The Outer Banks is an amazing place full of history, culture, and of course gorgeous beaches. Coming from someone who has lived here their entire life (and who’s family has been here since the 1800s), I can honestly say the Outer Banks is one of the best places to grow up and to raise a family. If you’re thinking about moving to the Outer Banks, there are a few things you need to know. This little strip of land in the middle of the Atlantic will rope you in and make you never want to leave.

Coquina Beach

Being born and raised right here on the OBX, I had an amazing childhood. Days were spent playing in the sun and sand or wandering around downtown Manteo. Since the Outer Banks is so small, everyone knows everyone so you can let your children ride their bikes or spend time with friends without having to worry. There was a time or two my mom knew exactly what I was up to before I could even tell her. When you make friends on the island, you’ve got eyes everywhere.

image via Pinterest

The Dare County school system is also one of the top school systems in the state, number 10 to be exact. The graduation rate of both Manteo High School and First Flight High School are at 97%.

image via Mary Basnight Photography

The Outer Banks is really just a collection of small towns. Overall from Hatteras to Southern Shores, the population of year round residents is about 36,000; which is a lot less than the 200,000+ visitors we get in the summer. The Outer Banks in the offseason slows down and almost turns into a ghost town. A lot of local restaurants and businesses close or move to winter hours, but there’s something really nice and calming about the quiet of the off season.

Arial view of Nags Head

Weather on the Outer Banks is almost always great. It stays warm throughout most of the year and our winters are super mild. We’ll see the occasional rare snow but the temperature normally doesn’t dip below 40. You can still find locals out fishing or driving on the beach during the winter months. Another part of living on the Outer Banks is hurricane season. While hurricanes can be scary and should be taken seriously, they become a yearly norm of being prepared and ready for when one comes.

Jennette’s Pier during the snow of 2018

I wouldn’t trade growing up on the Outer Banks for anything in the world. Being able to experience endless days of splashing in the waves and learning the ins and outs of the little towns that make up this chain of islands was an incredible experience. If you’re looking for a sign to relocate and move to the Outer Banks, this is it. Take it from a lifetime local and native, the Outer Banks will be sure to hold a special place in your heart.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore