10 Family-Friendly Things to Do in the Outer Banks

Family-Friendly Things to Do

Heading to the Outer Banks with children in tow? You’ll be glad to know that these beautiful barrier islands offer countless opportunities for family-focused fun. Here are a few suggestions. READ MORE

Discover Nature with Outer Banks Land and Sea Tours

outer banks tours
Whether it’s your first time vacationing in the Outer Banks or you’re a regular visitor, one of the top ways to get to know North Carolina’s special barrier islands is to take a tour. Plenty of small group excursions highlight the best of land and sea in almost every area of the Outer Banks. Here are some of our favorite tours:

Lighthouse Tours

There’s something about a historic lighthouse that can transport you back in time in an instant. Two different kinds of historic lighthouses occur throughout the barrier islands, and maritime aficionados will enjoy visiting both of them.

The Outer Banks has three tall or “coastal” lighthouses that were built to warn passing ships about dangerous offshore shoals: Bodie Island lighthouse (built in 1872), Cape Hatteras lighthouse (built in 1869), and Currituck Beach lighthouse (built in 1875).

The two “harbor lights” lighthouses were built to help ships pass through to safe anchorage: Bald Head Island lighthouse, or “Old Baldy,” was built in 1797 and Ocracoke lighthouse was built in 1823. As you tour these lighthouses and take in the unique and rugged geography around them, you’ll get a real appreciation for why lighthouses are such a beloved part of North Carolina’s history.

Kayak Tours

Kayaking is a truly special way to experience the Outer Banks. Miles and miles of calm waters and pristine beaches invite you to explore. Guided kayak tours are available throughout the islands, and tour exertion levels can scale up or down to fit almost anyone’s ability. Before you begin your kayak tour, an experienced guide will show you how to safely and easily navigate your kayak, and will give you an overview of what you can expect to see.

Popular kayak tours include gliding past downtown Manteo and Ocracoke Village, birding and nature tours through quiet canals, taking in spectacular sunsets, and dolphin spotting. Kayak tour companies are spread throughout the Outer Banks, and the largest is Kitty Hawk Kites. Kitty Hawk Kites has a variety of popular tours, so it’s a good idea to call in advance to reserve your spot for their nature, sunset, or overnight pack trips.

Deep-Sea Fishing

One of the biggest draws to the Outer Banks is offshore fishing for large fish such as tuna, swordfish, and mahi-mahi. Charters accommodate groups of up to six people, so splitting expenses with two other couples or another family is a nice way to make this a cost-effective activity. Your charter captain will take you out to the Gulf Stream at dawn, an exhilarating experience in itself, and set you up with everything you need to land a good fish story — and a delicious dinner. Bring plenty of food, drinks, sunscreen, and motion sickness remedies. White, long-sleeved shirts, polarized sunglasses, and sun hats are also a good idea.

Paddleboarding

Standup paddleboarding is a relaxing way to experience the Outer Banks from the water. Paddleboarding is easy to learn and can be adapted for almost any fitness level. As one of the largest watersports outfitters, Kitty Hawk Kites rents paddleboards, provides lessons, and offers paddleboard tours of Kitty Hawk, Duck, and Manteo. You’ll receive about 15 minutes of simple instruction heading out behind your tour guide through the peaceful Sound waters. Paddleboarders frequently have close-up dolphin encounters, so just relax, paddle slowly, and enjoy the views.

Dolphin Tours

Speaking of dolphins, Outer Banks dolphins have a reputation for being just as excited to see people as people are to see them. A daytime or sunset dolphin cruise is the best way to spot friendly Atlantic Bottlenose dolphins as well as seabirds, turtles, and other wildlife. Paradise Dolphin Cruises is a popular dolphin-spotting choice for Outer Banks visitors. Their large catamarans are comfortable, shaded, and handicapped accessible, and their captains have a solid reputation for finding as many dolphins as you care to see.

Jeep Tours

With the top down, the sun on your face and the wind in your hair — is there a better way to experience Nature’s beauty than from a classic safari Jeep? Jeep tours in the Outer Banks allow you to cover plenty of ground while keeping you connected with the sights and sounds of these special surroundings. Corolla Jeep Adventures offer several ways to experience the Outer Banks from a safari Jeep. You can even reserve a Jeep for a 25-mile off-road self-guided tour where you’ll see wild horses, historic villages, lighthouses, and much more.

Touring the Outer Banks by land or sea is the perfect way to get to know North Carolina’s barrier islands. Whether you take a leisurely self-guided tour or follow an experienced guide along local roads, trails, or canals, a tour of the Outer Banks will be an enriching experience you’ll never forget.

Plan Some Memorable Girls’ Time in the Outer Banks

A Girl Time Escape to the Outer Banks

Whether it’s you and your daughters, multiple generations, or multiple families sharing a vacation property for the week, the Outer Banks is the perfect spot for the girls to relax and create memories together. Here are a few ideas to help you plan your special “girls-only” time.=&0=&=&1=&

Fun Activities That Made The Outer Banks Famous

Must-Do Activities The Outer Banks Is Famous For

An 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.=&0=&=&1=&

Memory Monday 7/15/13

Kids Enjoying the BeachThis week’s Memory Monday Photo submission comes to us from Patricia Spranza of Ashland, Virginia who stayed with Outer Banks Blue the week of Memorial day with her family in the property “Wellfleet” in the Pine Island subdivision in Corolla.This is a great picture of the Spranza kids playing along the shoreline early one morning.

Look what I found!

We love the early morning on the OBX.   The promise of another great day at the beach….what could be better?!All the best from the beach!By Tim Cafferty, President, Outer Banks Blue Realty Services

=&0=&=&1=&=&2=& the worlds largest and most popular on-line travel site recently released results of a poll conducted of more than 1200 U.S. respondents regarding their opinions related to travel this summer.  The results indicated that a whopping 86% of respondents are planning some sort of summer retreat this year, a 6% increase over results of the same poll of one year ago.  The survey also reveals that beach travel destinations top their list of places they want to visit!=&3=&=&4=&According to 93 percent of Memorial Day trekkers and 87 percent of summer vacationers, gas prices will not have an effect on plans this summer. As national average gas prices continue to decline year-over-year, so does the impact of gas prices on leisure summer travel plans among TripAdvisor survey respondents:

Year
Average National
Gas Price mid-May¹
Gas Impacting
Summer Travel Plans
2013
$3.60
13%
2012
$3.75
14%
2011
$3.96
39%

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