There are many names for the Outer Banks. Off the coast of North Carolina, it is a haven with a beautiful natural seascape and a small-town feel.
The Outer Banks, which are sometimes called “OBX,” have a long and interesting history that includes pirates, pilots, pilgrims, and more. Beaches on the Outer Banks are a popular place for tourists to go.
This area is made up of a long chain of barrier islands that are surrounded by calm, sparkling water. People know that the Outer Banks have a lot of fresh seafood that tastes great.
The most important thing about OBX is that it has miles and miles of pure sandy beaches, making it the perfect place for a beach vacation.
On the Outer Banks, you can find anything you want. There are some places in the world that are peaceful and beautiful, perfect for getting away from the stress of everyday life.
For a memorable vacation, you can choose from a wide range of fun water sports to try and cute shops along the coast to browse. The banks are not your typical beach vacation spot, but they are a hidden gem on the East Coast.
One of the most fun things to do in North Carolina is to travel from one town to the next. Each town has its own unique feel and fun things to see.
Join the growing number of people who love to visit the Outer Banks. They will tell you that the Outer Banks will always be one of your favorite places to visit.
The Best Outer Banks Beaches
In the early 1900s, the Wright Brothers did some of their most famous tests of flight on our own Outer Banks. The name “Kitty Hawk” has become well known since the early days of flight.
Most of the architecture in the area is made up of old beach houses, which give the area a small-town feel.
Since it takes up such a big part of the Outer Banks, it was the first place where people and businesses lived and worked. It’s still thought of as the center of the Outer Banks and the best way to get to the other coastal towns. The plan for this new town was to make it fit in with the beautiful scenery around it.
The name of the town is thought to come from Native American words that mean “a place to hunt geese.”
Even though the number of nearby attractions is growing every year, the number of geese seems to be staying the same. The Kitty Hawk Woods Coastal Reserve is home to many cute animals, like otters and sea turtles.
People live on this sandy beach, which is also surrounded by beautiful scenery. Nags Head has the longest public pier in the state of North Carolina.
It is made of wood and is a beautiful place for a stroll at sunset. Because there are so many beach-related amenities, this is a popular Outer Banks vacation spot.
If you want a great beach in North Carolina, Nags Head is the place to go. You can visit one of the most beautiful lighthouses in North Carolina. The Bodie Island Lighthouse was built in the 1870s.
It is a beautiful building on the coast with views that will take your breath away. The keeper’s old house has been turned into a museum that is both interesting and educational.
There are a lot of boat tours for people who want to spend a day on the water having fun and seeing beautiful sights or who want to try their hand at fishing.
At Nags Head Woods Preserve, you can find a number of quiet trails that lead to beautiful views of the woods. Roanoke Trail will take you to the hidden beach through beautiful salt marshes.
In Jockey’s Ridge State Park, you can see sand dunes that are out of this world. You can also do things like ATVing, hang gliding, and hiking there.
Grab a bite to eat while breathing in the salty air from the ocean or go window shopping at one of the many boho stores.
Nags Head has the most art galleries of any town in the Banks, so if you want to look at art, this is the place to go.
Kill Devil Hills
You can expect Kill Devil Hills to be like any other beach town. Along the boardwalk, there are the usual tourist shops that sell trinkets with just the right amount of kitsch to draw people in. If you want to stay somewhere nice, there are a lot of options in the area.
Many restaurants and pubs have good food and great views of the coast. Kill Devil Hills is the largest and longest-established town on the Outer Banks.
It is also the oldest. Kill Devil Hills has a lot of things to see and do, so people who go there will never run out of things to do. One of the best things about the Outer Banks is how close this amenity is.
People say that the town got its name because its rum was so strong that it killed the devil. Keep that in mind when you order a pina colada. The National Wright Brother Memorial is in this area because they took off from the nearby sand dunes.
There are miles of public beaches where you can lay out in the sun, build sandcastles, or do anything else your heart desires.
At the Avalon Pier, you can fish, crab, surf, or even go parasailing. Try Seascape Golf Links instead if you want a more difficult game on a more beautiful course.
It is one of the best beaches on the Outer Banks and has amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean. Since there aren’t many businesses in this area, a day at the beach here is more peaceful.
Most of Southern Shores is made up of homes, which gives the area a feeling of privacy. The coasts are peaceful and quiet, making them great places to get away from the stress of everyday life. A paved path goes all the way through the city, making it a great place to run or ride a bike in the afternoon.
Links-style golfers will enjoy the high-end features at Duck Woods Golf Course, which is located here. There are a lot of cute seafood places that serve the “catch of the day.” It looks and feels like a cozy cafe.
A few shopping malls are close by if you need something, but you’ll want to spend your time relaxing on the white sand beaches. Southern Shores is one of the best beaches on the Outer Banks, but not many people know about it.
Duck Beach is one of the best places to take a dog to the Outer Banks. This isn’t much of a resort area, so you might want to stay in a cute beach house or a fancy beach mansion.
The first Duck Donuts were actually made in the town of Duck. If you’re in town for a while, you should come here at least once for breakfast.
Some of the best places to eat and shop in the area are also in Duck. Throughout the year, there are a lot of celebrations, and it’s not hard to find live performances.
Ask a local where they think is the best place to get pizza or seafood in this friendly town. The name of these beaches comes from the large number of ducks that live there. They are known for being great places to look for shells.
The boardwalk goes out along the sound’s gentle waves, and it is lined with interesting shops. There are also a number of good spas nearby if you want to treat yourself to some pampering.
Corolla is an Outer Banks town that is one of a kind. Its name, which comes from the petals of a flower, is fitting because the atmosphere there is lovely.
One of the best things about Corolla is seeing the wild horses that graze on the beaches. Spanish Mustangs have been roaming free for decades, so it’s important to respect their territory and admire their beauty from a distance.
It’s perfect to be between the salty ocean waves and the calm waters of the sound. So, you could go kayaking in the sound or give surfing a try. It’s one of the best beaches on the Outer Banks because there are so many things to do there.
Corolla has its own easygoing rhythm, so take it easy and enjoy every moment. Along the water, there are a lot of cute shops and cafes that add to the appeal of this area.
The Whalehead Club is a well-known landmark in the area because of the building’s architecture and the feel it gives off with its old furniture. There are beautiful views and interesting displays about the ocean from the Currituck Lighthouse.
Currituck National Wildlife Refuge is a safe place for many animals and plants that live in the area. Visit the Center for Wildlife Education if you want to learn more about the interesting animals and plants in the area.
The all-grass course at The Grass Course is a great place for kids and adults to play miniature golf on a day at the beach.
The most southern barrier island is Ocracoke, which can only be reached by boat. The Cape Hatteras National Seashore has it.
Because of this, the room feels more intimate and mysterious. This town has a lot of history and charm, and its beaches are quiet and nice places to relax.
Take the boat to get to this island of magic. Some of the animals you might see here are bears, birds, and horses. Get ready to look for treasure in the sand, because this island is known as the best place in the Outer Banks to go shelling.
The atmosphere is laid-back and easygoing, making it a great place to get away from it all. When you get there, you can do whatever you want, and all the stores are run by people who live there. There are a lot of interesting shops and cute places to eat to choose from.
The second-oldest lighthouse in the United States is on Ocracoke Island. It shows how important the island was in the past. Find out from the locals how the island got its name, “Blackbeard.” We really like how different Ocracoke is from the other barrier islands.
The best place to fish on the Outer Banks is on Hatteras Island. It has a long coastline and is home to several small towns. Since the beach is rarely busy, it’s a great place to go to relax.
Since waves and currents can move the sandbars in this area, they have been the site of more than 600 shipwrecks over the years.
It is often called the Atlantic’s cemetery because of this. Bring your binoculars, because this is also one of the best places on the East Coast to watch birds.
With so much of its land set aside for conservation, this area might seem like a break from both the everyday and the modern world.
Each town—Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Avon, Buxton, Frisco, and Hatteras—has its own special things to do and see. Find out about the beautiful forests, dunes, and marshes that haven’t been changed.
This beach town is a haven for people who want to get away from the modern world and get back to basics, since it doesn’t have the cheesy extras that most vacation spots do.
Hatteras is known for being one of the longest islands in the country. In this area, both kiteboarding and surfing have become more popular as sports.
Roanoke Island is full of history and mystery because it was the site of the first English colony in the New World. It is also where the first 120 people who lived in the colony mysteriously vanished.
There have been many theories about where the Lost Colony, as it is now called, is. However, the mythology of the colony’s existence still has a sense of mystery and enigma to it.
Virginia Dare was the first English person to be born in the United States. On the island, there are a lot of ways to learn more about this phenomenon. Since the North Carolina Aquarium is in Roanoke, it is a popular place to visit.
If you want an action-packed vacation, Roanoke is the best place to go. It has the most attractions of any place in the Outer Banks.
This island is a natural barrier between the mainland and the rest of the barrier islands that make up the banks.
Instead, it is surrounded by the Roanoke Sound and the Croatian Sound. All over the place, there are old pine trees and hidden marshes.
One of the main things that makes it different from other countries is that it is made up of islands. On the island, there are two cities: Wanchese, which is a quiet fishing town, and Manteo, which is a busy port city
The beaches of Avon Beach seem to go on for a long time. Many people think it’s the best place to surf in the Outer Banks. It’s also a popular place to fish and do other water sports.
There is also a fishing pier and a water tower that says “Kinnakeet,” which was the town’s name before it was changed to “Avon.”
The mixing of Native American and Anglo cultures is shown by the Algonquin word kinnakeet, which means “that which is mixed.”
Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge
This island’s coastline is 13 miles long and has never been built on. At the Pea Island visitors’ center, you can learn all about the plants and animals in the area and get tips on how to explore the trails best. You can enjoy the peace and quiet of these beaches.
There are a lot of different species in the area, which makes it a great place for nature lovers, especially those who like to watch birds.
Paddling is just one example of a green activity you can do outside. North Pond and the Salt Flats have beautiful views that are worth your time.
A walk down the Rodanthe Pier is one of the most romantic things to do on the Outer Banks. It is on the sound side of the island and has beautiful views of the island’s sparkling waterways in every direction.
The pier is free to look around, and the beach is a great place to take a walk and enjoy the sights and sounds of the water. You can find the famous house from “Nights in Rodanthe” by taking a stroll along the beach.
Carova, located in South Carolina close to the Virginia border, is renowned for its unspoiled beaches. The coastline is 12 miles long, making it ideal for anyone seeking seclusion on a day trip.
The Shackleford Banks stretch for about 8.5 miles and are about a mile wide at its widest point; they may be found between Beaufort and Harkers Island to the south.
Only accessible by water, a direct ferry runs between Beaufort and the island, making it the most accessible of the three barrier islands that make up Cape Lookout National Seashore.
The eight-mile long barrier of Shackleford Banks separates Beaufort from the Atlantic Ocean, and its waters are said to be the bluest in the state.
The banks shield Beaufort from the waves of the Atlantic Ocean and provide a safe haven for many plant and animal species, including some that washed ashore as a result of shipwrecks.
If you go, you’ll be rewarded with some of North Carolina’s most beautiful beaches and a great selection of fun things to do with shells.
How To Get To And Around The Outer Banks Beaches
As a result, the Outer Banks are convenient for visitors flying in from all around. There are two major international airports in close proximity to Norfolk: Norfolk International Airport (ORF) and Raleigh International Airport (RDU) (RDU) (RDU).
Most domestic flights will originate at RDU, which is roughly a four-hour drive away and has the most connections to other U.S. cities.
The most popular option, ORF, is just two hours distant, but because to its modest size, direct flights may be tougher to get. Both of these cities have airports from which you may hire a vehicle and continue your trip on the road.
Several smaller regional airports will bring you closer to the islands if a straight drop-off is more your style.
There are a number of public airports in the area, including Dare County Regional Airport, Ocracoke Island Airport, Kitty Hawk Airport, and Currituck County Regional Airport.
Our top recommendation for getting to and around the Outer Banks is to rent a vehicle. It’s the most convenient method to see all the sights along the coast, including the historic lighthouses, and it provides you the greatest leeway in planning your itinerary.
Given the limited number of roads that go north and south along the shore, finding your way to the banks is a breeze. North Carolina State Highway 12 and United States Highway 158 are the two most important thoroughfares that connect the north and south of the state.
You should go as far east as possible without reaching water. The majority of the routes are beautiful, relaxing rides.
However, if you must drive, try to avoid doing so on Saturdays, since this is when traffic is at its worst, particularly during the warmer months.
After arriving at the Outer Banks, using a ferry to go between the barrier islands is one of the most thrilling and scenic things to do. All the most recent details, including ferry times and locations, are available from the NC DOT.
There are a total of 13 stops along the coast of North Carolina, served by seven different routes. Hatteras-Ocracoke, Cherry Branch-Minnesott Beach, South Port-Fort Fisher, Currituck-Knotts Island, and Cedar Island-Ocracoke are some of the others.
Biking the OBX
Lastly, after you’ve arrived at the Outer Banks, you may explore the islands by bike if you’d want a more active mode of transportation.
You may bring your own, or they do have rentals available. On OBX, you may find several places to rent bicycles.
It’s rather level and has a plethora of bike lanes for exploring the area. If you’re feeling adventurous, this is a great opportunity to go out into the wilderness and see the region at your own pace.