Vacationers will notice a handful of sailboats at every local Outer Banks port, either saddled up to the docks or breezing across the harbor, en route to the nearest sound for a cruise, or to the continent-spanning Intracoastal Waterway to continue a long coastal voyage. Some vacationers are even in it for the long haul, docking for a summer or a winter season at a number of local marinas that offer all the comforts of home. Clearly, sailing lovers of all varieties have plenty of options, but even newcomers to the sport can experiment with life on the water with a local sailing lesson, rental, or waterfront cruise.
Outer Banks Pier is one of the few fishing piers still standing on the Outer Banks, and it worth a visit even if you don’t fish. The ocean pier in South Nags Head was first built in 1959, and rebuilt after the Ash Wednesday storm in 1962. When owner Garry Oliver purchased it in 1970, it was about the same length it is now --- 550 feet. Then he decided to extend it 150 feet. But when Hurricane Isabel ripped through the Outer Banks in 2003, it tore the entire 150 feet off. With the beach widened in 2011, the shoreline is also about where it was when Oliver first owned it. Open 24 hours a day in the summer, there’s a small fee to walk on the pier without fishing. Fishing passes are available for one day, three days, one week, by the season, and for couples. Basic tackle and fishing supplies are sold at the pier, along with snacks and T-shirts. There is also a snack bar and outdoor bar that serves beer and wine right behind the pier house.