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In the woods · On the farm · By the water
Dare County land and farms on the coast are considered gold standard investments for businesses, residents and second home owners. Actual land in Dare County is only 24.54 percent of its total size of 1,563 square miles, which includes large bodies of water including Pamlico Sound. Of that, more than 88% is owned by government agencies, churches, public utilities and right-of-ways, leaving less than 30,000 acres in private hands. Stretching for about 78 miles from Duck to Hatteras, the Outer Banks calls to hundreds of thousands of visitors a year. The county’s mainland is almost entirely owned by the US Department of Defense and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Farms include about 5,300 acres, and 65% of agricultural sales are from livestock and poultry. The economy is primarily based on tourism-related businesses that provide jobs for many of Dare County’s 37,000 residents. Real estate and property management companies are among the largest employers. Boat building and commercial fishing also add jobs. Bear, turkeys and deer are plentiful on the mainland, and success at waterfowl hunting is known world-wide. Whether fishing the sounds or in the ocean, fishermen look forward to catching flounder, drum, mahi and tuna. The Outer Banks is rich in history and natural resources. The Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, Pea Island and Alligator River National Wildlife Refuges are just some of the attractions that visitors enjoy. Public education is provided by Dare County Schools for K-12, and College of the Albemarle offers higher learning.