Things To Do on the Outer Banks

Jump Into Outer Banks Things To Do

Outer Banks visitors are recreation lovers. After all, with an area known for its natural beauty, why wouldn’t you want to be outside taking full advantage of every Outer Banks things to do you could think of? Each town offers its own outdoor fun, and you’ll find out everything you need to know to take full advantage of it all here.

Perhaps the Outer Banks things to do with the biggest draw is Mother Ocean and the sand that hugs her. Top on anyone’s Outer Banks thing to do list here, no matter if you’re in Corolla, Nags Head, Manteo, Hatteras or Ocracoke, is getting in, on or near the water. That translates into sunbathing, swimming, body boarding, skimboarding, surfing, scuba diving, shelling, sea glass hunting, shore walking…and did we mention just sitting and looking at those meditative waves rolling in? The Hatteras Things To Do section has all the scoop on how you can get onto or into the water, as does Ocracoke Things To Do.

Outer Banks Standup Paddleboard Watersport

Of course, the ocean isn’t the only body of water that beckons. There’s also the sound, which to many – parasailors, regular sailors, kiteboarders, standup paddleboarders, clammers, boaters, windsurfers, kayakers, Jet skiiers – is just as attractive. To find a good sound access, check out Nags Head Things To Do, or if you’re in the northern Outer Banks area, there are lots of water sports options at Duck Things To Do. Of course, the things to do sections of each destination include almost every water recreation offering you can imagine, so check each one out regardless of where you’re staying in the area. Plenty of visitors (and locals!) are happy to travel from, say, Corolla to Manteo to take advantage of a specific activity.

Tons of Outer Banks Things To Do on Dry Land!

Feel more like a dry Outer Banks activity. No problem! How about golf? There are many good courses in the area, not to mention putt-putt if the little ones are in the same mood. Maybe fishing is the ticket. With piers, bridges, shorelines, the sound, bays, offshore and inshore charters, there’s plenty of opportunity to wet a line. Along a similar line, a dolphin or sightseeing tour is a great way to spend an afternoon or evening. Roanoke Island Things To Do is home to many such outfitters.

Wild horses — or the observation of them — almost constitutes an Outer Banks activity of its own. If you’re an equine lover, see Corolla Things To Do and Ocracoke Things To Do.

Outer Banks Activities - Bike Riding

Outer Banks Marathons, Triathlons, 5Ks and More

If you’re a jogger, walker or biker, you’ll love this place. Each town has either a designated bike path, boardwalks or back roads that are so lovely you’ll forget all about the fact that you have three more miles to go! In some areas, such as Roanoke Island, Duck or Ocracoke, biking or walking is actually a preferred way to get around. Parking sure isn’t an issue when you’re on a two wheeler or your own pieds, and the slower pace allows you to experience more of the area than you ever will in a car. And, hey, all you competitive biking sorts reading this: Just because the Outer Banks is relatively flat does not mean you’re in for a cushy ride. When you have one of our strong head winds blowing into you, which happens a lot of the time, you might as well be doing a long uphill pull.

Kids stay happy here with skateboard parks, race tracks, playgrounds, climbing walls, camps, beading shops, paint-your-own pottery places, pirate adventures and water sports lessons. And we all know that behind every happy kid is a happier parent.

So, welcome to the exhilarating experience of Outer Banks activities! Enjoy yourselves! There are a million ways to have fun here.

Outer Banks Things To Do by Area

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

Outer Banks Things To Do by Category

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge

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

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge is a 154,000-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 Refuge's diversity of habitat types includes... read more

Back Beach Wild Horse Tours

1159-H 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 Country 4x4 & Kayak Safari

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

Some of the best wildlife viewing and paddling on the Outer Banks takes place in the remote northern waterways of the Currituck Sound near the Virginia border. Back Country’s unique 4x4 & Kayak Safari carries small groups and families by custom open-air Safari Cruisers through 30 miles of off-road beach, dune and sand trail to paddle from the private Spanish Mustang Preserve where they have... read more

Back Country Segway Safari

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

Segways look like so much fun that when you see people gliding around Corolla on them, you’ll want to try one too. The Segway is a two-wheeled electric vehicle that’s a blast to ride. It’s so easy it seems the Segway was made just for you. At Back Country Segway Safari, located at the Corolla Light Town Center in Corolla, you can choose a gliding... read more

Back Country Wild Horse Safari

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

Beach Braids Hair Wraps & Henna

791 Sunset Boulevard, Corolla
(252) 453-0310
1171 Duck Road, Duck
(252) 261-3769
4104 S. Virginia Dare Trail, The Beach Road, MP 13, Nags Head
(252) 441-6970

Get the ultimate vacation souvenir with a colorful hairwrap, some cornrows or a temporary tattoo. Beach Braids is the only Outer Banks shop offering natural henna tattoos in addition to Jagua tattoos, all 100% plant based and brown or blue/black in color. All three Beach Braids locations have a Mendhi artist on staff during peak season. This store also sells custom, handmade hemp jewelry. Appointments or... read more

Beach Ride Rentals and Watersports

Irvin Garrish Highway, Ocracoke
(252) 916-0133

At the corner of Silver Lake Road and Highway 12, this service rents 4x4 vehicles and kayaks. Enjoy full or half-day rentals of 4x4 vehicles to drive on Ocracoke's beach. Kayaks can be launched into the Silver Lake for a cruise around the harbor or out into the sound. Reservations are encouraged.

Bianca's Tea Leaf Readings

1523 N. Croatan Highway, The Bypass, MP 8, Kill Devil Hills
(252) 473-2277
205 Sir Walter Raleigh Street, Manteo
(252) 473-2277

Need advice? Bianca is highly intuitive and well known for her honest and accurate predictions using Tarot cards, astrology, a crystal ball, handwriting analysis, horoscope readings, tea leaf readings, color therapy and Feng Shui. For more than 30 years, Bianca has helped hundreds live a healthier and stress-free life, and she assures you success by advising you in love, business, marriage, divorce, health and family... read more

Bob’s Wild Horse Tours

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

Captain Johnny’s Dolphin Tours

400 Queen Elizabeth Avenue, Manteo Waterfront, Manteo
(252) 473-1475
(866) 473-1475

It’s very exciting to watch bottlenosed dolphins frolicking and rolling through the water. Dolphins live in the sounds and from June through October frequent the local waters. Capt. Stuart Wescott, a ninth-generation Roanoke Island native, is now entering his 23rd season of conducting dolphin watch tours in the Roanoke Sound aboard the 53-foot pontoon-type boat Capt. Johnny. If you miss the dolphins on your first... read more

Causeway Watersports

7649 S. Virginia Dare Trail, Nags Head/Manteo Causeway, Nags Head
(252) 441-8875

Whether you enjoy the thrill of parasailing, the excitement of a Waverunner or a quieter dolphin tour, it's waiting for you at Causeway Watersports. This adventure mecca is on the Nags Head/Manteo Causeway (look for the 30-foot observation tower near Basnight’s Lone Cedar Restaurant). They offer fun Jet Ski and dolphin tours of the beautiful Outer Banks coastline, and they also rent pontoon boats and... read more

Corolla Raceway

796 Sunset Boulevard, Timbuck II Shopping Village, Corolla
(252) 453-9100

The Corolla Raceway features one large track running single, double and junior go carts. For the tamer ones in your crowd, there are freestanding, gas-powered bumper cars. The on-site arcade is a hit with the kids, and the ospreys in the nest overlooking the track are a hit with everyone. The Raceway is open April through September.