Truthfully, there are a lot of great spots to travel to in the state of North Carolina for a Memorial Day weekend vacation, but, in a new survey conducted by a Las Vegas-based tour company, only one place in the state made it on the top ten list.  That destination came in at number nine, but, given that there are great places to visit in all 50 states, having even a single place in the top ten isn’t bad.

Like many other holidays, Memorial Day is often an extended family affair with kids, parents and grandparents celebrating the long weekend with barbecues, trips to the beach and outings to national parks.

MaxTour, a Las Vegas-based tour company that specializes in small group excursions, recently surveyed thousands of families, asking them “where they would most like to spend Memorial Day with their loved ones if distance were not a factor.”

 The number one spot chosen was First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach.  It’s very popular with visitors from around the country. The park has 20 miles of trails and 1.5 miles of Chesapeake Bay beachfront, and it’s considered perfect for hiking, picnicking, and enjoying the ocean.

The site in North Carolina that was chosen in the top ten – ninth to be exact – was…

Drum roll please…

The Outer Banks beaches of North Carolina.

The Outer Banks are known for their wide shores, wild horses and natural beauty, and those who responded to the survey said the beaches there are ideal for “beachcombing, kite flying or simply relaxing by the sea.”

According to the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce. the Outer Banks – which consist of barrier islands that start, on the north, at the Virginia border, and extend south 120 miles to Ocracoke Island – see more than 5 million visitors every year.

Needless to say, tourism is the area’s number one industry and a lot of tourist money is spent there every year on Memorial Day weekend.

Rounding out the list of favorite Memorial Day weekend destinations are (2) Cape Cod National Seashore in Cape Cod, Massachusetts (3) St. Simons Island Beaches on St. Simons Island in Georgia (featuring a historic lighthouse) (4) Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia (5 ) Clearwater Beach in Clearwater, Florida (6) Island Beach State Park in Seaside Park, New Jersey (7) San Antonio River Walk in San Antonio, Texas (8) Ocean City Boardwalk in Ocean City, New Jersey, and (10) Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Other than the Outer Banks, the only site in North Carolina that made it in the top 100 came in at number 61 – the Sarah P. Duke Gardens in Durham.

“Located at Duke University,” the survey results describe, “these gardens offer 55 acres of landscaped and wooded areas, perfect for a leisurely stroll or a family picnic. The gardens are free to enter and feature a pond, bridges, and an array of plants and flowers, making it a picturesque outing.”