The same steady winds that led the Wright brothers to choose North Carolina’s Outer Banks as the site for the first airplane flight make it the most reliable spot on the continent for autumn kiteboarding. Beginners love the 70-mile reach of warm, smooth water in the channel between the Cape and the mainland. Experts carve up waves on the open Atlantic. Best of all, the two bodies of water are just a quarter-mile walk apart across the island. Bonus: in the fall, tropical storms send head-high waves ashore for advanced kiters to push their limits.
WHEN TO GO: Consistent winds blow now through November, when things start getting a little chilly.
ROUTE: Real Watersports, in the town of Waves, runs weekly “Zero to Hero” kiteboard camps for beginners through November, featuring state-of-the-art gear and 2-1 student to instructor ratios.
STRIKE YOUR SAILS: A Goslings Dark ‘N Stormy—Gosling’s Rum and ginger beer—from Watermen’s Bar and Grill should quell any residual motion sickness. Once that’s gone, and even if it’s not, take to the floor and dance to the live music every Monday and Thursday through October. You’d be foolish not to order the Hatteras Island Style Crab Cakes, a huge order of lump crab smothered in home-made cocktail sauce.