Virginians have basically two choices when it comes to a beach vacation – Virginia Beach or the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Virginia Beach is a hotel-kind-of-place, more commercial and more expensive as a rule.
The Outer Banks is a beach cottage-kind-of-place; more laid back, a little warmer weather, prettier beaches and better fishing. For me, it’s a no-brainer. It’s the Outer Banks, more specifically, Nags Head.
The Outer Banks of North Carolina extends a long way, over a hundred miles, beginning at Corolla and winding its way down to Cape Hatteras and even beyond to Okracoke Island. Nags Head is right in the middle and that’s where I like to settle.
Nancy and I enjoy all the great restaurants at or near Nags Head and we love to shop in Manteo and at the Tanger Outlet Mall. I also like the many fishing possibilities with surf fishing, ocean pier fishing and fishing back in the sounds. I used to book trips with the blue water boats and a two hour ride out to the Gulf Stream, but I love fishing near Oregon Inlet and back in Roanoke Sound where you might encounter cobia (to 100 pounds), ditto for big red drum, plus bluefish, Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, puppy drum, flounder and many other species. And instead of a 4 hour boat ride back and forth through choppy water, you can be fishing within minutes and save a thousand dollars in the process.
In mid-fall, the big rockfish move in to the Oregon Inlet waters to gorge on mullet, spot, croakers and whatever gets in their way. Dropping a 10-inch live croaker down 40 feet and getting a bite on a bait that large is quite a thrill. Rockfish to 40 or 50 pounds may await your offerings. That’s one of the many reasons I love the beach in the fall and the Nags Head area – just 10 miles from Oregon Inlet.
But it’s hard to go wrong when you’re any place on the Outer Banks in the fall.