5 Great Places to Watch the Sun Set on the Outer Banks

The unique landscape and wide-open beauty of the Outer Banks makes it almost impossible to find a spot that ISNâ??T a good place to watch the sunset. Rising up out of the Atlantic Ocean and setting into one of the areaâ??s many sounds, the sun drives the day in the life on the Outer Banks, and the thin strip of barrier islands provides a full-spectrum view of the show. There are a few places that stand out, however, among the myriad of choices to witness the setting sun, and the following are a handful of those.


Jockeyâ??s Ridge in Nags Head

As the tallest natural sand dune system on the east coast, itâ??s no wonder why Jockeyâ??s Ridge is one of the best places on the Outer Banks to watch the sunset. Located directly in the middle of the narrow strip of land running through Nags Head, Jockeyâ??s Ridge is equidistant to the sound and the ocean, providing visitors with a sunset vantage point like none other. As a popular place for outdoor activities, Jockeyâ??s Ridge not only offers sunset-watchers a full view of the dayâ??s final moments, but allows for breathtaking images, as the dancing silhouettes of kite-flyers and hang gliders grow dark against the brilliant colors of the setting sun; a marvelous site to experience indeed.   


Sound side in Duck

There are many spots along the shore of the sound in Duck to post up upon and watch what could quite possibly be one of the most beautiful sunsets you will ever seen in your life. Enjoy the experience from an outdoor table at one of the townâ??s strategically located restaurants, including Aqua and Sunset Grille, or stroll down the beautiful new boardwalk that snakes along the soundâ??s shore, providing a breathtaking wide-open view of the entire horizon. From here you can experience the brilliant colors as they transform from day into night, casting the sunâ??s last light from the stars down to your feet, and across everything in between.  


Colington Harbour in Kill Devil Hills

The winding waterways in Colington Harbour provide amazing venues to witness the setting sun. The quaint boating community of the â??Harbourâ?? features miles of meandering canals and beautiful sound-front homes and boat docks which line the Albemarle Sound, forging perfect vantage points for watching the sun set into the marshy water. For a unique, up close and personal approach, take to the canals in a kayak or small boat and witness a sunset you are likely to never forget.  


The Whalehead Club in Corolla

The historic house and museum located in Corolla, just beside the Currituck Lighthouse, provides an interesting, one-of-a-kind place to spend the remaining hours of the day, and also offers a breathtaking view of the sun setting into the Currituck Sound in an atmosphere unmatched by any other. Ride bikes from your Corolla vacation rental and experience a phenomenal way to end the day.


First Flight Adventure Park in Nags Head

Almost 60 feet above the ground stands the tallest deck of the Outer Banksâ?? first and only aerial ropes course, First Flight Adventure Park in Nags Head. From this height, adventure goers can experience a 360-degree view of the sun setting from the sound to the sea atop the circular deck. The view is stunning, especially while zip-lining towards the setting sun, high above the marshy land below.

The unmatched landscape of the Outer Banks provides visitors the unique opportunity to experience the sun setting over the water from an east coast vantage point. So consider an Outer Banks vacation and while youâ??re here, check out one of the spots above to witness for yourself the grandeur of an Outer Banks sunset. 

4 Must Visit Restaurants on the OBX in the Off Season

As the great number of Outer Banks visitors return to their daily lives in the off season, the beach quiets down, slows its pace even more, and hunkers down for the winter. With fewer patrons patrolling the beach for dining options, many of the local restaurants also close their doors for a few months to save money, be with their families, or take a vacation of their own. The following are some of the Outer Banks restaurants that stay open year-round and are a must-visit on your off season Outer Banks vacation.

Outer Banks Brewing Station

As its name implies, the Outer Banks Brewing Station in Nags Head offers a hearty selection of homemade brews, among a wide variety of other beers, to stand alone as a delicious refreshment or to accompany some of their award winning dishes. With ladies night every Wednesday night and live entertainment, DJâ??s, and other events happening every weekend, the Outer Banks Brewing Station is one of the most happening places to head to for food, fun, and brews year-round.

I Got Your Crabs

Locally owned and operated, I Got Your Crabs is a premier seafood destination in Kitty Hawk, offering patrons the option of dining in in their quaint, oyster bar-style restaurant, or taking fresh seafood home to enjoy. While blue crabs are their focus but are only available in season, IGYC offers a delicious menu including fried oyster tacos, homemade soups and recipes passed down for generations within the family. Oysters are available in dozens and pecks year round, so stop by on your next off-season vacation to the Outer Banks and see why this restaurant ranks high with locals and visitors alike!

Black Pelican

An Outer Banks mainstay, the Black Pelican boasts an unrivaled history, beautiful panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, and daily specials every day of the week, year-round. Originally built as a United States Lifesaving Station in 1864, the Black Pelican has seen its fair share of remarkable moments in history, including the sending of the first telegraph by the Wright Brothers after their famous first flight only miles away. Even despite their rich history, the food and atmosphere at Black Pelican are enough to make it a year-round staple for people on the Outer Banks.

Blue Point

Opened in 1989, Blue Point in Duck has put the townâ??s name on the map for dining and cuisine on the Outer Banks. Overlooking the Currituck Sound from the Waterfront Shops in Duck, Blue Point offers a seasonal, local menu with strong roots in Southern cooking with a little twist. Be sure to stop in any time of year to taste their eclectic version of local seafood and favorites.

So if youâ??re planning an off-season vacation to the Outer Banks, any of the above restaurants will be open for business to welcome you with open arms, an empty seat and a menu. So bring your appetite and your sweaters and come enjoy an off-season Outer Banks vacation!

5 Great Outdoor Trails on the Outer Banks

The Outer Banks is a great place to visit to enjoy spending time outdoors and in nature. The area is well known for beautiful beaches and sounds, the variety of wildlife including the state horse of North Carolina, salt marshes, and sand dunes. Your family will enjoy exploring nature sites during your Outer Banks vacations. Check out some of the best places trails to visit for great nature adventures while on Outer Banks vacations.


Roanoke Trail in Nags Head Woods: The Nags Head Woods Nature Preserve offers a variety of nature trails for you to visit. The Roanoke Trail is among these great trails. The complete hike is 1.5 miles, and the trail leads to the Roanoke Sound and back to the beginning of the trail. Many people choose to take this trail while visiting Nags Head Woods. You will see the beautiful salt marshes while exploring this area as well.


Duck Town Park and Boardwalk: The Town of Duck features a great soundside boardwalk along with a playground, water fountains, walking trails, events, and more for you to enjoy during your OBX vacations. Take a nature walk while seeing the local shops and the sound, and then enjoy a picnic as well. This is a great location to spend an afternoon outside with your family on Outer Banks vacations. 


Currituck Heritage Park: The Currituck Heritage Park offers many beautiful sites and fun activities on the Outer Banks. The Currituck Heritage Park, which is a total of 39 acres, is located by the sound and also features beautiful canals, ponds, and forests. After walking by the Currituck Sound, consider climbing the Currituck Beach Lighthouse that is located near the trails. You can also visit the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education while visiting the Heritage Park.  


North Pond Wildlife Trail and Salt Flats Wildlife Trail at Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge: Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge is another great option for a nature walk on the Outer Banks. There are two wildlife trails that you can choose from to explore the area. The North Pond Wildlife Trail is about a half-mile walk. You can find this trail close to the Visitor Center. The Salt Flats Wildlife Trail is another great trail for seeing wildlife during a nature walk on the Outer Banks. This trail is shorter than the North Pond Wildlife Trail. There are many other places to explore nature while walking by the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge. You can visit the trails throughout the year.


Nature trails are easy to find throughout the Outer Banks. It is a great choice to go for a nature walk during Outer Banks vacations. You can explore the area, see wildlife, and view the numerous beautiful sites that the Outer Banks has to offer. Check out these trails and learn more about the Outer Banks during your vacations. For more information on nature trails and for recommendations on sites to see, contact

Best Extreme Activities on the Outer Banks

The Outer Banks of North Carolina are the ideal place to vacation if you are into watersports and outdoor activity. Our area seems to attract those who enjoy a bit of a thrill mixed into their daily routine. The ever changing beaches that line our coast are always creating new and unique waves to surf. On the sound side, strong winds make for ideal kiteboarding conditions. Check out our list of the top extreme activities on the Outer Banks and try one for yourself when staying at an Outer Banks Vacation Rental!


The original extreme activity on the Outer Banks. Surfers began visiting the Outer Banks as early as the 1960s. Since then, the sport has grown to be very popular in our area while gaining national exposure. While the surf on the Outer Banks can get good at any time of the year, (wetsuit provided) we experience quality surf most frequently during the fall months. Tropical storms and hurricanes push large amounts of swell towards the east coast during hurricane season which begins June 1st and ends November 30th.


With the ample wind we receive on a year round basis, it was only natural for the Outer Banks to become an international kiteboarding mecca. The shallow waters of the sound which border our barrier islands to the west are what kiteboarderâ??s dreams are made of. The predominant southwest winds of the summer months and northwest winds of the fall ensure there will be plenty of wind to launch the thousands of kiteboarders who visit our area into the air! It is commonplace for kiteboarders to travel to Hatteras Island from places as far away as Canada and the Caribbean to sample what the island has to offer.

Stand-Up Paddleboarding

Most people might not think of stand-up paddleboarding or SUPing, as an extreme activity. However, it is quite popular for SUPers to take their paddleboards out in the ocean and surf on them. When surfing on a SUP, the sport definitely becomes extreme. Stand-up paddleboarders get their thrills by not having to stand up as they are taking off on a wave, standing up on a board before the wave picks the rider up does come with its fair share of risks. When holding a paddle on top a board that is twice as long and wide as many surfboards, there is a lot to control. Stand-up paddle boarders who surf on their crafts are sure to experience exciting wipeouts!


Skateboarding on the Outer Banks first became popular as simply a way to â??surf on landâ?? when the wave conditions were less than favorable. Today, the sport has taken on an identity of its own in our area. Until about seven or eight years ago there were only a couple, privately owned skateparks. Today there are multiple skateparks that are free to the public, thanks to the various towns that make up Dare County. Free Outer Banks skate parks can be found near most Outer Banks rentals. These skateparks include Sound Park in Powellâ??s Point, Kitty Hawk Skatepark on Kitty Hawk Road, Aviation Skatepark near the Wright Brotherâ??s Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, Manteo Skatepark behind College of the Albemarleâ??s Roanoke Island campus, and Buxton Skatepark at the Fessendon Center on Hatteras Island.

Fall Marathons and Running Events

The Outer Banks is home to many unique running events and marathons throughout the year. Residents and vacationers enjoy participating in Outer Banks running events. If you are staying on the Outer Banks this fall, consider joining one of the running events. You can explore the Outer Banks and enjoy a running adventure with beautiful views. Check out some of these upcoming running events and consider taking OBX vacations in the fall!

SAGA Outer Banks Triathlon

Take OBX vacations in September and participate in this great triathlon. The Manteo running event will take place on September 13th and September 14th. The swimming event will begin on Roanoke Island near the Dare County Airport. The next step is to bike near Manteo and the Croatan Sound. Then run and explore the Manteo area in the final portion of the triathlon. This a great opportunity for a fun exercise and an adventure in the Outer Banks.

2014 OBRC Outer Banks Gobbler 5K & Fun Run 

The Outer Banks Running Club is hosting an exciting Thanksgiving run on the Outer Banks. If you are staying in a Nags Head vacation rental, consider joining this event. It takes place on November 27. The location is the Village at Nags Head and the Outer Banks Mall. Nags Head is a beautiful area to explore in the fall, so consider participating in this fun event during your OBX vacations.

TowneBank Outer Banks Marathon & Southern Fried Half Marathon

This running event includes a marathon, a half marathon, an approximately 6-mile run, a 10K, a 5K, a fun run, and more. Events take place November 7th, 8th, and 9th, and you can begin registering for the events now. Explore the beaches and towns of the Outer Banks and see other key places like Jockeyâ??s Ridge State Park and the Wright Brothers National Memorial when visiting on your OBX vacations. 

Colony Lost & Found 5K

This is another great race to join to explore the Manteo area, especially if you are staying nearby in a Nags Head vacation rental. There will be a 5K, a fun run for kids, and a dog jog for a mile. This event takes place on October 18. The proceeds from the running events will benefit Food for Thought, the Run for Your Life scholarship at Manteo High School, and the SPCA. You can begin registering now for this fun fall running event. The course will allow you to explore the Manteo and Roanoke Island areas. 

Whether you are joining us for a running event or exploring the Outer Banks on your own, the fall is a great time to visit the area. To learn more about more great Outer Banks events you can join in the fall, contact Atlantic Realty today. We are ready to help you with your vacationing planning needs and look forward to seeing you in the fall for your OBX vacations. 

Visit the Corolla Wild Horses on the Outer Banks

Visiting the Corolla wild horses is one of the best parts of Outer Banks vacations. The official North Carolina state horse, the Colonial Spanish Mustang, can be found on the northern beaches of the Outer Banks. The Corolla wild horses are descendants of the Spanish Mustangs, and these horses are some of the first residents of the Outer Banks. The horses have a long history on the beaches of the Outer Banks, as they have resided here for hundreds of years. While on your OBX vacations, make sure to schedule a trip to Corolla beaches to see these beautiful wild horses.

The Corolla Wild Horse Fund manages the Colonial Spanish Mustangs you can find while spending time in the Northern beaches. The Corolla Wild Horse Fund also maintains the habitat for the wild horses to protect them and their home. Programs by the Corolla Wild Horse Fund include rescue and rehabilitation, adoption, education, and herd management. You can find the nonprofitâ??s headquarters in Old Corolla Village. Make a trip to the museum-store and learn about the well-known wild horses. You can visit this location throughout the year and see informative exhibits about the wild horses. There is also a seasonal museum-store that can be found in Duck.

Many local companies provide wild horse tours. Schedule a tour with a local business so you can see these horses and also learn about the history of the horses. Book a tour and take your family to enjoy these great rides by the beach. Here are some great examples of companies that host these tours:

  • Wild Horse Adventure Tours
  • Bobâ??s Wild Horse Tours
  • Corolla Wild Horse Tours
  • Corolla Outback Adventures
Here are some tips to follow while searching for the Corolla wild horses.

While enjoying your OBX vacations, make sure to visit the Northern beaches to see the Corolla wild horses. You do not want to miss the chance to see the beautiful horses while taking a tour or driving on the beach. For your OBX vacations, schedule a tour and make sure to visit the Corolla Wild Horse Fund in Corolla or Duck to learn more about these Corolla wild horses.

  • While traveling in the 4WD areas, make sure to look around for these beautiful wild horses. For example, take your 4WD vehicle and drive on the beach in Carova. Make sure to drive with caution and to drive slowly.
  • Do not touch or feed the wild horses.
  • Make sure to maintain the proper distance from these horses. Do not go within 50 feet of the wild horses.
  • Bring a camera to take pictures of these beautiful horses, as long as you maintain the right distance.

Wicked Tuna Brings Spotlight to Outer Banks

National Geographicâ??s acclaimed show, Wicked Tuna, made its way to the Outer Banks last winter, where they filmed a series called Wicked Tuna: North vs. South. Featuring local fishermen, the entire series was shot in Hatteras and Oregon Inlet, and depicted a battle of north and south, as â??Yankee watermenâ?? made their way down to local waters to extend their season and fulfil their Bluefin tuna quota after a loss of a year.

One of National Geographicâ??s most popular shows, Wicked Tuna presents to the everyday American, and to middle Americans who might not understand fishing as a way of life, the difficulties and excitement that make up the commercial tuna fishing industry.

Local fishermen shined and represented the Outer Banks fishing community with pride. Captains and mates of the local fishing boats the Wahoo, the Doghouse, and the Fishinâ?? Frenzy appeared on the North vs. South series of Wicked Tuna. Fishing Frenzy first mate, Nick Gowitzka, who is Atlantic Realty staff member Chrissy Mooreâ??s fiancé, proved to be an entertaining part of the show from the very first episode.  

Speaking about the Outer Banks fishing industry, in a native accent appreciated by all real locals, Gowitzka had people laughing with his humor. After he brought out a bottle of champagne to celebrate the beginning of the season on the show, he did the unexpected and tossed it into the air and shot it with a shotgun. Local banter like this filled the episodes of intense fishing, representing a true essence of local fishermen of the area.

The rivalry between fishermen is a way of life, as one boat brings a fish in, itâ??s a fish another boat isnâ??t catching. Itâ??s the name of the game. But with different regulations between the north and the south, Southern fishermen have a little more rivalry with their northern counterparts than they do with one another. Northern watermen have more time to catch more fish before the fish migrate back south, or are able to travel south to extend their season, depicted in the Wicked Tuna series, creating an unfair advantage for fishermen in the north. Southern fishermen have petitioned to extend the length of time they are allowed to fish in the winter to even the playing field.

The Outer Banks was built on the fishing industry, and to be nationally recognized meant a lot to the locals who work day and night continuing the traditions of generations of family members, to keep the fishing industry alive and well in the area.

Catch Wicked Tuna North vs. South on Sundays at 10pm on the National Geographic Channel. You can catch the episode on demand with participating TV providers.  

Spend a Winter Vacation at the Outer Banks

The Outer Banks are most well-known for the fun and excitement provided by the summer season. Visions of family filled beaches and warm water are hard to beat. However, the peace and beauty provided by the areaâ??s winter months are unmatched. The Outer Banks is the place to visit during the winter if you are looking for pristine sunsets and ample quality time with the family. There are a couple bonuses that come along with the massive reduction of visitors during the off season. Take a look at the top reasons to book an Outer Banks vacation rental during the wintertime.

Dine at Uncrowded Restaurants

If you have ever gone out to eat during the summertime in our area, then you are aware that finding a restaurant with a wait that is less than an hour can be a huge accomplishment. In the offseason, finding a restaurant without a wait is as simple as finding one that is open. Many of the restaurants do close in the offseason, but not all of them. Some of the best Outer Banks dining experiences are available in the wintertime. Feast on seasonal seafood that can be tough to get your hands on in the summertime such as oysters, flounder, and striper.

Drive on the Beach

Many of the towns that make up the Outer Banks allow for 4X4 vehicles to drive on the beach in the off season. Nags Head allows for beach driving October 1st through April 30th with a $25 annual permit. Kill Devil Hills also allows for 4 wheel drive vehicles to drive on the beach free of charge October 1st through April 30th. Unfortunately, Kitty Hawk and Duck do not allow for 4×4 beach driving. Whether you are a fisherman looking for that perfect spot to cast, a surfer searching for the ideal secret wave, or simply taking a joyride, there is nothing that means it is wintertime on the Outer Banks like driving on the beach.

Take Advantage of Off Season Rates

Often times, booking Nags Head vacation rentals during the winter time will save you a great deal of money when compared to booking the same rental property during the summer season. Many rental rates are nearly cut in half for the off season. Visit the Outer Banks during the winter and spend time with the family at half the price!

Enjoy the Peace and Quiet

The best thing about visiting the Outer Banks during the wintertime is simply how quiet things can be around here. If you need a break from all of the commotion to allow yourself to recharge, the Outer Banks wintertime might be just the treatment you need.

Outer Banks Town Spotlight — Duck

The Town of Duck is the newest of the incorporated Towns on the Outer Banks.  Known for it’s Village-like atmosphere, Duck NC, is a favorite of vacationers for its quiet, coastal charm and small town feel.  The new Town Park offers a children’s playground and a Town Green featuring events such as concerts and art shows throughout the year.  The newly constructed soundfront boardwalk gives Guests and opportunity to stroll along the water and take in the view as they browse the unique boutique shops and local cafes.  Kayaking, Paddleboarding, Sailing, and other watersports are abundant here for the more active vacationer, while a bike/jogging path runs the entire length of the Town and provides visitor’s with ample opportunities to explore and enjoy the outdoors at their own pace.

Consider Duck, NC for your next vacation.  There is truly something for everyone here!

There are accommodations of every type in Duck.  From 1 bedroom oceanfront condos to large residential homes capable of accommodating large and extended families, Duck is sure to have the type of vacation rental you need for your Outer Banks stay.  Below are a few featured homes in the Duck area.  Please click the property name to learn more, check availability, and make your reservation. 


#164 Beach Nuts

4 Bedroom, 2.5 Baths    Sleeps 8

Oceanside, Sea Hawk Neighborhood

Your family will go nuts over “Beach Nuts”! Just a few steps from the beach with amazing ocean views, this Duck Vacation Home has everything you need for a great stay on the Outer Banks. Soak up the sun on the large deck with furniture as you take in the ocean views from 2 levels. Skip over to the beach to enjoy swimming, surfing, or shell seeking. After a long, hot day at the ocean jump in your own 12×28 Private Pool to cool off!


#120 Dreamkeeper

4 Bedroom, 3 Bath     Sleeps  8

Oceanside,    Poteskeet Neighborhood

The Dream Keeper will make your Outer Banks vacation dreams come true! With Ocean and Sound Views, this Duck vacation home is perched high atop a Dune in the quiet neighborhood of Poteskeet. Take advantage of the central location with easy access to the beach, the Sound, and the Town of Duck Village which offers plenty of shops, restaurants, and activities. Of course, you never have to leave Dream Keeper with all it has to offer incuding a 14×31 Private Pool and 4 person Hot Tub, as well as the Keyless Entry and Linens and Towels provided for every Guest. 


#151 Sand Roots V

5 Bedroom, 5.5 Baths    Sleeps 14

Oceanside,  Gulls Flight Neighborhood

Beautifully decorated home just 800 feet to the beach with direct access. Spend your vacation days exploring the Village of Duck or strolling along the beach looking for shells. Curl up on the deck with a good book and a cold drink, or take a swim in your own private saltwater pool. 5 master bedrooms ensure seclusion and privacy. 



#149 What’s Up Duck? 

4 Bedroom, 3 Bath   Sleeps 10

Oceanside,  Port Trinitie Neighborhood

Spacious and well equipped, “What’s Up Duck?” has everything your family could possibly need during their Outer Banks vacation. Take advantage of the large kitchen for preparing family meals and get togethers enjoyed in the dining area or outside on the screened porch. Or, relax on the wrap around Sun and Shade decks as you watch the amazing sunsets each night!  “What’s Up Duck?” has access to 2 Community Pools — one Oceanside and one Soundfront — Tennis Courts, and a Soundfront Pier and Gazebo. The beach is just a short walk away with direct access and a wooden walkway.


Top 10 Reasons to Spend the Holidays on the OBX

1. Vacation Value – Stay with us for less than $15 per person, per night.*
2. The Beach! Imagine strolling along the shore with the family after your holiday dinner searching for seashells.
3. The Off Season – With low traffic and no crowds, the area is yours to explore!
4. Unique Shopping – Browse the local shops for one-of-a-kind gifts for friends and family.
5. Room for Everyone – Rent a home large enough for the whole family to be together and still have your own space.
6. Amenities – With amenities such as hot tubs, theater rooms, and game rooms, everyone will be entertained.
7. Pet Friendly – Our pet friendly homes mean the entire family can join in on the fun – even the 4 legged ones!
8. We’ll clean Up – No need to worry about cleaning before and after everyone arrives – we’ve got you covered. After all, you’re on vacation too!
9. Large Kitchens and Spacious Dining – Our larger homes are meant for family gatherings with plenty of food prep space and seating.

10. Special OffersStay with us this holiday season and get a $50 Grocery Gift card to use towards your holiday meal. 

We have homes to fit every family’s size, style, and budget.  Give us a call today and let us help you plan your family’s Holiday Gathering!


*Prices calculated based on a total vacation cost of $1977.63 for a 7 night stay in a home sleeping 20 people.

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