Alligators. Stingrays. Sea turtles. River otters. All kinds of fish, from highly prized gamefish to rare exotic species. Plus the largest collection of sharks in the entire state.
If you’ve ever seen loggerhead sea turtles, you know just how amazing they are. Endearingly shy and gentle, these graceful aquatic creatures have beautiful heart-shaped shells covered with gorgeous markings. No wonder they’re among the most recognized – and best loved – turtles on earth.
Visit the Wright Brothers Memorial
The memorial is a tribute to the first flight completed by Wilbur and Orville Wright. When visiting the memorial kids are able to become a junior ranger. Once arriving to the park pick up a junior ranger booklet at the front desk. After the kids learn all about the Wright brothers they will be sworn in as a junior ranger. Children under the age of 16 are free!
Visit the Aquarium
Even though many places you visit will have an aquarium close by kids always seem to enjoy going. At the aquarium kids will be able to see otters, jellyfish, alligators, and one of the largest collection of sharks in the state. They will love the hands-on sea turtle rescue exhibit and the touching tank full stingrays. This is a great rain day activity but if you go while it’s not raining be sure to check out the sound side pier and nature trail.
Bouncing Off The Walls
This is the perfect activity for a rainy day or when the ocean is too rough to swim at the beach. Bouncing off the Walls is a party center full of inflatable fun. The interactive area has obstacle courses, slides, and moon bounces. There is also a nerf gun room and paint studio.
Splash into fun at the new waterpark located right over the bridge in Currituck. H2OBX features more than 30 exciting attractions throughout the park. The kids will enjoy spending the day at Calico Jacks Cove. They will love the interactive play structures, splashing in the wave pool, floating on the lazy river, and looping through all the exciting slides.
See the Wild Horses
The wild horses are a beautiful sight that the entire family will enjoy. Bring your camera, rent a jeep or take a guided tour, and take off down the beach for an off-road wild horse adventure you will never forget.
Become a Pirate
At Pirate Adventures of the OBX, your kids can come aboard and experience a bit of the pirate life. This experience is designed to educate, expand their imaginations and enlighten their minds. They’ll learn the rules of the sea as they go in search of Pirate Pete and the map they need to find the sunken treasure.
Visit Jockey’s Ridge
What could be more fun than climbing a large sand dune?! Nothing! That is why visiting Jockey’s Ridge is on our list! Kids will love running up the large sand dunes and then rolling down. Be careful though! In the summer the sand can get hot. It is best to go in the evening to fly a kite while watching the sunset.
Visit a Lighthouse
Enjoy a Unique Natural Environment
Natural beauty is undoubtedly one of the biggest draws of the Outer Banks. If you’re a nature lover, rent a kayak and spend the day taking in quiet water trails that wind through the islands, along the shore, through maritime forests, salt marsh canals, and estuaries. Floating in the bay for sunset is an unforgettable experience, as is paddling through a sound as birds and river otters play around you. Of course, no Outer Banks tourism guide would be complete without a mention of the area’s pristine wildlife refuges. Visit Nags Head Woods Ecological Preserve,
Currituck National Wildlife Refuge
This is a fun activity for all ages. When I was a young child we would go crabbing in the sound all the time. There are a few things you will need for this activity. First you will need a bucket, a net, some raw chicken, and some string (strong enough to hold the chicken.) Once you have this you will want to cut the chicken into chunks and tie the string around it. After that you are ready to go. Once you get to the sound dump your chicken into the water while holding onto the string. Soon enough you will have a crab gran onto the chicken. Scoop the crab out of the water with the net and place it in the bucket with water. Once you have had all the fun you can handle you can release the crabs you have caught. You are able to keep them as long as they meet requirements. I would check with a local bait and tackle shop to see what the requirements are as they may change.
Visit a Lighthouse
Making a trip to the lighthouse can be both fun and educational. There are three different lighthouses to choose from here in the Outer banks. First you have the Currituck Lighthouse in Corolla, then you have Bodie Island located in South Nags Head, and last you have Cape Hatteras which is located in Buxton. The kids will enjoy climbing to the top and seeing the view.
Visit the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island
This would be a fun rain day activity. Many places you visit will have an aquarium close by but the kids always seem to enjoy going. At the aquarium kids will be able to see alligators, otters, and the largest collection of sharks in the state. They will love the touching tank full of stingrays and the hand on sea turtle rescue exhibit. If you go when it is not raining make sure to check out the nature trail and the sound side pier.
The Island Farm in Manteo
After visiting the Aquarium make sure to stop by The Island Farm for a fun and educational experience for the whole family. Here you will be able to experience island life as it was more than 150 years ago. Children will get the chance to dress up, play with toys and games from the 19th century, and play and feed the farm animals. Be sure to check their event page online before going. They offer special programs such as ox-drawn wagons rides and wash day on the farm only certain days of the week.
Visit Jockey’s Ridge
What could be more fun than climbing a large sand dune?! Nothing! That is why visiting Jockey’s Ridge is on our list! Kids will love running up the large sand dunes and then rolling down. Be careful though! In the summer the sand can get hot.
Visit the Wright Brothers National Memorial
Special thanks to Rachel Moore or Silver Spring, Maryland who provides us this week’s Memory Monday photo submission! Rachel and her family stayed with Outer Banks Blue in Nags Head in the Vacation Rental property “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problem,” and sends us this adorable picture from one of her crew visiting the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island and having an up close experience with one of the fish there.
Thanks Rachel for sharing your photo memories. We look forward to serving you and your family again soon.
All the best from the beach!
By Tim Cafferty, President, Outer Banks Blue Realty Services
- the meeting of the Gulf Stream, coastal waters and Labrador Current
- occasional seasonal stormy conditions
- a narrow continental shelf that boosts great surfing waves
- a low-lying topography that’s exposed to the elements
These are a recipe for surf-worthy waves. In addition to these ideal characteristics, here are some of the perks of surfing the Outer Banks.
The Outer Banks: World-Class Surfing with a Small-Town Feel
Thanks for sharing your shot Joan.The second Memory Monday photo we have for you this week is from Adam Olsen of Yardley, Pennsylvania who stayed with us a few weeks ago at the property “Toes In The Water” in Nags Head.
|Come back here Mr. Shark!|
This photo is taken at the N.C. Aquarium on Roanoke Island. This is one of the many large sharks that are contained in the 285,000 gallon “Graveyard of the Atlantic” exhibit. In the background you can make out a structure that is a replica of the Civil War Ironclad vessel Monitor which sunk off the coast of North Carolina some 150 years ago. There are all kinds of deep sea creatures in the exhibit and Adam’s young friend here enjoyed seeing the big fish!Thanks to all who submit their photo memories to us for consideration in our Memory Monday Photo contest. We post photos here every week (on Monday!) and we randomly choose a winner each month to get $100 off their next stay with Outer Banks Blue.All the best from the beach!By Tim Cafferty, President, Outer Banks Blue Realty Services