Assistant editor Amy Alipio may be on maternity leave, but she’s still living the Traveler life. She filled us in on her recent trip to the Outer Banks:
This was my second stay in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, and although I like mini-golf courses and family seafood restaurants as much as anyone, next time I’ll be staying elsewhere in the Outer Banks—in Duck, for instance, where my husband and I took turns having spa treatments at the Sanderling Spa, while the other hung out with our two-month-old. While I waited for my facial, baby and I headed across the street to the Lifesaving Station Restaurant (housed in an actual U.S. Coast Guard post from 1899) for a bowl of non-gloppy, stone-ground oatmeal jazzed up with honey, toasted almonds, and dried cranberries.
Or I might stay in Corolla, where we took my new suburban-mom SUV out on the beach for a spin. To get to this beach, take Rt. 12 all the way until the paved road ends, north of Corolla. It helps if you have your 4WD tires deflated about one-third—a tip we picked up later, on Ocracoke Island, when we went off-roading again, and this time got stuck in the sand. An incredibly helpful local couple who just happened to be driving past on the beach pulled us out of our rut with a tow chain and their vintage ’56 army Jeep. They wouldn’t accept any money for their efforts, but when my husband insisted on at least buying them a beer, they suggested we make a donation to Ocracoke preservation groups.
In fact, the next time I’m in the Outer Banks, I’ll opt to stay on Ocracoke, where the pace is slow and the vibe bohemian. The easiest way to get there is by a free (yes, free) ferry ride from Hatteras. The ferries take cars and leave about every half hour. We enjoyed iced lattes at the Ocracoke Coffee Company (226 Back Road, +1 252 928 7473), where a hammock-swing out front and comfy chairs inside practically force you to chill. There’s also a small, interesting bookstore, Java Books, at the back of the café.
Traveling with an infant for the first time, my husband and I realized we couldn’t eat at just any nice place that caught our eye as we used to. Baby-friendly eateries we liked (i.e., big and busy enough to interest baby, and drown out her fussing once she got bored): the new Five Guys in Kill Devil Hills, an outpost of the Washington, D.C.-area made-to-order burger joint; the Weeping Radish, a boisterous German bierhaus serving authentic house-made ales and wursts, on Roanoke Island; and Pizzazz Pizza in Duck, which has a small outdoor patio with umbrellas—and, most importantly, has its own ice cream shop next door.
- Nat Geo Expeditions