Top 10 Things to Do on a Rainy Day in the OBX

Rain, rain, go away.

It inevitable, Hot Summer Days can sometime mean rainy days. There’s nothing worse than planning all year for that perfect family beach vacation only to have a rainy day ruin it. Don’t stress! When the kids are tired of puzzles, board games, and movies, The Outer Banks has some great alternatives to keep the family entertained on rainy days (or any days).

1. Escape Room

If you are not familiar with an escape room adventure, imagine the entire family working together to find clues within a room to solve a puzzle or mystery before time runs out. It’s a lot of fun! There are two escape rooms located on the Outer Banks. Will You Escape the OBX is the original and is located just one mile over the Wright Memorial Bridge on the Currituck Mainland. It features rooms like The Office (a diamond heist) The Nautical Room, Under the Sea Adventure, and The Wacky Wizard. These rooms offer multiple difficulty levels and are appropriate for family members of all ages. Guests of Atlantic Realty receive 1 Free Admission per reservation per day to Will You Escape the OBX with our Fun N Sun Pass.

The OBX Escape Room features more themed rooms such as Mutiny on The Lark, Cold Case Murder of Dawn Renee, and Cell Block 4 Death Row. These rooms are geared more towards teens to adults and tend to be more of a a challenge.

Both rooms require reservations and may get busy on rainy days, so be sure to call ahead.

2. Laser Tag

It’s true. Laser tag has come to the Outer Banks.  It’s great fun for the whole family from 4 years old all the way to adult. But that’s not all, there’s also an old fashioned arcade attached when you can win tickets to redeem for prizes. There are even bounce houses for the youngest members of the family. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon. The kids won’t even notice it’s raining.

3. Roanoke Island Festival Park

Roanoke Island Festival Park 16th Century Sailing Ship

Downtown Manteo and Roanoke Island are a great spot for a day trip, rain or shine! Explore the shops and restaurants on the waterfront, visit the NC Aquarium, and don’t forget to make time to see The Lost Colony, the oldest running outdoor drama in America.

This site features both indoor and outdoor attractions, so it’s a great destination for days with intermittent showers. You can learn about the original colonists, the legend of two path, tour a replica colonial settlement, Native American village and composite 16th century sailing ship. There are also fake ‘ducks’ to ‘hunt’, history of the Outer Banks and a lot more.  This one museum where kids are encouraged to touch everything; they can even dress up in periodic costumes and have a grand old time.

4. OBX Art Studio

Though it opened as  Glazin’ Go-Nuts about 20 years ago, the OBX Art Studio has grown into a great rainy day destination. It features paint your own pottery, canvas painting and fused glass creations. No matter what kind of art you and your little artists are into, you can find it at the OBX Art Studio. Not only do you get to make your own Outer Banks vacation souvenir, you will make a lot of great memories too.

5. Centers For Wildlife Education

With 2 locations; one in Corolla, and one in Manteo, these little known sites sponsored by the NC Wildlife Resources Commission are museums that feature exhibits and animal lessons. There are taxidermied animals (no live ones) historical duck decoys, movies, simulators and more. Each one of the centers has its own theme and feature an indoor ‘animal’ scavenger hunt. Once the weather breaks, you can explore the outdoor nature trails.

6. Jumpmasters

Jumpmasters Trampolline Park
Jumpmasters Trampoline Park

One of the newest attractions on the Outer Banks, Jumpmasters is a locally owned indoor trampoline park. It has trampolines, an American Ninja style obstacle courses and a climbing wall. You can buy a ticket for all day or just a few hours. However, if it’s raining the all-day ticket is a steal. Don’t forget, Atlantic Realty guests get one Free Admission with the Fun N Sun Pass.

7. Miss Kitty’s Old Time Photo

What would be a better memory and Outer Banks souvenir than a fun costumed photoshoot with the family and friends. Miss Kitty’s can certainly provide that.  She has all kinds of themes to choose from, from the traditional western, Victorian and gangster themes, to old time beach, mermaids, pirates and a lot more. No matter your favorite time period in history, Miss Kitty can accommodate. Shoots can accommodate up to 60 people, and you can even bring your pet. Now THAT’s fun for the entire family.

8. Monkey Business

You’ve heard of Build-A-Bear; now meet Create-A-Critter (same principal, but they have a wider selection of animals.) Kids can have a fun day creating their own critter and buying it outfits. Then they’ll get a kick out of seeing all the other toys nearby, including a breathtaking Construx Ferris wheel. And best of all, they’ll have a great souvenir to forever remind them of the Outer Banks.

9. Turfs Up

Turfs Up
Go head to head with the zombie team.

Zombie Dodge Ball anyone? That’s just one of the fun games you can play indoors on the virtual ‘courses’ of Turfs Up. This alternate reality venue also features golf, basketball, carnival games and many more. In fact, they’re always changing up the games, so be sure to check it out.

10. Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre

Now this one can only be done at night, but if you can’t go ghost crabbing on account of the rain, it’s a good alternative. The Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre features a new show every year as well as a sit down dinner. The show is always family friendly and a lot of fun. It’s a great thing to do on a rainy night, but be sure to reserve tickets in advance.

Don’t let a little rain ruin your Outer Banks vacation. Enjoy some of our suggestions here, or check out our Things to Do Page on our website for more ideas. The showers will pass and you’ll be back on the beach in no time!

Top 10 Reasons to Visit H2OBX on your next vacation!

If you’re looking for something a little different to do with your family on your next OBX vacation, look no further than H2OBX Waterpark. More than just rides and slides, this new waterpark has everything you could possibly want in an vacation attraction. It’s thoughtfully designed to provide fun for the entire family. Check out these top 10 reasons to visit H2OBX on your next visit to the Outer Banks. 

Don’t forget to purchase your H2OBX Waterpark tickets through Atlantic Realty’s Special Link.  That is is the only way to get the special partnership discount and the 7 day Vacation Pass!! 

1.  The Toddler Area

H2OBX Waterpark has something for even the youngest members of the family. The ‘little kids’ area has everything a baby or toddler could want. It has a wading pool, baby swings over the water, appropriate sized slides and lots of fun sprinklers. And for the adults, it has plenty of space to join your child in the pools and sit around in the shade for a nap after you’re done. 

2. The Big Kids Area

If your kids are too big for the toddler area, but not big enough yet for the larger slides, than the “Big Kids” area will be just perfect for them. Sand Pail Beach has all kinds of age appropriate slides and water based play areas. Not only do they have their own play area, they are also plenty of rides they can go on inside the pirate ship play area known as Calico Jack’s Cove! Looking for a little rest after all that adventure?  The big kids can take a loop around the adventure river or grab their parents and head for one of the family slide rides.
 

3.  Thrilling Slides

If your group is made up of more thrill seekers, then you’ll have plenty of fun and adventurous drop slides to choose from.  Are you brave enough to take the plunge on Paradise Plunge? Drop 9 stories in this free fall slide and come back for more!!

4.  Wave Pools

For those who love the feel of the ocean (without the sand and seaweed), H2OBX has not one, but TWO wave pools. The Twin Tides wave pool has two entrances with gentle waves on side for the littlest members of the family and slightly larger waves on the other side. There’s also an adults wave pool for the biggest waves and the most fun.

5. Adventure River

If thrill rides aren’t your speed, don’t worry. The park also has plenty of places to relax. The most popular place is the lazy adventure river. Grab an inner tube and float around the circumference of the park. Since there are multiple entrances/exits, you don’t have to get off the same place you got on. That means that it’s also the most relaxing way to travel, as long as you don’t mind taking your time getting there.

6. The Flow Rider 

If you like boarding, or have always wanted to learn, then check out the Flow Rider. This unique attraction provides and endless waves where you can only wipe up, never out. It’s perfect for advanced boarders. It’s a great place to practice your tricks. For beginners, they also have lessons. 

7.  Cabanas

If you’re looking for the ultimate in luxury, than consider renting one of the cabanas. Cabanas not only feature respite from the sun, but also wait staff so the food and drinks come to you. Platters of brownies, water and fruit are complimentary, along with a locker for your stuff.  The cabanas also have sides you can close so you can take a nap without leaving the park.

8. Deep Six Adventure Lagoon

Do you know what’s more fun than an obstacle course? An inflatable obstacle course on the water.  Ropes, balance pads, a climbing wall, and even a wet and wild obstacle course provides loads of fun for family members of all ages. The water underneath is guaranteed to make a splash.

9. Dining

If all that riding and sliding has made you hungry, H2OBX features some of the best food and drinks around!  Enjoy burgers, salads, chicken tenders, barbeque and even fish tacos!!   The waterpark also features a full service bar with beer and slushy cold drinks guaranteed to cool you off.  If you’re just looking for a snack, there is plenty of popcorn, candy, and ice cream to feed the crowd. 

10. The Vacation Pass

New for 2019!   A discounted one-day ticket purchased through our office is $34.99 per person. However a weekly pass purchased through our office is only $39.99. It’s good all week and you can go as many times as you want.  Visit the beach in the morning and the waterpark in the afternoon, it’s totally up to you!

 

Great memories are waiting to be made on the Outer Banks and especially in the H2OBX Waterpark. With plenty of things to do, eat and see, your family will have a great time and make memories that will last a lifetime.  Consider adding H2OBX to your Outer Banks “To-Do” List on your next visit. 

Don’t forget to purchase your H2OBX Waterpark tickets through Atlantic Realty’s Special Link.  That is is the only way to get the special partnership discount and the 7 day Vacation Pass!! 

100 Things to Do on the Outer Banks

If you’re new to visiting the Outer Banks, you might wonder what there is to do down here besides laying out and playing at the beach. Well, if that’s what you’re wondering, you’re in luck. Here is a list and brief description of 100 things to do here. There’s something for every taste and budget.

History

If you love history, then you’ll want to check out these great Outer Banks museums and attractions. Some are hands on and suitable for kids while others are more traditional in nature.

 

1.            Roanoke Island Festival Park (Fun N Sun Partner)

Step back in time to 1585 when the first settlers came over from England. Explore a life sized replica of a 16th century sailing vessel, talk to costumed interpreters, discover a Native American ‘village’ and colonial settlement and have a blast in the interactive hands on kids friendly museum.

 

2.            Whalehead Club  Whalehead Club Outer Banks

See how the other half lived in the 1920’s with this restored private home. Belonging to Mr. Knight, a wealthy industrialist, this home turned museum has some of the best examples of the art deco architecture and style. It even has an elevator for luggage.

 

3.            Frisco Native American Museum (Fun N Sun Partner)

This is museum has the distinction of being the largest private collection on Native American artifacts for public display in the country. That being said, it’s still pretty small, but not small on what you’ll see. Get ready to discover more about Native Americans than you ever knew was possible.

 

4.            Beachcombing Museum

Recently opened in their new spot, the Beachcombing museum features the collection of Nellie Myrtle, and her 40+ years of picking up treasures from the beach every day of her life. Its more than a collection of ‘stuff’, it’s a time capsule of history.

 

5.            Island Farm

It’s like Colonial Williamsburg only smaller. And set in the 19th century. This farm features animals like chickens, cows and banker ponies, as well as restored houses, a windmill and an ox cart ride. Costumed interpreters teach about chores back then, such as making soap, doing laundry or collecting eggs, and more. Best of all, it’s a hands on museum, so kids and adults can touch pretty much whatever they want.

 

6.            Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station (Fun N Sun Partner)

“You have to go out, no one said you had to come back,” That was the unofficial motto of the lifesavers; the predecessors to the Coast Guard. If you’d like to learn all about these brave men who protected our waters, then this is the place to go.

 

7.            Maritime Museum

This little gem of a museum is located, or I should say hidden in downtown Manteo. For such a small museum, it really takes you through the history of Outer Banks ships. It also offers classes such as sailing, knot tying and their ever popular but underutilized built a boat-in-a-day class.

 

8.            Wright Memorial  Wright Memorial Outer Banks

This is where flight started. Explore the museum, the history of flight, climb up to the monument and see the commutative boulders that started our love affair with the air.

 

9.            Fort Raleigh

Separate from the Lost Colony, this small museum and historic site offers a history of the colonists as well as the mound where a fort once stood. The best thing about this park is the ranger talk, so be sure not to miss it.

 

10.   The Archives

Now, I’ll admit, this attraction isn’t for everyone. In fact, if you’re not a history lover, you’re going to think it’s downright dull. But if you love both books and history, then there’s no better place than the archives. This state run research facility has all kinds of empherma relating to the Outer Banks from rare books to court cases, to deeds, antique maps in more There’s even a little known book about the hunt for Blackbeard’s treasure.

 

11.   Wild Horse Museum

This museum pays homage to the wild horses. It not only shows their history, but they also have trinkets to buy to help the horse. Everyone’s favorite activity is ‘paint the wooden horse.’ These half life sized flat horses are purchased, painted and displayed. It serves as both a testament to your (and your child’s) creativity, but the proceeds help the wild horses. Occasionally they will also have a real Banker Pony you can pet. This horse was taken from the heard for medical reasons. Even after the horse is better, he cannot be returned.  

 

Lighthouses

The Outer Banks is home to 5 distinct lighthouses spread out all over the islands. So if you’re a lighthouse fan, you’ll want to add these to your bucket list.

 

12.   Bodie Island  Lighthouse on the Outer Banks

Pronounced ‘Body’ (supposedly because that’s where the ‘bodies wash up’) this lighthouse has an attached wooden walkway nature trail. This lighthouse usually rotates the years you can climb it, so be sure to check. However, even when you can’t climb it, the impressive structure and surrounding grounds always makes it worth the trip.

 

13.   Marshes Light

Of all the lighthouses on the list, this one is the only non-original. Built in 2004, this is a replica lighthouse of one that was out in the sound for decades. It’s free to enter and has a great park, playground and all of downtown Manteo at the end of its dock.

 

14.   Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

This lighthouse has the distinction of being the he tallest all concrete lighthouse in the world. It’s also the most recognizable with its black and white candy cane stripes. This lighthouse is usually open for climbing, so be sure to check.

 

15.   Corolla Lighthouse

This was the last lighthouse built before the government decided that lighthouses outlived their usefulness. It’s also the only unpainted light house. The third thing that makes this lighthouse special is that it’s the only one not owned by some branch of government. As such, it keeps different houses. It’s open for climbing.

 

16.   Ocracoke Lighthouse

Standing barely 65 feet tall, this is the smallest lighthouse on the Outer Banks. In fact for an ocean lighthouse, it might be the smallest one anywhere. This lighthouse needs a day trip to get to, but that’s part of the whole ‘lighthouse experience.’  Be sure to bring a camera and snap a picture of a feral ‘ocracat’ a cat rumored be the descendants of Blackbeard’s ships’ cats.

 

Aerial Adventures

The Outer Banks is First in Flight, so it’s no surprise there are so many aerial related things to do here on the Outer Banks.  

 

17.   Hang-gliding

The Outer Banks is home to the largest Hang Gliding School in the world, so if you want to hang glide, now’s your chance. Kitty Hawk Kites offers tandem Hang-gliding this way even people with no experience are guaranteed a safe and thrilling ride.

 

18.   Fly A Replica Wright Glider

If you’ve ever seen the Wright Flyer and wished you could recreate that experience, you can the Wright glider experience is where you can fly your very own replica of the original flyer. Get set to have an adventure of a lifetime.

 

19.   Kite Flying

With its constant winds and low tree ratio, The Outer Banks is one of the best places in the world to fly kites. Every year, tons of people fly them on the beach. What’s even more fun is taking your kite to Jockey’s Ridge to fly it. Donâ??t’ have a kite? No problem. We have an entire store for that.

 

20.   Plane Tours  Plane Tours

Depending on the plane, this kind of air tour can accommodate everyone from one person to a small family. Or you could choose a biplane and take turns going up. Everyone loves an antique style biplane.

 

21.   Helicopter Tours

These types of tours are perfect for the small family. The average helicopter holds 3 passengers. Because helicopters donâ??t’ go as high as planes, you are able to a get a view of the Outer Banks that few people do.

 

22.   Skydiving

Get set for the most heart pounding thing you’ll ever do. Not only will you get a great view of the Outer Banks, you’ll get an even better on as you’re plunging to earth a spit second for the safety of a parachute snaps you back. We do tandem skydiving here, so the never-done-this-before are more than welcome.

 

23.   Kiteboarding

Ready to fly high? Kiteboarding combines the best of kite flying and boarding except that you are the kite.  Fly gracefully over the sound then get set to get wet as you come down. It’s an immersive experience.

 

24.   First Flight Harnessed Adventure Park  Adventure Park Outer Banks

A fairly recent addition to the OBX, the harnessed adventure parks features zip lines, climbing ropes, in obstacle courses and more. There’s one in Nags Head and one in Corolla, so no matter which side of the beach you’re on, you can have some high flying fun.

25.   OBX Jet Pack

You’ve seen them in the movies and on TV, and now’s your chance to try one out. Of course, this quite like the ones you’ve seen in movies. This one only works over water, but the feeling is incredible.

 

Live Entertainment

Of course, there’s a variety of live entertainment here on the Outer Banks too including family friendly options after you’ve had a full day at the beach. So get ready to enjoy some nighttime fun that doesn’t go too late.

26.   Lost Colony (Fun N Sun Partner)

Go see the oldest outdoor drama in the country about the country’s first colony on the very site where they disappeared.  Seeing the Lost Colony is an experience like you’ve never seen before. Learn history in the most interesting way possible.

 

27.   Character Dinner At The Lost Colony

If you want to go all immersive at the show then sign up for a character dinner. Not only do you get to meet the cast before the show, you get a behind the scenes tour, dinner, and VIP seating. Your kids will love meeting ‘the queen’ and all the others too.

 

28.   Murder Mystery Dinner Theater (Explore The Shore Partner)Outer Banks Mystery Dinner

Get set for murder. Actually, get set to laugh in the most hilarious murder mystery dinner theater you’ve ever seen. With corny jokes, strange stories and lively cast (except for the one who’s dead of course) you’ll have a great time figuring out ‘whodunit’. And dinner is even included.

 

29.   Live Music at the Restaurants

The Outer Banks has a lot of bands and just as many venues to see them. Many of the restaurants offer live music. Our very own vacation planner Graham Outten is a musician at these restaurants, and is the best resource for who’s playing where when.

 

30.   Ghost Tours (Explore The Shore Partner)

The Outer Banks is haunted; at least that’s what they say. Even though that might not be true, we certainly have a lot of ghost stories. A ghost tour through downtown Manteo is the perfect  opportunity to hear them all.  Of course, we recommend the OBX Ghost Tours; the only one that uses ghost detectors and has hilarious fun.

 

31.   Outer Banks Comedy Club

Come see the longest running season comedy club in the country. This is the show where comics like Ray Romano and Chris Rock got their start before they were famous. Who knows you might even see the next up and comer. Best of all, the show changes weekly so it’s never the same show twice.

 

32.   Concerts in Duck Park 

The Duck Park is home to all kinds of events from morning shows to yoga, to kid’s shows and more. But at night there are often concerts in the park.  Be sure to check them out.

 

33.   Shows at Festival Park

Festival Park features kid’s shows during the day and often more mature shows at night.  They’ve had everything from blues stars to Chinese acrobats. Be sure to check their schedule to see a full list of events.

 

Fishing

The Outer Banks has attracted sports fisherman from way back. Today, though there are more regulations, there are also an abundance of fish. So now let’s look at all your fishing options.

 

34.   Surf Fishing

This is the easiest way to fish; just grab a pole, some bait and a license and you can fish anywhere on the beach.  Great for kids and adults alike.

 

35.   Pier Fishing  Pier Fishing

The Outer Banks has an abundance of piers you can use to fish. This provides much better fishing than the surf because fish are naturally to piers for the food and perceived protection from other fish. Best of all, piers have you covered with the license. The Outer Banks Pier, in South Nags Head is one of our Fun N Sun partners, so you can fish for free.

 

36.   Inshore Charter Boat Fishing

These types of charters stay in the Sound where the waves are smaller. Since smaller waves are more easily tolerated by the very young and the elderly, it’s the perfect family outing. You will catch fish, but like everything else in the sound, they are smaller too.

 

37.   Offshore Charter Boat Fishing

These ocean charters can take you to fish around wrecks and closer to shore. It’s the perfect ‘first charter’ if you’re not sure a gulf stream is right for you or if you only want to do a half day.

 

38.   Gulf Stream Fishing

If you’re ready to go big, then there’s nothing like gulf stream fishing. You could catch Marlin, Tuna, and all kinds of large fish just perfect for eating or bragging rights. Whatever you catch, it’ll be a blast.

 

39.   Kayak Fishing

Not one to be left out, Kayak fishing has grown in popularity here. Basically it’s like boat fishing, only you’re doing it from a kayak. Most people kayak fish in the sound. The more experienced ones do it in the ocean.

 

40.   Crabbing

Though not technically a fish, crabbing is a great way to spend time with the family. All you need is a net, some twine and some chicken necks. Or you could buy the entire crabbing kit at Bob’s Bait And Tackle.  That works too.

 

Animal Related Adventures

The OBX is home to thousands of animals you donâ??t see every day, including nutria, wolves, coyotes, bobcats, dolphins, wild horses and more. If you’re an animal lover, then you’re going to love all the things there are to do involving animals on the Outer Banks.

 

41.   Wildlife Education Centers

Manteo and Corolla each host a Wildlife Education Center as part of the park service. Both are free to get in and have their own personality. One features a huge tank full of sound fish and an antique decoy collection, while the other features an indoor scavenger hunt and an aerial tour simulator. Both have some hands on activities for kids and while it’s not an all-day even, there are plenty of selfie spots and is definitely worth a stop.

 

42.   Birding With The Rangers

The Outer Banks hosts over 1000 different species of native and migratory birds. In the mornings, Pea Island offers birding tours with a ranger. You’ll get to go on great, but not commonly used trails and know exactly what bird you’re looking at.

 

43.   Wild Horse Tour (Fun N Sun Partner)  Wild Horse Tour

Living wild and free for nearly 500 years is the wild horses of Corova. It you want to see them, you’ll need a 4x drive and some luck. If you want to be guaranteed to see them, then take a horse tour. Horse tour guides are also trackers, so they’ll know where to find the horses.

 

44.   Segway Tours

No longer the domain of mall cops, these specially designed big wheeled Segways are built to go off road. You have a choice of tours, either through the Corolla historic shopping village or to the Outer Banks Outback where the wild horses are. Never ridden on a Segway? No problem. All tours include instruction.

 

45.   Red Wolf Howlings

The Outer Banks is home to the last remaining red wolves in the world. While no one can guarantee you’ll see these wild animals, hearing them is practically guaranteed.  Howlings take place  few times a season, where a ranger takes you out at night and you howl at the wolves and wait for them to howl back. Who knows, you might even see one.

 

46.   Dolphin Tour (Fun N Sun Partner)

Want to see dolphins? You could rent a boat and take your chances or you could go on a dolphin tour, where you are guaranteed to see dolphins.  Watching these ocean mammals paly in the water is one of the true joys in life.

 

47.   Alligator River

This wildlife preserve is home to a variety of animals, including nutria, red wolves, alligators, black bear and more. Of course a preserve isn’t’ like a zoo. You may or may not see animals when you visit, but that’s part of the fun.

 

48.   Alligator River Tram Tour

This is a tour run by the rangers in an open air tram. It’s perfect if you want to explore without subjecting your car to off road conditions. There’s a cost for reservations, but showing up is free, as long as you’re willing to take your chances that there might not be a seat.

 

49.   Alligator River Kayak Tour

Are there alligators in the alligator river? Yes. Are you likely to see them? Well, taking a Kayak tour greatly increases your odds since you are where they are. Donâ??t worry. They just think your kayak is a bigger gator, so they won’t’ bother you.

 

50.   Aquarium On Roanoke Island

Rated as one of the top ten best small aquariums on trip advisor, our local aquarium has features usually only seen in big ones; like holograms, jellyfish and sharks you can pet.

 

51.   Ride Horses On The Beach (Explore the Shore Partner)

If you’ve always dreamed of horseback riding on the beach, now’s your chance. Equine Adventures has a horse for every skill level; from the never-ridden-before to the advanced rider.  It takes you from the beach to the forest in the ride of a lifetime.

 

52.   Go Ghost Crabbing

Ghost crabs come out at night blend into the sand and scamper when you shine light at them. They are great fun to chase for kids and the kids at heart. Take their pictures and post them on Instagram and say you’ve ‘seen a ghost’ a ghost crab, that is.

Amusements

Looking for something else to do besides the beach? Donâ??t’ worry, we have all kinds of amusements and fun here. Here are just a few selections.

 

53.   Mini Golf (Fun N Sun Partner)  Mini Golf

From an ultra-modern course with trains, to indoor 3d golf, to the courses of yesteryear, the Outer Banks has mini golf courses galore. We even have the last grass mini golf course left in the country.  Of course, if golfing and ice cream is more your speed, then check out DQ mini golf.  Loser buys the ice cream.

 

54.   H2OBX Water Park (Discounted Tickets Available)

Get set to get wet. The Outer Banks newest waterpark features a wave pool, thrilling slides, a lazy river and special sections for tweens and babies.

 

55.   Laser Tag

Made popular on HIMYM, now you can have your own laser tag adventure. This attraction has recently had some work done and is now ready for business. It’s the perfect thing for those rainy days.

 

56.   Escape Room (Fun N Sun Partner)

If you’ve always wanted an adventure like you’ve seen on TV, now’s your chance. Our partner in Currituck can provide a murder mystery, a jewel heists, witch’s lair, a pirates cave and more. Be sure to check them out.

 

57.   Pirate Adventure

If your child has always wanted to be a pirate now’s their chance. This attraction features a full sized ‘pirate ship’ dress up, a treasure hunt as ‘sea’ (really the sound) and dastardly villain pirate out to stop them. It’s a good time for all, and there are even water cannons.

 

58.   Movies

Upset about missing that great new release? Don’t worry. We have movies. The megaplex offers all the modern releases, including 3D and Fathom Events. The one in Corolla is a dinner-and-a-movie type. Finally the one the in Manteo is the oldest family owned theater in the country.

 

59.   Movies On The Sound (Duck Park)

Looking for a great family event? In season, the Duck Park offers movies on the sound, an older, family friendly movie where you get to sit on the grass, picnic, watch a movie and have a great time.

 

60.   Children At Play Museum  

If you have little ones, then you’ll want to check out this special museum for kids under 5 where play is celebrated. There’s a busy wall, a boat to catch ‘fish’ and use their imaginations. Bringing an older sibling who finds this stuff boring? No problem. The video games are upstairs.

 

61.   Grave Digger Monster Truck

Second only to Bigfoot in its fame, Grave digger is the most beloved monster Truck. Dennis Anderson and Son are often found at the Digger site for photo ops and questions. Sometimes, you can even take a ride a on a Grave Digger yourself. Your kids, and the kid inside you, will love it.

 

62.   Bumper Cars And Boats

Step back to childhood with bumper cars, one of the oldest attractions on the Outer Banks. It has all the bumper car goodness you remember and now can share with your kids. And donâ??t’ forget the bumper boats. We have those too.

 

63.   Turf’s Up

The newest attraction at the Outer Banks features a variety of virtual games from golf to carnival games to Zombie Dodgeball. If the day is gray then this a great place to play.

 

64.   Golf (Fun N Sun Partner)

The Outer Banks is home to some world class golf courses. Among them are the Carolina Club and The Pointe.  Since they are also our Fun N Sun Partners, you get to play a round for free. What could be better than that?

 

65.   Climb Jockey’s Ridge  Climb Jockey's Ridge

The largest all natural sand dune on the east coast is a world unto itself. Kids love climbing it and rolling down. Even the dogs love it, and they are welcome. The view from the top is amazing, and there’s no better place to watch a sunset.

 

Art

If you’re the creative or cultured type, then you’re going to love checking out these  art themed galleries shops and activities. 

 

66.   Deja New

Everything old is new again, and that’s certainly true here.  This gallery takes old, word out furniture and gives it an overhaul making it new modern and fresh. They also have classes on journaling and reposing old furniture. This is upcycling at its finest.

 

67.   Dare County Arts Council

Located in Downtown Manteo in a 1904 courthouse, the Arts Council displays artists from all over the Outer Banks from painting to sculpture to so much more. And best of all, it’s all original. There’s no mass produced anything here.

 

68.   Gallery Row

The anchor store of this section of gallery’s is Glenn Eure’s Ghost Fleet Gallery, feature the original art of him and others. It also features Jewelry by Gail, whose creations have been worn on the red carpet by movie stars.

 

69.   Seaside Art Gallery

This gallery is so old it has a PO Box of 1. It not only showcases famous artists from around the world, it has the largest selection of antique jewelry and animation cells on the Outer Banks.

 

70.   Have Professional Photos Taken On The Beach

The best souvenirs are memories. They never go out of style and it always the perfect fit for everyone. There are many photographers on the beach that can make this happen.  Not only are the pictures something to treasure, the memories you make while you’re creating them are even better.

Fun Classes

Ready to learn something new? Then take advantage of one of these super fun classes, great for singles, kids or families.

 

71.   Wine And Pant

If you’ve ever wanted to learn to paint with a group of likeminded people and having a great time, now’s your chance. Several galleries offer wine and paint where you can bring your own wine and paint something, like your pet, or a lighthouse, and have a great time.

 

72.   Paint Your Own Pottery-Glazin Go Nuts

Ok, so this is less of a class, but they do have books and it’s fun for the entire family. You simply go in, pick out your time and paint it. They have plates, banks, ornaments, and all kinds of fun stuff. You can pick it up at the end of the week or they will ship it to you.

 

73.   Jewelry Making- Cloud 9

This is the oldest Jewelry making supply store on the Outer Banks. Throughout the year, she has various classes on how to make certain types of jewelry. Wire wrapping your found sea glass is the favorite, but she has many others.

 

74.   Mermaid Academy

If your child loves mermaid stories, here’s their chance to become one.  Basic swimming skills are all that’s needed to teach your child to swim like a mermaid. Tails are provided and also available to buy.

 

75.   In Home Cooking Lessons

Did you know that there are chefs that will come to your home to teach you how to cook? It’s great fun for the whole family regardless of age, and you even get to eat your lesson plan.

 

76.   Drone School

It’s time to go back to school, drone school that is. If you’re ever wanted to learn how to fly a drone, now’s your chance.  No drone? No problem. The class provides ones to practice with as well as ones to purchase after. Are you ready to learn about this picture taking machine?

 

77.   Paddleboard Yoga

That’s right. Here at the Outer Banks, we do everything on the water, including yoga. Yoga on a paddleboard over the majestic sound provides the perfect way to test your skills and commune with nature.

 

78.   Wine University

If you love wine, or would like to know more about it, then you’re in luck. Several places here including wineries and Chips offer ‘wine universities’ a fun class that teaches you about wines, pairings and more.

 

Shopping

There’s no enclosed mall at the Outer Banks, but that doesn’t mean there’s no place to shop. In fact, there are tons of places. Here are a few of them.

 

79.   The Antique Mall

Also known as the Central Square Shopping Center, this outdoor cluster mall holds a variety of antique shops. It contains tons of wonderful antiques dating back centuries.

 

80.   Tanger Outlet Mall

If you love outlet malls, you’ll love ours too. It features a Wilson’s leather, a discount bookstore, a dress barn, a Talbot’s and all kinds of other stores. There’s even a Tropical Smoothie so you don’t have to leave to get something to eat.

 

81.   The Town of Duck

The 1.5 miles of Downtown Duck is a rarity; a town with absolutely no chain stores or restaurants. You can use the Duck soundside boardwalk to walk anywhere in Downtown Duck, and shop dozens of boutique shops and mom and pop restaurants.

 

82.   Downtown Manteo

This town located in the county seat is tucked away from the beach but is still a great place to shop. Boutiques, antique stores, art galleries, great places to eat and a waterside view, what could be better?

 

83.   Wings

This the quintessential tourist store on the Outer Banks. It has bathing suits, towels and more souvenirs than you can shake a stick at. This isn’t boutique type stuff it’s pure kitsch and it’s glorious.

 

Water Adventures

Now we get to the reason everyone comes here- the water.  If you or your kids are water babies, then you’re going to love this list of water adventures.

 

84.   Pontoon Boat (Explore The Shore Partner)

Typical chartered boats are for fishing or exploring. However, the OBX Pontoon Man does so much more than that. He takes you fishing, crabbing and tubing, and even to some islands off the beaten path if thereâ??s time. You can rent the boat, complete with captain, for a full day, half day or 2 hour rental. A good time will be had by all and you always come home with crabs.

 

85.   Jet Skis (Explore The Shore Partner)

Imagine the wind in your hair, the spray on your face. This is all possible with jet skis. It’s just a like driving a fast car without any of the annoyances of traffic. Are you ready to Jet Ski? You can rent one at Corolla & Duck Watersports.

 

86.   Parasailing (Explore The Shore Partner)

Parasailing is a lot like Kiteboarding except you can do it in tandem. There are parasails rigs for up to 4 people, making it the perfect family friendly activity. Corolla & Duck Parasail will be happy to find the right parasail rig for you.

 

87.   Kayaking (Fun N Sun Partner)  Kayaking on the Outer Banks

Kayaking is a great way to see  parts of the Outer Banks youâ??ve never seen before as well as venture into place that most people miss. If youâ??re new to kayaking, then youâ??ll want to take some lessons with the Kitty Hawk Kayak and Surf School. If you already know what youâ??re doing, then you can just rent a kayak and explore.

88.   Stand Up Paddle Boarding ( Fun N Sun Partner; )

AKA SUPing, is the newest water craze to hit the OBX.  If you have a decent sense of balance, you can cruise the sound in style. Looking for something more extreme? Surfers do this in the ocean. Of course if you need lessons, check out the Kitty Hawk Kayak and Surf School

 

89.   Scuba Diving

If youâ??re a certified scuba diver, then get set to have some fun. There are plenty of wrecks off our coat that you can dive on and thereâ??s even a scuba school so you can go out with a group. If youâ??ve always wanted to swim with the sharks, the aquarium lets you get in their big tank cage free to swim with these alpha predators.

 

90.   Surfing (Fun N Sun Partner)

Surfing soothes the soul so much that we have a Surfing for Autism event here every summer.  But Surfing is great for everyone, and if you don’tâ?? have a board, you can rent one from one of our many surf shops. Arenâ??t sure about your balance? Then boogey boards might be right for you. Those are a cheap buy in any tourist store.  Be sure to check out Kitty Hawk Kayak and Surf School if you need lessons.

 

91.   Downeast Rover

This 55 foot topsail schooner is leaving out of Manteo is one of the best ways to see the Outer Banks sound. It holds 25 people, but if your groups not big enough to rent the whole thing, don’t worry, they also have daily charters that will take out multiple combined groups of any size.

 

Libations

Looking for some fun with adult drinks? Here are the best choices for good time together sans kids.

 

92.   Winery Tour Complete With Tasting

Sanctuary Vineyards offers a free tour and tasting in season. You’ll taste some of their award winning wines, see the vines, learn about the process of winemaking and get a special price on bottles to take home.

 

93.   Distillery Tours

The Outer Banks was home to the first craft brewers in the state. Today, there are several local breweries, and many offer tours of their operations. A few even have tastings.

 

94.   Metropolis

Globally inspired food and cocktails are waiting to greet you at the Outer Banks first and only Martini Bar. They feature tapas instead of dinner so you’ll always have room for drinks.

               

95.   Sanctuary Vineyard Voyage

This unique experience takes you by pontoon boat to across the sound to Sanctuary Vineyards, an award winning winery. From there, you’ll get to sample an assortment of about 15-20  wines including dessert wines, ice wine and more.  It’s followed by a tour of the vineyard and a boat ride back.

 

96.   TRiO

This unique restaurant is the best way to sample exotic wines without purchasing a bottle. You simply buy a prepaid card, and then go through and choose any wine of your choice by the full glass, half glass or quarter glass.  It also has great sandwiches, and an assortment of fancy cheeses.

 

Unique Dining Experiences

Dining out should be an adventure. While there are plenty of great places to eat out here on the OBX, these restaurants were chosen because of their cool themes.

 

97.   Big Al’s  

Step back in time with this unique 1950s restaurant complete with red seats, checkerboard floors and milkshakes you won’t believe.  Happy Days are here again.

 

98.   Diggers Dungeon

If you love monster trucks, you have to eat at Digger’s Dungeon in Currituck. It’s official dinner of Grave Digger; the second most famous Monster Truck in the world.  Grave Digger is on site for photo ops and sometimes Dennis Anderson or his son drop by too.

 

99.   Farmer To Fork -Weeping Radish

You might remember this restaurant from its stint in Manteo. Today, it’s over in Currituck, all its German trappings gone except for one thing; the love of good fresh food. The food is all sourced locally, right down to the onsite butcher. So if you’re looking for the best, freshest food in town, you’ve found it.

 

100.   Grandstaff and Stein

This new restaurant is done in the style of a 1920’s speakeasy, complete with an entrance behind the bookcase. You have to know the password to gain entry, but it’s posted on their Facebook page daily.  Whisper the name and enjoy food and mixed drinks the 1920’s way.

So that’s our list of a 100 things to do on the Outer Banks. What did you think? Did your favorite make it the list?  Don’t forget if you need a place to stay so you can do all these, check out our fine selection of homes.

 

10 Fun Facts about the Wright Brothers Monument

Have you ever been to the Wright Brothers Memorial?  This National Park and Monument recognizes the land where the first official flight by the Wright Brothers took place.  Here are a few little known facts about the park located right here on the Outer Banks!   If you’ve never been there, plan to check it out on your next visit.  It’s fun and history for visitors of all ages! 

1.  The First Flight Actually Took Place in Kill Devil Hills, Not Kitty Hawk. 

When the Wright Brothers sent word that they made their first official flight, it came from the telegraph office located inside the Kitty Hawk Lifesaving Station a few miles away.    Kill Devil Hills was not establlished as an offical town until the 1950s, so Kitty Hawk was given the credit as the location of the first flight in 1903. 

2.  The Hill Had To Be Stabilized

The original ‘hill’ where the flight trials took place was originally nothing but a sand dune, like hundreds of other dunes in the area at that time. When the government decided to erect a granite monument on that spot, they realized they needed something more stable than just sand to prevent it from shifting.  They added dirt and more sand to the hill, building it up to the height it is today. The whole community got involved with the stabilization process. Children were even paid a penny for each bucket of dirt they brought to the hill.  Once the hill was the right soil consistancy, they planted grass, anchoring it to the spot. Today, this hill is officially known as the “Kill Devil Hill,” named after the town that surrounds it.

3.  The Welcome Center Is Done In Art Deco Style   

The visitor center (which is currently undergoing restoration this year) was considered an ultra-modern design when originally built in the 1920’s. It was part of the Park Service’s “Mission 66” program dedicated to modernization and expansion. The architectural firm of Rogers & Poor were the ones behind it’s unique art deco style. In 1966, it was inducted into the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

4.  It Was The First Federal Park To Have A Permanent Public Structure

Prior to the Wright Memorial’s Visitor Center, National Parks didn’t have public structures on them. Instead, they had ranger stations, entrances, and other similar outcroppings, but no buildings for the public to enjoy. When they created Wright Memorial, they realized that nature and the boulder markers alone weren’t going to be enough to tell the Wright’s story, so they commissioned a museum to tell the rest.

5.  The Inside Of The Monument Is Hollow

The 60 foot granite monument was built in 1932 and dedicated to the Wright Brothers while brother Orville was still living. Though it looks solid, it’s actually hollow with a black granite floor. When it was originally built, it was intended to be open to the public as an extension of the museum. Two alcoves inside originally held the busts of the brothers that now appear outside.  Narrow stairs lead upward, letting you see the entire park from the top of the monument.  With the combined height of both the hill and the structure itself, it’s the single highest point on the Outer Banks.   You can see the entire park as well as the markers on the ground, helping you realize just how important, yet how small everything really is.  This part of the Memorial is closed to the public but opens occasionally for special days and events.

6.  The Memorial Was The Original Selfie Spot.

In the 1940s and 50s the popular thing to do was to get dressed up in your Sunday best and take pictures in front of the commemorative boulders. Though this might seem strange to us today, it has to do with pride. Outer Bankers have always been a proud people, and for their home to be chosen as the best spot in the entire country to have the very first heavier than air flight, it made sense that they would go the most special spot in the world to have their pictures taken in their finest clothes. 

7.  The Access Used To Be From Colington Road 

The entrance we use today from the main road, Route 158 was not always the entrance to the park.  The original access was from Colington Road. You can still find the original access flanked by cold war columns. However, there is a fence there now preventing entry from any route other than the main gate.

8.  At One Time The Inscription Was Highly Controversial

If you’ve ever been to the top of hill, you’ll notice there’s an inscription at the base. It says “In commemoration of the conquest of the air by the brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright, conceived by genius, achieved by dauntless resolution and unconquerable faith.”

The reason it was controversial was because it doesn’t actually say that the Wright Brother’s invented heavier than air flight. This was a constant problem in the years following the famous ‘first flight’. Though the brother’s gained fame and were given many awards for their achievements, none of the early awards acknowledged them as the creators of heavier than air flight. It wasn’t until 1940 that people (and honors) first started  to recognize the brothers as aeronautics’ true inventors.   There is still much controversy as to whether the states of North Carolina or Ohio (the Wright Brothers’ birthplace) can claim to be the “First in Flight”.  

9.  The Flyer At The Monument Is Not The Original

The original plane that actually performed the first flight in Kill Devil Hills is now located inside the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington DC.  However, it almost never made it there due to the fact that the Smithsonian originally refused to recognize the Wrights accomplishment as the creators of heavier than air flight.  Orville Wright (the only surviving brother at the time) sent the plane to England where he felt it would be displayed properly.  Upon learning that they would lose the opportunity to the aircraft to a museum overseas, the Smithsonian pleaded and agreed for the Wright Flyer to be displayed alongside Langley’s flyer. Orville refused and threatened to burn the plane rather than ever let the Smithsonian have it after showing so much disrespect. It wasn’t until 1947, after two subsequent curators and a purging of Langley’s work from the ‘practical’ side of aviation did Orville agree to finally send his flyer to the DC museum.  Though many said he would have preferred to have the original flyer at his monument in North Carolina, Orville’s premature death ended the debate. The last wishes in his will said the flyer was to go to the Smithsonian. The flyer displayed at the Wright Memorial here on the Outer Banks is a replica. 

10.  Many Famous People Have Visited The Monument

Thousands of visitors tour the monument and grounds every year. Each year on December 17th a special celebration is held that marks the anniversary of the Wrights’ first flight.   This celebration brings in aviation fans, military personnel and even a few celebrities.   Actors such as John Travolta and President George W. Bush have made appearances there. As have astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Chuck Yeager. American aviation pioneers, Ruth Nichols and Amelia Earhart also visited the monument during their lifetime. All wanted to see where it all began.

Bonus Fact: The Wright’s Patent Made Them Rich And Famous Men

People think the Wrights invented the airplane. That’s only partially true.  Airplanes with similarities of configuration to the ones the Wrights flew were already in existence. However, they simply didn’t work. They lacked both a way to lift off from level ground and a way to control them once they were in the air.

The Wrights invented a system that helped the plane not only lift off, but remain in control once airborne. This was the true turning point for both aviation and the Brothers. To this day, there is no better system for controlling flight than the one the Wrights invented in 1903. Even in modern aircraft, the systems are all just updated variations of the Wrights original system. Thanks to their patent, the Wrights received 20% on the sale of every new aircraft regardless if the buyer was commercial, private, or even the government.

The Outer Banks is a special place, something the Wright Brothers knew only too well. So if you’re ready to visit and learn a little more about our history, give us a call today!

Top 10 Reasons the OBX should be on your Top Ten Travel List

The Outer Banks is a strip of land, one part peninsula, one part island chain off the coast of North Carolina. It’s made up of the main towns of Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Duck, Corolla, and Nags Head. There are also the smaller areas such as Manteo and Hatteras Island. It has a year round population of about 35,000 people. However, in the summer, that number swells to almost 200,000 visitors. Still, many people have never heard of the Outer Banks or understand why it’s so special. Here are 10 reasons the Outer Banks should be on your Top Ten Travel List.

Ready to book your Outer Banks vacation now?  Let’s Get Started!

Filled With History

Youâ??d be hard pressed to find a place with a richer history than the Outer Banks. It has the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, the most famous lighthouse in the world. It also has Jockey’s Ridge, the largest natural sand dune on the east coast. The Wright brothers took their first flight here. Blackbeard and hundreds of other ships met their end in the Graveyard of the Atlantic. Americaâ??s first colony was settled here, then vanished; replaced with the countryâ??s longest running outdoor drama.

Nature Surrounds You

The Outer Banks is famous for itâ??s wide open, non-commercialized beaches. While there are many homes (and a few hotels) that dot the oceanfront, there is nothing like a boardwalk, amusements or anything that would detract from the natural beauty of the Outer Banks. The Outer Banks is also home to many types of animals, some seen no where else in the world. Red wolves, turtles, wild horses, dolphins, fish, foxes, rabbits, nutria and over 300 species of birds make the Outer Banks their home.  The Outer Banks also has many ways to see nature, including state parks and several wildlife education centers.

The Beach

The Outer Banks is home to hundreds of miles of free and open unspoiled public beach. There’s no boardwalk on the beach, only a landscape peppered by homes.  You can get on and beach at designated accesses and walk anywhere you want all for free.  Our beaches are great place to find shells, sea glass and more. Visible shipwrecks lay right out in the open, including the Laura A. Barnes in Nags Head and the Metropolis in Corolla. Youâ??ll never know what youâ??ll find on an OBX beach.

The Water

The Outer Banks is surrounded by water; ocean on one side, sound on the other. The ocean is a living ocean, so it changes constantly. Itâ??s the perfect place to play, surf, SUP, SCUBA, kayak, or fish. Children love jumping in out of the waves while more experienced swimmers love the challenge the ocean offers. The Sound on the other hand, is prefect for younger children and less experienced swimmers. All kinds of wet and wild activities take pace in the Sound including jet skis, kayaking, stand up Paddle boarding, pontoon boat fun, inshore fishing, parasailing, boat trips and inflatable rafts.  You can also see dolphins in both places.

Seafood    Crabs

The Outer Banks is famous for it’s freshly caught seafood. By visiting one of the local restaurants, you can get fish so fresh it was swimming just a few hours ago. You can also go one of the many local fish markets and buy your own fish to take home and cook at the house. Steamer pots to go are also a favorite of locals and visitors alike. Simply place an order at a steamer restaurant and you can bring home a large pot filled with all kinds of seafood and shellfish. You can cook it yourself or ask the steamer place to cook it. Popular fish on the Outer Banks include tuna, mahi, flounder, bluefish, speckled tout, croaker, and spot.

Accommodations

In most beach resorts, you are stuck in a cramped hotel for a week where youâ??re forced to eat every meal out and youâ??re practically on top of each other. Thatâ??s not great for fostering family harmony. However, at the Outer Banks, you can rent an entire house, with plenty of room for everyone. Plus, since all our homes come with full kitchens, have the choice of eating out or cooking for yourself. Of course, you could always hire someone to cook for you, or eat the leftovers from last nightâ??s meal out. 

In Business For Families

An Outer Banks beach was rated #10 by National Geographic and #1 by US News as the best family beach in the country. This is because the Outer Banks actively courts families. Many rental companies have a minimum of 25 years of age before you can sign a lease and specify that it has to be some kind of ‘family’ group.  This means there are no rowdy â??beach weeksâ??, â??spring breaksâ?? or â??senior tripsâ?? This makes the Outer Banks much quieter than many comparable beaches.

Pets Are Welcome

The Travel Channel rated The Outer Banks as one the dog friendliest beaches in the country. But it’s not only the beaches that are dog friendly. It’s common to see dogs in parks, at outdoor events, and eating in the outdoor seating areas at local restaurants. Plus many Outer Banks homes are pet friendly, and include amenities like dog beds, and fenced in yards. After all, it’s not really a vacation unless the entire family can come.

Plenty To Do     Wright Brothers

The Outer Banks does not have an amusement park, (yet.) But thatâ??s about the only thing it doesnâ??t have. If you want to spend time in nature, we have ranger walks, horse tours, dolphin tours, kayak tours, and private boats you can rent. If history is more your speed, we have Roanoke Island Festival Park, the Lost Colony outdoor drama, Wright Brothers Memorial and more.  For the shoppers, we have a few chains, including a local chain, Wings, outlet shopping, boutique shops, antiques stores and plenty of restaurants to eat in between excursions. And if youâ??re more the entertainment type, then we have a harnessed adventure park, laser tag, the comedy club, the murder mystery dinner theater and even some ghost tours. And remember that amusement park I said we didnâ??t have? Well, weâ??re getting it in 2017. Only, itâ??s a water park. Youâ??ll see it on your way into town.

Close To Home

If you live anywhere on the east coast or even in Ohio, then this beach is close to home. In fact, for our Ohio visitors, we are the closest beach. Itâ??s an easy drive from most places in this region. However, The Outer Banks gets visitors from as far away as California, Texas, Canada, and even Germany. It seems that whether you live close or not, word is getting out that this is the best beach around.

Links to cited sources:

http://travel.usnews.com/Rankings/Best_Family_Beach_Vacations_in_the_USA/

http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/top-10/us-family-beaches/

10 More Unique Things you can only do on the OBX

Everyone loves seeing unusual things. This is particularly true while on vacation. SO by popular demand, here are 10 more unusual things you can only do and see on the outer banks.

The Grass Mini Golf Course In Corolla

Long before windmills and pirates where the order of the day for mini golf courses, min gold was just scaled down versions of regular golf course. They had expanses of perfect lawns, sand traps, 18 holes, rolling hills, only in miniature. Today, there are very few of these grass courses left.

However, in Corolla, there is still one left. It has everything itâ??s larger counterparts do and you donâ??t need a golf cart. Not only is it great entertainment for the casual player, itâ??s also a great way to teach children about the fundamentals of real golf without paying real golf fees.

Iâ??d give you the website, but it doesnâ??t have one.

Visible Shipwrecks

The Outer Banks is also known as the graveyard of the Atlantic, and with good reason. The Outer Banks is home to hundreds of shipwrecks. While many of these are hidden below the ocean’s surface there are a surprising number of them sitting on the shore where anyone can walk up and look at them.

Two of the most popular ones are the Metropolis up in Corolla and the Laura A Barnes on Coquina Beach. These shipwrecks come and go under the shifting sands of the Outer Banks. If you have a chance to see one, donâ??t forget to take lots of pictures.  These wrecks wonâ??t be around forever.

Americaâ??s Longest  Running Outdoor Play

As weâ??ve already said, the Lost Colony arrived almost 100 years before Jamestown and disappeared. What happened to them? No one really knows, though there are lots of theories.

However, the Lost Colony play has been running since the 1930â??s, making it Americaâ??s longest running outdoor drama. Thereâ??s even a picture of FDR enjoying the play back when it was new.  Many Actors got their start in this play including TVâ??s Andy Griffith and Broadwayâ??s Terrance Mann.

https://www.atlanticrealty-nc.com/vacation-planning/outer-banks-fun-n-sun-pass

The Worldâ??s Largest Hang-Gliding School

Would it shock you to know that the worldâ??s largest hang-gliding school is right here on the Outer Banks? It shocks most people, but then, we have the perfect built in launching point; Jockeyâ??s Ridge. 

Kitty Hawk Kites takes care of all your hang-gliding needs. And if youâ??re new to hang-gliding, they provide tandem hang-gliding. They also have many other adventures including supping, and a recreation of the Wright Brothers first flight with  museum quality replica plane.  Leaping off the ridge into the air is an experience not to be missed.

http://www.kittyhawk.com/

Teach’s Hole

No pirate is more famous than Blackbeard.  His exploits have taken on something of mythos, becoming a larger than life character, even though he really lived. The Outer Banks was one of his favorite haunts. He even had a house on Ocracoke though time took that long ago.   Ocracoke is Blackbeard final resting place. He was killed in its waters and his body thrown overboard. They say it circled his enemies’ ship 6 times before sinking beneath the waves.

Today, thereâ??s a tiny museum and gift shop there dedicated to Blackbeard. Though itâ??s not worth the entire trip to Ocracoke, if youâ??re already visiting it for the day, itâ??s definitely worth a stop.

Ocean SUPping

Stand up paddleboarding (SUPing) is becoming more popular in coastal communities around the country. However, here at the Outer Banks, we do things a little differently. Instead of just using sup boards in the sound and calm waters like the majority of coastal towns do, we use ours in the ocean.  Many Ocean SUPpers are surfers who use the board like a SUP going out and like a surfboard coming in. You can often find these SUPpers near piers or just about anywhere else on the Outer Banks.

And if you want to learn SUPing, thereâ??s no better place to start than in our own beautiful sound. Its waters are calm enough for even the most inexperienced beginner.

Duck Donuts 

Now, it might seem strange to list a donut shop on this list, however, itâ??s so unusual, it just had to be mentioned. Duck donuts is now a fast growing franchise, but it all started right here, with just one tiny store in Duck. Duck donut features made to order donuts. Not only are they made fresh daily, they decorate them right in front of you.

Itâ??s also a great place for kids as they love watching the donuts plop into the fryer. Schools even take field trips to see the donuts get made. Large Plexiglas windows and long benches to stand or sit on ensure that everyone has a great view for this yummy event.

https://duckdonuts.com/

Build A Boat In A Day Workshop

Now, this one might be cheating a little. Thatâ??s because itâ??s not always available. But when it is, itâ??s worth taking.  Hosted by the maritime center in Manteo, this popular workshop lets a team of up to 4 people over the age of 8 (one of whom has to be an adult) work together to build a real boat that they can then take home.

Itâ??s the ultimate souvenir and something you donâ??t see everywhere, or anywhere. There are very few places where someone with no boat building skills can go home with a finished boat.

Nearly Historic Homes

Did you know that the Outer Banks boasts some VERY historic homes for a coastal area? Well, the truth is, Iâ??m not sure how old some of these actually are, but some of there were built in the time when sinks went in bedrooms instead of in bathrooms.  Many of them were built with real wood and have doors made of planks instead of a solid piece.

Of course, one of the coolest things about these homes is that they are available for your vacation. True, they arenâ??t historically accurate anymore. Theyâ??ve been updated with things like newer furniture and flat screen TVs, but all the original charm is there.  There are very few coastal communities that can say that.  Thereâ??s even a few of them in our program.

https://www.atlanticrealty-nc.com/

Breeches Buoy Demonstrations

Now there are a few other places in the world that still do these, but they are becoming rarer by the year. A breeches buoy is like a life preserver ring with an oversized pair of pants at attached to the bottom. Shot into the water with a 200 pound Lyle gun, watching a rescue was really a site to see. The crew of the Mirlo was rescued with a device like this.

Though the Chicamacomico lifesaving station was decommissioned years ago, it has since been turned into a museum. It offers weekly demonstrations of this historic lifesaving technique, complete with the Lyle gun. Itâ??s a site not to be missed.

http://www.chicamacomico.net/

 

These unique sights and experiences will make a great compliment to nay outer banks vacation. Donâ??t have time to do them all? Donâ??t worry, most will still be here when you return next year. And donâ??t forget to pre-book your home before you go.

 

10 Great Reasons to Stay in Corolla

Each and every town on the Outer Banks has their own Special qualities that make it unique and different from the next.  Corolla is no exception.  From the historic Whalehead Hunt Club to Currituck Light, to the modern planned houseing developments with the most upscale homes in the area, Corolla is unlike any other town on the Carolina coast.  

Unique, Non-Chain Restaurants

Of course, youâ??ll find a variety of local restaurants anywhere you go. However, Corolla has many restaurants and eateries you just wonâ??tâ?? find anywhere else such as Mike And Dinaâ??s Grill Room, Lighthouse Bagels, (real, NY styles bagels and sandwiches,)  the Ocean Front Grill (one of less than 5 ocean front restaurants on the Outer banks) and Metropolis, (The Outer Banks only a martini and tappas bar.) Not to mention, there are tons of sweet shops, candy stores and even a cupcakery.

Corolla Is Its Own World

Itâ??s not often you can find a self-sustain world inside the Outer Banks. By that I mean once you enter Corolla, youâ??ll never have to leave out of necessity. It has its own beaches, restaurants, grocery stores, lighthouse and even its own movie theatre, mini golf, regular golf and more.

Corolla was only opened with a paved road in the 1980sâ??. Because of this, you have far less commercialism than in other parts of the Outer Banks. True, it has chain grocery stores, a Dunkin Donuts and even a Starbucks, but everything else is strictly a mom-and-pop type shop. There are great restaurants boutiques shopping, specialty stores, day spas and so much more. Itâ??s one of those places where you can get away from it all without having to leave it all behind.

Visible Shipwrecks

Recently, the wreck of the metropolis was unearthed by our shifting sands. Itâ??s one of the few places on the Outer Banks where you can walk right up to a shipwreck and take its picture. Itâ??s perfect for both adults and kids as it requires no special equipment (like four-wheel drives) or skills (like scuba diving. Of course, we donâ??tâ?? know how long before the sand reclaims itâ??s wreck, so itâ??s best to see it now.

Big, Open, Dog Friendly Beaches

Corolla has some of the widest beaches on the entire Outer Banks. They are public beaches, and many public accesses have parking. Itâ??s been called one of the best places to learn to surf. In addition, Corolla beaches are dog friendly. Thought they must be leashed, a dog can be on a Corolla beach any time of day, year round.  This is good news for pet owners who would never dream of going to the beach without their furbaby.

The Four-Wheel Drive Area

If you want to drive on the beach, the Corova area is still one of the few places you can do it without a special license. These beaches have no road bisecting the island, so you can drive to the ocean and the sound on the same trip. And if youâ??re into wildlife, itâ??s the perfect place for a photographic safari. The four-wheel drive area has birds, wild horses, foxes, wild pigs and many more animals.  No four-wheel drive? No problem. Here at Atlantic Realty, we give you a free or discounted ticket to see wild horses. What a great memory.

Wildlife Education Center

In the far corner of the historic triangle, sits the wildlife education center. Itâ??s usually not considered part of the triangle (which is why itâ??s not a historic square.) however, the wildlife education center is filled with all kinds of fun things such  as museum showing both the natural and manmade host of the area and even its own aquarium with live fish. The center also features a variety of fun education programs such as keeping a nature journal, water colors and even the basics of fishing for young soon to be anglers.

The Corolla Lighthouse

The Corolla lighthouse is one of the few thatâ??s almost always open for climbing. Standing 162 feet, this lighthouse is the only one that was left unpainted. It also has a fantastic view from the top so donâ??t forget your camera. When you come down from your climb, thereâ??s a food cart there providing refreshing ice cream and ice cold drinks. Thereâ??s also a gift shop.  Itâ??s a great way to see a  lighthouse without leaving Corolla.

Shopping Village

The historic shopping village is truly a must see, especially I you like history and shopping. Local stores have taken up residence in older style homes close to the lighthouseâ??s base. These stores offer everything from food to finery to a bookstore. Shoppers will love going in and out of all the quaint little shops to find the best treasures. Thereâ??s even a playground there for the little ones.

Whalehead Club

Recently taken over by the government, the Whalehead club is a restored 1920â??s hunt club like no other. It sparkles with true art nouvou décor and has many of its original furnishings. Normal tours are self-guided, but there are also special tours agile, including ghost tours. The Whalehead club also has a large lawn are, perfect for picnics or playing with kinds and pups. At certain times of years, events are held on that lawn. 

While itâ??s true Corolla takes longer to get to, thatâ??s exactly why you should stay there. Itâ??s its own little world. And once you arrive, youâ??ll never want to leave. Itâ??s one of those places that because it is so remote, itâ??s worth the trip.

 

10 Unique Attractions That You Can Only Find on the OBX

The Outer Banks is famous for its miles of pure unspoiled beaches, itâ??s history, itâ??s wildlife and so much more. But if youâ??re looking for something to see or do a little off the beaten path (but still easily accessible,) here are some of the more unusual things you will only see on the Outer Banks.

The Kill Devil Grill

More than just another dinner, this one of only six diners in the country that is also in the historic registry. Itâ??s fronted by a genuine 1939 Kullman diner.  Inside youâ??ll find authentic tabletop jukeboxes, and most of them work.

Of course, it much bigger than it look as the entire back is new, yet still done in the old style. This enables the front to remain beautiful and untouched while still accommodating modern visitors. Oh, and did I mention the food is good too? 

http://www.thekilldevilgrill.com/

The Elizabeth II

Almost 100 years before Jamestown, there was the Lost Colony. Festival Park features a composite replica of one of the ships that brought over the fateful colonists. One of the most shocking things about it is that itâ??s not to scale, thatâ??s itâ??s REAL size.

Festival Park also features a Native American Village, a colonial settlement, and museum covering the rest of the history about the Outer Banks. Itâ??s perfect for all ages. Best of all, you get a FREE ticket with our Fun N Sun pass.

https://www.atlanticrealty-nc.com/vacation-planning/outer-banks-fun-n-sun-pass

The Countryâ??s Largest Sand Dune

Named after the wild horse races that used to be held on it, Jockeyâ??s Ridge is the largest all natural sand dune system in Eastern United States.  Not only is it a great place to climb, kids have a blast rolling down the dune or taking surfboards and â??sleddingâ?? down the dune. If youâ??re lucky, you might even see some wildlife such as  a ghost crab or fox.

Jockeyâ??s Ridge is living sand dune which means it changes all the time. Because of these changes, the ridge is said to quite an appetite; swallowing a hotel in the 1890â??s and a mini golf course in the 1980â??s. Though no sign of the hotel exists, you can still see the courses castle appear for a short time then vanish beneath the sand again.

http://www.jockeysridgestatepark.com/

The Hatteras UFO

This house has moved around from Buxton to Frisco, after all, itâ??s so easy to move. Once, they let you go inside, but today, itâ??s mostly just a drive by attraction.  Designed in 1968 by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen, these â??ultra-modern homesâ?? were supposed to be the next big thing. They were easy to transport, could be anchored to the environment to withstand strong storms and were economical to heat and cool.

However, they never did catch on, and fewer than 100 were ever built. There are nine in New Zealand, seven in Australia, five in Finland, and only six known in the USA. South America and Holland are believed to have few as well.  Since this could be your only chance to see one, itâ??s worth driving by. 

https://youtu.be/H44jLsyPdjk   

Wright Memorial

This is THE official place where the Wright Brothers made their historic flight that changed the world.  Here you can see a replica of their plane, the markers remembering their flight and a restored version of their camps.  Thereâ??s also a history of flight museum covering everything from their historic flight to the space shuttle and beyond.

This is a government site so the rangers give the talks. They also answer questions and even have kids workshops. Of course, thereâ??s always the big hill to climb to actually see the monument. Kids love climbing the big hill. Itâ??s such an important place to the Outer Banks and to the world, thatâ??s itâ??s a must see.

http://www.nps.gov/wrbr/index.htm

Lighthouses

Itâ??s true that just about every costal town has lighthouses. However, few areas have as many as the Outer Banks. Thereâ??s the Bodie Island Lighthouse around Oregon inlet, the Corolla lighthouse in Corolla, the Hatteras light house on Hatteras, and the Ocracoke lighthouse on Ocracoke. Thereâ??s even the marshesâ?? light lighthouse in Manteo. Thatâ??s a lot of lighthouses for one tiny island chain.

Best of all, you can go in many of them. As for the ones you canâ??t you go in, well, they are in such beautiful locations that you wonâ??t miss climbing all those stairs in the slightest.

https://www.atlanticrealty-nc.com/outer-banks-lighthouses

Americaâ??s Longest Running Seasonal Comedy Club

Since 1984, the Outer Banks comedy club has been presenting the best up and comers in the comedy trade. Past performers include Drew Carry, Ray Romano, and Sinbad before they got famous.

Held in several locations, including Kill Devil Hills and Corolla, the Outer Banks Comedy club is a not to be missed event. Besides how often can you go to the countryâ??s oldest seasonal comedy club? (Since itâ??s here, Iâ??d say once a year maybe.)

http://www.comedyclubobx.com/ 

The Whalehead Club

Built in the 1920â??s, this historic hunt club is the testament of Mr. Knightâ??s love for his wife. Like him, she was an avid hunter. And like most avid hunters, she longed to belong to join a hunt club. However, in the 1920â??s, a woman joining a hunt club was impossible. Seeing how upset this made his wife, Mr. Knight built the Whalehead Club for her. Now she (and a few carefully chosen friends) could all belong to the same hunt club. Today, daily tours are given of the hunt club. 

It also makes up a third of the Historic triangle in corolla. The other two parts of the triangle are the Corolla Lighthouse (you can climb it) and The Historic Shopping Village.  You can get a free admission to the Whalehead club with our Fun N sun pass.

https://www.atlanticrealty-nc.com/vacation-planning/outer-banks-fun-n-sun-pass

Fishing With The Stars Of Wicked Tuna

Of course, you can fish anywhere in the world. But only the Outer Banks is home to the Fishinâ?? Frenzy and the other Outer Banks boats used in Wicked Tuna; North Vs South.  This popular show on National Geographic made reality stars out of some of our very own locals, who still fish.

Itâ??s your chance to meet the real live people on the show and come home with a fish worth bragging about.  How often do get to do both things at once?

http://fishinfrenzy.com/

Wild Horses & Carova

While there are wild horse still in some other parts of the country, but there are few places like Carova. Carova is where the road and ends and the adventure begins. A world unto itself, itâ??s not at all uncommon to see wild horse grazing in peopleâ??s yards or figuring out ways to get to the pools. Expansive dot the landscape between the lush sea oats and massive dunes.

In addition to wild horses,  you also have a chance to see other unusual things, such as foxes, wild boar, baby horses, a four-wheel drive fire truck a payphone. Carova is one of those great places to visit, but at the end of the day, youâ??ll be glad to return to your vacation rental with paved roads. Our Fun N Sun partner has special deals for you to see the horses.

https://www.atlanticrealty-nc.com/vacation-planning/outer-banks-fun-n-sun-pass 

No matter where you go on the Outer Banks, thereâ??s always something worth seeing. Wide open beaches are just the beginning of its charm. So if you want a vacation experience that canâ??t be duplicated, come to the Outer Banks. Itâ??s a place youâ??ll want to return every year.

Top 10 Reasons To Stay In Duck

Duck is one of the smallest towns in the Outer Banks. Because of the narrow 2 lane road to get there, and the fact that is so small, some vacationers donâ??t want to stay in Duck NC. However, Duck is a great town and absolute must see.  Wondering whatâ??s so great about Duck? Well, Iâ??m glad you asked.

The Shopping  

You wonâ??t find any chains here. Not a single one. All the shops, restaurants and activities in Duck are family owned and operated. Itâ??s boutique shopping at its best. These little stores carry thousands of specialty items not available in large corporate type stores.

The malls themselves are also a little different. Instead of being plain old strip malls, like youâ??d find around the rest of the Outer Banks, youâ??ll find open air shopping centers. These outdoor â??mallsâ?? were built to accommodate both the trees and shoppers. In some cases, the trees grow right through the wooden sidewalks. There are also several fruit stands in Duck. Shopping in Duck is an experience like few others.

The Eateries

Duck is home to a variety of eateries for every taste and budget. And again, no chains. Whether you want sweet shops, ice cream, pizza, fancy dining, or even a 6 course wine dinner, Duck has it all. 

The Bluepoint is one of the oldest and best loved restaurants in Duck. Duck Cottage is a quaint independent bookstore with its own blend of coffee and the best hot chocolate on the Outer Banks. They even make their own whipped cream. Cravings was even on Diners, Drive In And Dives. And thatâ??s just the beginning of where you can eat.

Homemade fudge and ice cream is a staple of most sweetshops. Gelato is also available.  Thereâ??s even a nut store filled with, thatâ??s right; you guessed it, hundreds of nuts.

The Bike Paths

Duck is one of the few towns with actual bike paths. By bike paths, I donâ??t mean the road shoulders that some areas consider bike paths. No, Duck has designated bike paths, most of with are separated from the road by several feet of grass.

But itâ??s not just bikes that get to use these paths. Walkers, joggers, people walking dogs, pushing baby strollers or pulling wagons all get to use it too.  You can walk from mall to mall or from restaurant to restaurant without ever getting back on the road.

The Park  

The Duck Park is a truly incredible place. It has a nice green lawn for games of Frisbee, tag and other such games. Thereâ??s a great playground for the kids. Plus it has lot of bike paths, nature trails, picnic areas, an outdoor amphitheater, bathrooms, and even places where you can launch a kayak or play in the sound.

But thatâ??s just the beginning of what makes the park so great. The park is also home to myriad of activities in the summer. There are movies, live shows, concerts, events, food and wine tastings, yoga, kidâ??s shows and so much more. Best of all, 90% of it is free! What could be better than that?

The Boardwalk

The boardwalk is new to Duck. It used to be part of the park. However, now that itâ??s finished being built, it deserves its own recognition. The boardwalk spans the full length of downtown Duck on the sound side.

This enables you to walk along the sound, enjoying the beauty and salt breezes and go in and out of cute shops and restaurants all day long.  Stick around for some of the best sunsets the Outer Banks has to offer! With the Duck Boardwalk, you never even have get back on the road. Park once and youâ??re done. Free parking is available in the park.

The Beach

Though all of the Outer Banks boats a free and open beach, Duck is a little different. While its true Duck does have some incredible public beaches, it does not have a public access.

In other words, unless youâ??re actually staying in Duck, you wonâ??t be able to go to the beach here. But that is exactly the reason that Outer Banks vacationers love it so much. Without a public access, the beaches are a lot less crowded so thereâ??s a lot more beach to go around.  You can even let Fido off the leash and play with him on the beach.

The Distance

The number one reason people give for not staying in Duck is the distance. Since Duck and Corolla are often called the â??Northern Beachesâ??, many people unfamiliar with the area think they are close to each other. They arenâ??t. In fact, Duck is actually much closer to Kitty Hawk (about 5 miles) vs. 20 miles for Corolla.  But because of that turn when you first come in, itâ??s considered a northern beach.

Dog Friendly 

If you travel with your dogs, youâ??re in luck. Duck North Carolina was recently rated one of the top ten dog friendliest beaches in the entire country. There are many restaurants which feature outdoor seating, allowing you to dine with you dog. 

Outer Barks even features  â??Yappy Hourâ?? so your dogs can play and have fun with other dogs. And speaking of playing with other dogs, on the beach, you can even let him off the leash so he can get the full beach experience.  Your dog is also welcome in the park or on any of the trails.

Easy Access To The Sound

Duck is one of the few places that has easily accessible public sound access. There are many places in Duck where you can launch a kayak or an inflatable raft. You can even go swimming.

Looking for more fun in the sound?  There are a many places that offer a variety of adventures in the  Sounds, everything from Jet skiing to parasailing and even private boat rentals.

The Spas

Looking to be pampered? Look no further than Duck. Duck is home to world class spas including the Sanderling, Eden Day Spa, and the new, increasing popular Aqua Restaurant & Spa. Not to mention all these spas are set against the beautiful quaint Duck backdrop for a truly immersive experience.

From eating homemade ice-cream, to biking down one of Ducksâ?? bike paths, to playing with your dog on the beach, to enjoying the sound or the spa, Duck offers an experience like no other part of The Outer Banks.  So the next time youâ??re debating on where to stay, give Duck a try. Youâ??ll be glad you did.

Ready to plan your next vacation in Duck?  Start your search now!