Outer Banks sand dune stabilized by sea oats.

For anyone coming to visit the Outer Banks, just about everything is done to make it as wonderful a vacation getaway as possible. It almost seems as though the whole place just got plopped down complete with great restaurants, fantastic homes and lots to do.

There is though, a lot more to the Outer Banks than a lot of people realize, so this is our first Brindley Beach Vacations list of little known things about the Outer Banks.

  1. The Outer Banks are gigantic sandbars

There is nothing actually holding the Outer Banks in place. In fact, until steps were taken to stabilize them, they had been steadily migrating to the west. Evidence of that can be seen in the tree stumps that protrude from the beach and into the surf zone in Carova and on the north end of the S Curves in Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge.

  1. The sand dunes that line the beach are manmade

During the Great Depression the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was a government make work program that may have been the most successful of its kind ever. Hired by the government, young men (and some women) were given a job—an improvement since unemployment hovered around 23-24%—paid a minimal wage, most of which was sent home and fed three meals a day. In exchange they built many of the trails and buildings of our National Parks. The Appalachian Trail, as an example. They also built the dunes facing the Atlantic Ocean in an effort to stabilize the Outer Banks.

  1. Nags Head was one of the first tourist towns in the United States

When Perquimons County plantation owner Francis Nixon bought a lot and began sending his family to Nags Head in the 1830s, he began a tradition of escaping the summer heat and humidity of the interior. By the 1850s there was a thriving tourist village including a large hotel on the sound that boasted a boardwalk to the beach.