If you’re a Netflix junkie you’ve probably watched the original series Outer Banks. You’ve seen John B in all his glory, wanted to fight Rafe, and have seriously drooled over Kiara’s wardrobe. If not, we don’t want to spoil it for you. So save this blog for later, go binge watch, then come back to us. We’re bringing you a write-up all about what is fact and what is fiction on the breakout Netflix Series. With the help of the Visitor’s Bureau and Esquire.com, we’re going to clear up a couple of things about what is real and what’s not on our end of the OBX!
In the Netflix series Outer Banks, John B and his friends are on the hunt for treasure from The Royal Merchant; a sunken ship. While we don’t know if there’s hidden treasure in the boats here, the OBX is definitely home to its share of shipwrecks. The Graveyard of the Atlantic is a ghost fleet of ships that have sunk during their voyages; spanning from the Chesapeake Bay all the way to the Outer Banks. Because of the meeting of Labrador and Gulf Stream currents, a trap is formed in the water. Combined with the massive hurricanes our coast can sometimes see, the end result is a graveyard of sunken ships.
Fiction: Pogues & Kooks
This is one of the main discrepancies between the show Outer Banks and the actual place, Outer Banks. Residents here are all pretty much the same. We make honest livings and work hard. Some of us work for vacation rental companies, restaurants, and retail while others work for the county or towns. There’s no huge divide between those that live here. We’re all either locals or natives, and we’re all one big happy OBX family.
Fiction: “In” Outer Banks
Okay so this one is a picky one but if you ask any local, it drives us NUTS. There’s a phrase in the show where Topper says “the coolest chick in OBX!” The OBX is made up by a chain of islands that contain different towns. The proper way to say it is “on” the Outer Banks or OBX; not “in” or “at”. So a sentence for example would be “We’re vacationing in Nags Head on the Outer Banks” or “I live in Rodanthe on the OBX”.
Fiction: The Chapel Hill Ferry
In the Netflix show, John B and Sarah take a trip to Chapel hill from the Outer Banks in order to help uncover more clues that would help them find the gold of The Royal Merchant. However…from the actual OBX…there is no Ferry. Chapel Hill (go Heels) is a city landlocked in the middle of North Carolina. To get from the Outer Banks to Chapel Hill, you have to drive. Depending on where you are on the OBX it’ll take around 3.5 to 4 hours.
Not near as cool or adventurous, but we’ve seen that episode of Spongebob and know exactly how running a ferry on dry land would work…
At the beginning of Outer Banks, a hurricane is quickly approaching. The Netflix series shows people preparing their stores and homes and after the storm passes; you see people in the community cleaning up. On the physical Outer Banks; you’ll see the same thing. Hurricanes are a common occurrence here. Locals know the drill and know how to prepare and the beautiful thing about our community is that we know how to come together too. When Hurricane Dorian hit Ocracoke, a small town on the Outer Banks, the town received an outpouring of community support from all over the OBX.
Fiction: Kildare County
Kildare County is the setting for Outer Banks. While Kildare County doesn’t actually exist, it’s a combination of the iconic town of Kill Devil Hills and Dare County; one of the three counties that make up the Outer Banks. The other two counties are Currituck and Hyde.
Fact: Kie’s Environmental Awareness
Kiara, or “Kie” as she is lovingly called by her friends in the Netflix show, is an environmentally conscious pogue. This isn’t far off from a lot of people that live on the Outer Banks! A lot of local restaurants and businesses on the OBX are ocean friendly; taking steps to significantly reduce single-use plastics, providing vegetarian menu options, and more! You can read about more ocean friendly establishments here.
Fact: Highway 158
In season three, as JJ and John B. drive a U-Haul to Elizabeth City, John B. pulls out a map saying he needs to get to 158. Highway 158, locally known as the bypass, is one of the two main roads on the Outer Banks. The beach road, or Highway 12, extends north to Corolla and down to Ocracoke. Highway 158 extends from Barco in Currituck County down to Nags Head in Dare County. At the intersection in Barco where the highway changes from 158 to 168, a westbound turn will take you to the town of Elizabeth City. No need for a map, John B.
Fiction & Fact: The OBX Lifestyle
Outer Banks shows the group of friends boating around from house to house. In an article from Esquire, OBX local Brent Nultemeier stated “that’s not necessarily how it goes around here. I’m sure there are some communities where you can hop on your boat and get place to place…it’s so much more expensive to do that than just getting in your car and going somewhere…boats aren’t cheap.”
So while we don’t boat around everywhere or throw the wildest parties, Outer Banks did get a huge aspect of our island life right. We love to have fun. We’re laid back, we love everyone, and we’re a tight knit community where everyone knows just about everyone else.
Overall, Outer Banks is a great Netflix series; we can’t wait for season 2. If you’re having withdrawals from the show, maybe it’s time to plan a vacation to the physical OBX and live your best, pogue (or kook; we’re not here to judge) life. Woogity woogity woogity!