Our Family Weekend Trip to the Outer Banks

Since moving to North Carolina, we’ve slowly been compiling a bucket list of must-see places within a few hours drive of our new-ish hometown. One of those must-see places: the Outer Banks. Fun Fact: The Outer Banks of North Carolina are a 200-mile long strip of barrier islands stretching across half of the northern North Carolina coastline.

A family-friendly guide to a weekend trip in the Outer Banks; where to stay, eat, and play. Click through for our vacation details. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

When we had the opportunity to stay at the Sanderling Resort, we jumped at the chance; and I’m so glad we did.

A family-friendly guide to a weekend trip in the Outer Banks; where to stay, eat, and play. Click through for our vacation details. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

Located on the Atlantic Ocean, just north of Duck, North Carolina, Sanderling is in the heart of the Outer Banks and the perfect place to explore all the area has to offer.

A family-friendly guide to a weekend trip in the Outer Banks; where to stay, eat, and play. Click through for our vacation details. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc A family-friendly guide to a weekend trip in the Outer Banks; where to stay, eat, and play. Click through for our vacation details. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

In addition to gorgeous oceanfront views, the entire resort looks like it fell out of the pages of Southern Living magazine; the coastal edition. If someone from the design team behind Sanderling could swing by our little house and completely redesign it for me, that would be GREAT. Seriously, it’s beautiful and lovely and quaint and perfect. They manage to make a pretty large resort look homey and modern all at the same time.

A family-friendly guide to a weekend trip in the Outer Banks; where to stay, eat, and play. Click through for our vacation details. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc A family-friendly guide to a weekend trip in the Outer Banks; where to stay, eat, and play. Click through for our vacation details. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

It’s also the perfect weekend getaway. They start you off with s’mores kits to use in any of the number of fire pits around the gorgeous property, plus upstairs in the main lodge, there are two large fireplaces, stacks of books, games, comfy seating, and more gorgeous decor. The property is right on the beach, with so many picture-perfect lounge spots; there are pools, restaurants, an amazing spa, tennis courts, and golf, plus those awesome fire pits. The rooms are huge and comfortable and the decks, all with great views, are the perfect place to unwind.

A family-friendly guide to a weekend trip in the Outer Banks; where to stay, eat, and play. Click through for our vacation details. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc A family-friendly guide to a weekend trip in the Outer Banks; where to stay, eat, and play. Click through for our vacation details. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc A family-friendly guide to a weekend trip in the Outer Banks; where to stay, eat, and play. Click through for our vacation details. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc A family-friendly guide to a weekend trip in the Outer Banks; where to stay, eat, and play. Click through for our vacation details. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

In our room, Scarlett got a kids beach backpack, coloring book and colored pencils.

A family-friendly guide to a weekend trip in the Outer Banks; where to stay, eat, and play. Click through for our vacation details. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

Everyone at the Sanderling was incredibly warm and we felt so taken care of the entire weekend. Scarlett charmed the pants off of everyone, and she was walking around the resort with the decorative wood pelicans, like she owned the place, in no time.

A family-friendly guide to a weekend trip in the Outer Banks; where to stay, eat, and play. Click through for our vacation details. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc A family-friendly guide to a weekend trip in the Outer Banks; where to stay, eat, and play. Click through for our vacation details. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc A family-friendly guide to a weekend trip in the Outer Banks; where to stay, eat, and play. Click through for our vacation details. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc A family-friendly guide to a weekend trip in the Outer Banks; where to stay, eat, and play. Click through for our vacation details. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

The Spa at Sanderling: After a busy day on the beach or exploring the Outer Banks, the Spa at Sanderling is the perfect place to unwind. It’s on the Sanderling property, just across the street from the main lobby. I can’t even remember the last time I’d been to the spa, so this was such a treat. They offer coastal and seasonally inspired massage, body and facial treatments, and every view from the spa is of the gorgeous Currituck Sound.

A family-friendly guide to a weekend trip in the Outer Banks; where to stay, eat, and play. Click through for our vacation details. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

Dinner at either Kimball’s Kitchen or The Lifesaving Station: Located on the Sanderling property, the restaurants there have amazing food – all about fresh coastal cuisine – and the prettiest ocean vibes. We ate at Kimball’s Kitchen while The Lifesaving Station was being renovated and everything was SO good. I’m not going to lie, though the seafood and steaks are out of this world, and the presentation is everything, I’m still dreaming about their strawberry shortcake.

And let me just say, the Outer Banks is beloved by so many for a reason. If you live in the South, you’ve probably seen the OBX bumper stickers, hats, sweatshirts, you name it. Once you fall for the Outer Banks, you fall hard.

A family-friendly guide to a weekend trip in the Outer Banks; where to stay, eat, and play. Click through for our vacation details. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc A family-friendly guide to a weekend trip in the Outer Banks; where to stay, eat, and play. Click through for our vacation details. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc A family-friendly guide to a weekend trip in the Outer Banks; where to stay, eat, and play. Click through for our vacation details. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

There’s so much to do with kids in the area too. (i.e., plenty of  adorable waterfront shops .) We went to the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island and loved every second of it.

A family-friendly guide to a weekend trip in the Outer Banks; where to stay, eat, and play. Click through for our vacation details. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc A family-friendly guide to a weekend trip in the Outer Banks; where to stay, eat, and play. Click through for our vacation details. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc A family-friendly guide to a weekend trip in the Outer Banks; where to stay, eat, and play. Click through for our vacation details. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

We saw plenty of sharks, turtles, alligators, seahorses, fish, river otters, Scarlett even got to touch the stingrays; and let me just say, she was totally fearless and kept calling them over to say “hi” to her.

A family-friendly guide to a weekend trip in the Outer Banks; where to stay, eat, and play. Click through for our vacation details. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc A family-friendly guide to a weekend trip in the Outer Banks; where to stay, eat, and play. Click through for our vacation details. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc A family-friendly guide to a weekend trip in the Outer Banks; where to stay, eat, and play. Click through for our vacation details. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

Hands-down, the very best part was the experiencing the Sea Turtle Assistance and Rehabilitation (STAR) Center where we got to witness their conservation efforts first-hand. After the kids get to meet the rescue turtles, they head into an entire interactive center where they help rehabilitate (toy) turtles to then release them back into the “sea.” Scarlett was completely enamored and naturally, chose a tiny turtle from the gift shop to take home with us.

She still talks about rescuing sea turtles, weeks later.

A family-friendly guide to a weekend trip in the Outer Banks; where to stay, eat, and play. Click through for our vacation details. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc A family-friendly guide to a weekend trip in the Outer Banks; where to stay, eat, and play. Click through for our vacation details. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc A family-friendly guide to a weekend trip in the Outer Banks; where to stay, eat, and play. Click through for our vacation details. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

A few other favorite places to grab a bite around the area …

Roadside Bar and Grill in Duck: One of the amazing front desk staff at the Sanderling highly recommended Roadside for dinner on our first night. They had the absolute freshest seafood and everything was homemade and great. We started with the pimento cheese appetizer (something I’ve come to love since moving to “the South”. Scarlett and I shared the tuna sashimi appetizer and it was some of the freshest tuna I have ever had, and hubby had a seafood stew over pepperjack cheese grits that he loved. They also have an awesome backyard where there’s often live music, great drinks, and random sports screenings.

Cafe Lachine in Nags Head: We actually sort of fell into this one and I’m so glad we did; a.k.a., it’s been added to our must visit places when we go to OBX. This small, unsuspecting restaurant in a strip mall serves sandwiches on fresh baked breads, homemade soups, wraps, salads, pastries and baked goods. Their chicken salad, cinnamon-sugar coated sweet potato fries, and basil green goddess dressing are amazing. They also had a vegan carrot cake muffin for Scarlett, that I’ll admit, I was just as in love with.

Coastal Cravings OBX in Duck: Attached to a gas station, this one may look like a dive, but it’s one of the most popular places in Duck for a reason. We shared a pound of shrimp steamed with Old Bay seasoning and their award-winning crabcake sandwich for lunch one day and were totally not disappointed. Cravings was also featured on Diners Dive-Ins and Drives. Worth it.

A family-friendly guide to a weekend trip in the Outer Banks; where to stay, eat, and play. Click through for our vacation details. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc duck-donuts-scarlett A family-friendly guide to a weekend trip in the Outer Banks; where to stay, eat, and play. Click through for our vacation details. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc A family-friendly guide to a weekend trip in the Outer Banks; where to stay, eat, and play. Click through for our vacation details. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

Duck Donuts: Do not leave the Outer Banks without making your way to Duck Donuts. An OBX staple, these donuts are delicious and fully customizable, which makes them extra fun.

A family-friendly guide to a weekend trip in the Outer Banks; where to stay, eat, and play. Click through for our vacation details. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

Though we couldn’t squeeze everything in this trip, we’ll definitely be back to relax all over again at the Sanderling and to check out the Wright Brothers Memorial, Elizabethan Gardens, and The Island Farm on Roanoke Island when the weather is warmer.

A family-friendly guide to a weekend trip in the Outer Banks; where to stay, eat, and play. Click through for our vacation details. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

Huge thanks to The Sanderling Resort for having us! All thoughts and opinions are my own. And thank YOU for supporting the sponsors who help to make Glitter, Inc. possible.


Lexi

16 comments


  1. Stephanie

    I love the OBX! My family used to vacation there and around there when I was a kid. I wish we’d known about the Sanderling Resorts then because they’re just stunning! The entire trip sounds like it was so dreamy – and filled with lots of yummy food! Glad you got to try Duck Donuts! We have one here in Richmond, and I go more often than I should 😉

    Stephanie // SheSawStyle.com

  2. chelsea w

    What a beautiful trip it looks like you had! I’m in NC but a bit more near the mountains while my brother is near the coast, so whenever I visit him, we like to visit the Shackleford Banks to see the wild horses!

  3. Anna Baun

    I have always wanted to travel to the OB! Looks like you guys had such a great, relaxing time! XO

    Anna || A Lily Love Affair

  4. Anna English

    I miss being on the East Coast. This looks like the perfect weekend getaway!

  5. Such stunning photos 🙂 what a fun time!

  6. Sara

    The details they put into each corner and nook of the hotel is GORG and that fire pit looks divine! So glad you guys had a great time!

    xo, Sara

  7. Donna

    What an awesome little getaway! Looks so peaceful. Thanks for sharing XX

  8. I would love to go here someday! What an amazing hotel! xx

  9. Whitney

    Wow your trip looks amazing! Such gorgeous photos! This destination is definitely on my list!

  10. Amy M Loochtan

    The outer banks are so near and dear to my heart! This looks like the perfect trip for y’all!
    Coffee Beans and Bobby Pins

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