A long time favorite destination for residents of northern Virginia, The Outer Banks of North Carolina is a great place for family vacations. Although visited for its world class beaches, its many parks and refuges are not as well known. More than 40 areas have been set aside to protect the environment and wildlife on the islands and nearby mainland. They offer a great opportunity to see a variety of wildlife and habitat. No doubt, there is at least one very close to where you are staying. This photo story is an introduction to the nature side of the Outer Banks.