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If Traveling with Pets, Consider The Outer Banks, North Carolina

Find plenty of fun things to do with pets in Outer Banks, North Carolina! Outer Banks (also called OBX) is a gorgeous 200 mile stretch of narrow barrier islands off the coast. The Outer Banks was home to a number of illustrious characters from the past. Most notably the Wright Brothers’ and Blackbeard. Yes, the pirate.  Ocracoke was the home base of pirate Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard. It was also where he was killed. As for the Wright Brothers -  their first flight in a powered, heavier-than-air precursor to airplanes took place on the Outer Banks on December 17, 2903 at Kill Devil Hills near the seaside town of Kitty Hawk. The seas off the Outer Banks can be treacherous and have caused a large number of shipwrecks, earning them the nickname the Graveyard of the Atlantic.

For those traveling with pets to Outer Banks, you’ll find this is a huge tourist destination due to its beaches, temperate climate, and relatively easy access from most of the east coast. Family and friends pile into cars every year and head for the Outer Banks for some fun and relaxation in the sun.  As most tourists arrive via car, a trip to the OBX is a great vacation to include your dog!  For some beach time with your favorite canine, head to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. This national park is situated across three different islands – Bodie, Hatteras and Ocracoke –and areas not protected for wildlife are open to all, even dogs and off-road vehicles!  As with other National Parks, you’ll need to obey the leash laws – all dogs must be on a leash no longer than six feet while in the park. With miles of uninterrupted beaches for running and playing with your pup.

Outer Banks is a good vacation for traveling with petsFor less stringent leash laws on the beach, head to the beaches that dot the coast from Corolla to Nags Head.  Leash rules vary widely in the Outer Banks, so checking in with the individual cities can save you time and headache.  As of this writing, the beach that allow dogs off leash year round is in the town of Duck. Leashes can be no longer than 10 feet, and dogs may be off leash as long as they stick close to their human.  At Corolla, dogs must be on leashes, there are no length requirements or date restrictions. At Southern Shores, dogs aren’t allowed on the beach from Memorial Day to Labor Day and must always be on a leash.  At Nags Head, dogs are allowed on the beach year round on leashes not to exceed 10 feet in length.  At Kitty Hawk, no dogs from May 31 to October 31 and at KillDevil Hills no dogs on the beach during the hours of 9am to 6pm from May 15to September 15 – perfect morning runs and for cool night swims with your hound.

Jockeys Ridge State Park is quite simply astounding to behold.  Located in Nag’s Head, this park is filled with sand dunes in perpetual motion. If you go one day and then go back the next day – the park will be different due to the fluidity of the sand dunes.  The height of the sand dunes varies from 80 t0 120 feet depending on the season.  The legend of Jockeys Ridge is that locals would jockey nags along the dunes strapped with lanterns to lure in passing ships.   The sight of a sunrise over the Atlantic and Roanoke Sound set against the dramatic background of the sand dunes is something you will never forget.  If you head to Jockeys Ridge with your pup there are some safety precautions to take.  The sand can be 10-20 degrees hotter than the surface in the summer and burn the sensitive pads of your dog’s paws.  Be sure to watch out for ticks. If you hear thunder – high tail it out of the dunes, that is not someplace you want to be caught in an OBX storm.  The park allows picnics – so make sure to pack snacks for your dog and enjoy the dramatic beauty of the Outer Banks’ Jockeys Ridge State Park.

Vacation Pet Friendly is constantly updating our database, which is why we have the largest selection of pet friendly hotels. Plus, on our Nags Head Travel Guide you will find dog-friendly parks, beaches, campgrounds and more in or near Nags Head and other areas within reasonable distance to Outer Banks.

Remember, booking early is essential when traveling with pets. See what’s available today so you get the best deals. Start your search for pet friendly hotels in Nags Head here. Then sit back and think of all the fun things you can do when you get there!

There are so many fun things to do with pets in Outer Banks, you’re sure to have a great trip!


Posted by Amy L. on Jun 22, 2011 in Blog, no comments
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