Outer Banks Outdoor Things To Do

The Outer Banks landscape is a mesmerizing geographic wonder. Climb Jockey’s Ridge to see the Atlantic Ocean to the East, the sound to the West and the variations between thin strips of sand and flat marshland in between. Fortunately for you, Outer Banks outdoor things to do aren’t limited to sunning on the beach and swimming in the ocean. Take advantage of the beautiful landscape by participating in activities that put the warm sun over your head and sea salty air in your lungs. With Outer Banks outdoor activities, you can look for native animals and plants in wooded nature preserves, take vehicle tours to find some wild ponies playing in Corolla, stand over the water on a pier, take a fishing trip with a captain who knows all of the top fishing spots, visit docks to watch boat captains and mates unload the day’s catches, promenade through lovely gardens and take nature-oriented classes at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head, the Ocean Center in Avon or the Wildlife Education Center in Corolla. With such a wide selection of activities, you’ll stay busy and entertained. Check out the below listings of Outer Banks outdoor things to do that you can enjoy during your visit to the beach.


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

Outer Banks Nature & Outdoor Oriented
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 Nature & Outdoor Oriented
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 Beach Wild Horse Tours' highly trained staff has a great reputation for being entertaining and... read more

Back Country Wild Horse Safari

Outer Banks Nature & Outdoor Oriented
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 Nature & Outdoor Oriented
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

Captain Johnny’s Dolphin Tours

Outer Banks Nature & Outdoor Oriented
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, has been conducting dolphin watch tours in the Roanoke Sound aboard the 53-foot pontoon-type boat Capt. Johnny for nearly 25 years. If you miss the dolphins on your first trip,... read more

It’s very exciting to watch bottlenosed dolphins frolicking and rolling through the water. Dolphins live... read more

Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station

Outer Banks Nature & Outdoor Oriented
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 Life-Saving station built in North Carolina, serving until 1954. Chicamacomico has been partially restored, thanks to numerous volunteers who formed a... 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 Nature & Outdoor Oriented
520 Old Stoney Road, Suite B, Corolla
(252) 453-8002

Corolla Wild Horse Fund has recently moved to 520B Old Stoney Road in the Ocean Club Centre, the same complex as Corolla’s Visitors Center and the ABC Store. The museum store is open, while the education center is still under construction with an anticipated opening of May 2018. See their website for an updated status of the schedule, www.corollawildhorses.org.

The Corolla Wild Horse Fund... read more

Corolla Wild Horse Fund has recently moved to 520B Old Stoney Road in the Ocean... read more

Corolla Wild Horse Tours

Outer Banks Nature & Outdoor Oriented
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 Nature & Outdoor Oriented
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

Elizabethan Gardens

Outer Banks Nature & Outdoor Oriented
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

First Fridays in Manteo

Outer Banks Nature & Outdoor Oriented
Downtown Manteo, Manteo
(252) 473-5558

First Friday is a family-oriented festival held in downtown Manteo on the first Friday of every month from April through December. From 6 to 8 p.m. downtown Manteo’s sidewalks come alive with a wide variety of musical performances and festive activities for all ages. Individual shops and restaurants frequently do their own celebratory activity such as live music, special sales, refreshments and hors d’oeuvres. Dare County... read more

First Friday is a family-oriented festival held in downtown Manteo on the first Friday of... read more

Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum

Outer Banks Nature & Outdoor Oriented
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