If you are a first time visitor to the Outer Banks, planning the perfect vacation can be a little overwhelming. With so much to see and do but such little time, it can be a lot especially if you’ve never visited the Outer Banks before! Lucky for you, we’ve come up with a list of places to go, things to see, and more to help you out on your first visit to the Outer Banks!
The Outer Banks is full of places to explore and enjoy the beauty and simplicity of small town life. Downtown Manteo features a ton of local shops and restaurants that you must visit. Plus, Roanoke Island Festival Park is just a short walk over the bridge. You can see what life was like for English soldiers in 1585 and even tour a real, working representation ship, The Elizabeth II! The Duck Waterfront Shops features a bunch of great local shops and an amazing view of the sound! If you’re in Corolla, historic Corolla Village is a must visit as well. On a nice, breezy, spring or summer day, getting outside and taking a stroll around these Outer Banks gems with your family is priceless!
From the Wright Brothers National Monument to Jockey’s Ridge, the Outer Banks is full of rich history that is all tied together. The Elizabethan Gardens in Manteo and Fort Raleigh National Historic Site are the perfect places to go if you’re interested in learning more about the Lost Colony and see gorgeous array of flowers. The Currituck Beach, Bodie Island, and Cape Hatteras lighthouses are must-sees as well!
Whether you have your own 4 wheel drive vehicle or need to rent one, you have to go to Carova or Cape Hatteras for a first time off-road beach experience! Carova and Hatteras Island both feature pristine, undeveloped beaches that are sure to please the first time Outer Banker.While 4WD beaches in Corolla and Carova don’t require a permit, the Cape Hatteras National seashore does. You can find more info here on how to obtain a permit. If 4WD isn’t your style, take a horseback ride with Equine Adventures and see the beauty that Hatteras Island has to offer!
If you’re looking to find the best local food, look no further! Outer Banks Voice has a great Best of the Beach guide for the best seafood, breakfast, donuts and more, making it easy for you to find the best local eats on the beach! Duck Donuts, Run Down Cafe, and Hurricane Mo’s are just a few great places that made the list so be sure to check them all out!
When visiting the Outer Banks, staying in a vacation rental home is your best option. It’ll save you money, keep you comfortable, and give you a space to bond and relax with family and friends. At Resort Realty, we have the perfect home for you no matter what your needs. From luxury homes to cozy condos, make your first and future Outer Banks vacations special and rent with Resort Realty! Browse over 500 Outer Banks vacation homes online or talk to one of our amazing vacation specialists at (800) 458 – 3830.
The town of Corolla (properly pronounced Cor-RAH-lah), is a small town on the Outer Banks full of history. Now known for it’s wild horses, 4 x 4 beaches, and amazing vacation homes, Corolla was once a quaint village that was unrecognizable to what it is today!
Native American tribes called Currituck home. The barrier island of what is now Corolla was used for fishing and hunting. Europeans began settling in the area and resided on the mainland in the late 1600’s.
By the mid-1800’s, there were several communities on the island. By 1873, the Currituck Beach Lighthouse was set to be built. The lighthouse was lit on December 1st, 1875 and the U.S. Lifesaving Service was in full effect.
Corolla has been home to wild horses for over 500 years! The horses can be dated back to the voyage of the colony known now as the Lost Colony. The expedition was led by Sir Richard Grenville in 1587. With so much equipment being brought to the new world, ships had to lighter their load in order to stay afloat in the shallow, Carolina waters. Livestock, including the Spanish mustangs had to be sacrificed. It is thought that the horses that roam the beaches in Corolla are direct descendants of the voyage of 1587!
Corolla maintained it’s long reputation as a hunting and fishing community. In 1922, what is now known as the Whalehead club, was built by Edward and Marie-Louise LeBel Knight. The home provided work opportunities for Corolla residents as caretakers and hunting guides for the Knight’s and their guests.
During World War II, the Whale Head Club was leased to the United States Coast Guard to aid in patrol of German U boats. After the war, the population of Corolla dwindled significantly. In the 1950s, the population became so low the school closed and the church remained empty. By the 1970’s, only 15 people lived in the village.
The number of year round residents in Corolla is about 500 people. During the summer, the population can be more than 50,000 a week! People are attracted to this quaint town because of it’s beauty, vast beaches, and rich history! Rest, relaxation, and amazing food can be found all over Corolla.
Plan your next Outer Banks vacation! Visit the amazing, historical, and beautiful town or Corolla. With over 120 properties located in Corolla, Resort Realty has a vacation home that is sure to suit you and your family! Visit our website, browse the properties, and book your stay online! You can also call us at 1-800-458-3830 and one of our amazing vacation reservation specialists will be happy to assist you!
With such a cold and snowy winter, everyone is ready for the warmth and brightness of spring! With the average temperature on the Outer Banks ranging from 65 degrees during the day and around 50 at night during March and April, you can get out and explore all the OBX has to offer! Plus, less crowds will make your visit more enjoyable! If you’re planning a spring break trip to the Outer Banks, Resort Realty has you covered. With a full list of things to do, places to see, amazing food to eat, and more; see what you should be doing this spring break on the OBX!
Did we mention how GORGEOUS the weather is during the spring on the OBX? It’s the perfect time to get out and stroll the beaches, explore Jockey’s Ridge, or even drive on the 4 x 4 beaches in Corolla or on Hatteras Island! Jockey’s Riddge is hosting Fly Into Spring, an event that features an awe inspiring array of kites, Easter egg hunts for the little ones, and even a chance to to meet the Easter bunny! For more information on Fly Into Spring, visit Kitty Hawk Kites’ website. With less people visiting this time of year, you’ll be able to enjoy the great weather with very few crowds.
The Outer Banks is full of so many unique stores and shops. Take advantage of the great weather and stroll some of the outdoor shopping centers like the Outer Banks Mall, Tanger Outlets, and The Waterfront Shops in Duck! Treat yourself while you’re on spring break!
If you ask any local on the Outer Banks, they’ll tell you that the best part of spring is that the great local restaurants open back up for the season! Take advantage of restaurant re-openings and try out a new eatery or take part in Taste of The Beach! Taste of the Beach is a 4 day event full of food, drinks, and fun! With over 50 events and over 25 different venues, there is plenty to choose from. For more information, event times, and ticket purchases, visit the Taste of the Beach website.
When there are less crowds on the Outer Banks, you get the opportunity to visit places like the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, the North Carolina Aquarium, and more without long lines and hectic groups. Take the time to stroll through the aquarium and see the new exhibits or try to spot wild horses on the empty Corolla beaches. The Lost Colony is one of America’s longest unsolved mysteries with 115 men, women, and children vanishing with no trace. On your visit this spring break, learn more about the mystery of the Lost Colony during the Lost Colony Ghost Tour! From March 26 to April 7 at 8:00, walk around the grounds of where colonists and Native Americans roamed. For more information, visit The Lost Colony website.
Planning your spring break getaway to the Outer Banks can be super exciting. Even more exciting? Lower rates on rental homes! Before the peak season starts, even the most luxurious homes can be super affordable for your stay! Whether you’re looking for a condo for a weekend retreat or a large and luxe home for a whole week spent relaxing on the beach, Resort Realty has you covered! With over 500 homes to choose from and so many great activities to take part in, why wouldn’t you plan your spring break on the Outer Banks? View all of the homes Resort Realty has to offer and either book online or give us a call at (800) 458-3830 to talk to one of our amazing reservation specialists!
Sometimes going out to eat with little ones can pose a challenge, but here on the Outer Banks, finding somewhere affordable and that you and the kids will love is a breeze. Many restaurants on the Outer Banks have extensive kid’s menus. From popcorn shrimp for little pirates or a cheeseburger for the picky eater, these restaurants have got you covered.
Big Al’s – Manteo
This 50’s themed restaurant will take you back in time. Big Al’s Soda Fountain and Grill offers many different food selections. From burgers to fried fish, Big Al’s has it all for adults. The kids menu is extensive as well featuring the classics like burgers, chicken fingers, and more. Everyday except for Mondays, Big Al’s offers an all you can eat lunch buffet for $9.99, and even better, kids eat free! Visit their website or call them at 252-473-5570 for more details and a sample menu.
Sundogs – Corolla
From steamer platters to shrimp baskets, Sundogs Raw Bar and Grill has got you covered. Featuring menu items like shrimp n’ grits and fish tacos, you’ll be sure to find something that’ll suit your appetite. The kids menu features fried shrimp, chicken tenders, hot dogs and more. With kids options only being $6, Sundogs is a restaurant sure to pleas their little taste buds and your wallet. Visit their website to view their menu and other services Sundogs offers.
Duck Donuts – Kill Devil Hills, Kitty Hawk, Corolla, & Duck
Duck Donuts are a famous treat on the Outer Banks. Although they don’t have a kids menu exactly, it’s a fun way to let little ones express their creativity in creating their own donut. Start with choosing donut coating, then add topping, and finish off with drizzle. Duck Donuts has coffee and hot tea for adults and hot chocolate, juice, and milk for the kiddos. Visit their website for locations closest to your vacation home and treat the family to a sweet treat.
Mama Kwan’s – Kill Devil Hills
A local treasure, Mama Kwan’s features an island vibe with Asian and locally inspired cuisine. Mama Kwan’s features dishes like their famous fish tacos (trust us, get them blackened) and their Hawaiian pork plate. The also offer classics like cheese burgers and chicken tenders for the pickier eaters in your group. Mama Kwan’s has dishes to cater to everyone. The kids menu will make your little ones feel like grownups with options like grilled chicken served with pineapple and rice. Chicken tenders, popcorn shrimp, and chicken tenders can also be found on the menu. Mama Kwan’s also offers “kids cocktails” that are non-alcoholic but are still fruity, fun, and come with keepsakes to take home! Give them a call at 252-441-7889 or visit their website for more information.
For authentic Mexican food, look no further than Plaza Azteca. Featuring menu options like seafood chimichangas, steak ranchero, and vegetarian quesadilla’s there’s something to please everyone. The kids menu also has dishes like traditional macaroni and cheese and cheeseburgers and something for the child that likes to try something new like quesadilla and rice or soft tacos. Kids also eat free on Monday nights! Visit their website or give them a ring at 252-255-1060 for questions and more information.
Surfin’ Spoon – Nags Head
Owned and operated by professional surfer Jesse Hines and his wife Whitney, Surfin’ Spoon is a cool hangout with some cool treats. This little frozen yogurt bar has big flavor with over 10 choices to nosh on, including vegan and no sugar added options. Toppings include fresh fruit, candies, and different sweet syrups to finish off your masterpiece. Let the kids create their own dessert bowl in the kids size cup they offer. Check out the kids’ books written by Jesse and Whitney called “Sebi Gets Barreled” and “Sebi Goes Surfing” that are sold at Surfin’ Spoon and go home with a bedtime story souvenir. Visit Surfin’ Spoon’s website for more about the business, Jesse and his family, and more.
Atlantic Coast Cafe – Waves
Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, The Atlantic Coast Cafe is one of the best finds on Hatteras Island. This family friendly restaurant has dishes for everyone to enjoy. For breakfast, kids can enjoy silver dollar pancakes or french toast sticks while you grub on one of Atlantic Coast Cafe’s breakfast wraps or breakfast plates. Lunch and dinner boast vegetarian options like a veggie burger or freshly caught seafood. Little ones can enjoy chicken strips, a fish plate, grilled cheese, and more. Atlantic Coast Cafe also has specials daily and a 15% off coupon can be found on their website!
Tomato Patch Pizzeria – Corolla
The Tomato Patch Pizzeria is a family style restaurant that offers many different Greek style food options. With choices ranging from Italian style pastas to Greek inspired pizza, there’s tons of options for everyone. On Tuesdays, The Tomato Patch offers Kids Night where kids can make their own, homemade pizza! Check out the Tomato Patch website for more information on kids night and a look at all their menu has to offer!
These restaurants just scratch the surface of all the Outer Banks has to offer in kid friendly dining. Check out a couple more kid friendly restaurants listed down below and get out and explore something new this vacation!
Mako Mikes – Kill Devil Hills
Mulligans – Nags Head
Pamlico Jacks –Nags Head
Black Pelican – Kitty Hawk
Spankys – Kitty Hawk
The chilly weather that’s been impacting everyone has got minds wandering towards June 21st, the first day of summer. Sunscreen, sunglasses, bathing suits, and beaches are the only things that are on the brain so when the time comes, why not book an Outer Banks vacation?!
If you’re thinking a vacation to the Outer Banks is financially unrealistic, take a look at some of our affordable, but amazing vacation homes! Resort Realty offers vacation homes with Saturday check-in and check-out for as low as $27 per night per person! Take a look at some of our affordable vacation homes and start planning your summer getaway.
Saltaire (2600) – Duck
This soundside home is perfect for enjoying the first days of summer. Saltaire is only about 500 yards away from the beach access conveniently located across the street. The sound is literally your backyard so enjoy it and go on a kayaking adventure with the kayak provided for you in the house, just make sure to bring your own life preservers! At only $36 a night per person*, grab 6 of your closest friends or family and spend a week in Duck!
Dolphin’s Den (1878) – Corolla
Spend your first week of summer at Dolphin’s Den in Corolla! This oceanside home provides you with a little over 500 yard walk to the beach so you can spend all day in the surf and sand. With access to tennis courts you can stay active and still have fun in the sun. With a Saturday arrival and 8 people in your group, this vacation home is only $27 per night per person!
Nepenthe (7850) – Frisco
Discover Frisco and make memories that’ll last you a lifetime. Nepenthe is a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom home that boasts ocean and soundside views. With only about a 200 yard walk to the beach, there’s no reason you shouldn’t kick off your summer in thee sand. Nepenthe is also conveniently located within walking distance to dining and shopping. This home is a perfect price. With 6 people in your party, you’ll only be spending $30 a day!
The Sea Ranch (5476) – Nags Head
The Sea Ranch is the place to be to start your summer off right. This 4 bedroom 2 bathroom home has recently been updated with a brand new kitchen and floors to make your Outer Banks vacation that much sweeter. Situated between highways, The Sea Ranch is almost 400 yards to the beach, a short walk for a long, salty day. With 8 people in your group, you’ll only be spending $24 a day during you week-long visit. With all that extra cash saved, you can take advantage of the go-karts and mini golfing that are right down the street!
Margaret’s Sunrise (2962) – Duck
Perfect for a small group of 4, Margaret’s Sunrise has the perfect view of the ocean. Wake up early and witness the beauty of and Outer Banks summer sunrise over the sea. This oceanfront condo offers access to a community pool, basketball court, volleyball court, tennis court and more. There’s also a walkway connecting the condo to the beach so not hot sand to burn up those feet. Margaret’s Sunrise is conveniently located near shops and restaurants, and with only spending $50 a night per person, you’ll be able to take full advantage of that luxury.
In addition to these affordable vacation homes, Resort Realty also offers an EZ Pay Plan. With EZ Pay, you can break up the cost of your vacation into three easy installments! To show our appreciation to our veterans and active duty, we also offer a Hometown Heroes and Military Discount on a number of different homes for additional savings. Turn that vacation dream into a reality, pack your bathing suit, and celebrate the first day of summer on the Outer Banks with Resort Realty.
*Pricing per person is based on max occupancy of the home, which is noted in the description. Pricing includes rent, tax, and administrative fees. Additional linen services and travel insurance not included. Total pricing is quoted for the week of June 17th – 21st
With oyster season in full swing, we are thankful for many plentiful seafood seasons here on the Outer Banks. To get excited for a seafood filled 2017, here’s a list of what seafood is in season and when here on the OBX
Soft Shell Crab: April, May, June
Clams: Year round
Flounder: Jan, Feb, March. Again Oct, Nov, Dec
Mahi Mahi: May, June
Tuna: Year Round
View our nearly 550 OBX vacation rental homes from Corolla to Hatteras Island and then book online, or call us at (800) 458-3830.
“Rain, rain go away” is the tune we’ve all been humming on the Outer Banks today. Tropical Storm Hermine appears to be traveling along the coastline this weekend and will most likely bring some heavy wind and rain to the area. Don’t let the weather damper your vacation! There are still plenty of Outer Banks activities to keep you entertained and occupied when you can’t be at the beach. Looking for things to do this weekend? Check out our list of top 50 rainy day activities.
After all, a rainy day at the beach is better than a sunny day at the office! We hope you stay safe and dry this weekend. Stay up-to-date with storm information on Resort Realty’s Facebook page.
New scenery, experiences and insight are why we all long to travel. The saying goes “we travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” Fresh salt air, uncharted territory, and one-of-a-kind experiences are just what you need to break up the routine and refresh your soul. From memorable day trips to one-of-a-kind outings, the Outer Banks has countless excursions to satisfy the wanderlust in all of us.
Keep reading to learn more about the Top 10 Excursions to Experience on the Outer Banks.
Take the 40-minute ferry ride from Hatteras Island to the secluded and dreamy island of Ocracoke. The island stretches out nearly 13 miles with charming cottages, artisan shops, and a small town feeling that immediately makes you feel at ease. Most people travel by foot, bike, or golf cart to get around, so parents can relax and let the kids play. You can drive on the beach and try out as many water activities as you have energy for. You’ll easily see why the famous pirate, Blackbeard, spent so much time there.
The thrill of reeling in a big fish is hard to explain unless you’ve experienced it firsthand. Heading out to the Gulf Stream with your friends for an all-day fishing trip is an unforgettable experience. Knowledgeable charter captains and mates will take you where the fish are biting so you can reel in large species of fish like tuna, dolphin (mahi), and billfish – including sailfish, white and blue marlin.
If picturesque places are your favorite part of traveling, you’ll want to sign up for a Corolla wild horse tour. Seeing the rolling sand dunes, beautiful oceanfront, and watching the wild Spanish colonial horses roam free is an image you’ll keep with you for years to come.
These famous lighthouses are not only navigational aids, they are full of history and detailed architecture with a wonderful view waiting for you at the top. The Currituck Beach, Bodie Island and Cape Hatteras Lighthouses are available to climb for a nominal fee. The Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse in Manteo and the Ocracoke Island Lighthouse are not open to climbers but are open to visit at your leisure.
Celebrate and learn more about the incredible achievement the Wright Brothers made on the Outer Banks at The Wright Brothers Memorial in Kill Devil Hills. Tour the museum and learn more about that historic day and see artifacts from that time period. View replicas of the gliders and statues of the key players in the first day of flight. Traveling up to the top of the monument and reading the inscription, “Conceived by genius and achieved by dauntless resolution and unconquerable faith,” will leave you with a sobering feeling about how monumental this invention and event truly was.
Luckily, you don’t have to travel to tropical islands to see dolphins up close! Catch dolphins swimming and playing in their natural habitat on a dolphin cruise right here on the Outer Banks! Spend a few hours on the water following the bottlenose dolphins around the Atlantic Ocean and learning more about them.
Charm and history collide in the quaint town of Manteo on Roanoke Island. Steeped in tradition, history, and old world charm, Manteo is located on the western side of Bodie Island, surrounded by gentle soundfront waves. Walk where the settlers traveled on Roanoke Island, visit the gorgeous grounds at The Elizabethan Gardens, watch a live performance of The Lost Colony, the only outdoor drama, or just enjoy the sights, sounds, and quaint shops downtown. This waterfront community is the perfect place to explore on foot or by bike.
Pack a water bottle and venture up the largest sand dune on the east coast. Pick up a stunt or decorative kite across the street at Kitty Hawk Kites and fly it high on the towering dunes. For the more adventurous , try your hand at hang gliding! Even the little ones will love this famous Outer Bank landmark – perfect for running up and then sliding down the dune (not to mention, burning off some energy!) All that exploring needs fuel! Bring lunch and enjoy a picnic at one of the 8 picnic shelters. (Each shelter has two tables and a grill.)
Recently remodeled and updated with several new exhibits and galleries, the Roanoke Island Aquarium in Manteo is a fun place for all ages to visit. Touch the stingrays as they glide through the shallow hands-on touch tank. Travel through the Wild Wetlands where river otters play and alligators lurk. Experience the aquarium’s hands-on Sea Turtle Rescue exhibit and conservation efforts in the Sea Turtle Assistance and Rehabilitation (STAR) Center. View high-definition films and the new “Science on a Sphere” experience in Neptune’s Theater. And lastly, marvel at the largest collection of sharks in the state in the Graveyard of the Atlantic â€“ a giant shark aquarium with Gulf Stream interactive exhibit.
If you’re longing for serenity and solitude, make time to visit the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Spreading out over 70 miles, this is a place where you can relax and enjoy a simpler way of life. Fish, kiteboard, swim, nature watch, or snap a few photos of the marshes and vast oceanfront. Playing and relaxing are both welcomed and encouraged here.
Excitement, adventure and new experiences await you on the Outer Banks. Don’t just daydream, do it! For more Outer Banks excursion ideas, visit Resort Realty’s Things to Do page.