Elizabethan Gardens#8 in Best Things To Do in Outer Banks
This 10.5-acre public garden, located less than 3 miles north of the North Carolina Aquarium, offers a peaceful sanctuary with more than 500 different species of plants, including collections of hydrangeas, camellias, historic herbs and native coastal species. The camellia collection is a highlight, boasting more than 85 varieties. Another treasure of the gardens is a particular rose, found in the rose garden, which was sent by Queen Elizabeth II from the royal rose garden at Windsor Castle in 1976. Don't miss the ancient live oak on the property, estimated to have been living in 1585 when the first colonists landed in the area.
Most visitors raved about the grounds and beautiful landscaping, though some think the admission price is a bit too high.
The gardens are open from March from January (closed February) with hours that vary by season. Admission costs $9 for adults and $6 for ages 6 to 17. Tickets for children 5 and younger cost $2. Visit the garden's website for more details.
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#1 Outer Banks Beaches
The beaches in the Outer Banks stretch for more than 100 miles along barrier islands that frame the eastern coast of North Carolina. These sands are known for their cleanliness and their family friendliness. Each beach has something different to offer travelers, but take note that lifeguards are on duty on all beaches between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
The shores at Hatteras Island are known for their fishing and sailing (the lighthouse at Cape Hatteras is the tallest in the United States) as well as their campgrounds and 4x4 beach driving. The northern shores (specifically Kitty Hawk and Kill Devils Hills) are ideal for water sports like surfing and skimboarding, as they see more waves than the southern beaches. Nags Head also completed a 12-mile beach nourishment program that widened the sands so visitors have more room to spread out. Travelers should be mindful that the public parking is limited in Southern Shores. Those bringing their four-legged friend can head to Duck where dogs are allowed to be off their leash as long as they're under control.
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