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TO DO Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor Center: The National Park Service recently reopened the Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor Center in Kill Devil Hills after undergoing a nearly $6 million renovation. Since the winter of 2016, the National Historic Landmark was closed to preserve and restore its architecturally significant features and to rehabilitate its mechanical and electrical systems. While the visitor center has been under renovation, staff were busy managing a separate project to install all new interactive exhibits. The exhibits reveal an intimate look at Wilbur and Orville Wright In addition to all new exhibits, a 16-screen video wall featuring images of the brothers, Wright flying machines, inspirational quotes and images of flight.

Christmas Mouse: Get in the holiday spirit with some beachy holiday ornaments and decorations at the Christmas Mouse in Nags Head. The two-story, 8,000-square foot store is sure to have a memorable Outer Banks ornament that you’ll want to hang on your tree every year. For even more holiday decor ideas, check out The Christmas Shop and General Store in nearby Manteo. and

WinterLights at Elizabethan Gardens: Stroll along garden paths and discover the joy of the season with holiday lights, sights and sounds transforming The Elizabethan Gardens in Manteo into an illuminated winter wonderland. See the radiant glow of the gardens, traditional holiday décor and displays. Festive trees grace the Gatehouse and Reception Hall and a crackling open-air fire warms the Great Lawn.

Ocracoke Island: Drive your car onto the free hourlong ferry ride

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in Hatteras that will take you to Ocracoke Island, where many of the tourists and locals get around on foot, bicycle or in rented golf carts. Step out of your car to take in the water views. The drive to the middle of town is about 13 miles from the ferry. Visit the 1823 Ocracoke lighthouse, the second-oldest operating lighthouse in the nation.

Corolla Outback Adventures: located at 1150 Ocean Trail next to the Corolla Post Office, hop into the back of a four-wheel for an adventure zooming along the coastline to go check out the wild horses and birds on the beach. It’s a great way to learn about the history and local lore. Be sure to bring your camera!

Sailing: We rented a catamaran from Nor’Banks Sailing & Water Sports, 1314 Duck Road in Duck, and enjoyed the breezes and warm water on Currituck Sound. Afterward, you can relax in their hammock or grab a bite to eat at the restaurant on their upper deck that looks out on the sound.

Jockey’s Ridge State Park: For the best sunset-watching, visit Jockey’s Ridge State Park. You’ll want to wear something comfortable to climb the giant sand dune where you can fly a kite while waiting for the spectacular sunset.

DINING Black Pelican, 3848 N. Virginia Dare Trail, Kitty Hawk. Black Pelican is a longtime laidback eatery housed in a former lifesaving station from 1874. Try the fresh catch of the day ala Oscar (asparagus, crabmeat and hollandaise). Ask to be seated in the older part of the restaurant.

Profile for Alexandria Living Magazine

Alexandria Living Magazine - Nov./Dec. 2018  

Alexandria Living Magazine - Nov./Dec. 2018