What Will You Choose for Your Outer Banks Activities?

Outer Banks ATV tour
Portsmouth Island ATV Tour

Go directly to the list of activities pages below.

For vacationers seeking a wide variety of things to do, Outer Banks is the perfect destination. We're always amazed at what there is to do here.

The Outer Banks are 130 miles of sand barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina in the Atlantic Ocean where the temperatures are mild enough for vacationers to visit year round. Visitors can play in the sand and surf, explore history, marvel at wildlife (one of our favorites), appreciate local artists and craftsmen, visit museums, enjoy music, partake of southern cuisine--including fresh seafood-- and stroll through all kinds of shops from antiques to sports equipment to souvenirs. Anglers can cast a line for freshwater and saltwater fish. Golfers can try their luck on courses designed by the pros. Fans of aviation can stand in the exact spot where Orville and Wilbur Wright took their historic first flight.

Outer Banks activities include:

For history buffs, there is the Lost Colony, a historic recreation of Sir Walter Raleigh's attempts for the English to colonize the New World. The settlements never took root, and the second group to arrive simply disappeared, hence the name. Also for history buffs, and for garden enthusiasts, Roanoke Island offers the Elizabethan Gardens. These gardens not only showcase local flora, but also have historic structures that include antiques from the 16th century. Certain gardens, too, are tended and maintained using tools and plants from that century.

Currituck Lighthouse
Currituck Lighthouse

Another type of history is available to vacationers via the Outer Banks lighthouses. Several lighthouses were built back in the days of pirates and shipwrecks, stood tall against hurricanes and Civil War cannons, and provided outposts for World War II military.

If sports are a particular favorite for things to do Outer Banks water sports take top prize. Known as the Wind Surfing Capital of the East Coast, these barrier islands are hot spots for surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, and kiteboarding. Also known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic because of all the shipwrecks, diving is popular, too. With over 400 square miles of water, fishing in the Outer Banks is some of the best in the country. Over 90 fishing records have been set off these shores, including records for red drum and marlin. Anglers can enjoy freshwater, saltwater (surf fishing), deep sea and fly fishing.

For visitors who prefer to see the water rather than be in it, Outer Banks cruises provide a variety of sailing modes, from sailboats to headboats, and a variety of tours including searching for schools of dolphins.

pelicans on Beacon island
Pelicans on Beacon Island

The Outer Banks offers activities on the rivers, marshes, and wetlands. Housed and protected among these marshes are many species of Outer Banks wildlife. Birds, bears, foxes, 400 year old trees and Outer Banks wild horses can be found along these islands. There are several refuges and preserves for these animals that work to save and protect endangered species. Vacationers can tour these areas on their own, or engage a guide. For example, the Outer Banks kayak tours offer a slow and serene way to view these natural habitats.

Enjoying the islands can be achieved on land as well. Outer Banks biking is a great way to see the quaint villages and shops, and to ride swiftly along the beach in the sea air. For stunning views of the ocean and of the sound, and to experience links designed by Russell Breeden, Outer Banks golf courses offer 18 holes for all skill levels.

Though restricted to certain areas and certain seasons, ride an Outer Banks ATV (all terrain vehicle) to explore the dunes and cruise the beaches.

For more leisurely pursuits, Outer banks museums provide a taste of culture while giving vacationers a respite from the heat and salt air. Centuries of maritime history are presented by these museums including an up-close look at the Graveyard of the Atlantic, home to over 1,500 shipwrecks. With the Wright Brothers Memorial, aviation history is also detailed, including reproductions of the Wright brothers' plane.

Because of the beaches and availability of water sports and fun, the Outer Banks is a great family destination. When the weather or tired little ones prevent fun in the great outdoors, a perfect family solution is the Outer Banks Music Showcase. Presented in an "old style" theater, this musical revue is performed by local actors, singers and musicians, and is full of music and comedy for all ages.

Of course, no trip to a vacation spot would be complete with out stopping for souvenirs. Outer Banks NC shopping offers much, much more. Outfitters provide sports equipment and apparel. Markets offer fresh-caught seafood. Antique shops carry jewelry, furniture and other pieces of nostalgia. Art galleries and boutiques offer works by local artisans, and of course, many stores offer momentoes of the Outer Banks visit.

Below is a list of all my Outer Banks activities pages:

Art galleries
Deep Sea Fishing
Elizabethan Gardens
Fishing (general)
Fly Fishing
Golf Courses
Kayak Tours
Lost Colony
Music Showcase
Surf Fishing
Water Sports
Wild Horses

For further information on Outer Banks activities, Visitor Centers are located in several villages along the islands. Visitors can drop in at one of these centers or visit

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