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Snapshot: The Outer Banks

A string of barrier islands, North Carolina’s Outer Banks stretch more than 120 miles south from Virginia’s southern border, hugging the Atlantic coast. Only three miles across at its widest point, the island chain was the first national seashore in the country and sees an annual influx of beach-seeking seasonal tourists—especially to centrally located hubs Duck and Nags Head. But when the tourists vacate their beachfront rentals, a tight-knit community of year-round residents remain, working in the commercial fishing industries and coastal cafes and kitchens that dot the distinctive towns of the Outer Banks.

Spending any length of time in the Outer Banks requires a stop at Duck Donuts. Design your own sweet treats from selections of glazes, toppings, and drizzles, or choose from one of the suggested combinations. (Feeling overwhelmed? Maple glaze, bacon, raspberry drizzle. You can thank us later.) Catch sunset views over the Currituck Sound from the pier next to AQUA Restaurant in Duck before settling in to an order of Bangin’ Shrimp. (The restaurant also houses a spa upstairs—find their sugar scrubs in the bathrooms.) Catch another sunset at nearby Kimball’s Kitchen at Sanderling Resort, where a wall of windows provides every seat a view of the sound.


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