For most of us, vacation days are rare gems: Precious things to be coveted and treasured. And if you’re active during a typical work week it’s tempting to take that extra time and amp up your activity level. Climbing El Capitan in a long weekend, say, or testing your fitness in an ultramarathon.

But the reality, of course, is that most people need time off to actually relax, recharge, and realign for the many more busy months ahead. Indeed, there’s nothing wrong with spending a vacation less active than a typical weekend and often nothing feels better than coming back from several days off actually feeling rested.

So, where should we go to achieve such a feeling? There are many places—from spas to meditation centers, yoga retreats to your own living room—but one of the best destinations for a relaxing vacation is the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Here’s why: The Outer Banks have remained largely off the radar of vacationers for decades. Though the area has long been a local favorite, its relative obscurity prevented the development ofBoardwalk Empires like those found nearly everywhere else on the East Coast.

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Instead, vacationers are treated to a robust vacation house rental industry and miles upon miles of sandy, near-deserted, beaches. When you want to get active, there are numerous opportunities for action including kayak rentals, wild horse safaris, hiking, and some of the best surfing in the East.

The rest of the time, you are free to sit back on your porch, sip a beer, and forget about all the work waiting for your return.