Must-Do Activities The Outer Banks Is Famous ForAn Outer Banks vacation offers plenty of opportunities to take it easy as you explore the beach and settle into your relaxing rental home. As you soak in the gorgeous ocean vistas, you will also want to take advantage of the many activities the Outer Banks is famous for so you can create new memories with your family. Whether you crave historical exploration, a day of shopping, or some challenging outdoor adventures, the Outer Banks has something for everyone.
Kayaking And Paddleboarding
Gently rolling waves and bright blue horizons beckon kayakers and stand-up paddleboarders to explore the waters of the Outer Banks. If you are a beginner, lessons on dry land will help you learn terminology and techniques. Experienced wave-riders will enjoy specialty tours throughout the famous beaches of the Outer Banks, including overnight camping trips and awe-inspiring sunset tours.
Interactive Local History
The Outer Banks have set the stage for many key events in North American history, including the mysterious lost colony of Roanoke, the Wright brothers' first flight, key Revolutionary and Civil War battles, and mariner tragedy and technology. Be sure to soak up the local history of the area at these must-see attractions:
- Wright Brothers National Memorial: The Wright brothers took their first flight at Kitty Hawk in 1903, and you can relive the experience at the 60-foot monument and visitor center located in Kill Devil Hills. Many exhibits and artifacts give you an authentic experience of what that flight was like for the Wright brothers more than 100 years ago.
- Lost Colony Production: While visiting Roanoke Island, make sure to take in the popular Lost Colony production, a two-hour outdoor drama at the Waterside Theater. With a cast and crew of more than 200, the play tells the story of the still-unsolved disappearance of 115 men, women, and children who started a colony on the island in 1587.
- Pirate Adventures Of The Outer Banks: If your family is on the lookout for some swashbuckling fun, be sure to check out this family-friendly cruise. Children can reinvent themselves as pirates or mermaids complete with costuming, while the whole family will enjoy treasure hunts, messages in a bottle, and other adventures on the high seas.
Every trip to the Outer Banks should include a visit to one or more of the beautiful lighthouses that dot the shoreline. The iconic black-and-white spiral-striped Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the tallest in North America at 208 feet. If you would like to venture inside one of these beacons of history, you can climb to the top of Bodie Island Lighthouse . Several other lighthouses mark the shoreline along the "graveyard of the Atlantic," luring lighthouse enthusiasts to watch the waves lap the shoreline or catch a glorious sunset.
Surfing The Wind And The Waves
Fans of surfing and windsurfing will relish the swells off the Outer Banks islands, which boast ideal surfing conditions created by the combination of the Gulf Stream, coastal currents, and unique underwater topography. Kill Devil Hills was rated No. 6 on the list of "Best Surf Towns in the US" by Surfer magazine, and you can find one of CNN Travel's "World's 50 Best Surf Spots" at Cape Hatteras Lighthouse beach. If you want to spread your wings and fly, check out the local parasailing — take photos and video as you soar, or just relax and enjoy the beautiful view.
An abundance of colorful and flavorful restaurants dot the Outer Banks and are nestled in the nooks and crannies of local seaside communities. Make sure you try out the fresh fish at well-known local restaurants, but also ask around for the favorite eateries of island residents. The wide variety of styles and tastes will be sure to satisfy every craving.
If rain threatens your outdoor plans, consider it an opportunity to check out the colorful boutiques and shops that line the tourist districts. Wine and spice shops, antique and outlet malls, bookshops, and quaint gift boutiques will lure you in with delights for everyone on your shopping list.
Crabbing And Fishing
No visit to the Outer Banks is complete without a meal of fresh fish or crab, and what better way to enjoy it than catching it yourself? Avalon Pier in Kill Devil Hills is one of the oldest spots for fishing on the Outer Banks, but many other piers, docks, and beaches lure fishers of all ages and experience to try their luck at a fresh catch.
If fishing or flying above the dunes is not your thing, consider taking an evening to enjoy the miles and miles of soft sandy beaches. Nothing is more relaxing than listening to the waves lap the shore as you watch a beautiful East Coast sun set along the Outer Banks.
Create Your Own Adventure
These are only a few highlights of the adventures you can find during your stay at the Outer Banks, so don't be afraid to do your own exploring. A wealth of other opportunities are just waiting for you and your family to discover as you come bask in the warmth of our North Carolina coasts.