By Hope S. Philbrick
A friend who lives in North Carolina recently joked, in reference to the Outer Banks, “You can’t get there from here.”
I had driven from the Outer Banks to his town, so I assure you, it is possible. And yet, it feels like he has a valid point.
Getting to the edge of the world known in North Carolina as the Outer Banks ultimately requires crossing a series of bridges, each one longer, taller and more daunting until the last (though none are truly scary.)
Reaching the Outer Banks requires immense trust in North Carolina road engineers.
It’s worth putting your faith in them, especially if you crave a true escape to a destination where sand, waves and sky dominate the view.
A great place to start your visit is The Inn on Pamlico Sound.
Arriving at the Inn feels like a genuine accomplishment and, after passing the Cape Hatteras National Seashore—pull over at the indicated stops along the way to look over the sand dunes, across the water and take photos—like the definition of “remote.”
The Inn on Pamlico Sound, as the name implies, overlooks a sound. The view is picturesque at any hour, yet most magical at sunrise and sunset. Weather makes a dramatic impact on the overall vibe, yet in sun, rain or starry darkness it remains appealing.
Here, the best aspects of a B&B blend into the boutique hotel campus. There are multiple buildings with beachy-yet-elegant guestrooms, an impressive list of amenities, friendly staffers, and on-site dining that exceeds expectations.
Café Pamlico is billed as a “premier casual fine dining restaurant” and though at first glance that wording may be confusing, once you’ve been there it makes perfect sense. The vibe is laid-back enough that you don’t have to dress up beyond “resort casual” and yet one glance at the menu confirms the chef takes food to serious, upscale heights. This is where I ate the best meals in the Outer Banks on my recent visit. Savor dinner. Don’t skip breakfast.
Guestroom options range from affordable queen rooms to luxurious king rooms with whirlpool tubs and private decks. All rooms have private baths, seating areas, and comfortable mattresses dressed in soft sheets.
Get active and hit the waves or just sit and gaze at the view from your guestroom (or any of the numerous shared decks, porches, docks and gardens). Either way, this is an ideal place to embrace the sensation that you’ve escaped without compromising that feeling of being pampered.
- Complimentary Internet access (wired and wireless); guest computers available
- Complimentary three-course breakfast
- Complimentary fresh baked goods in the afternoon
- Complimentary beach chairs and towels for guest use
- Complimentary bicycles, kayaks and paddleboards available for guest use
- Complimentary binoculars for guest use
- All guest rooms have private baths and private sitting areas
- Swimming pool
- 14-seat home theater
- TV and DVD player in each guestroom
- On-site library
- Two-night stays often required, check website for details
- No pets allowed
- In room spa services available (fees apply)
- Odds of Encountering Children: Possible, but low. Most guests are couples enjoying a romantic retreat.
The Inn on Pamlico Sound
49684 NC Highway 12
Buxton, NC 27920
252-995-7030 or 866-PAMLICO (726-5426)
* 2012 Top Ranked Hotel North Carolina Coast
* 2012 Top 25 Hotels for Service in the U.S.
* 2012, 2014 Top Ranked Restaurant, Hatteras Island
* 2012, 2013 Traveler’s Choice Award
* 2012, 2013, 2014 Top Ranked Hotel Outer Banks
* 2012, 2013, 2014 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence
– Photos © HSP Media LLC
Featured products, services and/or travel arrangements may have been complimentary in part or in full; this affords the research opportunity but does not sway opinion.