessary.
West side of Jockey’s Ridge
Photos from the top of Jockey’s Ridge are iconic, but there is another possibility.
The Soundside Natural Trail, a 1.0 or 1.2 mile out and back path that takes hikers to the sound side of the park. There’s a small wetlands and spectacular view across Roanoke Sound to Roanoke Island.
The trail is not too difficult, but it is on sand so it does take a little extra effort. Take water and in the summer especially no barefeet—the sand can cause burns.
Tough to get to, but worth it.
Run Hill is a massive dune structure in Kill Devil Hills overlooking Roanoke Sound that abuts Nags Head Woods.
Although it is a North Carolina Natural Area, there are no trails or parking lots, and no easy way to get there. Make the effort; it’s worth it.
There is a path that leads to Run Hill on the north side of Nags Head Woods.
Follow W. Martin Street in Kill Devil Hills until it becomes a dirt road, which is Old Nags Head Woods Road. In about 300 yard there will be a dirt road on the right with a bar across it. That’s the trailhead.
Follow the road up the hill and down again until it reaches a T. Turn right and follow the trail. The trail is not part of the official Nags Head Woods Trail Guide but it is fairly easy to follow.
After about a mile passing through a beautiful hardwood forest and marsh, the trail begins a fairly steep ascent. Suddenly, with no warning, trees give way to glistening almost white sand. That’s Run Hill.