Below is a list of local businesses, restaurants and activities the staff of Atlantic Realty recommend! We live here so we know the best places to get ice cream, grab a quick lunch or kid friendly activities on a rainy day.
Favorite "Must See" Places on the Outer Banks
Corolla 4X4 Area/Carova Beach -- there are several Wild Horse Tours available in the 4X4 area of the Corolla Outer Banks. What a great day trip to ride right on the beach and search for the Wild Mustangs that have roamed the beaches here for hundreds of years!
Jockey's Ridge -- The East Coast's largest natural sand dune is a sight to behold. Located Nags Head, this sand dune is open from sunrise to sunset and visitor's and local alike love to climb to the top and take in the view (and then run or slide all the way down!)
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse -- The most famous lighthouse on the East Coast! The Cape Hatteras Light and it's barber pole striping are an icon of the Outer Banks. Located just an hour south of Kitty Hawk and Nags Head, Hatteras Island is a great day trip with lots of things to see and do. Climb up all 268 steps to the top and take in the magnificent views.
The Wright Brothers Memorial -- Visit the spot where flight began. Learn about the Wright Flyer and how the Wright Brothers used the Outer Banks prevailing wind to test their glider. An interesting story and history lesson. Museum and Memorial is open to the public daily from 9 - 5 and a small fee is required to enter the park.
The Lost Colony -- The longest running outdoor symphonic drama tells the story of the first English colony that settled in the New World. It all began right here on what is know today as Roanoke Island. Learn about the colony and try to figure out what became of them -- it's a mystery!
Roanoke Island -- Roanoke Island is a full day's worth of exploration! Not only is it home to the Lost Colony stage production, but features the NC Aquarium, Fort Raleigh and Festival Park. After learning the area's history, relax on the Manteo Waterfront and watch the boats go by or take advantage of the fantastic boutique shopping and cafe style restaurants.
Best Seafood Restaurants
Awful Arthur's -- Outer Banks Authentic Oyster and Raw Bar. Located in Kill Devil Hills MP 6 near the Avalon Pier on the Beach Road
Basnight's Lone Cedar Cafe -- Great family style restaurant with fresh local seafood and homemade desserts. Located on the causeway between Nags Head and Manteo.
Black Pelican Restaurant -- Located on the Oceanfront in Kitty Hawk MP 4, this restaurant in housed in a restored LifeSaving Station. Fantastic Seafood Pizzas handmade in a woodfire oven.
Owens Restaurant -- Fresh Local Seafood prepared southern style. Everything homemade and delicious! Located in Nags Head MP 16 on the Bypass.
Pamlico Jack's Waterfront Restaurant -- Fantastic location with spectacular sunset views. Rum Jumpers deck bar and fresh local seafood. Located at MP 16 on the soundfront near the Tanger Outlet Mall.
Josephine's Sicilian Kitchen - Josephine's Sicilian Kitchen is the only authentic Italian restaurant in the Outer Banks. Located in Kitty Hawk, the restaurant is a short drive from Duck, Kill Devil Hills, and Nags Head.
JK's Restaurant - Established in 1984 by JK Norfleet. Beef, signature ribs and local seafood - you'll find something for everyone and all prepared to perfection. Locarted at MP 9 in Kill Devil HIlls.
Kelly's Restaurant and Tavern -- Live Music and the largest dance floor on the Outer Banks. The only true separate bar/tavern on the Outer Banks.
Black Pelican Restaurant -- Great wrap around bar with daily drink specials and large bar menu including handmade woodfired pizzas.
Hurricane Mo's -- Located in Kitty Hawk MP 4 beside the Kitty Hawk Post Office. The best happy hour on the beach with drink specials, 25 cent wings, $1 tacos and 10 cent shrimp.
Lucky 12 Tavern -- On the Beach Rd in Nags Head near the Nags Head Pier. Big Screen Hi Def TVs with all the NFL/MLB/NHL games and ESPN channels. Pool table, arcade games, bar menu including NY Style Pizza. Great place to hang out as well as get lunch or dinner.
Outer Banks Brewing Station -- With entertainment nightly, good food, and beer made onsight, the Brewing Station is "the" place to go for a night out.
Port O Call Restaurant and Gaslight Saloon-- Featuring nightly entertainment including DJs, live bands, and bikini contests, Port O Call is the scene for a wild night on the Outer Banks!
Best Special Occasion Restaurant
Owens Restaurant -- Locally Owned and operated for over 65 years. Located in Nags Head about the 16 MP. Features the best lobster bisque soup we've ever had!! Fresh local seafood and everything here is homemade. Be sure to save room for one of their spectacular desserts. A little pricier than most restaurants, but totally worth it!!
Flying Fish Cafe -- Fantastic Food and Spectacular Wine Bar. Cozy and Quiet atmosphere for fine dining. Located at MP 9 in Kill Devil Hills.
The Colington Cafe -- Tucked away in the trees of Colington Road, this Victorian house was converted into an elegant restaurant serving the best Steak, Chicken, Pasta, and Seafood with a French and Southern flair. Fantastic menu and even better desserts.
Best Place to Grab a Quick Bite
John's Drive In -- Not many seats but always a crowd! The best milkshakes and dolphin boats anywhere!! Located at MP 4 on the Beach Road. A few picnic table and limited parking, but a great spot to snack after enjoying the beach in Kitty Hawk.
Food Dudes -- Quality Food from Laid Back Dudes!! Great spot for lunch or dinner -- we highly recommend the fish tacos. They even serve Sunday Brunch. Located at MP 9 on the Beach Road in the Seashore Shops.
Kill Devil Grill -- Incredible Lunch Specials served in an old fashioned silver diner. The fried chicken is a local's favorite -- but get there early -- they always sell out!! Located at MP 9.5 in Kill Devil Hills on the Beach Road.
La Fogatas -- Cheap, Fast, and Really Good!! Best Mexican food on the OBX. Be sure to get a margarita and the cheese dip -- Fantastic!! Two locations-- In Kitty Hawk, MP 4 and Nags Head MP 12.5 across from the Outer Banks Mall.
Best Rainy Day Activity For the Kids
Glazin' Go Nuts -- Paint your Own Pottery. The kids will have a blast painting their own Outer Banks Souvenir to take home. Located in Kill Devil Hills MP 6. No reservations required.
NC Aquarium -- Located on Roanoke Island. Check out the sea turtles, otters, and osprey at the Aquarium. Touch the stingrays and horseshoe crabs in the touch tank and be sure to stick around and watch the shark feeding.
Nags Head Bowling Center -- Bowling Alley and Arcade. Located at MP 10 in Nags Head. Features Daily and Nightly Game and Food Specials-- Family Fun Night and Neon Rock and Bowl.
Children at Play Museum -- Located in Kitty Hawk, this museum teaches kids in a hand-ons environment. Exhibits and classes for all ages.
Best Ice Cream/Sweet Treats
OBX Frozen Yogurt
Experience the sweetest frozen dessert bar on the Outer Banks, featuring a creative mix of eight flavors of frozen yogurt, gelato, and non-dairy soft serve flavors as well as 60+ premium toppings. In addition, enjoy eight tasty flavors of Dippin' Dots ice cream, a selection of chef-prepared (egg-free) cookie dough, a variety of New York City cookies and baked goods, milkshakes and floats, Italian ices, sorbet, candy, craft sodas, slushies, coffee, hot chocolate, and more! Dairy free, Vegan, allergen free, and No Sugar Added options available. Eat in or take out at this family-friendly, locally owned and operated business. Offsite catering available for public and private events, both large or intimate. Gift certificates available. Groups and meetings welcome, with free Wi-Fi. Pet friendly with Pup Cups available.
Sweet Frog -- The Outer Banks newest and most popular sweet spot. Located in Kitty Hawk at MP 5 on the main road, Sweet Frog lets you make your own frozen yogurt creation with several flavors to choose from as well as an extensive topping bar. Prices are reasonable which makes Sweet Frog our top pick!!
Surfin' Spoon -- The Outer Banks newest Frozen Yogurt Shop (located in Nags Head on the Beach Road) has a laid back surfing vibe. Relax in the cozy seating area with wrap around bar as you watch surf videos on the wall mounted TV and enjoy the best frozen yogurt on the beach! Top your fro-yo with fresh fruits, candies, cookies, and more! A great after-dinner treat or way to cool off after a long day at the beach. The locals deem Surfin' Spoon the best on the beach!! Be sure to stop in and check it out on your next vacation!