Outer Banks Beach Weekend
I spent 4th of July weekend relaxing on the beach with three of my favorite ladies in the world. My best friends from high school and I have been talking about getting together for a girls’ weekend trip ever since we graduated, and that was exactly 10 years ago. I’m so glad it didn’t take us any longer than that to get our acts together, because four days with these girls was good for my soul.
If you’re lucky enough to have the kind of friends who you’ve known for so long that they know you better than anyone else, you know exactly what I’m talking about. And all the ladies out there know there are few things in the world better than quality time with your female friends. Except, of course, time with your girlfriends at the beach.
When planning our girls’ weekend, the Outer Banks in North Carolina was a natural destination choice. Close to where we all grew up in Williamsburg, Virginia, the Outer Banks is a beautiful stretch of beach where we all spent a ton of time together during summers growing up. Plus, the Outer Banks are easily accessible for my friends who live on the East Coast. As the only difficult one to move across the country, I was more than happy to fly in and spend time in one of my favorite beach towns.
We stayed at the Quality Inn Carolina Oceanfront, which was right on the beach, clean, comfortable and offered free breakfast. Most of the lodging on the Outer Banks is in beautiful rental vacation homes, but most of those are huge and rent by the week, so we went the hotel route. The Quality Inn was unremarkable but suited our purposes just fine. The best part was its location on the beach in Nags Head, right around Mile Post 8 and central to the town’s restaurants, shops and bars. Did I mention that it was on the beach? Because that’s pretty much all we cared about and where we spent all of our time.
On our first beach day, we hit the sand early to soak up the sun. Around lunch time, we walked down the street to Shop & Hop to pick up delicious Boars Head sandwiches and a couple of 6-packs to stock our cooler for later that afternoon. As it continued to heat up, we moved our beach chairs right down to the water’s edge and let the waves cool us down. Then, we called in a little more help on the cooling front.
It was bliss, interrupted only by the occasional aggressive wave that would practically knock us out of our chairs. I can’t say I cared too much.
Sufficiently sun-baked, we left the beach to shower, change and return to the beach for cocktail hour (not to be confused with happy hour, which had already happened – keep up!) at sunset.
The benches of our hotel’s beach access made the perfect location for our magic hour cocktails and ensuing photo shoot. Things got silly.
I decided that I could get us all in the same shot. Who needs a self timer?
Apparently we do. We also took some beautiful photos. Between the lighting and the dune grasses, I thought the background looked like the opening credits of Dawson’s Creek. Does anyone else remember that? No? Anyway…
Eventually we decided it was time for dinner and walked down the beach about a mile to Goombay’s Grill & Raw Bar. We were treated to a beautiful sunset during our walk.
We enjoyed a delicious dinner at Goombay’s, and I was so wrapped up in catching up with my girls that I didn’t snap a single photo. My tuna tacos were fresh and delicious, and I was able to save half that tasted even better cold on the beach for lunch the next day. Plus I got out the door for about $20 for the tacos, a cocktail and tip – definitely a well-priced dinner at the beach. I recommend it.
After dinner, we considered going to a club to hear a band and even got as far as the parking lot, saw a line of drunk people entering, and promptly turned around for the much more appealing option of hanging out at the hotel and going to bed. It may be a sure sign that we are getting older, but I’m ok with it. We rested up for another day of fun in the sun – recap and photos to come!