10 Things you MUST see in the Outer Banks

This post contains affiliate links. Read more privacy policy for more info.

Who’s planning their summer vacation?  Do you like to try out different places or go back to the same places year after year?  My family has been to the Outer Banks twice and it’s such a wonderful place to visit.  It’s perfect for those you like the beach, but there’s also a lot of places to see and explore.

This list will definitely keep you occupied for a week and I bet you won’t have time to get to some of these awesome places and activities. Make sure you pin or save this so you can come back and read about it closer to your trip.

Here are my top 10 things you must see in the Outer Banks.

10 Things You Must see in the Outer Banks

10 Things you MUST see in the Outer Banks

1.  Fort Macon State Park (located in Atlantic Beach)- I grew up in Tennessee and there are a lot of Civil War Csites to visit.  This was a really unique place and I had never seen anything like it.  The fort looks over the Atlantic ocean and there is a ton of history here.  We walked around looking at cannons and seeing the living conditions of the soldiers that quartered there.  We even watched a demonstration of a musket being shot.  There’s also a beach if you want to swim and play for the day.

10 Things you Must See in the Outer Banks

2.  Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores (located in Atlantic Beach)-  This is a great aquarium.  It’s on the small side, but the price is very reasonable ($10.95 for adults and $8.95 for kids).  It’s perfect for a rainy day or if you just need some time away from the water.  They have otters and sharks, all the things kids love.

3.  Shackelford Banks– This is an absolutely stunning place.  You can take a ferry to the island and search for the wild horses.    You can camp, go shelling, and hike.  We saw 3 wild horses in just the 2 hours we were there and were able to get very close.

10 Things you Must See in the Outer Banks

4.  Orcacoke Light House and British Cemetery-  Ocracoke is a cute little beach town.  They have a few souvenir shops, places to eat, and a coffee shop.  You can rent a golf cart and head to the light house if you aren’t in the mood to walk.   The British Cemetery is right in the middle of town.

More things to see in the Outer Banks

5.  Bodie Light House–  If you are driving around the Outer Banks, then you will probably come across Bodie Light House.  We stopped here for a few minutes to take in the sites (and use the bathroom). 🙂

6.  Cape Hatteras Lighthouse-  This light house was moved down the beach because it was in danger of being washed away.  They have a museum and gift shop here, as well.  There is beach here so you can make a day of it.  This is probably the most recognized light house with it’s black and white diagonal paint.  The day we were there it was closed so we weren’t able to go to the top.  Here’s a good book to learn more about it.

7.  Jockey’s Ridge State Park (located in Nags Head)- These are the tallest sand dunes I’ve ever seen and the brochure says they are the biggest in the Eastern United States.  There is a boardwalk, walking trails and it’s very windy.  There is even a place to take hang gliding lessons.  Not sure if I’ll be doing that anytime soon.

8.  Currituck Lighthouse (located in Corolla)-  This is one of my favorite places.  We were able to climb to the top of this light house.  It wasn’t that bad, only 220 steps!  The view is gorgeous and surrounding area is picturesque.  We enjoyed walking around and going out on the boardwalk.  They have a small gift shop here too.

10 Things you Must See in the Outer Banks 10 Things you Must See in the Outer Banks

9.  Wright Brothers Memorial–  You can’t go to the Outer Banks and miss the Wright Brother’s Memorial.  It’s easily one of the most famous places in North Carolina.  You get a lot of history in the museum and they have an area to walk around and learn more about their first flights.  There are tons of books you can get for your kids to learn about the Wright Brothers before you leave for your trip. It’s $10 for each adult to get in.

10 Things you MUST see in the Outer Banks

10 Things you MUST see in the Outer Banks

10.  The Island Farm (located in Manteo)- This is a living history farm where you can experience life before the Civil War.  The people that were dressed up in pre- civil war attire showed us what it would have been like to live there at that time.  We learned about the games we would have played, what we would have eaten, and how we would care for our animals and tend our gardens.

10 Things you Must See in the Outer Banks

What are some of your favorite things to do in the Outer Banks?  If you haven’t been, I hope you can plan a trip to some of my favorite places there.  Here’s a book, just on the Outer Banks.  You can read up about the entire area!

You can buy this cute OBX tee by clicking on the image!

Have fun on your vacation! Let me know if I left anything off this list!  Should I add anything?

 

You may also like this post.

Packing for Summer Camp

Packing for summer camp doesn't have to be hard. It's actually pretty easy. Here are a few tips to remember so you don't stress out.

You may also like...

8 Responses

  1. LeAnn says:

    Thanks! Hope to takethe kids in the next year or two!

  2. Becky says:

    I grew up going to the Outer Banks twice a year with my family. It truly is peaceful getaway and unlike any other vacation spot. I love the Christmas Shop in Manteo and the “Lost Colony” live theater play that is put on every summer in Manteo. Definitely go back to climb the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse as well. And if anyone loves to fish, head to the Point on Hatteras Island where the north and south currents of the ocean meet. Lots of great fishing there but you need a 4 wheel drive to get out on the beach. Beautiful place and I can’t wait to go back!!

  3. Scarlett says:

    This was very helpful! We are planning a family trip for this coming June and I wanted to research some top attractions. I’ve been to the OBX years ago and really enjoyed visiting Ocracoke Island. This time I will be going with two toddlers 🙂 should be different than last time!

    • Holly says:

      You should rent a golf cart! They will love it.

  4. Abby says:

    Don’t foget to grab a couple of donuts from DUCK donuts, arguably the best donuts in the entire east coast?

  5. Kathy Weaver says:

    When you said the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse has black and white diagonal paint, don’t you mean black and white spiral paint? The Diamond Shoals Lighthouse is the one that has black and white diagonal markings.

  6. Alyssa Czysz says:

    Quick Question: When looking at the website, it looks like the park service charges a fee to get into the Wright Brother’s Memorial. I’m not sure if this is newly implemented, but it appears to be $10 per adult. https://www.nps.gov/wrbr/planyourvisit/fees.htm Did you have to pay to enter the grounds? Thanks!

    • Holly says:

      Yikes! I think you’re right! It does say $10 per adult, but still worth it! I’ll go up and make the change now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *