The Outer Banks is known for its miles of free, unspoiled beaches. But, there is more to the Outer Banks than just the beach and the oceanâ??there are plenty of things to do and sites to see â??Beyond the Beach!â??
Harnessed Adventure Park
The newest addition to the Outer Banks, the ropes amusement park will keep you suspended and happy for hours. Plus, you canâ??t beat the view from this unique perspective!
The Outer Banks is home to not one, but two laser tag locations. Each one has their own theme and even feature bounce houses for the youngest members. Destination Fun even has an arcade where you can win prizes and play 3D mini-golf.
Do your kids want to climb the dunes? Most do, but the beach dunes usually have a ‘please keep off the dunes sign. Well, don’t worry, Jockey’s Ridge is one dune you CAN climb. It’s the largest all natural sand dune not located in a desert. Kids and adults love climbing up it then coming back down. Kids often have their own ways of getting down, like ‘sledding’ on a boogie board or just rolling down the hill. On the other side of the ridge is a sound side beach, just perfect for the youngest family members and pets. Plus, the hidden castle makes a great photo op.
Go Carts|Bumper Boats
Go carts and bumper boats have been part of the Outer Banks experience forever. Now, you can introduce your kids to the more modern version you enjoyed as a child. After all, bumper boats and go carts are the next best thing to driving to a young child.
Horseback Riding on the Beach
If you’re willing to take a day trip, you can ride horses on the Hatteras Beaches. This is for experienced riders only, but riding on the beach is an experience not to be missed. Plus, they’re one of our Explore the Shore partners.
They were a long time coming, but the Outer Banks now has airboat tours. Airboats can get into places normal boats can’t for a truly unique experience. You can take a scheduled tour or rent it out for a few hours. No need to know how to drive one, it comes with a captain.
If you love to fish, then a charter is great way to do it. Most boats offer full or half day charters. There are also inshore charters that take place in the calm and shallow waters of the Sound. Not sure if your group would like a private charter? Then a head boat, a large boat with other families, might be the way to go. This way, if you don’t catch anything, there will be other people to talk to.
If you’re the outdoorsy type, you’ll want to take advantage of the kayak eco tours. These follow-the-leader type tours take you through the serene canals of the Outer Banks wetlands where you can see a wide variety of birds, dolphins, foxes, otters and maybe even a wild pig. If you take your kayak tour in Corolla, horse sightings are very common.
Everyone loves dolphins and one of the best way to see them is with a Dolphin Tour (like Captain Johnny, one of our Fun N Sun Partners) Dolphin tours take you out into the Sound so you can see wild dolphins playing in their natural habitat. It’s a great way to make a memory that will last a lifetime.
Have you ever been to Manteo and seen those big fancy boats lining the docks? Did you know some of them are available to rent? Those boats are the perfect place to have a special party, (like an engagement or anniversary) or you can rent one just for the heck of it.
Red Wolf Howlings
Ready to get wild? North Carolina is home to the endangered Red Wolves. The Alligator River refuge hosts ‘howlings’ where you can hear and possibly even see a red wolf. Who knows, it might be your only chance to ever see one.
The Alligator River Refuge is home to more than just red wolves. Bears, dear, wild pigs, bobcats, coyotes, and yes, even alligators have been spotted out that way. The park offers a tram tour to see all the animals in their natural state. It’s important to note that these are wild animals, not captives, so what you’ll see varies from day to day or even hour to hour.
Corolla is one of the few places on the East Coast that is still home to a herd of wild horses. Descended from the Spanish Mustangs shipwrecked off our coast in the 1500’s, the wild horses roam the beaches and backwoods loving life and looking beautiful for tourists. They are a must see for any horse loving child or adult. The best way to see them is with a horse tour, like the one from our Fun N Sun partner; Back Country Safari Tours
Here’s a tour you don’t see every day. Ride Big wheeled Segways through either the historic shopping village of Corolla or into the outback where the wild horses live. At certain times of year, they even hold a haunted a Segway tour, showing you sites like the old graveyards, and missing town of Seagull.