Activities Beyond the Beach — Part 3

As we conclude the final part of our Activities Beyond the Beach Series, we touch on more of the indoor activities — perfect for the occasional rainy day!  Explore all the Outer Banks has to offer “Beyond the Beach”!


NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island

Recently renovated, the Roanoke Island aquarium was rated one of Trip Advisor’s top ten small aquariums. It features a shipwreck exhibit, a huge shark tank and touch tank with all kind of fun animals. Dive shows, feed that animal shows, and fun activities are offered daily. There’s also the Sea Turtle Assistance and Rescue (STAR) exhibit where you get to see real turtles get rehabilitated. Did I mention, you get a free ticket to the aquarium with every stay through our Fun N Sun Pass Program? 

Outer Banks Beachcomber Museum

This little known museum is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Its home to the Nellie Myrtle Collection, which is a collection of items found on the beach over a lifetime of beachcombing. If you’ve ever wondered what you can find on the beach, wonder no more. You’ll be amazed at what washes up. 

Children’s Museum

There are many museums on the Outer Banks, but only one interactive museum that caters to children under five.  The Children at Play museum features exhibits such as a dress up corner, grocery store, toy doctor, lighthouse keeper and more. There is even a busy wall for the youngest members. Video games are upstairs so the older siblings can have fun while the younger ones play downstairs. 

Wildlife Education Center

There are two wildlife education centers, both run by the National Park Service. The first is in Manteo. It features a simulated flight over the barrier islands and ‘scavenger hunt’ inside the forest exhibit. The second is in Corolla. Adults love looking at the antique Duck decoys while kids are entranced by the large aquarium filled with sound fish. Both centers offer activities and their own nature walks.

Maritime Museum

This museum is easily overlooked in Downtown Manteo, but it’s worth seeing. The Maritime Museum shows you life on the island as told through the stories of the boat that came from here. The Museum also offers classes, such knot tying and their ever popular build a boat in a day workshop.

Frisco Native American Museum

If you’re up for a day trip, then check out the Frisco Native American Museum. This private museum features Native American artifacts from all over the country, not just the Outer Banks. Though the museum is tiny, the collection is expansive. Related items are even for sale in the gift shop.


Lost Colony   Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre

America’s longest running outdoor drama, this play retells the story of the doomed first settlement of England. Each year, they feature a different director, so if you’ve seen the show last year, you might not have seen the same show as this year. It’s worth going back again and again. Especially when we give you one free ticket.

Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre

Sometimes vacation can be murder. If you go to the Murder Mystery Dinner Theater, that is. This entertainment venue is a lighthearted romp through a mock murder and some truly unforgettable characters. The audience even gets to play. Dinner is provided and photo ops are available.


Every place has a movie theater and the Outer Banks is no exception. In the main part of the Outer Banks, we have RC Theaters, showing the latest movies, including 3d movies. In Corolla they have a ‘dinner and a movie’ theatre where you can watch the movie and eat dinner at the same time. Manteo is home to the Pioneer Theater, the oldest family run theater in the country. It shows one movie a week and the popcorn is always fresh.

The Comedy Club Of The Outer Banks

The Comedy Club is the country’s oldest seasonal comedy club. It’s featured comics such as Ray Romano, Sinbad, and Drew Carey back before they became famous. This is your chance to see the next great “up and comer”. Dinner, appetizers and drinks are available. They have one location in Kill Devil Hills and one in Corolla.

Ghost Tours

Do you believe in ghosts? Well, you donâ??t need to with these ghost tours. There are several too choose from; both are in Manteo. The first kind is a more traditional ghost tour with legends of the Outer Banks and pirate lore. The second is a more playful ghost tour where they bring out ghost detectors and really ham it up. Donâ??t worry, the legends are in that one too, somewhere. The Whalehead Club in Corolla also has a ghost tour featuring just legends about the club and surrounding areas. 

Art Related


It’s been said that the Outer Banks has more artists per capita then anywhere else in North Carolina. If that’s true, it makes sense that we have so many galleries. Most of the galleries are in a place knowns as ‘Gallery Row’ between the roads around milepost 10.5 in Nags Head. Seaside Gallery has been here so long, it’s PO Box number is 1. And, Manteo is home to dozens of galleries all in walking distance to each other.

Arts Council

The Arts Council is a gallery so special it needs its own section. This is where individual artists without their own galleries display their work. It has everything from handcrafts to fine art to fabric arts. It’s a great way to see a lot of local Outer Banks art without going all over the Outer Banks to find it.

Make Your Ownâ?¦

There is a wide variety of things you can make your own at the Outer Banks. We offer classes from everything from ‘distressed’ furniture, to jewelry to stepping stones and paint your own pottery. It’s perfect for a rainy day or a day when it’s too hot to go to the beach. Whichever you choose you’ll be making crafts and memories.


There are plenty of places to shop on the Outer Banks. So many in fact, that it would do them a disservice to try to mention them all here. Mostly, the Outer Banks has boutique type shops. We still have a good number of independent bookstores and coffee shops. Belk’s and TJ Maxx are the more well-known department stores. Outlet shopping can be found in Nags Head.   All kinds of kinds of things can be purchased through local shops from clothing to trinkets. Strip malls are the dominant form of shopping down here. Manteo provides dozens of stores located in historic buildings in easy walking distance to each other. Corolla also boasts a Historic Shopping Village near the lighthouse. Scarborough Faire is an open air mall incorporating the surrounding trees.


We hope you explore the activities and sites “Beyond the Beach” during your next Outer Banks visit.  As always, if you need help planning your trip, our Vacation Planners are available 7 days a week to assist you. 

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