Nothing beats an ice-cold beverage while relaxing on the beach. Nothing is worse than reaching for an icy drink and finding your cans swimming. Coolers are essential for family days on the sand. A good modern cooler will keep food and drinks fresh for days. In addition to beverages, fishermen rely coolers to keep bait fresh, and hopefully the catch of the day. Walk onto any beach or pier in North or South Carolina and you’ll see a plethora of cooler models and sizes. Cooler technology has advanced rapidly in modern years. Top-end hard-sided coolers can keep ice frozen for a week. Soft coolers are easier for one person to carry onto a beach, but can still keep food cool for days. Cooler materials and price points vary wildly, so we put together this guide with our recommendations for your coastal vacation.
Located on the edge of the Roanoke Sound, Kitty Hawk Water Sports offers nearly every water recreation you can enjoy on the Outer Banks. W are the only Hobie Cat dealer on the beach and the only windsurfing school north of Hatteras Island. You can also get introductory to advanced kiteboarding lessons, rent windsurfing equipment, learn to parasail, rent jet skis and take stand up paddling lessons.
Even the younger ones can enjoy some water recreation in bumper boats. The boats can be driven in the pool located at the front of the watersports building. Sailors and wanna-be sailors can get sailing lessons in a Hobie Cat, rent a sailboat, or even buy one. Guided kayak eco-tours are also offered to Alligator River, Pea Island, Kitty Hawk maritime forest, Mashoes and Pine Island. Even people who have never stepped foot in a kayak will have no problem learning quickly how to navigate the little boats.
The pace of the tours is leisurely, with frequent stops to explain interesting history and environmental details of each site. They last 2.5 hours to 3 hours and fill up quickly at the height of the season. The tour in Alligator River—the northern-most range for alligators—is the most popular one. Make sure you wear sun block and bring your hat, water and snacks. It can get very hot on the water! On-site and off-site kayak rentals are also available for adventurers who want to hit the water without a guide. For some relaxing fun with less time investment, try renting a pedal boat and take a leisurely cruise in the sound!