Julie McWherter

The Outer Banks is Authentic Beach Living

Julie McWherter speaks about the Outer Banks of North Carolina

Julie McWherter and her sister Laura are full time moms and understand the hectic pace of life. From this crazy pace, the idea of their company, prettySmart LLC was born. The company is dedicated to creating products that solve problems for women in a fun, simple, and creative way. Find out more about their first product, Azula, by following the company link. prettySmart was the winner of 2008 New Ideas for New Carolina Contest, Wildcard Category.

The ladies were military when they first started vacationing in the OBX, so they’ve traveled there from Ft. Riley, KS; Ft. Knox, KY; and Spartanburg, SC. The family has been vacationing every summer at the Outer Banks since 2002. They've traveled to Corolla from Ohio, Arizona, Washington, South Carolina, Alabama, and even China. What draws them here? Read on ...

Outer Banks Revealed: When did you first visit the Outer Banks of North Carolina and what makes you keep coming back?

Julie: We first vacationed in the Outer Banks in 2002 for a family reunion and absolutely love the area. With our group of 30, ranging in age from 1 to 85+, there has been something to do for everyone. It doesn’t matter if we head out in one large group, or as individual families, or just the young adults, everyone can find something that they enjoy. The diversity that the Outer Banks offers cannot be duplicated anywhere.

Outer Banks Revealed: What make the Outer Banks different from other beach vacation spots you've visited?

Julie: So many beach vacation destinations are incredibly "touristy". With the Outer Banks, it is authentic beach living. You're able to meet the locals and shop where they shop. There isn't that feeling of missing the "best kept secret". It becomes a part of who you are and when you leave, you have that sense of belonging.

Outer Banks Revealed: What is your favorite Outer Banks town? Why?

Julie: We personally stay more north, in Corolla, but my favorite town is Duck. I love the unique shops, the vibrant colors nestled in the landscape. It's a fabulous place to slow down, go for a stroll, and take in the sights.

Outer Banks Revealed: What is your favorite thing to do on the Outer Banks? Why?

Julie: Our girl's morning at the Sanderling Spa – so incredibly relaxing. And the staff is amazing! They remembered us from previous year. I could stay in the spa all day! The décor is so inviting, and the furniture so comfortable. Besides the Sanderling, I would have to say visiting the shops around the Currituck lighthouse. It is something I look forward to every year. You feel as if you’re stepping back in time being around those historic buildings. And I love that they are still there. The shop owners are incredibly friendly, and have things that you just can’t find anywhere else.

Outer Banks Revealed: If you met someone who never visited the Outer Banks, what are the top five things you would tell them they had to do? Why?


  • Walk on the beach at sunrise and catch a glimpse of the dolphins playing in the surf.
  • Visit at least one of the lighthouses and climb to the top.
  • Drive to where the road ends, and keep on going – if you have 4WD. Just to get a glimpse of how wild the area used to be and gain an appreciation for keeping part of the islands that way.
  • Visit the Wright Brothers National Memorial. It deepens your understanding of the area in a way nothing else will.
  • Hike up the sand dunes at Jockeys Ridge State Park. From certain spots, you can’t see another building in sight, and the view is great.

Outer Banks Revealed: What is the one thing that is at the top of your list of things you still want to do?

Julie: Two things:

  • I would love to go on the adventure tours to see the wild horses. My husband tells stories of visiting the islands as a child and having them walk in the neighborhoods, around the houses. It would be amazing to see them roaming free.
  • To take the ferry from Ocracoke to Hatteras and drive up the island chain to see all the lighthouses. They have such a huge historical roll in shaping the lifestyle and heritage of the Outer Banks. It’s something we haven’t been able to accomplish yet, but definitely on my ‘to-do’ list!

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