Are there handicap accessible beaches in the OBX?

by Jane
(Philadelphia)



Most of the beaches that I see in the OBX have steps for beach access. I have a handicap daughter who is in a wheel chair. We have the beach chair but need access without steps. Does any one town seem to have more accessible locations or even a flat beach entry?

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There are a few
by: Dan

Jane,

As you rightly point out, many of the towns on the Outer Banks do have stairs leading to the beach. This is because there are dunes in place to protect the houses and property on the Outer Banks when hurricanes and Nor'easters hit.

Nonetheless, there are still a few towns that do have straight access to the beach either because the dunes have been compromised over the years or for various other reasons. Parts of the towns of Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head in the northern end and Rodanthe on Hatteras Island come to mind. Note that this is only in certain sections of these towns. You will want to speak to your rental company first to verify the situation.

Another alternative, if you have a 4 wheel drive vehicle are the following two areas. The first is the Four-Wheel Drive towns north of Corolla. There are no paved roads, and no dunes to walk over to get to the beach. Another possibility are the towns of Hatteras Island, assuming the issue with beach driving has been resolved. These towns have access points where you are permitted to drive on the beach in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, which are not directly in front of the towns. Our house in Salvo, for instance, has beach access where no driving is permitted, but less than 1/4 mile south is an access point to drive onto the beach. Further, you will want to look for a house that has an elevator and a wheel chair friendly room, both features of our home in Salvo.

In any case, you will definitely want to speak with your rental company to make sure that the house you are considering (and its beach access point) has the ability to accomodate a person in a wheel chair. They will be able to help you with this and confirm that you will be in a good situation as far as getting your daughter onto the beach. It is good that you have your own beach ready wheel chair. Several of the local fire companies also have them for use, if you contact them with enough advance notice.

Hope this helps,

Kind regards,

Dan


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thanks
by: Jane

Thanks. I have been trying to find a possible publication of beaches with hadicap access, but I think you suggestion of working direct with a realty is probably the best. My other thought is to contact the fire dept in each town. I'm sure they will be able to give me the access points.
Your home in Salvo looks amazing. Can the beach right in front of the house be accessed using the beach type wheelchair?
Thanks for your help.
Jane

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Stairs ...
by: Dan

There is a "boardwalk" that runs across the two dunes; however, there are a set of stairs to get on the walkway and one to get on the beach, so you are still left carrying the wheel chair on either end. (I think there is also a run of stairs in the middle, if I remember correctly), so, no, it is not a straight shoot onto the beach. The option here is really to drive on the beach with your daughter through te hbeach access I mentioned.

Again, I would speak with the rental company about the situation and see what they can come up with. I would, however, want a house with an elevator and a handicap assessible room. Most of the houses are three stories with the kitchen and great room (living room and dining area) on the top floor. This is to maximize the opportunity to enjoy the views. Also, some of the houses come with roll in showers. So, make sure you ask for houses with these options. If you are looking online, most of the houses that have these capabilities will have the wheel chair symbol. Again, ask specifics to ensure they will meet your needs.

If you need some help looking for a rental company, let me know, and I can recommend a few to you. A wheel chair is no reason to be excluded from the fun on the beaches of the Outer Banks. There are plenty of houses and beach space to accomodate you and your family.

If you want more specific information, send me an email through our "Contact Us" page, with either your email or phone number and I will be happy to help any way I can.

Kind regards,

Dan

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wheelchair access to beaches
by: Anonymous

While I totally understand the necessity for the dunes for protection, I don't see why the stairs couldn't be replaced by ramps for wheelchair access. From what I was able to see driving through the area, the OBX is one of the least accessible destinations I've ever seen. I am greatly disappointed. While we were there this weekend I wanted to take my mom, who is wheelchair bound, to see the ocean, but every access had steps. She couldn't even see the beach.

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Wheel Chair Access
by: Dan

Anonymous:

It depends where on the Outer Banks you are. Where my house is located, which is Salvo, it is possible to drive on the beach in the stretch of land between Salvo and Avon. You do need four wheel drive to do this. There are also parts of Rodanthe where there are no dunes. There are parts of the Outer Banks where this is the same situation. In addition, you would not be able to put a normal wheel chair on the beach because it would bog down due to the sand. There are special beach wheel chairs that allow you to overcome this situation.

Dan

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