The Outer Banks is a series of barrier islands that jut out off the coast of North Carolina. From north to south: Northern Beaches, Roanoke Island & Dare Mainland and Hatteras. These islands, now connected by a series of bridges, each have their own history, geographical features and culture creating three different and exciting vacation experiences. The Northern Beaches area is filled with towns loaded with shopping, restaurants, plenty of beach space and activity, such as Nag s Head, Kill Devil Hills, and Kitty Hawk. Roanoke Island is quieter, quaint and pedestrian friendly with a deep history dating back to the first English colony. Hatteras is even quieter still, with vast stretches of land devoted to sand dunes and sea oats. It feels a world away, relaxed for travelers looking for a little solitude.
The Outer Banks has much to offer the 40,800 residents in Dare & Currituck Counties, and Ocracoke Island as well as the 7 million visitors which visit our area each year. We are America’s Birthplace, home to four distinct lighthouses, the site of the Wright Brothers’ first flight, the largest sand dunes on the East Coast – Jockeys Ridge State Park, the Graveyard of the Atlantic, the new Roanoke Island Festival Park, and a host of family activities including hang gliding, bird watching, museums, art galleries, drama, kayaking, fishing, windsurfing, and more!
Things to do:
Make sure that you take some time to explore the beautiful Outer Banks and all the region has to offer. Here are a few suggestions to keep you busy!
● Visit the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills where you can see a replica of the first airplane and learn about the history of flight.
● Climb to the top of one of the many beautiful and historic lighthouses in the Outer Banks: Cape Hatteras, Currituck Beach Lighthouse, or Bodie Island Lighthouse.
● Get a hangliding or paragliding lesson at Jockey’s Ridge State Park and take in the view of the beach from above!
● Visit the Lost Colony and learn about the early history of the Outer Banks and its first European settlers.
● Explore Whalehead in Historic Corolla and learn about life in the Outer Banks in the 1800s.
● Catch a fish at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head
● Learn about the wildlife of coastal North Carolina at the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education.
● Play a game of mini golf at one of the many courses throughout the Outer Banks.
● Make sure to try some Carolina barbecue, local Outer Banks seafood, and delicious hushpuppies!
● Go shopping for deals at the outlets in Nags Head.
● Take the ferry to Ocracoke Island.
● See the wild horses of Corolla at Carova Beach.
● Visit the sharks at the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island
● Take in an Outer Banks Daredevils baseball game in Kill Devil Hills.
● There are numerous water sports companies where you can take surf, stand-up paddle-boarding, kite-boarding, wind-surfing, hang-gliding, kayaking, and other fun lessons!
● With 125 miles of beaches in the Outer Banks, there is always a new one to explore! Remember to bring water and sunscreen!