One of the first travel locations to open after the coronavirus lockdown, Outer Banks in North Carolina is welcoming tourists since May 16. Famous for its winds that sent the Wright Brothers soaring into the skies, Outer Banks is also home to first English colony that settled on the American continent years before Jamestown. Set at the confluence of the warm Gulf Stream and the cool Labrador Current, the Outer Banks is a 100 mile-long strip of land that is a surfer’s paradise, a beach bum’s dream and a social distancing mecca. Connected to the mainland by bridges and ferries, the 70-mile long Cape Hatteras National Seashore is the largest stretch of undeveloped beaches on the East Coast, spanning three different islands, easily visited by car.

The beaches are endless, the ocean is vast and the wind is guaranteed to bring you loads of salty sea air, as a welcoming refresh after weeks spent inside.  Whether you’re surfing the waves, riding horses into the sunset, or hang-gliding over the dunes, there’s plenty of space to be away from humans and one on one with nature. And to make sure your accommodations are safe, the local hotels are following the latest CDC’s guidelines, upping their cleaning procedures, spacing pool chairs, and offering room service instead of restaurant seating, among other measures. Read the hotels’ pledges here and dream of the sand and the surf.