Best Outer Banks Vacations

Things to Do in the Outer Banks

If you're planning your first trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, you're in for a treat. This thin strip of barrier islands extends down the coast of North Carolina, offering miles of unspoiled beaches on the Atlantic Ocean side, and an equal amount of calmer waters and grassy shores on the sound side. In fact, there's quite a few places on Hatteras Island where you can see the Atlantic Ocean and the Pamlico Sound from the solitary two-lane highway that runs the length of the Outer Banks. If you're looking for fun things to do in the Outer Banks, North Carolina, you won't be disappointed!

outer banks beach rentalHome-base or the Center of Your Vacation

When visiting the Outer Banks, a vacation rental home is the perfect choice of accommodations to fully experience the friendly little hamlets that make up this part of the Tar Heel State. In fact, this area is literally filled with these properties. Many homes have fish-cleaning stations and outdoor showers to make life a little bit easier. Although this might seem like an odd choice for a preferred amenity, you'll understand the benefits once you're there.

Depending on your needs, you can rent a veritable mansion fronting the ocean or save a little money with a cottage across the road from the beach. Don't worry if you go with a more affordable option. Across the street simply means you're about a block or less from the ocean. All of these islands are very narrow, and you can walk from sound to ocean in minutes.

Touter banks beach vacationhe Beaches

One of the best things to do in the Outer Banks, North Carolina is to enjoy the beaches, ranging from Corolla to Kill Devil Hills to the Southern Shores. While you can have a great time on the beach near your rental home, there's nothing like claiming your own spot on one of the 4-wheel-drive beaches. Although many people swear by the Oregon Inlet beach near the bridge just south of Nag's Head, you might enjoy the ones just south of Rodanthe even better.

Another great spot is further down Hatteras Island at the Lighthouse . If you dare to venture all the way to the tip of this strip of sand, you'll be at the very spot where the warm Gulf Stream waters slip in to touch the coast. The locals swear this is one of the best places to surf fish.

If you don't look close, you might miss them. The inlets are usually just marked with a 4WD sign. Remember to let some air out of your tires before you go in so that you don't get stuck, and don't even try it without 4WD. Although there's always someone willing to tow you out of the loose sand, everyone will be wondering what you were thinking.

See an Actual Pirate Lair

If you catch the ferry over to Ocracoke Island, you might get a glimpse of one of the wild ponies or see the ghost of Blackbeard the Pirate roaming the deserted beaches. By including Ocracoke on your list of things to do in the Outer Banks, North Carolina, you can see the tiny natural harbor that provided a safe haven to real pirates a few hundred years ago. While most of the island is deserted, you can find a few great seafood restaurants like the Back Porch and Howard's along with some souvenir shops like The Pirate's Lair , a kid-friendly favorite where you can purchase an official Jolly Roger.

Once you venture onto the Outer Banks of North Carolina, you'll never be satisfied with any other ocean-front locale. What will you do when you get to the Outer Banks?


Outer Banks Vacation Rentals

Vacation Home Search

Find the perfect rental for your vacation

Join Our Newsletter

Get the latest updates in your email