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Best Things To Do In Outer Banks

There are so many things to do on the Outer Banks. To get things started, we’re going to highlight some of the most popular tourist destinations and activities here. Maybe later we’ll share some local favs or more “off-the-beaten-path” things to do. Feel free to contact us for more details. Hope you enjoy!

1. Outer Banks Air Tour

Take an air tour, of course! 🙂 What better way to see the Outer Banks than from above. On an air tour with Outer Banks Airlines, we’ll give you local “insider” information and tell you all the best places to visit on the OBX. Check out OBX Air Tour pricing here and get a feel for all the attractions you might see while flying.

2. Jockey's Ridge State Park

Nags Head —Jockey’s Ridge is a favorite, especially among the younger set. There is just nothing like rolling down that steep hill and getting all sandy. Sand in your hair, sand in your pockets, sand just about everywhere. And then getting back in your parent’s car. Nothing. Like. It. Except maybe going to the beach, of course. Jockey’s Ridge is great to do in the evening when the sun is setting. You can see some great views of both the ocean and the sound. And if you go, don’t forget to walk across the street to our friends at Scoops Ice Cream. They make the best!

3. Wright Brothers National Memorial

Kill Devil Hills —You can’t come to the Outer Banks and not see where the first successful airplane flight was flown. That would just be inconceivable. Wright Brothers, as the locals call it for short, is a huge 60′ granite tower to memorialize the Wright Brother’s trials, tribulations and then their first flights made on December 17, 1903. It is definitely a must see and a superb history lesson. You can’t miss it. And when I say that, I mean, there is no way that you won’t see it. It is huge. Oh, and guess what else? There is an Airport at the Wright Brothers National Memorial. And we can fly you here if you are staying nearby.

4. Roanoke Island Festival Park

Manteo —Festival Park has loads of fun things to see and do. Who doesn’t love a good costumed sailor? At Festival Park, you can board the 16th century representative ship, Elizabeth II, visit the American Indian Town, the settlement site and the Roanoke Adventure Museum. The interpretive staff stay in character the whole time! This makes for some very interesting conversations.

5. The Lost Colony Outdoor Drama

Roanoke Island —The Lost Colony Outdoor Drama is arguably the Outer Banks’ #1 attraction. Some say that it is America’s greatest unsolved mystery. Or is it? Aside from the colony now seemingly not being “lost” you simply must see this outdoor drama. The music, dancing and costumes are fantastic. It is another great history lesson for the kiddos. And, dancing. Dancing is my favorite.

6. Fort Raleigh National Historic Site

Roanoke Island —Seriously. Another history lesson, you say? Yes! We have a ton of historical attractions here on the OBX and Fort Raleigh is an awesome one. Fort Raleigh shows you what England’s first New World settlements looked like. The actual footprint of the earthwork fort is still there (it was reconstructed in 1950), plus they have a great little visitor center to explore. There are trails, and Waterside Theater, where The Lost Colony Outdoor Drama is performed, is on site. While there, you should also consider visiting the Elizabethan Gardens. The gardens are very pretty, don’t take long to walk through and can be a cooler place to hang out in the hottest part of the day. Trees people. Lots of them. Don’t forget the bug spray.

7. The North Carolina Aquarium

Roanoke Island —North Carolina has four aquariums and we are blessed to have two of them right here on the Outer Banks. That’s right folks, you heard right. Now, I will say, you may be tempted to wait until a cloudy or rainy day to visit the Aquarium. But, take my advice. Don’t. The Aquarium on Roanoke Island is so ridiculously, crazy crowded on days like that. If you really want to see it, go on a sunny day for less people. I know, I know you don’t want to take away a good beach day. But don’t say I didn’t warn you. The other NC Aquarium is at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head. It’s smaller, but it is a pier! You get to walk out on the pier and watch all the people catching fish. Kids absolutely love this one.

8. Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Nags Head to Ocracoke —The top thing to do at Cape Hatteras National Seashore is to climb the 257 steps of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. There are just too many activities to list within the seashore. Fishing, birding, beaching it up and hiking. Other than that, even if you don’t fish, you should visit Red Drum Tackle Shop and the next door Red Drum Food Mart. It is an experience in itself. Did you know, there is an airport near Cape Hatteras? It’s called Billy Mitchell Airport. We also do a lot of custom air tours over Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. Lots to see and do!

9. Visit Ocracoke Island

Ocracoke Island—small island, small town, wild (confined) horses, cute little Ocracoke lighthouse, Blackbeard. Need I say more? I will, because I feel the need to convince you to visit Ocracoke at least once. Ocracoke Island is only accessible by ferry, and the ferry ride is half the fun. That is unless you don’t get in line early. Check the schedules and be there. Or, you can wait. Your choice. Hold up! Did I just say it’s only accessible by ferry? Ha, there is also an airport on Ocracoke Island that just happens to be one of our favorites! While you are on the island, visit our friends at Howard’s Pub for some good eats. For some extra special memories, rent a bike to see the island at a slower pace.

10. Visit Corolla and Duck

Corolla and Duck—On the other end of the Outer Banks is the northern beaches. Climb the Currituck Beach Lighthouse, see the wild horses, take a wild horse adventure tour and watch the sunset at The Whalehead Club. If you are a shopper, bring your money. Attention: Be prepared to do a lot of sitting in your car wondering why you are moving so slow. The road to Duck and Corolla is narrow and two-laned. But, trust me, it is well worth the wait! So how do you get there? Are there any airports near Corolla NC? Well, I’m glad you asked! We now manage Pine Island Airport, right in between Duck and Corolla and it’s quickly becoming our most popular airport for our customers since it’s the fastest way to reach the Northern Beaches.

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