Military Travel Loans to the Outer Banks, North Carolina – Part 2 – Carova to Duck

Lets talk sunshine, positive vibes, and memories to last a lifetime! 

In the previous post I broke down the different regions of the Outer Banks to make navigating where you want to go a little easier.  No matter if you want to stay in a specific location or see it all, United Military can book everything for you.  I am going to break down my vacation to the OBX through UMT in the next two posts 🙂 

Here are some things I learned that I found to be useful: 

First: The most important information is that the check in/check out days are Saturday and Sundays….meaning that traffic entering and leaving the Outer Banks on those days are going to be heavier.  If you DO decide to travel on those days either get there really early and wait at the beach until check in or get there in the evening.   Or have United Military Travel see what hotels offer different check in days.   

Second: Getting there…regardless of how you do it the Outer Banks are remote and it will take some time.  
You have two options; either flying or driving.
Flying: Book your trip in and out of Norfolk International Airport as it is the closet airport to the Outer Banks.  When you have United Military Travel book your airfare also have them book your car rental so you can just hop in and drive off upon arrival.  This is what my family did and we were literally on our way within 45 minutes of arriving in Norfolk – so easy!!! The drive to the OBX is only two hours and is pretty much a straight shot. 
Driving:  Essentially just follow the FIRST rule and you will be fine.  Also, heading North there is only one road in and one road out called Route 12.  When driving through Kitty Hawk to Nags Head you have two options, the “beach road” and Highway 158.  


– – – – – – – – – – – – – Okay time for the fun stuff – – – – – – – – – – – – 

The Northern Outer Banks:
Carova, Corolla, Duck, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head, and Manteo


The beginning of Carova

Located at the very northern tip of Corolla it is only accessible by four wheel drive or boat making it the perfect getaway for the adventurer.  Spend your days parked on the beach fishing, playing corn hole, and watching the wild spanish mustangs in the natural environment.  Corolla is only about a 15 minute drive so getting groceries, dining out, playing putt putt etc is super easy!

Wild Spanish Mustangs


I would recommend staying in Corolla to those who are looking to get away from the hustle and bustle, those who enjoy non-chain restaurants, those who want to feel safe letting their kids wander the neighborhood, and those who do not want to be around night clubs and board walks.  There is one hotel there, Hampton Inn, other wise you will need to book a rental home or check out the Corolla Inn.  

Things to do:
Do a sunset tour through Coastal Explorations
Paddle Board the Currituck Sound
Learn to surf with Corolla Surf Shop
Learn to kite board with Island Revolution
Places to eat:
Lighthouse Bagels and Deli – Breakfast and lunch sandwiches are heavenly but the chicken salad is something dreams are made of!
Urban Kitchen – Dine here for an intimate, eclectic feel with food that makes your whole body happy!
Metropolis – it is chic and urban tapas style restaurant for adults where the owner himself describes every special to you in detail…must order the crab and asparagus soup!! Oh, and the wine and martini list will blow your mind!
Mike Dianna’s Grillroom – Family oriented for dinner and by night a live music epicenter.  If you are craving a good steak or pork chop seriously do not go anywhere else.  The demi glace for the beef and ground mustard sauce for their pork are a must!  Make your reservations early in the week because they book to capacity each night!
La Dolce Vita – I love italian food and this is hard to beat anywhere.  Oh, and the desserts….oh my God….just go there! 

4 insider tips of Corolla:
1. Never grocery shop on a Saturday or Sunday and if you have to do it late at night.
2. When getting food from Lighthouse Bagels – call ahead when you can.
3. If it rains, do not attempt to leave Corolla.  Have a family day instead.
4.  Always, always pick up after yourself – respect the natural surroundings.


Duck is similar to Corolla in the sense of quaintness.  Its main attraction is the 7 miles of wide, uncrowded beaches and accessibility to the Currituck Sound making water sports the name of the game in this town.  You basically can walk everywhere you want to go whether it be the soundside speciality shops, to dinner, to your sailing reservation etc.  Each day you can do something completely different and there is something for everyone in the family to enjoy!

Things to Do: 
Treat yourself at Aqua Spa for some pampering.
Create a piece of art reflecting your vacation at the Sanderling every Wednesday.
Take family portraits UNDER WATER or above water 🙂 
Shop at the fantastic stores along the sound.
Never miss a sunset because they will blow your mind each time.
Fish by the research pier

Places To Eat:
Roadside Bar and Grill – incredible atmosphere if you sit outside and yummy mojitos!
The Blue Point – Fine dining yet family friendly…we loved everything about it!  Make a reservation.
Tommy’s Market – small grocery store offering fresh cut beef, homemade crab cakes that are to die for, wine, cheese etc.  

Be sure to follow my blog because my next post will detail Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, and Nags Head!

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