The beautiful thing about the Outer Banks is how family friendly this chain of islands really are. From pets to wheelchair accessible locations, the Outer Banks truly is a family friendly oasis. If you or a loved one is in a wheelchair, we’ve come up with a guide to help you figure out where to go, what to see, and where to stay during your Outer Banks vacation to make it as easy as possible!

What to Do

The Beach

Everyone wants to go to the beach during their Outer Banks vacation! Some public accesses are wheelchair accessible and some aren’t. Outer Banks Beach Access features maps of all Outer Banks towns, denoting where some public accesses have handicap parking. Keep in mind that some accesses may have handicap parking but might not necessarily be wheelchair friendly. Outer Banks Beach Access gives more information for each access they list. You can see them all here. Rental companies like Ocean Atlantic Rentals have beach wheelchairs for rent to make wheeling down to the beach from the ramp or through the sand a lot easier.

For your convenience, the following accesses are known to be wheelchair friendly:

Currituck County Southern Beach AccessCorolla

Ocean Bay Beach AccessKill Devil Hills

Jennette’s PierNags Head

Shopping

Most establishments on the Outer Banks are wheelchair and handicap friendly. The Outlets Nags Head have a wide array of stores to choose from and the wide, covered sidewalks make it easy for your to navigate from store to store!

Where to Adventure

The Aquarium

The North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island features aquatic exhibits for the whole family to see! The aquarium is wheelchair friendly, making it easy for you to navigate all there is to see during your visit.

Elizabethan Gardens

The Elizabethan Gardens spans over 10 acres on the north end of Roanoke Island in Manteo. The Gardens are home to stunning local blooms, historical landmarks, and great photo opportunities! With wide paved paths, The Elizabethan Gardens is a wheelchair friendly establishment.

Roanoke Island Festival Park

Roanoke Island Festival Park gives you a glimpse of what life was like for the first English military settlement of 1585. You can see a real working blacksmith, what life was like for American Indians in Indian Town, see a representational lifesize ship, and browse the Adventure Museum! All of Festival Park is wheelchair friendly except for the Elizabeth II; the representational 16th century ship. Wheelchairs can be rolled onto the dock to get an overall view of the ship. The ship itself does not allow wheelchairs.

Wright Brothers Memorial

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The Wright Brothers monument is in commemoration to the Wright brothers’ contribution to the world of aviation! The Monument stands a top of the historic hill where Wilbur and Orville did their flight tests. The memorial is also home to many other historical sights. See reconstructed camp buildings similar to what Orville and Wilbur lived in during their studies. Visit an indoor museum center, and more! All exhibits are wheelchair friendly.

Outer Banks Lighthouses

Lighthouses on the Outer Banks have been a staple for hundreds of years, guiding sailors safely to shore. The lighthouses of the Outer Banks are open to tour, and learn about the purposes they served throughout history. Each lighthouse ground is wheelchair accessible. The lighthouses do not have elevators but they do have photos that provide views of the inside of the lighthouse and views from the top.

Wheelchair Friendly Homes

Resort Realty offers a wide array of wheelchair friendly Outer Banks vacation homes! From large 12 bedroom homes to smaller 3 bedroom homes. There’s something for everyone!