Visible from A Long Way Off
The Outer Banks typically are low lying islands. That makes them a good place for lighthouses. Lighthouses are a particular favorite of mine and a lot of other people. There are whole societies devoted to visiting lighthouses. I'm not that fanatical about them, but if I have the chance, I will visit.
As we drove south from Duck, we passed through Kill Devil Hills, and arrived at Oregon Inlet. After we crossed the bridge, and went through the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge on our way to Hatteras where we would take the ferry to Ocracoke. Cape Hatteras is the tallest lighthouse in the western hemisphere at 208 feet. The black and white spiral makes Cape Hatteras one of the most recognizable lighthouses in the US. In good visibility, it can be seen 51 miles at sea (and 115 miles in the air). So it makes sense that when you are driving along the flat roads of the Outer Banks, it can also be seen from a long way down the road.
Elizabethan Garden on Roanoke Island
The admission there was $7 for seniors, but we could get a combination pass for $17 that would admit us to the gardens, the aquarium and the festival park.
Then we walked the mile line trail in the garden. This is a garden in honor of the first colonists. It has many modern plants, so I don't know where the Elizabethan part comes in. They do have some iris, but most of the garden is very heavily shaded, so I can't imagine that they do very well there.
The Gardens are home to hundreds of species of wildflowers, trees, herbs, and shrubs, as well as a substantial collection of valuable antique garden ornaments and ancient statuary. Rhododendron, tulips, azaleas and dogwoods peak in late April. Magnolias, lilies, and hydrangeas reach bloom in late July. And marigolds, impatiens, and hibiscus provide brilliant autumn color.
Elizabethan Gardens Hours:
January: 10 a.m.-4 p.m., seven days a week; Closed New Years Day
February: 10 a.m.-4 p.m., seven days a week
March: 9 a.m.-5 p.m., seven days a week
April: 9 a.m.-6 p.m., seven days a week
May: 9 a.m.-6 p.m., seven days a week
June: 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Monday - Saturday; 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Sundays
July: 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Monday - Saturday; 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Sundays
August: 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Monday - Saturday; 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Sundays
September: 9 a.m.-6 p.m., seven days a week
October: 9 a.m.-6 p.m., seven days a week
November: 9 a.m.-5 p.m., seven days a week; Closed Thanksgiving Day
December: 9 a.m.-4 p.m., seven days a week; Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
The Flying Place...
So this area is not so photographic but the historical significance makes up for it. Take a stroll on the very spot where the first flights happened and touch history!
There is a granite marker which marks the very spot where the first flight left the ground with additional markers denoting the lengths of the first four flights made on that day in 1903.
The Wright Brothers flight was documented throughly in photographs. Here is a model of one of the photographers as he stands behind a model of their plane ready for take off. But wait a minute. There seems to be a guy in a hat behind the photographer giving him some tips on photography. He is probably telling him to smile because he is about to be posted on an international virtual tourist web site.
They Flew At Kill Devil Hills
Kill Devil Hills is the actual site where the Wright Brothers made their first powered flight. It is the location of the Wright Brothers National Memorial and the original Visitor's Center both of which have a separate VT location.
In addition to finding out that it wasn't Kitty Hawk that was the location of the First Flight but only the location of the place where the telegram about it was sent, I also noticed that Kill Devil Hills was the home to many outdoor art works.
In addition to these fiberglass statues which are painted and then used for fundraising in the local area (Pegasus was chosen to represent both the OBX wild ponies and the connection with aviation), there was some outdoor welded junk sculpture at Chili Pepper's restaurant.