If there’s one thing I’m really good at, it’s overpacking. Last week I spent a few days on the beach and exploring the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and as always I overpacked. Since I was driving down there from DC I didn’t have a bag limit — which meant I could easily bring as much as I wanted — which is good, and bad.
I had never been to the Outer Banks and really never thought of North Carolina as a place to go to the beach, but now I see the light, or the sun rather. The Outer Banks is a group of four barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina and it is very much a place to go to the beach. I have the
sunburn tan to prove it.
Surprisingly, it was only 5 or so hours from DC (depending on the traffic of course). So I just hooked up my iPhone to the car speakers and listened to the book I’m currently “reading” on Audible the entire way down and back.
My favorite part of course was the actual beach. Give me a beach, a sunny day, a book, and something cold to drink and I’m a happy girl. The two beaches I had the privilege of enjoying were at this amazing house (you can rent it too — it’s amazing) near Jennette’s Pier in Nag’s Head, and the beach at the Sanderling — a resort in the town of Duck. Yes, there’s a town called Duck, and yes that is where Duck Donuts was founded, and yes I had multiple donuts while there.
Both beaches were large, with good sand (not too shelly), and weren’t over crowded at all. I highly recommend both locations if you’re looking for a place to stay with good beach access and a nice beach. Both the house and the Sanderling have pools as well so you can have the best of both.
Even though I brought too much stuff with me, I forgot one of the most important things — sunscreen. Not that I couldn’t have easily bought some at the store, I just didn’t. Definitely won’t be making that mistake again.
When packing for the beach, don’t over think the clothes. You really need a lot less than you think. Most beach towns aren’t super fancy. They are more casual, and you can get away with a sundress, flat sandals, and minimal makeup anywhere you go.
Some of my favorite beach items this season:
SUNGLASSES // I absolutely have raccoon eyes from wearing my sunglasses every day all day, but my crow’s feet will thank me later.
HAT // I’ve been looking for a black straw hat for months now. I think I’m going to have to bite the bullet on this Laurie hat.
BEACH BAG // Okay, there are way too many cute beach bags on the market. I mean, I only need one, but there are so many cute ones out there, it’s hard to resist. Need to find a reason to justify why I need this fringy beach tote!
LIP BALM // Not only is this some of the best lip balm I’ve ever tried, but it also has SPF 15, and it comes in a ton of colors.
AFTER SUN SPRAY // Note to self, buy this After Sun Mist and put it in the fridge. Because how great would that feel to mist on your crispy shoulders after a long day in the sun!?!
BEACH TOWEL // I have a thing for cool beach towels.
SANDALS // When you are going to be trekking on and off the beach, I think slip-on sandals are the way to go.
MINERAL SUNSCREEN // No more worries about toxic sunscreen — Suntegrity has you covered (gosh that is a great pun) with their healthy mineral sunscreen.
DRESS // An easy dress that barely touches the skin is a must for beach vacays.
PINEAPPLE TUMBLER // Drink your beverage in style with this brass pineapple tumbler (it’s a great gift too!).
SUNGLASS CASE // I tend to like expensive sunglasses, so bringing along a sunglass case is necessary.
DENIM SHORTS // Jorts are a must for the beach. I like to go old school and go for Levi’s cutoff denim shorts.
This post was done in collaboration with The Outer Banks. All opinions are my own.