The Outer Banks are a 200-mile (320-km) long string of narrow barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina, on the East Coast of the United States. They cover approximately half the northern North Carolina coastline, separating the Albemarle Sound and Pamlico Sound from the Atlantic Ocean.
The Outer Banks are a major tourist destination and are known for their temperate climate and wide expanse of open beachfront.
The Wright Brothers' first flight in a powered, heavier-than-air vehicle took place on the Outer Banks on December 17, 1903, at Kill Devil Hills, near the sea-front town of Kitty Hawk. The Wright Brothers National Monument commemorates the historic flights, and First Flight Airport is a small, general-aviation airfield located there.
An English colony—where the first person of English descent, Virginia Dare, was born on American soil —vanished without a trace from Roanoke Island in 1587. The treacherous seas off the Outer Banks and the large number of shipwrecks that have occurred there have given these seas the nickname Graveyard of the Atlantic. The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum is located in Hatteras Village near the United States Coast Guard facility and Hatteras ferry.North Carolina's Outer Banks separating the Atlantic Ocean (east) from Albemarle Sound (north) and Pamlico Sound (south). Orbital photo courtesy NASA.