The Best Places on the OBX to Take Stunning Family Photos

Stunning Family Photos
No vacation with family or friends is complete without a great group photo. These days with the technology found in most smartphones even a novice can take amazing pictures that will last a lifetime The question is where do you take that special family photo? Luckily your OBX Vacation rental is close to several wonderful and unique places. From Corolla to Hatteras there are plenty of interesting places to take that special family photo. Today we explore a few of those great locations that you won't want to miss. 

Elizabethan Gardens

Located in historic Manteo nestled among the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, you'll find the wonderful Elizabethan Gardens. Known throughout the country as one of the premier gardens in the region this little gem has so many beautiful places for photos you probably need look nowhere else. The Gardens have beautiful meandering brick walkways lined with magnolias, camellias, hydrangea and crape myrtles. However, those are just a few of the hundreds of local and non-native plants you'll experience as you stroll the majestic gardens. No matter, fall, winter, spring or summer you'll find a unique and wonderful experience at the Elizabethan Gardens. One favorite photo spot is at the Gate House which was made with beautiful handmade bricks. The rich craftsmanship and warm colors of the bricks will add to any family photo. Tickets to the garden are as follows: $9.00 for adults, $6.00 (ages 6-17), Children under 5 are $2.00 and there is a $3.00 fee for dogs should you wish to bring them and include them in the family photo. For a rare an unique photo opportunity check out our previous post: The Best Holiday Events on the OBX and read all about the Grand Illumination. 

Manteo Waterfront

Manteo is one of those rare finds, a beautifully preserved and charming historic waterfront town with loads of opportunities to take photos. A few of the best places in town include the Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse, which is a cottage-style lighthouse that was originally positioned at the southern entrance to the Croatan sound. With the beautiful water behind it, the lighthouse now is a beacon of the Manteo waterfront's dedication to historic preservation. Another serene setting is the Manteo Waterfront Gazebo. This delightful gazebo sits on the end of the pier in downtown and offers breathtaking views of the sound particularly at sunset. 

Currituck Beach LighthouseLighthouse

Located in the beautiful town of Corolla is the Currituck Beach Lighthouse. This impeccably maintained historic site is the perfect place for a photo with an iconic attraction of the OBX. The Currituck Beach Lighthouse was commissioned on December 1, 1875, and originally designed to fill the "dark space" between Cape Henry and Bodie Island lighthouses along the North Carolina coast. Visitors can walk the grounds and enjoy the splendor of the lighthouse's scenic vista. One of the best places for a photo would be by the Lighthouse Keeper's House a historic Victorian style home originally built in 1877. Admission is free to the grounds and there is plenty of free parking. If you do want to climb the lighthouse there is a $10.00 fee. 
Getting to Corolla and the lighthouse is easy. From points south head north on NC Highway 158 North and then follow NC Highway 12 North towards Corolla and Duck. The entrance to the lighthouse is 20 miles north of the intersection of highway 158 and highway 12. The park entrance is on the left just past the sign for the Currituck Heritage Park.

Pea Island Wild Life Refuge-

Located on the north end of Hatteras Island are 13 miles of pristine coastal habitat that is just begging to be photographed. If you are an outdoors type of family, or maybe just love the idea of a photo of your loved ones at one of the most beautiful parts of the OBX then the Pea Island Wild Life Refuge is the place to be. The refuge is open year-round free of charge. Known as birders paradise the refuge is home to thousands of migratory birds, including, snow geese, shorebirds, wading birds, raptors, and other endangered species. The landscape fo the refuge is a combination of sand dunes, salt marshes, and brackish ponds all of which provide stunning backdrops.  
Getting to the refuge is easy. From all points north head down NC Highway 12S. Once you reach Nags Head you're going to go about 8 miles. Cross the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge across the Oregon Inlet. On the south side of the bridge on the right, you will see signs for the refuge entrance. After turning right you'll go an additional 4 miles south until you reach the visitor center which has a kiosk with trail maps. The center is open from 9-4 every day but you don't need to enter the visitors center to explore the area and find the perfect picture opportunity. For more information click here!

The Nature Conservancy at Nags Head Woods PreserveKids Picture

Located in Nags Head the Nags Head Woods Preserve is a rare example of a pristine maritime forest. This hidden gem is located at 701 West Ocean Acres Drive, Nags Head, NC. Admission is free. But what makes this place so special? Many visitors don't know this but Nags Head was once just a small coastal village. The Preserve now encompasses the heart of that original village. Originally there were over 13 homesites, a store, gristmill, farms and a church. Today visitors can wander the beautiful trails and see the remnants of this once thriving village. The woods are made up of Hickory, Oak and Beech trees, which you'll notice are more commonly found in the mountains of North Carolina.  Some of the trails such as the Roanoke trail meander along the sound giving you beautiful views of the woods and the sound at the same time. A favorite spot for a great photo is on the wooden bridge. 

Hatteras Lighthouse

Recently on a trip to Seattle while eating at a local seafood restaurant there was a photograph of the Hatteras Lighthouse hanging on the wall. If that is not a testament to the iconic nature of the black and white swirl of the Hatteras Lighthouse we don't know what is. One of the most recognizable features of the Outer Banks are the black and white spirals of the Hatteras Lighthouse in Buxton, NC. It is possible that this lighthouse is the most photographed spot on the OBX and we understand why. However, there is more to the lighthouse than just the lighthouse. The grounds are beautiful and of course, you have the majestic Atlantic ocean as your backdrop. The Lighthouse Keeper's house is also a wonderfully restored cottage offering a perfect setting for your family photograph. Admission to the park is free along with free parking. If you do want to climb the lighthouse there is a small fee. The lighthouse is located at 46379 Lighthouse Road, Buxton, NC 27920.

Jockey's Ridge State Park

Located at milepost 12 on US Highway 158 you'll find North Carolina's most visited state park, Jockey's Ridge and we are sure you'll understand why as soon as you arrive. Make sure the memory card is empty on the camera this day as there are so many unique and interesting places to take photographs you'll want the space. For starters, the park is open every day except Christmas day. There is no admission and parking is free. Jockey's Ridge offers thee distinct ecosystems sound, dunes, and maritime forests. Perhaps best known for the dunes, you would be remiss in not wandering the trails of the park for that perfect locations, as there is much more to the park than just the dunes.  One fun fact is the dunes at the park are the largest in the Eastern United States. The park is over 425 acres of photo ops. Don't miss this place!

As you will see while enjoying your Outer Banks vacation there is simply no end to the unique beauty and character of the OBX. We have shared just a few of the many places where you and your family can take that perfect family photo. However, there are dozens of more places, and we look forward to hearing all about the places you've found photo worthy during your OBX vacation. Make sure to leave a comment below if you have found that "perfect spot" for your family's photo. If you are still waiting to decide about an OBX vacations....don't wait there are great deals on late season vacations and summer is not far off!

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