Ryan, Chase and I arrived in Kill Devil Hills around 7 p.m. on Thursday and were pleasantly surprised by the ease of the drive to the Outer Banks.
We planned our trip right before the busy season which likely helped our drive go smoothly and we felt grateful that we didn’t hit any traffic. We left right at Chase’s naptime and hoped he’d snooze in the car but he slept for a brief 45 minutes during the drive. Fortunately he seemed to be in a great mood when we arrived at the large house we rented to stay in together for the weekend and was quite excited to see everyone when we walked through the door.
The house we rented worked perfectly for our large group of 20+ and I loved the way staying in a house together allowed us to hang out in our pajamas at night, cook meals together and enjoy more time with my mom’s side of the family than we might have had if we all booked separate hotel rooms. (Our group included my immediate family, my aunt and uncle, all of my mom’s cousins, their spouses, their children and girlfriends and boyfriends.)
Our rental house was located right on the beach in Kill Devil Hills and had plenty of space of our large group. It was extremely affordable thanks to off-season booking (around $150 total per family for three nights!) and also walkable to Duck Donuts which is how we decided to kick off our vacation fun on Friday!
Outer Banks Family Vacation (Day One)
Once everyone was awake on Friday morning, a large group of us walked about a quarter of a mile to the famous doughnut shop (far and away the most recommended place for us to try when I asked you guys for OBX recs!) and ordered several dozen deliciously unique doughnuts to bring back to the house for breakfast.
Duck Donuts lived up to the hype and while I loved trying an assortment of flavors, the simple cinnamon sugar doughnut was my favorite.
With our bellies full of doughnuts, we were ready for some more adventure and split into two groups for our next activities. One group headed out to the beach and another drove to Jockey’s Ridge State Park in Nags Head to see the sand dunes. I really wanted to check out the dunes and was incredibly impressed with the beautiful state park. It felt like we were in the middle of a dessert, surrounded by rolling hills of sand.
The dunes were very tall and much larger than I imagined and our group had fun racing up the dunes and snapping photos together.
By the time we were ready to make our way back to the house, the sand was quite hot on our feet and I was thankful we went out to the park earlier in the day because I can only imagine how toasty the sand becomes as the sun continues to beat on the dunes.
Once we made it home and reunited with the beach crew, everyone was ready for food. A bunch of people made sandwiches at the house while a few of us decided to pick up to-go orders of fish tacos from Mama Kwan’s. I love fish tacos so much and Mama Kwan’s did ‘em right!
After lunch, we changed into our bathing suits and walked out the long boardwalk from the house to the beach. The water was much too cold for swimming (it was in the 50s) and while a few members of our group were brave enough to get in (Ryan included – he surfed in the morning!), I opted out in favor of soaking up some sun on the shore. We totally lucked out with gorgeous weather all weekend and it felt wonderful to feel the sand in between my toes and the sun on my back!
Chase was a little weary of the waves on the beach but once we distracted him with toys and salt water in a bucket he was much happier! The rest of the afternoon was spent on the beach and by the pool until we headed inside to change and walk to a local race expo for the 5K race many of us signed up for the following morning.
The expo for the First Flight 5K was quite small and picking up our packets was a breeze.
By the time we made it home, everyone agreed we wanted to change into comfy clothes and keep things super casual at the house for the rest of the evening. Our dinner plans ended up falling through when we called to place a giant take out order at a local spot only to find out that the restaurant was busy and couldn’t fill our large order. Since coordinating a big dinner order with so many people wasn’t exactly a short activity, we ended up scrapping our plans to order in and made dinner at home using the food everyone contributed to the house which worked out well!
We ate dinner as we played trivia games and ended up heading to bed just before midnight with hopes of getting in a good night’s sleep before Saturday’s 5K! I’m planning to share more about the race and the final day of our vacation tomorrow since this post is already getting a little wordy. Hope you guys had a great weekend!