Eastern Willet on the beach in Kitty Hawk. Probably digging for a ghost crab–there were a lot on the beach.

Everybody has a different idea about what makes a great vacation, but just about everyone takes pictures while traveling.

Of course most of those pictures are of family and friends, but sometimes it’s nice to get some shots to bring back memories of the place. 

To help that along, we’re gong to make four suggestions where having the camera at the ready might help to bring back those special memories. The nice thing is, with cell phones it doesn’t even have to be the best camera.

The Beach…Any Beach

The beach is the whole reason for coming to the Outer Banks for most people, and with good reason. Soft sand, for the most part in the summer, gentle surf. But look around, there are opportunities for wonderful photographs everywhere, from the fishermen trying their luck, to children laughing in the surf, to birds digging for ghost crabs.

Jockey’ Ridge State Park

Jockey’s Ridge is the sunset paradise of the Outer Banks, but there is way more to the park than that. There is hang gliding and kite flyers on the big dune—Jockey’s Ridge at almost any time of day. But look around; take a little bit of time to explore. Jockey’s Ridge offers a surprising number of micro ecosystems that are fascinating to explore and offer wonderful opportunities for a truly different shot.

Whalehead Club

It’s a tossup wether Jockey’s Ridge or the Whalehead Club is the best place on the Outer Banks to shoot a sunset. But don’t be limited to just sunsets at the Whalehead Club.Look around. There are architectural wonders everywhere and the landscaping merging with the art nouveau design of the buildings is marvelous. And the topper is the Currituck Beach Lighthouse towering over the grounds.

Nags Head Woods

There are four maritime forest reserves on the Outer Banks, but Nags Head Woods has the easiest access with the best trail maps. Surprisingly rugged with hardwood trees typically found in a mountain environment, exploring Nags Head Woods can change a view of what the Outer Banks is all about. A lot of opportunities for some very different images that people will swear could not come from the beach. The staff at the visitor’s center is very knowledgeable.