With 200 miles long chain of breathtaking islands off the east coast of US in the state of North Carolina, the Outer Banks is one of the most loved beach destinations in the USA. The region showcases charming little towns and numerous water sports activities beseeming the families traveling with kids. Having said that, there’s no dearth of things to do in Outer Banks, NC!
Sounds like just any other island with beaches to enjoy? You got to visit to feel the magic it spells on you that you want to visit it again.
How is it different than any other beach destination? Outer Banks offers more than just regular sand, surf, and sun. There are many activities off the sand too. You can ride the wind and bike the land. Outer Banks State Parks viz. Jockey’s Ridge State Park, Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, Elizabeth Gardens, Roanoke Island Festival Park and others celebrate the evolution and existence of Outer Banks.
Nags Head or Southern Shores have public beaches brimming with energy while Hatteras Island offers beaches with relaxed and quiet vibes. The little villages and towns on Hatteras Island connect you with ever lovely and warm locals to make friends with.
When I think of America’s National Park Service (NPS), I think of National Parks like Grand Canyon National Park or Great Smoky Mountains National Park that encompass forests, mountains and lakes. I never thought of any beach to be a national park. It was surprising to know that Cape Hatteras Island on the Outer Banks is a National Park managed by NPS!
Did you know that Cape Hatteras on the Outer Banks of North Carolina is America’s First National Seashore?
With countless things to do, it might get confusing to choose what to do and what not to. Check out our list of 10 best things to do in Outer Banks, NC.
10 BEST THINGS TO DO IN OUTER BANKS, NC
* The pristine beaches, where we just sat the whole day doing nothing but everything. Albeit, it may appear as if doing nothing is too much indulgence, however, every now and then it proves to be the re-invigoration one needs. Yes! We spent quality time together enjoying the endless water surface, reading a book, making castles of our dreams, going for leisure walks along the sandy beaches, letting the waves kiss our feet, and collecting sea shells as our lovely souvenirs.
* Thrill and adventure of driving on the beaches. There are many beaches in Outer Banks where you can drive your AWD vehicle, some require a permit though. Beware, the adrenaline rush of driving here thrusts you to be more adventurous and you might get stuck in the sand. We were lucky to have a shovel to our rescue.
* Chasing to spot some wild horses.
America’s tallest brick lighthouse at Cape Hatteras
* Climbing up the spiral stairs of black & white lighthouses.
Wright Brothers National Memorial
* Catching the first flight of Wright Brothers.
Jockey’s Ridge State Park
Flying a kite on the sand dunes in Jockey ridge state park.
* Enjoying the majestic sun as it paints the magical colors on the sky.
* Getting super excited by taking the car on the ferry to Ocracoke Island.
* Or simply driving across the scenic byway to enjoy the beauty and nature of this picturesque place.
Savor locally harvested food
There are only a few entry points to Outer Banks –
From North via US 158
From West via US 64 through Roanoke Island and
From South using the ferry either from Swan Quarter or Cedar Island (Both are toll ferries and you can take your cars in them) to Ocracoke island.
Read more about our experience of Ocracoke Island.
We entered from North via US 158 and even drove the Scenic Byway to Ocracoke Island which took us about 2 hours 30 mins which were worth every moment. The journey included taking the free state ferry (can take cars in ferry) to Ocracoke island. From Ocracoke Island, we took the 2 ½ hour toll ferry to Swan Quarter (made online reservations in advance) to end our magical Outer Banks vacation with the promise to come back soon.
TIPS FOR VISITING OUTER BANKS
* During the high season, the vacation rentals and hotels are booked therefore plan and make reservations well in advance.
* Plan to arrive early since there is a long waiting queue for the ferry to and from Hatteras. The ferry terminals and ferries have restroom facilities though.
* The ferries have vending machine/ small cafe.
Feel free to share your experience with us.
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