Outer Banks Attractions

Nature is perhaps the most enticing feature of the Outer Banks. With the vital role it plays with attractions at the Outer Banks and life today, it should come as no surprise that this natural environment is intertwined with the area’s history. Each Outer Banks town has its signature claims. Corolla Attractions are resplendent with history – the stately Currituck Beach Lighthouse, a historic mansion built in the 1920s, a restored life-saving station and a village center made up of original buildings that have been repurposed as shops, a school, a spa/salon and more. Continue discovering the rich history within Outer Banks attractions farther south with Nags Head Attractions, like the spot of the Wright brothers’ first powered flight. Keep going, and history-lovers find that dreams come true with Roanoke Island Attractions: Check out outdoor performances of The Lost Colony, which enchants patrons with the story of the first attempt of colonization in the New World and the beautiful grounds at Elizabethan Gardens pay tribute to the colonists. Outer Banks attractions at Roanoke Island Festival Park put you in touch with history with an interactive museum, the representative ship Elizabeth II, period actors from the early colony, a Native American village and an outdoor pavilion that hosts musical events. 

Go Wild Exploring Outer Banks Attractions

Ponies (a famous Ocracoke Island Attraction), bears, wolves and alligators bring a wild side to the Outer Banks. The Hatteras Attraction of birding in the Pea Island Wildlife Refuge draws visitors from across the country. Then, add to this the fact that you're on islands surrounded by sounds full of dolphin and fish and miles of undeveloped seashore bordering Mother Ocean, and you have a vast bounty of Outer Banks attractions to enliven your experience here.

In addition to being a history haven, Corolla bolsters quite the reputation with its nature-based attractions: a wildlife center, town garden, nature trails and the beloved wild horses.

You’re likely to need more than one visit to take in all that the extraordinary Outer Banks attractions have to offer. Enjoy!

Outer Banks Attractions by Area

Corolla | Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills & Nags Head
Roanoke Island & Manteo | Hatteras Island | Ocracoke Island

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge

Outer Banks Attractions
Milltail Road, off U.S. Highway 64, Manteo
(252) 473-1131

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge is a more than 159,000-acre refuge on the mainland portion of Dare and Hyde counties. It was established in 1984 to preserve and protect a unique wetland habitat type, the pocosin, and its associated wildlife species. Pocosin is a Native American word meaning ‘‘swamp-on-a-hill’’ and is characterized by poorly drained soils high in organic material. The... read more

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge is a more than 159,000-acre refuge... read more

Back Beach Wild Horse Tours

Outer Banks Attractions
1159-F Austin Street, Corolla
(252) 453-6141

Back Beach Wild Horse Tours' highly trained staff has a great reputation for being entertaining and informative. Their tours last two hours and incorporate quite a bit of local history to complement the sightseeing while showering you with interesting lore. In the four-wheel-drive area you’ll see the Corolla wild horses grazing in their natural habitat and the occasional deer and surfing dolphins. Back Beach tours are given in safari-style,... read more

Back Beach Wild Horse Tours' highly trained staff has a great reputation for being entertaining and... read more

Back Country Wild Horse Safari

Outer Banks Attractions
Meet at Corolla Light Town Center, 1109 Ocean Trail, Corolla
(252) 453-0877

Scott Trabue’s Wild Horse Safari is an off-road eco-adventure that will deliver you and your family directly to the wild Spanish mustangs that have thrived on the northern Outer Banks for nearly 500 years. Your naturalist guide will carry you in custom open-air Safari Cruisers through 30 miles of beaches, dune and backcountry sand lanes to discover the Outer Banks’ unique wildlife. Shore life including... read more

Scott Trabue’s Wild Horse Safari is an off-road eco-adventure that will deliver you and your... read more

Bob's Wild Horse Tours

Outer Banks Attractions
817-B Ocean Trail, Highway 12, Corolla
(252) 453-8602

Bob White is a legend in the horse tour business. He and his highly trained staff have been offering tours since 1996 with a great reputation for being both entertaining and informative. Bob’s tours last two hours and incorporate quite a bit of local history and interesting lore to complement the sightseeing. In the four-wheel-drive area you’ll see the horses grazing in their natural habitat, often along with... read more

Bob White is a legend in the horse tour business. He and his highly trained staff... read more

Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station

Outer Banks Attractions
27968 N.C. Highway 12, Rodanthe
(252) 987-1552

The Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station is the nation’s largest and most complete existing example of the life-saving stations that were built along the Atlantic coast in the late 19th century to attend to shipwrecks and to rescue survivors. The 1874 Station was the first operational U.S. Life-Saving Service station built in North Carolina, serving until 1954. Chicamacomico has been partially restored, thanks to numerous volunteers who... read more

The Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station is the nation’s largest and most complete existing example of the... read more

Corolla Wild Horse Museum

Outer Banks Attractions
520 Old Stoney Road, Suite B, Corolla
(252) 453-8002

Corolla Wild Horse Fund's offices, museum store and education center are now located at 520B Old Stoney Road in the Ocean Club Centre, the same complex as Corolla’s Visitors Center and the ABC Store. This is where the Corolla Wild Horse Fund shares the fascinating history and legacy of the Banker strain of Colonial Spanish Mustangs. Descendants of Spanish Mustangs brought to the Outer Banks nearly... read more

Corolla Wild Horse Fund's offices, museum store and education center are now located at 520B... read more

Corolla Wild Horse Tours

Outer Banks Attractions
1210 Ocean Trail, Corolla
(252) 207-0511

Corolla Wild Horse Tours has been guiding tours to Corolla’s horse country — the four-wheel-drive-only beaches north of Corolla — since 1996. With these experienced and knowledgeable guides, you can sit back and enjoy a comfortable, family-oriented tour. This company uses 15-passenger, open-air safari-style trucks that are safe for any age, including kids in car seats. Along the trip, your guide will tell you about... read more

Corolla Wild Horse Tours has been guiding tours to Corolla’s horse country — the four-wheel-drive-only... read more

Currituck Beach Lighthouse

Outer Banks Attractions
1101 Corolla Village Road, Corolla
(252) 453-4939

The red-brick Currituck Beach Lighthouse towers above the landscape in the Historic Corolla village. Visitors to this Outer Banks attraction can climb the winding staircase, 220 steps in all, to the top of the lighthouse for a panoramic view of Currituck Sound, the Atlantic Ocean and the Currituck Outer Banks. Inside the lighthouse, at the base and on the first two landings, there are museum-quality... read more

The red-brick Currituck Beach Lighthouse towers above the landscape in the Historic Corolla village. Visitors... read more

Currituck Outer Banks Visitors Center

Outer Banks Attractions
500 Hunt Club Drive, Corolla
(252) 453-9612

The Currituck Outer Banks Visitors Center offers restrooms plus all the visitor information and assistance you'll need for a trip to Corolla and its surrounding areas. You'll find it on the west side of N.C. Highway 12 on the south end of the Currituck Club; if heading north, start looking for it on the left after you pass the Hampton Inn.

Currituck County also operates... read more

The Currituck Outer Banks Visitors Center offers restrooms plus all the visitor information and assistance... read more

Elizabethan Gardens

Outer Banks Attractions
1411 National Park Drive (off U.S. Highway 64) next to Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, Manteo
(252) 473-3234

Designed by two of America’s foremost landscape architects to pay tribute to America’s first English colonists, The Elizabethan Gardens is a rare treasure and a beloved Outer Banks attraction. It’s a haven of verdant, flourishing growth and natural prosperity. The gardens are in bloom year round with azaleas, dogwoods, roses, camellias, daphne, a variety of annuals and herbs and much more. Adding exquisite touches are... read more

Designed by two of America’s foremost landscape architects to pay tribute to America’s first English... read more

Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum

Outer Banks Attractions
59200 Museum Drive, Hatteras village
(252) 986-0720

At the end of N.C. Highway 12 just past the ferry docks, Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum attracts a lot of attention with its ship-like building, porthole windows and curved timbers. One of three North Carolina Maritime Museums operated by the North Carolina Division of Cultural Resources, the museum focuses on the maritime history and shipwrecks of North Carolina’s Outer Banks, often called the Graveyard... read more

At the end of N.C. Highway 12 just past the ferry docks, Graveyard of the... read more

H2OBX

Outer Banks Attractions
8526 Caratoke Highway, Powells Point
(252) 491-3000

Making a huge splash onto the summer scene in 2017, H2OBX is hottest spot for cooling off for both locals and visitors. Expertly planned by the Aquatic Development Group, the country's leading water park designers, the site contains some of the most innovative aqua rides in the country. Located just 3 miles north of the Wright Memorial Bridge in Currituck County (visitors from the north... read more

Making a huge splash onto the summer scene in 2017, H2OBX is hottest spot for... read more