Duck in Outer Banks, NC  - Vacation Travel Guide

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Outer Banks Area Features

Handmade Treasures from the Outer Banks

When traveling, most of us like to take home gifts to our loved ones or souvenirs of a fantastic vacation. Every destination has its own inimitable merchandise that is loved all over the world. And the best of these shopping gems come from artists and craftsmen and women who use local materials to create works of art. The Outer Banks is no different. In fact, its residents use locally sourced materials to create and sell unique items in boutique shops. These are gifts that everyone will undoubtedly love.

Throughout the centuries many a ship has been lost off the coast of North Carolina. With that, many glass items have been tumbled around the ocean floor, broken up in the waves, smoothed, sanded, and found by people searching the beach for olden treasures. This “sea glass” is used in everything from jewelry to adornment on household items including vases, picture frames, and more. Colors vary depending on the type of glass, but the most traditional sea glass colors are milky white, green, blue, and amber. When searching along the beach, it’s possible to find sea glass with an engraving that can indicate a clue about your new treasure’s past life.  However, it’s getting harder and harder to find these items on the beach, and sea glass is now predominately created artificially using a mechanized process. Try a local vendor for a timeless souvenir made from this beautiful material.

With ample trees on the Outer Banks, many artisans whittle away at carefully planned blocks of wood to create beautiful carvings. To these craftsmen, each piece of wood almost has a destiny of what it is meant to be. The natural rings and colors that are present in the wood lends to the creation of striking pieces such as hand-carved bowls, furniture, statues, and maybe even a beautiful chessboard. The possibilities are endless but owning a distinctive piece can be easily achieved.

Textile products are in hot demand on the Outer Banks as well. Decorative pillows with nautical themes such as those made by local resident Betsy Drake are popular and can give your home that calming seaside touch. Hammocks are well-known products from the Outer Banks that visitors come to purchase. Whether they’re integrated into an Adirondack chair or tied to the trees in the backyard, they’re incredibly relaxing. Take a nap on one and dream about being back on the North Carolina coast. 

The scenery on the North Carolina coast has inspired many artists and photographers for countless years. Some of those talented individuals present their work for sale in galleries, restaurants and shops throughout the region. Maybe it’s the nostalgic, yet relaxed feeling of the OBX that promotes artistic creativity. And perhaps the implied dimension of a painting in combination with colors that accurately capture the North Carolinian beach landscape calls to those who want to relive their get-away vacation. Regardless, many of these works of art are adored and cherished by art lovers around the world.

The list of handmade items doesn’t end here. Locals create one-of-a-kind pieces using a large array of materials. Stoneware, paper products, candles, paintings, driftwood sculptures and even soaps are available for purchase. Plus, it’s always nice to support small businesses while acquiring something you’ll cherish for many years. Take a stroll through one of the many stores that carry custom items to discover your own take-home reminder of your vacation.

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