1. Cape Hatteras National Seashore
What is it? A 70-mile stretch of the Outer Banks, home to historic lighthouses, some of the best beaches in the area, and famous beach communities (any fans of Nicholas Sparks’ Nights in Rodanthe?).
Why go? The beaches are probably the number-one reason people visit the Outer Banks, and Cape Hatteras has quite good ones. Plus, the lighthouse here is one of the tallest in the US. Ironically, it doesn’t seem to have done much good, as the area is known for its many historic shipwrecks.