by Christopher Knauss
A great time to dock in the northern Outer Banks is kite time in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. The Wright Kite Festival July 19-20 offers an aerial display that’s hard to beat. While you enjoy the kaleidoscopic kites, you can also gain some knowledge of the birthplace of aviation at the Wright Brothers Visitor Center. Kites were instrumental in the Wright brothers’ research when developing the first airplane in the late 1800s. Large kites will be on display throughout the festival weekend, sharing the sky with the towering Wright Memorial. Bring your own kite and participate, and also learn how to fly stunt and power kites from experts. The festival is free although entrance into the park is $4, which supports the National Park Service.
An ideal port base for exploring the Outer Banks is the town of Manteo on Roanoke Island. Rental cars are available from local firms that offer dockside pickup and delivery. The town’s Waterfront Marina is convenient to local eateries and shopping, and offers showers, laundry and dockage. The Pirate’s Cove Yacht Club at the west end of the Washington Baum Bridge offers gas and diesel fuel, dockage, and slip rentals. Other docking options include the Shallowbag Bay Marina and Marshes Light Marina.