Jockey’s Ridge State Park Named “Best Beach for Sports” by Men’s Journal

The 20 Best Beaches in America

Best for Sports

Best for Sports
Diane Cook and Len Jenshel / Getty Images

Jockey’s Ridge State Park, North Carolina

Steady ocean breezes power Jockey’s Ridge to top jock in the Outer Banks. The highest sand dune on the East Coast (down the road from where the Wright Brothers flew) offers an ideal launch for hang gliders and kite fliers with slopes that beckon sandboarders when the crowds thin. Kitty Hawk Kites teaches beginning gliders in three-hour lessons that get you airborne above the dunes for up to 100 yards, 80 feet higher than the Wrights’ first attempt.

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Fodor’s Names 5 Reasons to Visit the Outer Banks…and Guess Who Made the Cut?

5 Reasons to Go to the Outer Banks, North Carolina

Posted by Allyson Reedy on August 26, 2013 at 4:36:32 PM EDT | Post a Comment

The Outer Banks, North Carolina, is one of the best beach destinations that you’re not going to. With miles of sandy beaches, gentle surf, and an impressive number of activities, it’s a wonder that this low-key locale doesn’t see the crowds that other east coast beaches attract. Late summer and early fall are great times to go—it’s still beach weather, but the crowds are thinning out.


The Remodeled Sanderling Resort: If you didn’t score a rental (rental houses can book up a year in advance) or you just don’t need that much space, the Sanderling Resort is the place in the Banks to stay. Newly renovated just this year, updates include new guestrooms, a massive deck overlooking the ocean, a beachside bar & grill, and two pools (including the adults-only tranquility pool).

For one of the island’s best meals, head to Kimball’s Kitchen, Sanderling’s upscale restaurant with a panoramic view of the sound (and much of the seafood comes from right down the island). Stressed? Unwind at the spa with their signature Ocean Serenity Ritual, a facial, massage, and mud wrap combo.


Kitty Hawk Kites: Thrill-seekers and scaredy cats will both find bucket list-worthy activities at the Outer Banks’s recreation activity hub. Whether you’re looking to take flight at the oldest hang gliding school on the East Coast, keep your feet on the ground with a bit of kite flying, or get your feet wet with surf lessons, kite boarding, or stand up paddle boarding, Kitty Hawk Kites has you covered. For the really adventurous, become a human rocket man with Jetpak lessons. Participants blast off from a pontoon boat launching pad and fly around the Banks via Jetpak.

bodie-lighthouse-1.jpgBodie Island Lighthouse: Climbing up 214 vertigo-inducing stairs may not be your idea of a good time on vacation, but the view from the top of Bodie Island Lighthouse is worth it. Offering unobstructed views of the marsh, ocean, and sound, 2013 is the first year that the 141-year old lighthouse has been open to the public. A $5 million makeover stabilized the steps and balcony, making it safe for the public to climb to the top and enjoy the birds-eye view.


Beach Off-Roading: You’ve used that 4wd vehicle on asphalt enough; give yourself—and your ride—a real challenge by off-roading in the sand. A popular past-time in the Outer Banks for locals and visitors alike, off-roading on the beach is an adventurous way to enjoy the seashore. Some drive in search of the perfect secluded picnic spot while others set out on wild horse safaris (these awe-inspiring creatures make their home on the islands). Just make sure you have an Off Road Vehicle (ORV) permit and stay on designated ORV routes.


Wright Brothers National Memorial: Of course the Outer Banks’s real claim to fame is as the birth of flight, where two brothers sent a powered flyer up in the air in 1903. Today the spot is marked by theWright Brothers National Memorial, complete with full-scale reproductions of the Wrights’ glider and flying machine. The memorial also features exhibits, historical markers where you can trace each attempted powered flight, and a 60-foot granite monument honoring the brothers.

Photo credits: Sanderling Resort courtesy of Sanderling Resort; Hang Gliding courtesy of Allyson Reedy; Bodie Island Lighthouse courtesy of Outer Banks Visitors Bureau; Wild horse safari courtesy of Allyson Reedy; Wright Brothers National Memorial courtesy of Outer Banks Visitors Bureau

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Posted in Trip Ideas Tagged: North CarolinaSummerBeaches



Meet Alex – 2013 Spark Award Winner

Meet Alex Brewer, Lead Hang Gliding Instructor – he’s our 2013 Spark Award Winner.

The Zack Marzec “Spark” award is presented annually to the employee who most embodies the character of Zack and his commitment to sharing his passion for life through positivity and enthusiasm.  The recipient will be someone who consistently creates a spark in someone’s life.  Whether that sparks starts a flame that will burn for the rest of someone’s life of just brightens their day, that person will be better off for having met the recipient of the award.

The recipient will be nominated by fellow employees on the basis of consistently going above and beyond in customer service and creating a difference in people’s lives.  Customer service will not be the only criteria, as this person will have had a positive impact on both customers and fellow employees.

Nominees will be submitted to HR with an explanation of why, including stories from customers and fellow employees.  The recipient will be decided by the executive committee based on the information provided and awarded in the fall at the annual planning meeting.

Alex was nominated by several peers and members of leadership for his big smile, enthusiasm, team spirit and overall impact not only on our customer’s lives but the lives of our employees. Congrats Alex, it’s an honor to have you on our team!