Kosher Info: There are no kosher restaurants in the Outer Banks area. However, if you’re making the drive from up north, you can easily stop off at Little Israel in Virginia Beach–it’s only a 5-10 minute detour off the highway and they’ve got some helpful groceries and great falafel and schwarma.
Tourist Info: The minute you arrive in the Outer Banks, it will become patently obvious from the preponderance of OBX stickers on every car in the area that this is a popular repeat destination for east coast tourists. With its beautiful beaches, serene atmosphere, and the number and range of activities available, it’s equally obvious exactly how it got that way.
Outer Banks is actually a fairly large area — a couple of hours drive from tip to tip–but if you have any interest in American history, aviation, or a combination of the two, the northern tip is the perfect destination. It’s home to Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills, the sites of the Wright Brothers’ aviation experiments and first flights, and Roanoke Island, once home to “the lost colony.” Tickets for the Wright Brothers’ Memorial are cheap and last all week, and gain you entrance to the monument commemorating the first flight as well as two small but informative museums. Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills are also home to an outlet mall, a movie theater, and endless activities such as kayaking, biplane rides, and hang gliding.
About 20-30 minutes south by car is Roanoke Island, home to Elizabethan Gardens, an aquarium, and a 2-hour show called “The Lost Colony” that is not to be missed for summer visitors. (If you have flexible travel dates, try attending a show on August 18th; it’s the birth date of Virginia Dare, the first child born to colonists on American soil, and the locals celebrate by using real local babies in the show. Admission to the gardens is also free on that date.)
Lighthouse visits are another popular Outer Banks activity, the most famous being Cape Hatteras on Hatteras Island. Hatteras, like several of the other islands, is accessible by ferry.
It seems that the only Jewish institution in the area is the The Jewish Community of the Outer Banks (JCOB) which is unaffiliated religiously. Their once-monthly Friday night services are reform, and the community center is located in Kitty Hawk, NC. They can be contacted here: [email protected]