During the summer, we know you come to the OBX to enjoy the sun, sand, and surf! However, sometimes you get burnt out by all that beach time (metaphorically and literally). Other times, you might choose to visit the Outer Banks when it’s too chilly to have a full-out beach day. A lot of people that visit the Outer Banks year after year don’t realize there’s so much more to do than just spending time at the beach. Take a look at some of our favorite things to do on the OBX that go well beyond the beach!


One of the great things about the Outer Banks is how many unique, local stores there are. Whether you want to shop ’til you drop at the outlets in Nags Head or head to a local boutique for a fun new closet staple, the OBX truly has it all. Some of our favorite local shops are Starr Boutique, Secret Spot Surf Shop, and Whalebone Surf Shop.

Pro-tip: skip on the classic OBX t-shirt from Wings and grab a tee from a local surf shop!

Checking Out Local Art

In addition to great shopping, you’ll find some amazing local art on the OBX as well. With beautifully crafted local paintings, pottery, jewelry, and more; the Outer Banks is home to some of the most talented and creative minds. Galleries like Seagreen Gallery, Wanchese Pottery, Seaside Art Gallery, and Silver Bonsai showcase some of the most beautiful art pieces you’ll ever see. You can also visit the Dare County Arts Council in Manteo and view even more beautiful, locally crafted art pieces.

Climbing Lighthouses

If you want to get outside and enjoy the beautiful Outer Banks weather (especially in the fall), climb and explore one of the lighthouses of the Outer Banks! The Outer Banks is home to 5 lighthouses; the Bodie Island Lighthouse, the Currituck Beach Lighthouse, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, the Ocracoke Lighthouse, and the Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse. All but the Ocracoke Lighthouse and the Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse can be climbed! You can learn even more about the importance of lighthouses on the Outer Banks on our blog here.

Visiting the Whalehead Club

If you decided to take a climb up the Currituck Beach Lighthouse, you might as well take a trip to the Whalehead Club! The Whalehead Club is a local, historical staple in Corolla. Plus, it’s conveniently located right beside Historic Corolla Park, just a 10 minute walk away! A self-guided Whalhead Club tour is perfect for the history buff that’s visiting the Outer Banks.

Horsing Around

Okay so technically this OBX thing to do involves the beach but it most certainly won’t be an average beach day. Wild horses are one of the most unique attractions of Corolla and the Outer Banks that keeps visitors coming back year after year. The wild horses of Corolla are true, blue OBX natives and are a sight to see. Thanks to local tours like Corolla Outback Adventures, Corolla Wild Horse Tours, and many more tour companies, you can see the horses in their natural habitat without disturbing them. Such a fun Outer Banks experience for you and your family!