Confirming what we on the Outer Banks already know, US News & World Report ranked the Outer Banks as #1 location for family vacations.

They certainly seemed to get the ranking right, but the reporting that went with the article is suspect.

They write, as an example that “… aviators Orville and Wilbur Wright took their famous first flight (at Kitty Hawk)…” In 1903, yes—but it would be  along search for the Wright Brothers Monument in Kitty Hawk today since it’s located in Kill Devil Hills where the flight did take place.

Later the writer or writers note that many of the Outer Banks wild horses are now located “mostly in Ocracoke,” which is factually incorrect on at least two points. First, there is another herd on the Outer Banks in Corolla. Secondly this is not by any means the largest herd—there are 20 or 21 horses on Ocracoke and over 100 in the Corolla Wild Horse herd.

Their history is a bit suspect also when it comes to the horses. “According to local lore, one such ship crashed off the Outer Banks coast in the 1600s, spilling its cargo of Banker horses into the water,” they write.

It is possible the horses came from a shipwreck. It is very unlikely they arrived in the 1600s.

The horses have been shown to be Colonial Spanish Mustangs—a direct genetic link to the mounts or the Spanish Conquistadors. During the 1500s (16th Century), the Spanish were very active off the coast of North Carolina. In 1588 the British crushed the Spanish Armada, effectively ending Spanish efforts north of Florida.

It is entirely possible that either a shipwreck or a foraging party came ashore with the horses in the 1500s. It is highly unlikely that happened in the 1600s.

Kudos for getting the family vacation spot right. The Outer Banks is an amazing place to visit or raise a family. US News & World Report may want to brush up on their history though.