Kayaking at sunset on the Currituck Sound. Photo, Kitty Hawk Kites.

It’s a beautiful day on the Outer Banks. A great day to take a bike ride, go for a long walk on the beach or explore the Outer Banks.

One of the best features of spending time on barrier islands is how close different natural worlds are. On the Atlantic Ocean side, beautiful beaches, saw grass, waves and in the evening ghost crabs for kids to chase.

On the other side of the sandbars though, is a whole other world . . . . a natural estuary that is teeming with life and beauty. 

There are a number of ways to explore the sound side of the Outer Banks. The North Carolina Center for Wildlife Education (the museum at the the Whalehead Club) offers a full range of activities designed for all ages. 

One of the best ways to explore the sounds is to hop in a kayak and get a first hand look at the waters of the Currituck Sound. Particularly on the northern end, it’s dotted with islands and protected coves. 

For novice kayakers, take a guided tour, although that advice also applies to more experienced kayakers who have not had a chance to check out the Outer Banks water. You’ll learn how to kayak—surprisingly easy—and the tour operators (and there are a number of them), have built a well-deserved reputation for hiring knowledgable guides who know how to talk about what you are seeing.

Those are just a couple of suggestions. But by all means, take a day or two to explore.