Golfers who last played The Pines at Elizabeth City prior to 2004 may not recognize the 6,700-yard, par-72 golf course. The surrounding forests of pine trees that swaddle the fairways and greens remain, but that's about it. Course architect Tom Clark revamped everything on the course, from the new hybrid bermuda fairways to the A1/A4 bent-grass greens. Even the bunkers have been overhauled to protect against erosion, and the practice facilities now incorporate target greens, a putting green, and fairways for rehearsing real shots off the tee. The result is a course that feels brand new while rewarding the skills of precision, power, and creativity, which are each as old as the game itself.
The Outer Banks is home to both man's first flight and the annual flight of countless migratory birds. On the way north to the Wright Brothers National Memorial, travelers can stop off at the 2,600-acre Donal C. O’Brien Jr. Audubon Sanctuary and Center at Pine Island, a favorite resting spot for migrating cormorants, geese, and men in bird costumes.South of the resort lie the bustling towns of Kill Devil Hill, Nags Head, and Kitty Hawk, which thrive year-round with restaurants and microbreweries. There are nearly 2000 known sunken ships along the Outer Banks, and expeditions and seasonal diving trips routinely explore the history of these vessels. Across the water, the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site marks the location of England's first American colony with a museum and self-guided tours.
Sometimes it's just nice to have someone else cook for you and your family, especially when you don't even have to leave home. Outer Banks Clam Bakes sends chefs to homes for private clambakes that can serve anywhere from 6 to 600 people. And the best part is that they take care of everything—cooking the food, setting up the buffet stations, and cleaning up after the meal.
The buffet is packed with often locally sourced seafood and, for those who don't fancy a clambake but still want a tasty private-chef-cooked meal, it can feature USDA Choice new york strip steaks, pork tenderloins, and baby back ribs. The chefs also bring everything diners need, from salt and pepper to lobster hammers.
At Bonnie’s Bagels and Deli, New York–style bagels, cinnamon rolls, and white, wheat, and rye breads are made from scratch daily. Their bagels can be topped with 1 of 11 hand-blended cream cheese flavors, and fresh bread forms the basis of deli sandwiches, made with Boar’s Head meats and cheeses.