Think Outside The Box

When describing the Outer Banks as a family destination, the immediate thought is “Let’s hit the beach!” While the beach is at the top of everyone’s to-do list, there are a bunch of different activities that can be done outside on the OBX too! Plus, a lot of those activities are family-friendly, meaning everyone from the smallest of vacationers to the young at heart can partake in the fun! Families keep coming back year after year to the Outer Banks because there is something for everyone from adults to the youngins.

Beyond Being A Beach Bum

The most obvious OBX thing to do outside? Hit the beach! Any vacation on the Outer Banks should include at least two or three days of enjoying the beach, that’s a given. However, there’s more to beach time than just soaking up some sun and swimming in the surf.

The Outer Banks is a 120-mile strip of sand that has some of the best surf on the East Coast. Spending a few hours riding waves is a great way to spend some of your vacation days. If you don’t know how to surf, there are plenty of surf camps and instructors found on the OBX that are happy to help. Our top recommendation? Outer Surf! From individual surf lessons to their premier Girl Grom surf camp for girls ages 8-12, Outer Surf has it all. They even offer an adult surf camp so the grownups can reminisce on the fun-filled camp days too.

Not too keen on surfing? The ocean is home to many watersports. Try your hand at skimboarding, bodyboarding, and even surf kayaking to do something in the ocean other than swimming.

Take Flight

An activity that is truly unique to the Outer Banks? Hang gliding! Kitty Hawk Kites is the oldest hang gliding school. With their start in 1974, Kitty Hawk Kites is the only hang gliding school that teaches on sand, a real advantage for novice flyers.

The sense of euphoria and accomplishment that consumes student pilots the first time their feet leave the ground is unforgettable. You know you are actually flying this gigantic kite over Jockey’s Ridge and it’s surreal!

Hit The Sound

Hang gliding is only one of many activities that take advantage of the winds of the Outer Banks.

Windsurfing has been a part of the area’s recreational package for years. More recently kiteboarding has become popular too. The two largest kite surfing centers and schools are Real Watersports and Kitty Hawk Kites, almost side by side in Salvo. Located on the Pamlico Sound, there is no better place anywhere to learn the sport. A predictable breeze and shallow water make it a perfect setting.

The west side of the Outer Banks offers an endless variety of sounds and estuaries…ideal for kayaking as well!

There are more sedate things to do as well. Flying a kite on the beach is a wonderful experience and flying from the top of Jockey’s Ridge is truly memorable. If you have never flown one before, try a stunt kite. Just accept that it will crash four or five times before you figure it out.

Experience History & Culture

Or, for something that’s not as active, sit and enjoy The Lost Colony! The Lost Colony outdoor drama is considered the grandfather of all outdoor dramas. First staged in 1937, it is the longest-running outdoor drama. You can learn about the Lost Colony of Roanoke on our blog here. Get more information on the outdoor drama and purchase tickets on The Lost Colony website here.