For locals, Labor Day signals the beginning of a slower paced, more enjoyable time on the Outer Banks. The weather is still fantastic and it’s less crowded. The next few months are considered by many as the best time of year to be here. Here are just a few Outer Banks bucketlist for September items to consider.
Follow a Tropical Storm
Mid-September is the peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season. Every year there are tropical storms that affect the Outer Banks. Most times, it’s just larger waves, some rain and a little wind. A storm can be hundreds of miles from here and we can still have impacts.
Following a tropical storm is fun because you learn more about how they work and you can actually see some of the impacts without putting yourself in a dangerous situation. Here are a couple ways to follow a storm.
Watch the ocean. Waves almost always proceed all other impacts of tropical storms. The waves can go from rather small to dangerously large within just one tide cycle. It’s amazing to be out on an Outer Banks pier watching these long, large, hurricane generated waves march towards the beach. Large waves don’t necessarily mean that a big storm will hit but they’ll show up before the winds do.
Check out the temperature. Another distant impact that’s common from Atlantic hurricanes is unusually hot weather. Hurricanes suck air in and then vent it out to the sides. As the air moves away from the hurricane it sinks and warms up. Some of the hottest days on the Outer Banks are when there’s a storm off the coast.
The science of studying hurricanes has dramatically improved over the years. Following these storms at the National Hurricane Center’s web site is also interesting. There you can see satellite loops and the storm’s forecast for strength and direction.
Tropical storms are just part of life on the Outer Banks. Following a storm helps us better understand this weather phenomena and takes away some of scariness. Of course, it’s always a good idea to listen to the experts. If they say it’s time to leave then you should seriously consider leaving.
Watch a Surf Contest
The Outer Banks is well known among surfers as having some of the best surf on the east coast. That’s because our beaches pick up swells from different directions and the water is deeper near the coast. That deep water keeps the wave energy from dissipating before it gets to the shore. September has warm water and higher surf than other summer months. There are three contests this month on the Outer Banks where you can complete this bucketlist for September item.
The Outer Banks Pro is a contest held here for professionals trying to get on the world tour. Besides prize money surfing professionals get points for winning this contest. The surfers with the most points at the end of the year get promoted to the top surfing tour in the world.
The Eastern Surfing Association also holds their annual east coast championships here in September. At this contest you can see the best amateur surfers from Florida to Maine compete against each other. A few of these amateur surfers have gone up to become world champions like Kelly Slater and the Hobgood brothers.
Who knows…you might get to see a future world champion right here on the Outer Banks!
One of the most enjoyable surf contests on the Outer Banks is the Throwdown Surf Classic. The organizers of this contest are a non-profit organization that raises money for good local causes. Local kids really enjoy showing off all they learned about surfing over the summer. It’s also an opportunity for friends and families to reconnect after a busy summer season. Over the years, this organization has raised tens of thousands of dollars for worthy local charities.
View a Sunset
In September, most locals will have a little more time to enjoy what the Outer Banks is all about. There are so many great places to watch the sunset on the Outer Banks. In September the sun still sets mostly towards the west. Later in the year it sets much more in the southern part of the sky. One great place to catch a sunset is on Duck’s boardwalk. There’s a handful of restaurants within walking distance of the boardwalk so making it a great evening is easy. Another great place to catch a sunset is on Jockey’s Ridge. This time of year the sun will set over Roanoke Island but it is still beautiful and quiet on top of this sand dune. One of my favorite places to watch the sunset is near the end of one of our ocean piers. From this perspective you can see the whole beach transition from day to night. In September there’s almost always someone catching fish while you are out there. Check out this post for a few more great spots to watch an Outer Banks sunset.
If you had to pick one month to of the year to be on the Outer Banks, many, if not most, familiar with the Outer Banks would pick September. It’s hard to limit bucketlist items this time of year to just three. We hope you have the opportunity to be here this month and create your own Outer Banks bucketlist for September.