Did you know there are some things you can only do on the Outer Banks? These unique experiences are part of what makes the OBX an amazing vacation destination and a perfect spot to start (or continue) your family’s vacation traditions.
Seeing The Horses
The Outer Banks is one of the few places that still has wild horses roaming free on the beach. They are a beautiful sight to behold and many consider them a metaphor for life. These horses inhabit the four wheel drive area in Corlla and you’ll never know when you’ll see one. If you want a guaranteed sighting, take a tour with our Fun N Sun partner, Corolla Outback Adventures. Seeing these majestic animals in their natural habitat is an experience you’ll carry with you forever.
Other places ‘crab’ by putting out pots and then collecting the crabs later. And while that’s how commercial crabbers do it, it’s not how it’s done on the Outer Banks when you’re crabbing for fun with your family. It all starts with a chicken neck, a piece of twine, a dock, (Duck has a public one) and a net. You simply tie the twine around the neck, lower it in the water and wait for a nibble. Then, you slowly lift the twine and scoop up the crab with the net. It’s an experience that always leads to fun, laughter and great memories.
Here’s a great time guarantee for anyone with kids or who are kids are heart; ghost crabbing. Nope. It’s not like regular crabbing. These aren’t edible crabs and you aren’t going to keep them. (They don’t make great pets either.) All you have to do is wait until sunset, then grab your flashlight, kids and camera and head to the beach. Ghost crabs are sand colored crabs that only come out at night. Shine your flashlight around until you see the moving sand. You’ve found one! Then, take its picture. That’s all there is too it. This simple activity can keep kids and adults entertained for ours and it’s a good way to work off energy in the evening.
Eating Outer Banks Style
From dining with your dogs, to watching the sun set as you dine, to having food exclusive to the Outer Banks, like Hatteras Clam Chowder, blue fish dip, or wine from local vineyards, eating can make a memory too. There’s a variety of dÃ©cor and food for all tastes including seafood, fine dining casual dining and some places you just have to try to believe. The best conversations are always had over meals after all. So it makes sense some of your best memories would also be over food. The smells, the tastes, the decor and the setting, there’s nothing quite like the outer banks.
The Lost Colony
The Outer Banks is home to the first English settlement in the new world. It’s also home to the longest running outdoor drama about that very topic. Paul greens’ play has been running every summer since 1937. It has featured famous stars before they got famous, including Andy Griffith, Leon Rippy, Chris Elliott, Eileen Fulton, Terrence Mann, Ira David Wood III and R.G. Armstrong . It has even won a Tony for Excellence in Theatre. This is family a friendly show, but does have some intense scenes involving fire which might be frightening for the littlest viewers.
The Outer Banks Comedy Club
Another great entertainment option is the Outer Banks Comedy Club. This is actually the oldest seasonal comedy club in the country and is well known on the comedy club circuit for new comedians just starting out. Some now famous comedians who started out at this club include Ray Romano, Drew Carey, and Sinbad. Food and drink can be ordered just show. And since every week is a different performer, you can see it year after year and see something new every time. The show is suitable for ages 16 and up.
The Grass Mini Golf Course
All tourist areas have a wide selection of mini golf courses and the Outer Banks is no exception. You can find everything from the more commercial chain mini-golf places, to the more traditional retro kind on the beach road. And then, there’s the Grass Course. This is true miniature golf from several generations ago is an actual grass course, devoid of windmills and waterfalls. Instead, the landscaping provides the challenge, just like real golf. . It looks just like a real golf course that’s been shrunken down, complete with tiny sand trap and an osprey nest. The Grass Course the course is a great way to introduce kids to the joys of golf when they’re not ready for a real course yet.
A Day On The Sound
A sound is like a bay; and is also known as a big water playground for such sorts such as stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, waterskiing, jet skiing and parasailing. So when you’re sick of the beach, come to the sound and have a great time. Chartering a sound boat (like a pontoon boat) is the perfect option for amities who want to take a boat trip together but are nervous about going all the way out to the ocean. A day on the sound offers tiny waves, little chance of getting seasick and land always in sight. You can charter a bot for the sound as well as the ocean. There are places to swim, islands to explore, and fish to catch. A good time will be had by all, including the very young and the elderly.
Climbing A Lighthouse
The Outer Banks is famous for its lighthouses. There are actually a few you can climb and several more you can visit. Ironically, both the world’s tallest all concrete light house (Cape Hatteras) and the shortest (Ocracoke Island) are both on the Outer Banks. The one in Corolla is always open for climbing, while Hatteras and Bodie Island are opened sometimes (call before you go to make sure they’re open while you’re here.) There’s nothing like the view from the top of the lighthouse. Don’t want to climb? No problem, the surrounding grounds has enough history and nature to please everyone.
Catching ‘The Big One’
There’s nothing like fishing on the Outer Banks. In fact, the OBX is known for its fishing. The good news is you don’t even need a boat to catch a decent sized fish. You can catch one right of the shore or a pier. It’s also a great way to introduce fishing to children. And if you want to catch an even bigger one, then you can rent a charter boat and go fishing in the Gulf Stream. This way you can come back with a great fish and an even greater story.
Are you ready to learn about the original English settlers while climbing on board a life sized replica 16th century sailing vessel? If so, then your family is going to love Festival Park. This historic site features the replica ship, English settlement, and Native American Village complete with costumed interpreters. There’s also a small museum, where you can watch a movie on the legend of Two-Path and the naming of the town of Skyco, explore more Outer Banks history, engage with selfie spots, dress up in costume and even shoot fake ducks. This interactive historic site is a child’s dream come true.
Watching The Boats At Oregon Inlet Come In With Their Catch
Organ inlet is home to a huge fleet of charter and commercial fishing boats. So if you’ve wondered where fish comes from, now’s your chance to find out. The ‘catch’ comes in early afternoon, and you love fishing, it’s an event not be missed.
Climbing Jockey’s Ridge
Let’s face it, all kids and most adults want to climb the dunes. They just look like so much fun to climb. However dunes are fragile on the OBX and definitely not climbing. Good think there’s Jockey’s Ridge, the only one made by nature for climbing. This dune is the largest one on the east coast, and begs to be climbed. Kids love running up the dune, rolling down it, and taking pictures with the ‘sand castle’ the only remnant of a long ago mini golf course the dune swallowed up in the 80’s. On the other side of the dune there is a sound beach perfect for little ones and pets. And of course the top of the dune offers a sight not to be missed.
The Vineyard Voyage
Sanctuary Vineyards is one of the Outer Banks most famous wineries, right here in Currituck. They make everything from Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscadine, Rose©, and icebox wine. Many of their wines include unique to the region scuppernong grapes, wildflowers, and fruits. They’ve also won awards for their wines. The Vineyard Voyage takes you to the vineyards for a tasting by way of a boat leaving from a dock in Duck. Wine and sightseeing; what could be better?
The Outer Banks is famous for its various celebrations. From the Watermelon Festival, to the Art Under The Oaks, The Wings Over Water, The Pirate Festival, the Food Truck Showdown, the Tiny House Festival, the Duck and Wine Festival, Taste of the Beach, and so many more, there’s always one to go to, regardless of the time of year.
Going On A Ghost Tour
Yes, OK, there are ghost tours other places, but you can only get Outer Banks ghost stories right here on the Outer Banks. You’ll hear tales of mystery like the Cora Tree, local legends like the ‘true’ fate of the Lost Colony and the white doe, and bizarre histories, like why it’s really called Kill Devil Hills and how the infamous pirate Blackbeard met his fate off our coast.
These are just a few of the unique experiences you can have at the Outer Banks, but they are by no means the only experiences you can have. If you’d like to discover more about things to do on the Outer Banks, just give our friendly planners a call. Since all our staff is local, they can direct you to the best things to do with your family so you can come home with the best memories. Let’s start planning your Outer Banks vacation traditions today!