I’ve asked Tara, a year round resident, to write about her favorite town, Kitty Hawk. Here is a brief background on Tara:
Originally from Virginia Beach, the Outer Banks is where I and all other VB natives actually liked to come to the beach and vacation. I began coming to Kitty Hawk in the Outer Banks when I was practically just born and old enough for my mother to throw me in a bikini and plop me down on a towel for hours on end.
So, I guess you could say my love affair with this place has been instilled in me since birth. I have so many wonderful memories of renting cottages with my family growing up, fishing with my grandfather, boogie boarding with my uncle, going to the amusement park at Dowdys and most of all, just slowing down and doing things like picking crabs and snapping green beans on the porch with a sunburn and my grandmother laughing and talking about nothing really important. This, to me, is the beauty of the Outer Banks. It really does make you slow down and do things that we often forget to do in our busy lives like relax and not take life too seriously.
When my husband and I became engaged ten years ago we decided to make the move and have never looked back. The Outer Banks is so beautiful but what we love the most, is the people, the sense of community and the simplicity and quality of life we are so blessed to have found here.
Kitty Hawk is an area of the Outer Banks that is the first town you reach after crossing the Wright Memorial Bridge. It stretches about four miles from sound to sea and is approximately 12 square miles. The town is unique in that it is comprised of your typical stretch of beach, but also reaches over into an old historical section on the west side, called Kitty Hawk Village. This is an area that will take you back in time, where the Wright Brothers used to stay, old homes and beautiful meandering maritime forests that show you how the Outer Banks used to look before it was developed 70 years ago.
On the beach side of Kitty Hawk, you will find the smaller, older cottages that still exist from the 1940s. Rentals tend to be smaller than other areas of the Outer Banks, and full of charm. Many of the little ocean front cottages hang on by a thread with the Ocean washing up underneath of them during storms. Nevertheless, the beaches here are stunning and it is one of the few places you can drive down the Beach Road and see the Ocean from your car (often in spots where homes used to stand on the beach).
There is an elementary school, shopping, a visitors' center and medical facility in in town, as well as a few restaurants. Arts Place and Johns Drive In (or walk-in rather) are two little places that will put you in touch with the nostalgia of days gone by on the Outer Banks ... you can dine in your flip flops overlooking the Beach Road (Route 12) on a picnic table eating ice cream and fried dolphin sandwiches.
Kitty Hawk also has several large public parking lots and a bath house at mile post four that make accessing the beach here a breeze, if you happen to be down for a day trip or staying on the sound side of the Bypass. It's a quaint town on the Outer Banks worth a day exploring from one side to the other.