Are you wanting to find the best things to do in Outer Banks NC? You’ve come to the right place!
Outer Banks’ intricate beauty is a healing holy spot to all those flushing out their money on therapies.
OBX is the spontaneous combination of soothing nature where you get to feel the real essence of the motherland. You need to stop searching for temporary betrayals; instead, set voyage to these heavenly beachy islands called Outer Banks.
We all desire to explore a place that keeps us out of our daily stress and rigid life, and I believe Outer Banks is among them.
Outer Banks is rich in luxurious time-catching activities like sports, dancing, fishing, swimming, snorkeling, and art exhibitions.
Covering over 200 miles of island strings, Outer Banks (OBX) is wholly surrounded by the ocean and offers numerous recreational water activities. There’s nothing more beautiful than witnessing sunset and early dawn at the beaches – sipping away your worries!
Outer Banks has an alluring view of the sun, dusk-dawn, vibrant skies, fierce waves, and beaches.
If you want to explore this place to its fullest, you should visit this paradise in the perfect months of May-August or November-January (things to do in Outer Banks in Winter) amid sea winds and the warm sun.
Also, the Outer Banks are routinely called OBX in short because of the multiple island trails found in North Carolina. Here are my favorite destinations and things to do at the location; add them to your “things to do in Outer Banks” list.
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Fun Things To Do In Outer Banks NC
Hang Glide At Jockey’s Ridge
302 Carolista Dr. // +12524412426
Hang gliding is an adventurous aerial sport – you cover lengths of sky hanging on a massive kite; it truly is exhilarating and enthralling.
Kittyhawk’s at Jockey’s Ridge enables visitors to explore 100+ yards of length on an elevation of approximately 15 ft. when functioning in the dunes.
As a beginner, practicing and experiencing hang gliding at Jockey’s Ridge sand dunes was a perfect opportunity for me – the height was the bare minimum, and I could understand the dynamics of the flight.
Once a pro, make sure you visit Jarvisburg, located 15-20 minutes away from Kitty Hawk. Kitty Hawk Kites organizes a 5000+ ft. flight for visitors at Jarvisburg, North Carolina!
Hang gliding in Jarvisburg was my best 30 minutes of life. There’s no rush when you fly in the sky. The aircraft’s slow speed allows you to experience gliding through the beautiful sky thoroughly.
Hang gliding allows your body to detach and wing its way amid the sky. The thrilling panorama beneath feels tremendously scary and enthralling! I won’t be doing justice to this feeling through words. Above all, you are the pilot of this aircraft, controlling the directions and speed.
Away from anxiety, this fantastic air sport filled my heart with enthusiasm and joy. You can rejoice in the hallucination of swing and sway at Jockey’s Ridge State Park and Jarvisburg, NC.
Jennette Fishing Pier
7223 S. Virginia Dare Trail // +12522551501
I have zero luck at fishing, yet I try it in every city, sea, river, and pond I visit. Jennette Fishing Pier is a massive, 1000 ft. construct located in Nags Head, NC. Simply standing at the dock and mesmerizing the sunset feels divine.
Jennette’s Pier feels homey. Refreshing winds and long beach walks took away my anxiety at the dock.
Offering a 25 ft. deep water body below, you can catch divergent bluefish categories, speckled trout, pigfish, and Spanish mackerel in the month of October.
Adults or children of all age groups can take their hooks and enjoy fishing at the pier. There’s a minimal entry fee but great local stores to purchase baitcasting equipment.
The main NC aquarium or the Jennette’s Pier building has a beautiful indoor fish display. On the second floor, you can have a big banquet or even a beach wedding dinner!
The educational center provides information about fishing, the oceans, daily intel on the weather at the location, and so much more!
Lastly, watching the ocean up close to the pier was extraordinary. Jennette’s Pier brings you close to the fierce sea. It’s a perfect destination to spend your summer vacations.
At night, the dock lights up with aesthetic lamps. You can sit on the concrete benches available to immerse yourself in the ocean. It stays open until 10 PM! (Check the website to learn more.)
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
46379 Lighthouse Rd. // +12524732111
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is a huge building located on the Atlantic coast of Buxton, OBX. Initially started in 1803, the historical landmark went through various changes to stand headstrong.
Cape Hatteras shields the Atlantic Ocean and stands gloriously as a historic site. Individuals who appreciate the antiquity of the city will enjoy spending a relaxing day at this lighthouse. Curving its way to a height of 193 ft., this building includes 257 steps to climb. It’s like climbing a 12-story tower.
You need to have an excellent respiratory system and solid willpower to explore. It’s too narrow to climb up.
Climbing this tower felt like an achievement—it’s pretty challenging to reach the building, but the view from atop was breathtaking!
If you’re into adventurous activities, you will love this place.
The Outer Banks have many such lighthouses for you to explore. Let me take you there,
Top Things To Do In Duck, Outer Banks, In July
With a lot of fun experience with paddleboarding, I straight up went for SUP-ping at night with Kitty Hawk Adventures. From providing beginner’s lessons to pro-supping night tours, KHK organizes various paddleboarding sessions in the sea.
If you want to explore the ocean at night, join KHK’s Light-Up SUP at Waves Village, Rodante, for a one-hour tour. The night tour is pretty affordable but requires swimming abilities and SUP experience.
On the paddleboard, sit for a while, acknowledge the fluorescent light below that colors the ocean, find fish swimming beside you, and gaze at the stars once you stabilize. After balancing yourself on the paddleboard, try to stand up slowly, find your composure, and speed away.
If you have zero experience with Stand-Up paddleboards, you can also join Kitty Hawk Kites’ classes to learn and explore. There are also morning sessions for individuals where you can enjoy the ocean more vividly.
SUP puts forward joy while also shredding your calories. Also, paddleboarding is a water-fun workout – an exercise for your whole body.
“Surfing and life hold parallels.” – Elizabeth Salamanca-Brosig
Surfing allows you to feel the thrilling motion of waves. These oceanic waves sway up and down, connecting with each one of your heartbeats. Duck Pier and S-curves have been well-known surf sites on the Outer Banks.
The weather combination of the scorching sun, frozen beaches, and cozy wind multiply the joy. I’m not a pro surfer, but it would be a shame not to surf while visiting a dozen beaches and being surrounded by so much water and wild waves.
Kitty Hawk Adventures provides 3-5 days of surfing packages to learn to speed up with the ocean. If your time and budget allow a few surfing lessons, I urge you to take that opportunity! There’s nothing more fierce than diving in the swells and crashing with the waves.
Please note: Surfing takes a lot more than simply paddleboarding. You need the utmost concentration, balance, and posture to begin surfing!
Nonetheless, once you know how to play and experiment with the waves, you will never wish to get off the shores!
Kitty Hawk Beach
When it comes to sightseeing the oceans, Kitty Hawk beach is the foremost.
This conspicuous beach has its all-marine edges, floral trails, and nostalgic sundowns.
Kitty Hawk caught the world’s popularity after the establishment of the Wright Brothers National Historic Memorial.
Kitty Hawk beach’s wavy surroundings make it a perfect spot for various water sport activities. Explore the depths of the sea or have a cozy weekend at the shore. The beach propels immense serenity.
You can cruise through Kitty Hawk beaches in the morning, watch dolphins and whales dance in the expanse, or parasail the diverse water body.
Getting a little adventurous with jet-skiing is a must at Kitty Hawk beaches. I took my time exploring, swimming and relaxing on all the beaches Outer Banks offered.
Other popular beaches I visited in the town were:
- Nags Head
- Kill Devil Hills
That’s the beauty of Outer Banks; fun and relaxation never ends here. You will need two or three trips to this majestic locality to explore it thoroughly.
The Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge
Milltail Rd // +12524731131
Alligator River safeguards and protects the wetland species. This wildlife refuge system aims to conserve the habitat of fish, wildlife, and plant resources.
Covering over 152,000 acres of land and water, this destination holds diverse wildlife. You are bound to greet black bears, reptiles, red wolves, and so many other fierce animals at the location. Alligator River’s flora and fauna render a pleasing aura.
While watching alligators is a spine-chilling experience, the sanctuary keeps a safe environment for visitors. It’s safe enough to kayak in the streams of the Alligator River that covers the refuge.
Witness the untouched forest beauty while kayaking the river. The narrow pass takes you amid the wild forest and the surrounding nature.
Rivers are best known for keeping secrets. You can scream your heart out loud to it. This ferocious region will make you zone out from your comfort entirely.
Cheap Things To Do In Outer Banks In November
Located off the shore of Roanoke Island, Manteo is an old town offering a peaceful pause to your adventure-filled Outer Bank voyage. After exploring all the famous islands of the Outer Banks, my last stop was Roanoke Island and the adjoining town.
Manteo holds that soothing beach-city old vibe which is rare in multiple off-shore towns. You get to witness a calming neighborhood, vibrant old-school architecture, warm air, and a distant setting. Manteo is especially magnificent during Christmas and Halloween. These locals know how to celebrate festivals precisely!
If you ask me, Manteo is the best town to wrap up your Outer Banks trip. It has aesthetic gift shops and amazing goodies for your loved ones. This curious place displays charming greenery and retro roads, giving a hometown vibe.
The town also has a bunch of paintings and photogenic views. The historical birth of Virginia Dare in this place exhibits the artistic skill, modern art, and antiquity of Outer Banks.
The most grey-haired town of North Carolina provides convenience, scenic water, boats, harbors, parks, halls, restaurants, and cottages.
Fort Raleigh National Historic Site
1401 National Park Dr. // +12524732111
Established in 1585, Fort Raleigh’s national historic site spans over six hectares of land.
It is located near Manteo’s island town, a prominent place to explore plantations and capture photographs.
Spend a day at the destination to explore the Lost Colony’s boundaries, its remnant, and the mystery that engulfs their whereabouts.
As a historic place, native people display the memorial events through dramas outside the garden. Localities participate in various vibrant festivals throughout the year to showcase the lifestyle and modernity of renowned personalities.
The heroic landmarks, thorny bushes, feral animals, and rugged base feel like a spine-chilling illusionary world. Moreover, the cultural landscape adds more excitement to this place.
The Fort Raleigh center holds various exhibits, artifacts, and (found) remnants of the colony to relive the mysterious era that dates back to the 15th and 16th centuries. The center also visualizes events that might have taken place in the Lost Colony. The remaining history is left to wonder.
The Lost Colony
1409 National Park Dr // +12524736000
The Lost Colony is England’s first American colony that strangely disappeared. The reason behind its name was the unsolved and mysterious disappearance of the majority when a settlement formed by John White in 1587 failed.
In the Elizabethan era, Sir Walter Raleigh initiated the Roanoke colony searching for the first English settlement. The riddle of curiosity still hangs in the air, and traits of this colony are still confidential. If you like portrait art, you have a great challenge to pen down this mysterious colony.
Visit Roanoke Island and Fort Raleigh to unfold the remaining, unknown mysteries of the land. The Fort Raleigh center holds various remnants of the past and speculated stories.
1411 National Park Dr. // +12524733234
Elizabeth’s garden has a pleasant aura – blooming flowers, gazebos, fountains, greenery, and a homey vibe.
The garden celebrated its 70th anniversary as a non-profit organization. While exploring the expanse of Fort Raleigh and the added mystery, have a quick escape to this beautiful wonderland surrounded by greenery and historic sculptures!
The entrance of this garden feels like Elizabeth’s verdict herself. The sculptures exhibited are so realistic. While exploring the park, you will come across multiple old tales scribbled on marbles.
As a historical buff, I wanted to know everything about Elizabetha and her kingdom, and the garden will tell you various stories throughout the tour.
Although the garden blooms year-round, Spring, Autumn, and Winter are still three great reasons to visit the destination. Autumn vibes are the best to feel the serenity of Elizabethan gardens. Trees shed their leaves, glowing flowers add charm to the paved paths and soften the whole ambiance.
During winter (November-January), winter lights glow up the whole garden and attract thousands of visitors. Not a single tree or shrub is left behind while decorating the garden in blue, red, pink, green, golden hues.
Outer Banks is a wholesome destination. You start your day snorkeling and end the night by the beach, sipping away beers. While you get to experience beaches to the brim, you also come across striking historic landmarks and mysteries.
Breezy evenings are spent on a cruise watching oceans, and nights are strolling around the old-town Manteo. There’s so much to see and feel in Outer Banks. There’s a thrill, adventure, and daredevil voyage.
On the other hand, there are still peaceful nights, warm days, beautiful walks, soothing towns, a unique history, and unsolved mysteries.
Whether you are a history buff, a night explorer, adventurous person, a surfer, introvert, or an extrovert, Outer Banks will bring you close and hold you tight in its embrace. The destination has something for everyone! These are my top eleven things to do in Outer Banks, North Carolina!
Visiting other cities in North Carolina? Check out our foodie guides to the following cities:
- 13 Must-Try Restaurants In Mooresville
- 9 Best Blowing Rock Restaurants
- 8 Must-Try Outer Banks NC Restaurants
- The Best Chapel Hill Restaurants NC
- 11 Best Things To Do In Chapel Hill
- 10 Must-Try Manteo Restaurants, North Carolina
Which of these things to do in Outer Banks most interests you? Let us know in the comments section below!
Igor Jovanovski is an aspiring digital nomad, travel blogger and graphic designer who really loves food. He also has a creative side, and he works as a freelance graphic designer in his spare time. He has traveled across Europe quite a few times since he was young and recently started his mission to visit every country in the world! Igor’s favorite thing about traveling is the way he gets to know new people, food, places and cultures.
This exciting experience helps him create his own stories and make memories that will last forever