Coquina Beach

Fodor’s says that many locals consider Coquina Beach the loveliest spot on The Outer Banks.  With its miles and miles of wide, peaceful shoreline, it has been named made Top 10 Beaches lists on more than one occasion.   Parents Magazine included it on their list this year . It’s known for the sea oats which wave gracefully in the golden sands of the dunes.

Coquina is a wide, non-commercial beach near the Bodie Island lighthouse .   The bones of an old schooner, the Laura Barnes, are scattered to the south.

The beach sometimes overwashes during storms. . . thus, the importance of the sea oats and the dunes.

The beach is named for the Coquina clams which are easily found in the wet sand along the shoreline.   The discarded shells are miniature treasures.  When they’re still hinged in the middle, they look like bright, colorful butterflies.

Clam chowder is also an Outer Banks treasure.  It’s neither thick like New England Clam Chowder nor tomato-based like Manhattan Chowder.   It’s hearty and filling and even BroJoe’s picky nephews like it.  It isn’t necessary to  go clamming or to the Outer Banks in order to enjoy it.   It’s delicious made with canned clams and bottled clam juice.   Originally it was made with fatback, but this version of Outer Banks Clam Chowder uses bacon.

BroJoe claims he eats it “all the time.”   To paraphrase Louis Kronenberger from 100 years ago:

He eats so much clam chowder that his stomach rises and falls with the tide.

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