The Outer Banks, North Carolina

If it’s serenity you’re after, you can’t beat the Outer Banks of North Carolina. These barrier islands boast some of the East Coast’s most beautiful beaches, and the peace and quiet of a place like Ocracoke Island is hard to beat for getting your head right. Then again, this being the South, there are still spots to have a noisier good time, like The Pit/Boardriders Grill, a surf shop and bar all in one, or the Outer Banks Brewing Station, the country’s first wind-powered brewery (both in Kill Devil Hills).