A Budget Weekend Trip to Outer Banks

We rounded up a $500 weekend (and an exclusive SL discount!) full of outdoor advenute on the rugged wind-swept coast of North Carolina's Outer Banks.
Story By: Stephanie Granada and Caroline McKenzie

Friday
Check in to the family-run Cypress House Inn (cypresshouseinn.com), where plush beds and private baths come with a full breakfast. Our Southern Living Reader Deal drops the price from $179 to $152; use code SOUTHERN. (Bill: $304 for two nights.)

At the area's bistro and wine bar, OBX Trio (obxtrio.com), have a Caesar salad and split the gouda-and-roast beef panini. Try the wine tasting machines, which dispense tastings for as little as $1.25. (Bill: $30.50, with four tastings.)

After dinner, drive to Jockey's Ridge State Park (ncparks.gov) to join the crowds that gather atop the East Coast's tallest sand dune to watch the sunset. (Bill: free!)

Saturday
After breakfast, head to the Nags Head public beach by Jennette's Pier (jennettespier.net). After the 1939 fishing pier was battered by a storm in 2003, the iconic landmark was rebuilt with saltwater aquariums in 2010. (Bill: $4 suggested donation for two.)

Poke around on the beach, and then have lunch at 1970s institution Capt'n Franks (captnfranks.com), where a chili-cheese dog, chips, and a drink cost less than $8. (Bill: $15 for two.) Paddle the coast of Nags Head with a two-hour kayak rental from Kitty Hawk Kites (kittyhawk.com). (Bill: $59 for a tandem.) Then drive to Bodie Island Lighthouse (nps.gov/caha), a restored black-and-white beacon opened to the public for the first time this spring. Climb its 214 spiral steps for views of Pamlico Sound. (Bill: $16 for two.)

Head to Blue Moon Beach Grill (bluemoonbeachgrill.com) for a Shrimp "Not a Burger," blackened shrimp piled high with fried green tomatoes. Pair it with (what else?) a Blue Moon. (Bill: $32 for two.)

Sunday
Stroll the boardwalk in Duck—the OBX answer to Martha's Vineyard. Grab coffee ($1.65) and biscotti ($2) at Duck's Cottage Coffee and Book Shop (duckscottage.com) and browse the boutiques. (Bill: $8 for two.)

Grand Total:$469