As the temperatures rise and the proverbial school year calendar that many adults still cling to has officially gone on hiatus, the majority of people are looking for some R&R in the form of cool ocean breezes, a comfortable place to lay their head and a great meal. For those that call the East Coast home, or are just a quick flight away, there are plenty of coastal towns to find all three of those luxuries in one place. Here are two that stick out – literally.
The Outer Banks
Well-recognized in the history books as the site of the Wright Brothers’ first flight, the Outer Banks is now famous for its sleepy, family-friendly beaches and luxury oceanfront home rentals. For many people the allure of OBX is that the 200-mile string of narrow, barrier islands is devoid of the typical beachside high-rises and crowded boardwalks that dot beachfronts along both coasts. Towns along the OBX are routinely included in “Best Of” lists from top travel sites for their wide, dune-covered beaches. It’s also known for having some of the warmest waters on the East Coast during the summer months because of its proximity to the warm current of the gulf stream. Water temperatures during the summer months typically range from about 74-79 degrees Fahrenheit.
If the typical accommodation – an 8-bedroom, 6-bath home with private movie theater – isn’t what you are looking for, then the place to stay is the Sanderling Resort in Duck, one of several communities that make up the Outer Banks. The four-diamond, award-winning resort is situated between the Atlantic Ocean and the Currituck Sound and offers all that can be expected of a Conde Nast Traveler Gold List resort: a 6,000 square-foot spa, 88 luxury rooms, two oceanside restaurants and a secluded beachfront.
While two of the on-site restaurants, Left Bank and Lifesaving, are worth a visit, a trip to OBX also requires a meal at The Blue Point. Open since 1989, the beachside diner serves a southern-inspired, seasonal menu that has locals lining up during the high season.
During the summer months, visitors to the OBX can attend “The Lost Colony,” the longest running outdoor drama in America. This play tells the story of the first English colonist to the New World and this year marks the 74th anniversary of its performance on Roanoke Island.
Sanderling Resort and Spa
1461 Duck Road
Duck, NC 27949
The Blue Point
1240 Duck Road
Duck, NC 27949
The Lost Colony
1409 National Park Drive
Manteo, NC 27954
While the Cape lacks ritzy night clubs and a chic Hollywood moniker, this 70-mile island has a deep history that keeps families from all along the Northeast streaming across the Cape Cod Canal almost every summer weekend to visit their favorite diner, beach or local shop. If you aren’t lucky enough to know a Kennedy or have a friend with a cottage, there are a number of resorts and inns that will please even the most discerning traveler.
If you’re into Cape history, then the Wequassett Resort and Golf Club in Chatham, MA is the ideal place to book a room. Made up of 26 buildings, two of the structures date back to 1907, while the rest of the resort officially opened its doors in 1925. Guests have the choice of 11 different room types, most of which are situated in whitewashed, clapboard cottages spread throughout the resort’s 22-acre beach front location.
Although when it comes to dining there are numerous books on the subject and almost every local will have a personal opinion, the majority of people agree that the Raw Bar in Mashpee is among the best for lobster rolls. Be sure to arrive early if you want a seat, but even if you have to stand to eat it’s still worth a visit.
In addition to the fishing, sailing and other typical beach activities, the Cape is also a baseball fan’s haven, as it’s home to the Cape Cod Baseball League. Made up of 10 teams, the collegiate summer baseball league attracts many of the best college players and offers a chance to possibly see one of tomorrow’s pro players before they become a star. The 2011 schedule can be found here.
Wequassett Resort and Golf Club
Route 28 on Pleasant BayChatham, MA 02633
Raw Bar Inc.
252 Shore Drive
Mashpee, MA 02649