Sticking with Summer
The traditional summer vacation is a time for families to reconnect at a spot other than the backyard patio or neighborhood pool. This year, in particular, the need to get outside and into safe, fresh, open-aired spaces will be paramount. The best foreign, away-from-home environment to do that just may be where seas of blue-ocean waters and green-grassed fairways drift lazily along together. Fortunately, the state of North Carolina boasts the ideal place to combine the two. For those within driving distance of the coast, you’ll find no finer beach and golf combination than the laid-back destination known as the Outer Banks.
Here are five reasons to visit North Carolina’s Outer Banks this summer … with your sticks:
1. Plenty of Holes
The No. 1 reason to bring your clubs on a family summer vacation to OBX is that you can — and should. With at least a half dozen well-maintained golf courses strewn up and down the coast and inland not far across the Wright Memorial Bridge, a nice diversion from the traditional “beachy” activities has to be considered among your Outer Banks things to do near me.
In fact, if you happen to be staying on the mainland in one of the neighborhood golf cottages at Kilmarlic Golf Club, you and your family have no choice but to tee it high and let it fly. With three 18-hole courses — Kilmarlic, The Pointe Golf Club and The Carolina Club — within minutes of each other and a practice putting green directly outside your back door, you may be tempted to make your summer vacation one exclusively dedicated to golf. But don’t. There’s H2OBX Waterpark next door, a recreation facility on property and you are just a hop, skip and a jump … well, a short drive … from having your toes in the Atlantic Ocean, as the Outer Banks is renowned for its hundreds of miles of sand and surf.
2. Daylight Hours
It’s a well-known fallacy that summer vacation is a time to catch up on sleep. In fact, it should probably be called the summer “re-creation” — because you finally get the chance to actually use your batteries … on fun stuff, at least … instead of fooling yourself into thinking you will be recharging them.
With constant Carolina sunlight beaming through the windows of your accommodations from early in the morning until past the usual school-night bedtime, you need a long list of activities to fill up the time. And you can take only so much of the action with sand between your toes.
A family member is up extra early wanting to stroll the beach. Breakfast calls, then the waves start to summon, and so on and so forth. By mid afternoon, you and your family members may need a break from the usual routine looking for things to do near me. That’s the perfect time to sneak away from the waves for a quick nine or 18. For those staying hard along the coast, courses like The Currituck Club in the north and Nags Head Golf Links to the south stand majestically at your beck and call.
3. Space to Stretch Out
With all the umbrellas, beach chairs, coolers and boogie boards now stowed back at the cottage or in your beach house rental, there’s plenty of room remaining in your family vehicle to quickly and easily access the once-buried golf bags and golf shoes that have been itching to get out and play. This enables you to tee it up on the fly.
With the links beckoning you from your colony of beach blankets and your skin — where a golf shirt should be — starting to turn a bit red, survey the family. Now’s the time to see who wants to join you in a round of golf that will bring your senses back to a greener state after they have been subject to a white-sand-and-blue-water hue since daybreak.
4. Gentle breezes
During the dog days of summer, OBX golf courses are generally calmer and cooler adventures, especially early in the morning and later in the day after the peak sun. These conditions are great for scoring, by the way, as benign conditions leave seaside links courses slightly defenseless without whipping coastal winds — usually associated with other three seasons of the year — to create havoc.
The summer vacation has a magical way of creating family memories that last a lifetime. Still, when you get back to your regular fall foursome, do you really want to be the player whose only story entails the number the seashells you and your kids collected or how many times you let them win at mini golf?
Of course, a few of those details can be acknowledged. But throw into the mix the two birdies you dropped during a particularly hot stretch — under a setting sun at Nags Head or up the coast at The Currituck Club — and you will surely impress as your foursome plays across some dullish, land-locked course back home.