The Outer Banks

With Lighthouses, Shipwrecks, and Sandy Beaches

5 Days | Spring | Summer | Fall Flexible pricing!

The Outer Banks of North Carolina were home to America’s first colony, the Wrights’ first flight, and the nation’s first seashore. This adventure to the Outer Banks is filled with lighthouses, shipwrecks, and sandy beaches. Also included are ATV dune rides, and tastings of local wine, oysters, and rum.

Tour Highlights

  • Wright Brothers National Memorial
  • Jockey’s Ridge State Park & Dune Ride
  • Shopping in the Town of Duck
  • Currituck Beach Lighthouse
  • Whalehead Club Museum Tour
  • North Carolina Wine Tasting & Dinner
  • Cape Hatteras National Seashore
  • Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum
  • Cape Hatteras Light
  • North Carolina Oyster Tasting
  • Chicamacmico Lifesaving Station
  • Bodie Island Light
  • Fort Raleigh National Historic Site
  • Elizabeth Gardens
  • Island Farm Visit
  • Roanoke Island Festival Park
  • Outer Banks Rum Tasting
  • Four Nights Oceanfront Lodging
  • Four Hotel Breakfasts
  • Four Dinners
  • All Taxes & Tips on these services
  • Luggage Handling

We are happy to accommodate Groups who want to add a night or two, or further customize their trip.

Southern Express Flexible Pricing:

  • Customizable Comps
  • Commissionable or Net Rates
  • Luxury or First-Class Hotels & Meals
  • Southern Express Motorcoach Transportation & Professional Tours Managers are available

Whatever you want, Southern Express will be happy to structure tour prices to match your needs. Just let us know!

Day 1 – Outer Banks

Arrive today in the Outer Banks where you check into your Kill Devil Hills oceanfront hotel for a four-night stay.  Dinner is included at the hotel this evening. (D)

Day 2 – Wright Brothers National Memorial – Jockey’s Ridge State Park & Dune Ride – Shopping in the Town of Duck – Currituck Beach Lighthouse – Whalehead Club – North Carolina Wine Tasting & Dinner

This morning, visit the Wright Brothers National Memorial.  Wind, sand, and a dream of flight brought Wilbur and Orville Wright to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina where, after four years of scientific experimentation, they achieved the first successful airplane flight on December 17, 1903.

Next, head to Jockey’s Ridge State Park.  See the East Coast’s tallest sand dune and one of the Outer Banks’s most phenomenal natural attractions.  While here, enjoy an all-terrain vehicle ride to the top of the dunes.

Then head to the Town of Duck for lunch on own and shopping.  Here local restaurants offer open-air dining and most of the Town’s unique and funky shops and restaurants are connected by the Duck Trail that runs the entire length of the town.  The sound side Duck Boardwalk offers premium views of the Currituck Sound.

The afternoon also features a visit to the Currituck Beach Lighthouse, the only North Carolina lighthouse still housed in its original structure.  The Currituck Beach Lighthouse is known as a first order lighthouse, which means it has the largest of seven Fresnel lens sizes. The red-brick lighthouse towers above the northern Outer Banks landscape in the historic Corolla Village. Climb the winding staircase, 220 steps in all, to the top of the lighthouse for a panoramic view of Currituck Sound, the Atlantic Ocean and the Currituck Outer Banks.

Next, tour the Whalehead Club, set on 39 pristine acres along the Currituck Sound in Historic Corolla Park. The Whalehead is a beautifully restored 1920s-era Art Nouveau-style mansion-turned-museum listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

With its bold yellow paint, copper roof, and mahogany doors, Whalehead invites you to explore a fascinating period in Outer Banks history. In 1992, nearly every inch of the home has been carefully restored to its original glorythe way it looked when Edward Collings Knight Jr. and his wife, Marie Louise, first opened the doors as a lavish hunting retreat in 1925. The wealthy Knights spent their winters here hunting, relaxing and entertaining. Today, stepping inside is to step back into another time and place.

End the day with a North Carolina Wine Tasting and Dinner at the Village Table and Tavern in Duck. Enjoy a sunset dinner overlooking the Currituck Sound. (B,D)

Day 3 – Cape Hatteras National Seashore – Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum – Cape Hatteras Light – North Carolina Oyster Tasting – Chicamacmico lifesaving Station - Bodie Island Light

The day begins with a tour of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.  Established in 1937, the nation’s first national seashore was formed to preserve significant segments of unspoiled barrier islands along North Carolina’s stretch of the Atlantic Coast.

Next, visit the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum.  This unique museum is dedicated to preserving and interpreting the rich maritime history of the Outer Banks and the more than 2,000 known shipwrecks that rest on the coast.

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse protects one of the most hazardous sections of the Atlantic Coast. Offshore of Cape Hatteras, the Gulf Stream collides with the Virginia Drift, a branch of the Labrador Current from Canada. This current forces southbound ships into a dangerous twelve-mile long sandbar called Diamond Shoals. Hundreds and possibly thousands of shipwrecks in this area have given it the reputation as the Graveyard of the Atlantic.

The afternoon features a North Carolina Oyster Tasting at the Froggy Dog in Avon, NC.  Learn about and try locally farmed Cape Hatteras Oysters on the half shell or Ocracoke oysters’ hand breaded or fried.

Then visit the Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station.  A predecessor to the United States Coast Guard, Chicamacomico is one of the most complete US Lifesaving Station sites in the nation.  Hear the history of daring ocean rescues by brave men who dedicated their lives to the sea.

You will also visit the Bodie Island Light.  Tucked away between tall pine trees and freshwater marshland, the Bodie Island Light presents anything but a typical lighthouse setting. Though not as well-known as its neighbors, it remains an important part of local history. Every evening, amidst the water towers and blinking radio antennae of modern development, its powerful light beams out across the darkening waves, keeping silent watch over the treacherous waters known as the “Graveyard of the Atlantic.”

Returning to Kill Devil Hills this evening, dinner is included at a local restaurant. (B,L,D)

Day 4 – Fort Raleigh National Historic Site – Elizabeth Gardens – Island Farm – Roanoke Island Festival Park – Outer Banks Rum Tasting

This morning, visit the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, the first attempted English Colony.  Here Sir Walter Raleigh’s explorers and later colonists established settlements in 1585 and 1587.  It would later become known at “The Lost Colony,” after 116 settlers disappeared.

You also stroll through the Elizabeth Gardens, which were designed as a living memorial to Queen Elizabeth.

Then visit the Island Farm, a living history site that tells the story of the everyday Outer Bankers that lived on Roanoke Island in the 1850s. Here, an island family experienced the impacts of the Civil War, performed harrowing rescues as members of the US Life-Saving Service, and assisted the Wright Brothers in their dream of achieving powered flight, all while feeding chickens, fishing the sounds, and growing corn for grinding at the windmill.

You’ll find unique programs every day, live demonstrations including blacksmithing, traditional agricultural, food preparation, hearth cooking, weaving and spinning wool, feeding the animals, and so much more!  The Farm is also home to two rescued Corolla Wild Horses.

Today also includes a visit to Roanoke Island Festival Park, an interactive attraction that celebrates the first English settlement in America. While here, board and explore the park's centerpiece, a representational ship, Elizabeth II.

This afternoon, enjoy a tour and rum tasting at Outer Banks Distilling, the first legal distillery on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. They are making their mark by distilling small batch rum from the Graveyard of the Atlantic. Following a tour of the facility, enjoy a taste of their award-winning rum.

Dinner is included this evening at a local restaurant. (B,D)

Day 5 – Depart for Home

After breakfast at the hotel, depart for home. (B)

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